I’m sorry, dear Muslimaat

A letter of apology to the #MuslimahPride social media jihadis

Dear Muslimaat,

I don’t have words (again) to express my guilt and apologise for the grime that I uttered last week. I’m sorry for being a loathsome misogynist, hypocritical fascist, perverted male-chauvinist, offensive orientalist, with a very palpable phobia. I’m terribly sorry for writing such a pathetic piece of animal excretion that kind people like you and your male guardians had to drag my entire family tree into the barrage of linguistic pleasantries. I’m really very sorry.

It’s amazing what a week of introspection can do. I now realise how ridiculous it was of me to try and promote Western, postcolonial and imperialistic ideals like gender equality and human rights. I realise how foolish it was to stereotype everything by quoting your authentic religious commandments and regularly reported events in Islamic countries. I realise how obnoxious it was to think that demonstrating against stoning women to death was a better cause than protesting against shameless infidels. Last week’s letter was clearly a remonstration against the fact that women spoke out, not against the fact that they could’ve spoken out against something more meaningful. In any case, who am I to judge what’s more deserving of a protest; women being stoned to death, or a protest against women being stoned to death. It’s obviously a cultural debate and has got nothing to with basic human rights.

Dear Muslimaat, I’m sorry the previous letter was brimming with a condescending tone. For, it has for ages been a part of the noble legacy of your religious creed. I’m sorry I tried to promulgate my thoughts in a disgustingly repressive way. For, propagating one’s ideals through words is as oppressive – if not more – as propagating them through threats of beheading and warnings of eternal hell. I’m sorry I said that most of the Muslim women are pressurised into wearing hijabs. For, almost all of them wear it by choice; especially the three-year-olds. I’m sorry I cited religion as a major tool of female oppression. For that undoubtedly means that I perceive Western secularism as being seamlessly successful in eradicating gender discrimination.

Dear Muslimaat, I’m terribly sorry I thought #MuslimahPride was a hypocritically egotistical and blatantly self-defeating demonstration against the fact that #Femen stole your voice. I was idiotic enough to think that if you aren’t oppressed and don’t need liberation, Femen never spoke on your behalf in the first place. I was imprudent enough to believe that you could’ve taught those infidels the “right way” of preaching freedom, instead of showcasing denial about the atrocities that your fellow women face for not choosing the way of life that you’ve ostensibly chosen. I was foolish enough to think that a protest in hijabs in support of women being coerced into wearing them would’ve been an astoundingly effective way of telling the world that despite your differences you stand with those who face death threats and need liberation. I’m sorry I thought “Nudity doesn’t deserve brutal death” would have been a far stronger message than “Nudity does not liberate me”.

Dear Muslimaat, I’m a very dim-witted person, as has been made clear by our previous interaction. And so, despite going through last week’s letter several times I failed to figure out how it was an advert for nudity. I’m sorry about being oblivious of the simple reality that nude protests promote nudity, just like hunger protests promote hunger. I’m also sorry for not realising that the right way of countering foreign protests against a burning issue is by citing your own example and how it’s not an issue that affects you personally. I shall now be looking forward to seeing all the women who haven’t been raped protesting against foreign rape activists. I shall also be looking ahead to Western poverty awareness campaigns being dubbed capitalistic and imperialistic demonstrations by everyone who can afford two meals a day. And I’ll personally demonstrate against any movements against bombings because I don’t think that I’ve ever been killed.

The women protesting topless in support of a Tunisian woman, who faces death for doing the same, is quite clearly a racist, colonialist and orientalist move. It’s a part of a global imperialistic conspiracy to demean the hub of development that the Muslim world is and an orientalist scheme to undermine the archetype of women empowerment that the Middle East is. It’s always inspiring to listen to Muslims clamour against imperialism, because of course their own ideology was spread throughout the world by exchanging candy bouquets.

It’s quite clearly an imperialistic myth that most women in Islamic countries are treated as inferior to men. It’s untrue that a majority of them are brought up with the sole purpose of being married away. It’s fallacious that most cases of honour-killing and female genital mutilation are recorded in Islamic countries. And it’s blatant fabrication that most Muslim women can’t decide anything for themselves without their male guardians’ consent.

