A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Woman as Meat

How is an unveiled woman like meat?

Australia's Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali explains it all for you here, speaking of rape victims:
In a clear reference to the notorious Sydney gang rapists, Sheik Hilali said in the sermon: "It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying.

"It's she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then it's a look, then a smile, then a conversation, a greeting, then a conversation, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay Jail," he tells his worshippers with a chuckle.

"Then you get a judge, who has no mercy and he gives you 65 years.

"But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, scholar al-Rafihi says: 'If I came across a rape crime - kidnap and violation of honour - I would discipline the man and order that the woman be arrested and jailed for life.' Why would you do this, Rafihi? He says because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn't have snatched it."

"If you take a kilo of meat, and you don't put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you're crazy. Isn't this true?

"If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.

"If the meat was covered, the cats wouldn't roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won't get it.

"If the meat was in the fridge and it (the cat) smelled it, it can bang its head as much as it wants, but it's no use.

"If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she's wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don't happen.

I wonder if the sheik is surprised at the response to his words:
Australia's Muslims yesterday turned on their leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, amid calls for him to be sacked as the nation's mufti for blaming women for inciting rape.

Sheik Hilali was universally condemned by mainstream politicians and Muslim leaders nationwide and could even face a revolt from within his tight-knit community over the Ramadan sermon in which he likened immodestly dressed women to meat and suggested rape victims were as much to blame as their attackers.

Muslim women were devastated by the sermon - revealed in The Australian yesterday - while John Howard described the comments as "appalling and reprehensible".

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward demanded that Sheik Hilali be charged with "incitement to rape".

Members of the Lebanese Muslim Association, which owns Sheik Hilali's home mosque in Lakemba, in Sydney's southwest, met late last night to consider his eviction.

Association board members agreed to delay their decision on the mufti's future until after they had listened to a tape of the controversial comments and considered the context in which they were made.

Sheik Hilali had earlier refused to resign but apologised for any offence caused to women.

"I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments. I had only intended to protect women's honour, something lost in The Australian presentation of my talk," he said in a statement.

The Sheik's 25-year-old daughter defends him here, saying he must have been misinterpreted. There are tapes of his sermon.

Oh, and what brought this topic up in the first place? This set of crimes that took place in Sydney in 2000, in which five young women were raped.

Of course, the "blame the victim for provoking the rapist" defense is certainly not limited to some Muslims. And I wonder if any male listeners were offended by being compared to basically crazed, feral cats? I've always been intrigued by the basic reasoning behind this cultural choice, given that it basically expects women to behave according to the assumption that men cannot control themselves around women, and that the mere sight of an inch of female flesh will provoke men to violence and assault. But it's not the fault of the men who engage in this behavior for lacking the ability to act like a human rather than a brute. Right?

Hat tip to The Moderate Voice.


At 10/26/06, 8:33 PM, Blogger Polski3 said...

What can you say? It is THEIR culture, THEIR religion???? What would happen if a Christian minister, a Catholic Priest, a Buddhist Priest or Rabbi or any other religious leader declared something like this in a sermon or lecture? I'm sure many in their community would be upset.

IMO, (sadly), there seems to be a segment of the community of Christians and Muslims who do not hold women / females in the same regard as men are held, that a womans place in doing what her husband/father commands her to do, because that is what their religious text/leaders say is "correct/right" ?

IMO, it is time to enter the 21st Century. But, I believe Australia has similar free speech and religious freedoms as the USA, so such 'leaders' have the right to spew such a message to any who will listen.

At 10/26/06, 8:53 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Polski, from my study of Islam and the Qur'an, it seems that Muhammad inaugurated a lot of changes to modernize the culture that was prevalent on the Arabian peninsula at the time, making illegal many practices hostile to females, such as female infanticide (which was the decision of the father), temporary "marriages" for sexual gratification, and actually giving women (a few) more rights in divorce.

But since the time of Muhammad (the 7th century CE) it seems that in many Islamic societies, men have been allowed to adapt to modernity in terms of dress, habits, and clothing, but women have been not allowed to move forward in an equal manner.

The Qur'an certainly does not justify rapists. Of course, it also strictly prohibits harassing "people of the Book"-- meaning Christians and Jews.

As long as women are thought of as chattel, this kind of violence against them will continue to be excused.

At 10/27/06, 3:17 PM, Anonymous MellowOut said...

To me, this is no different than the way people say a rape victim was asking for it by wearing revealing clothing or going to a bar.

At 10/27/06, 4:09 PM, Anonymous nyc educator said...

I have to agree with that last comment. This guy may have been just what the doctor ordered back in the Dark Ages, but it certainly appears he's being rejected by members of his own religion, who clearly don't see such hateful vitriol as part of their culture.

At 10/29/06, 2:09 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I made that same point in the last paragraph.

Obviously, any time a religious leader justifies violence, we have to wonder about the tenets of that faith. And that includes Christianity. My point was that these comments seem to completely contradict the tenets of Islam as described in the Qur'an-- and yet this interpretation seems so prevalent.

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At 11/19/06, 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my country, about 2/3 of the populations are muslims.

Vast majority (out of proportion) of the reported incest cases happened in muslim families.

I can see a connection here.


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