We wouldn’t have believed it possible. Trust a celebrated Darwinian atheist to bring it off.
And so now here (Huffpo):
Outspoken atheist writer Richard Dawkins took to Twitter this week to air concerns about the status of women in Islam. Needless to say, his unsolicited advice to a religion of 1.6 billion people didn’t sit well with many.
It shouldn’t sit well.
The status of women in Islamic regions is a disgrace in the eyes of the world and everyone knows it, including all decent Muslims.
So why do we need an outspoken atheist to point it out?
Dawkins pointed to child marriage, female genital mutilation and other atrocities in some countries as evidence of Islam’s inherent bias against women.
Right. And are these practices sanctioned by the holy book of the Muslim religion? Yes or no?
Can we start with an honest discussion for once? Lots is at stake.
And as Sarsour mentioned, countless Muslim women and men are already working for women’s rights and challenging stereotypes that are too-often perpetuated in the media.
Sure, but we won’t get anywhere if we don’t start by facing facts: How much of the abuse is sanctioned by Islamic scripture, custom, and law?
Too much we hear in the west is just plain implausible in the face of the facts.
Now, the News desk here has defended Dawkins, sort of, in one “women’s issues” controversy he blundered into, couple years back. It involved an elevator he wasn’t even in (of whose existence he was probably unaware).
That said … Dawkins has here made the all-too-familiar mistake of a certain type of alpha xy’s — thinking he should speak for women.
Speaking as an xx (no y), let me put it like this: Islam needs a big reform in its treatment of women. But the initiative must come from women. I suspect only Muslim women can properly direct it, though others can certainly help.
That is not really very surprising.
In general, groups of people start to get free when they just decide to quit believing that they deserve low status, confinement, denial of opportunities, terror, floggings, mutilations, grisly deaths. They decide not to take it any more—and to start acting like people who are not taking it any more.
See, for example, Grameen Credit Bank. And Malala.
Yes, they can.
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