Dear Muslimaat, I’m sorry I thought that enlightened and progressive ladies like your good selves could’ve found a slightly better cause to protest against than nude activism. Like for instance, Muslim women being raped on a daily basis in the Syrian conflict. But then I realised that the history of your ideology, scribed by historians of your faith, is filled with eulogy for raping war prisoners, so I guess that’s not that big a deal. I’m sorry I believed that a look at any of the recent Global Gender Gap reports would’ve given you a good push for an effective protest. I thought you could’ve protested against the fact that 17 of the 20 at the foot of the gender gap scale, 20 of the 28 with the biggest literacy gaps and 22 of the 27 countries with women being less than one-third of the adult workforce are all Islamic states. I thought if these stats don’t reflect Islamic teachings there could’ve been a protest against those who don’t let women study or work in your country and touting them as not being your representatives. But then I realised since you’re all fortunate enough to have the freedom to work and educate yourself, why should you bother with the majority that isn’t quite as fortunate. Plus Global Gender Gap reports and the likes of them are global imperialistic manoeuvres to defame your countries anyway.

The most important lesson that I’ve now learnt is of gender equality. I’m sorry I didn’t realise that gender equality actually meant a woman being half in legal terms, being peddled as a possession, a field that can be ploughed and property that can be purchased and enslaved. I’m sorry I didn’t comprehend that gender equality comprised of one-sided polygamy and permission to beat and rape wives. And most of all I’m sorry that I didn’t understand that gender equality included female rape victims being asked to produce a sufficiently large audience for their torment, for them to fight cases against the rapists.

In spite of all these reasons for lament, the biggest thing I regret is that it took me seven whole days to realise the fact that individuals’ bodies and lives do not belong to them, especially if they aren’t men. This is precisely why you’ll never protest against Amina Tyler being beaten up by her family or against her being stoned to death. I’ve now finally realised that Amina’s body, much like those of her female compatriots, is not hers and is the source of the honour of the 7th century Arabs, who’d shiver in their graves at the sight of a woman taking a decision, any decision, with her free will.

PS: Please google the terms “most” and “majority”. It might provide some perspective to the pair of horrendous letters that I’ve scribed.

Yours apologetically,

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

The writer is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: khulduneshahid@gmail.com, Twitter: @khuldune



43 Comments

  1. Asad Khan said:

    The Muslimah Pride members should know that there’s no weapon more potent in the hands of the oppressor than the mind of the oppressed.

  2. Zeeshan Anwar said:

    It’s sad to see Muslim women promoting & giving legitimacy to islamic misogyny.These women are doing the dirty work for radical muslim men and it gives them greater credibility in the eyes of the Western world as it’s coming from the women themselves.
    Misogyny,be it religious or not shouldn’t be given legitimacy like the Muslimah pride women are giving it.

  3. Woman said:

    Man, if you are a feminist, I don't want equality.

    • susan carol marie said:

      There are many types of feminism. Perhaps this writer's anger turns you off the idea of feminism. Don't let the tone blind you from what is really being said. Women are being hurt in the name of religion, and people care enough for others to want it stopped. Can you argue with that?

    • Beatrix said:

      If you are an anti-feminist, I am proud to be a feminist. Anybody who doesn't want equality is servile.

  4. Rabia said:

    good one, Shahid. Loved it! unfortunately sarcasm and humour are probably considered un-Islamic by most of those who resented your standing up for women's rights. But hang on in there

  5. Malhi said:

    Hahahaha, the majority of your tormentors would be a huge confused lot after this and would'nt know where to hit you next. Great sense of humour and intelligent wit. Keep it up and have faith in the silent 'minority' :-)

  6. motif04 said:

    Can you run in the next elections? Pakistan needs more outspoken people like you!

  7. safiya said:

    Another brilliant post, Khuldune. Bohat khoob. Yeh muslimahpride auratein itni deluded hain, yeh saree dunya ko dekh lena chaheeyey. Ab agla piece inke majazi khuda, inke mehram, inke mardon ke baray mein likhye, yeh guzarish hai.

    Thank you for being a voice of sanity from Pakistan!!!

  8. Junaid Jamshed said:

    Your apology is of no concern to me nor the majority of muslims you have tried to mutilate with your feministic moderation. I just hope that your western ideology works the same wonders for your own loved ones when the time comes, since honor has little to almost non-existence value in your mind. Take case of Rehtaeh Parsons, if that is what your precious and somewhat 'holy' liberation has to offer then I apologize to you on behalf of all Muslims for you trying to 'enlighten' us on your stairway to heaven. When you meet the guy with pitch fork, tell him your romantic ideology about #MuslimahPride.

    • Rose said:

      Um, actually i don't think he was "apologising". Are you trying to threaten him to shut him up?? Pathetic. And what point are you making exactly about Rehtaeh Parsons? Please be clear on what you are insinuating about her, I'd love to know.

