Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the phenomenon of women and Westerners in general converting to Islam:
There is something not neutral, not innocent, something disturbing, about the Western women who choose to live in Muslim countries for a short or long period, and when they do, and find it neceesary (or sometimes eveb without finding it necessary) to the dress code for local women, do so uncomplainingly, willingly adapt, at times with a certain secret pleasure. While women in Iraq, or at least the most advanced women in Iraq, have been trying hard not to have the chador, abaya, whatever you want to call it, right down to the eyeslit of the niqab, imposed on them again, some Western women appear almost gleeful in the requirement, as they see it, to dress that way. Is it that they find the chador liberating, in fact — or is it something else prompting their pleasure? The most advanced women born into Islam (starting with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Homa Arjmand, Azam Kamguian) try to become free of this male-imposed dress when they can; the most un-advanced, most primitive women in the non-Muslim world, on the other hand, find themselves not only finding nothing wrong in “Islam’s treatment of women,” but justifying and even celebrating what some of them call a “portable seclusion,” instead of addressing the attitudes and behavior of Muslim men toward women (any female traveller to Muslim countries can be called to the witness-stand) that might make such “portable seclusion” necesary.
You see: it’s fun. This dressing up voluntarily in Islam-mandated clothes is just plain fun, apparently, for some Western women. They do not assume the garb reluctantly, but are excited by the make-believe of it all. It’s a kind of civilizational slumming, or rather, a rapid abandonment of all supposed principles that supposedly meant so much to them at home. Where be that famous feminism now?
There was Giuliana Sgrena, the shrill-voiced hysteric (I heard her on the RAI), with her illogic and malevolence toward the United States and toward the West, well-watered by Il Manifesto. There was Margaret Hassan, who spent decades in Iraq, who threw her lot in with “the Iraqi people” and even married an Iraqi (an Iraqi whose reaction to the news of her death was strangely muted), and was executed because, alla fin fine, she was an Infidel. There were the two Simones, as Oriana Fallaci called them, part-Sgrena part-Hassan in their crazed blend of unappeasable anti-Western animus and identification with Islam, and their enjoying their roles as “Muslim women” without having to be Muslims to enjoy it.
All this is of a piece with what those famous Western converts to Islam feel when they get to choose, upon their “reversion,” a Muslim name, as if they now have a special secret identity in this new club (look everybody — Now I’m Suleiman al-Kosovi), and those special Arabic names of various prayers, and all the rest of it. They even, apparently, receive the secret decoder ring that enables them to understand the Qur’an’s furious bellicosity peacefully, and to heap contempt upon those benighted non-Muslims who actually think that it means what it says. They are super cool. Be the first on your block. These converts are for all the world like Huey, Dewey, and Louie in their special club.
It would help if every young female marching off to “help the people” (in the well-known spirit of Dickens’s Mrs. Jellyby, always willing to help, with her “telescopic philanthropy,” people living as far away from her as possible)in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other Muslim country, were to sit down, before leaving, and prepare themselves adequately. That preparaton should include a careful reading of material by women, born into Islam, who remained defenders of women’s rights and never reverted to being defenders of Islam. Azam Kamguian’s articles come to mind, as do those to be found at www.faithfreedom.org, or at the website of the Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation, where one may begin with the scathing reviews of Shirin Ebadi. Then those women should read and digest the study of Islam and its incompatibility with human rights that was written by Reza Afshari. And take careful note of Reza Afshari’s unanswerable dissection of the smiling dishonesty of that phony “feminist” Fatima Mernissi, who started out as a self-proclaimed defender of women’s rights, and rather quickly, seeing what this might do to the image of Islam, became a sudden Defender of the Faith with a highly imaginative version of that Faith and its supposed history of “reform.”
Then perhaps the hijab will be worn. Or even the burqa.But not delightedly. Not in a spirit of “what fun.” Rather, in a spirit of grimly sharing, and thank god only temporarily, what Muslim women endure, and some manage to be brainwashed into thinking is only right, is mandated by Allah — slaves reconciled to their own enslavement.
No need to go to Iraq or Afghanistan or other Muslim countries, where you have to pay to play. Just sew yourself your own little costume, abaya or chador, full-fledged burqa in the latest spring models provided by the House of Taliban — you should see their Kandahar sfilate. Put it on in the privacy of your own home, here in the United States, or England, or Italy. Go ahead — prance around the house in the damned thing. Have fun. Get it out of your system. And the same for all you boys and girls who want to have a special Arabic name. Write and tell us some details (you know, what city or country you’d like as part of your name or kunya), and for a mere, oh, $10, we’ll email the name right to you. Fun? And you don’t have to be a Muslim to get the special name or the decoder ring. Spare your parents, spare yourself, years or possibly a lifetime of anguish. Play Just Pretend. Avoid the real thing. It could well stunt your mental growth.