      • Susan Carol Marie said:

        I think Jamshed is trying to say that if Rehtaeh can be hurt, how can we be so hypocritical as to criticize? The point Jamshed is missing, is that western society doesn't claim to be perfect, but are simply working toward a more just society.

        Jamshed, it is a sad thing, to be so proud that one cannot see the dark side of your own culture. You will find that there are many westerners that criticize and fight for changes within their own culture; we are not ashamed to admit our imperfections. On the contrary, we have recognized them and are now moving forward to make change – I wish the same for you.

    • Susan Carol Marie said:

      Rehtaeh Parsons was hurt by misogynistic males in my society. We are fighting hard for her rights, even though she is gone to us. We don't want to see this happen again, and although it might, we are getting closer and closer to educating people in how to treat each other. It is an imperfect world we live in, and we must realize that all this fighting is getting us nowhere, our history teaches us that. It is time to ask yourself, "If I wouldn't want to be treated a certain way, how must I treat others?"

  9. Affy said:

    Yawn! Khuldune you,'re a coward. Hiding behind your words and afraid to have real debate.

    • Susan Carol Marie said:

      Now there is a logical comment if I've ever heard one. How are using words to communicate not a debate? Ahmar is right, you just embarrassed yourself.

  10. loneliberalpk said:

    I completely agree with the point you're making, but overuse of the same sarcastic-letter routine is becoming mildly annoying.

  11. Susan Carol Marie said:

    The satire is difficult at times – the points being made, however, are not. Khuldune, perhaps you might consider a more direct approach, it seems the minds of many of our misogynist readers cannot comprehend your wit.

    • @TowardsRidzi said:

      If direct approach had been allowable by the right to live, there would have been many more voices like this and much more direct.

    • Aryan Hindu said:

      Do you want him to write that Islam is 100% misogynistic and should be discarded ?

  12. Ali said:

    Ha! Humor is the death rattle of religion. Good job KKS! We love you!

  13. Fehmeena said:

    What does he mean by 7th century arabs? The Prophet (peace be upon him) or his companions? or the Kulafa-e-Rashedeen? Salikeens? Sufia-e-Ikraam? Does he really thinks that they might shiver in their graves??!! no silly they are still holding sway over a great majority of people!!! And all the non-sense that muslim women are going through today is because of people like you who do nothing except criticizing islam and muslims because that is the easiest way to become famous these days!

    Wow!!! Does this person has any inkling of Islamic history?! or what muslim women were like in the 7th century and later in islamic world??!!

      • Guest said:

        @TowardsRidzi, Do you have a single recognisable female scientist name of the same age from any other part of the world. Infact you won't even find a significant male scientist of that age especially in Europe. It is often so easy to get carried away!

  14. veronique said:

    It is so sad that mockery is the only weapon that people have to combat religious nazis. But this writer is excellent and couches his diatribe in such a fashion that is uplifting to my heart.

    Good stuff!!

  15. @RaufMalick said:

    keep living in dreams khuldun and keep writing your biased and offensive comments against islamic virtues, that is not indeed the right way to discuss anything, you would have something really poluted in your mind here you are trying to spread,
    i just wasted my time over here
    total regret

    • virkaul said:

      Where is the forum where the so called virtues be discussed? He is opening up his mind and if you have anything to counter his argument, come out with logic. Reading his blogs with a preset mind won't help.

  16. @TowardsRidzi said:

    The people who have closed their mind to rational debate and reason can never be convinced. They will hardly ever agree with this but the thing is like minded people can always find a common ground in such debates.

  17. Bassem said:

    Fantastic article. The world needs more heroes like you!

  18. Maude said:

    Thanks for writing these two articles. Human rights are for everyone. I fail to see how the assumption that human rights are only for white people is somehow seen as the non-racist position. This has got to stop. I'm happy British Muslim women get the chance to choose, but it doesn't excuse Saudi Arabia.

  19. Humaira said:

    Well written. So funny and in your face. Its like a slap in the face with reality!

  20. Johann said:

    Polished satire, very witty. But I’m sorry to say that I found Affy’s comment about the author is ‘hiding from debate’ by using ‘words, quite the funniest thing I have read all day. I guess Affy thinks debate is something which is done through throwing stones and pointy sticks at each other.

  21. HUE HUE HUE said:

    What you take as wisdom is just angsty snark. And snark cannot hide you ignorance and lack of perspective. To even hint that the twitter users are on the same levels as the fanatics who commit heinous acts on a regular basis renders you morally and mentally defunct. You sir are a shock jock and nothing more. The difference between you and the mullahs is a lack of facial hair

Comments are closed.

Top