This past Monday, three Muslim women spoke at the Heliconian Hall in downtown Toronto at an event titled Islamism’s War Against Women – Canadian Women Speak Out. This was, to me, a skirmish in the broader “Culture War” launched against Western democracies by Mid-East-funded Islamist extremists. And a skirmish clearly won by the three brave women who dared speak out at the event: Raheel Raza, Natasha Fatah and Marina Nemat.
It is so encouraging to hear women speaking out about the barbarism of Islamism. Few in the labour or feminist movements have chosen to do so. And the few that do are often marginalized or shouted down for associating Islam with radicalism and fanaticism.
All too many Muslim women remain silent in the face of the most uncivilized traditions and horrific deeds committed, not by an extremist minority, but by the Muslim mainstream in the name of Sharia, a religion-based system rooted in the ignorance of the Dark Ages. But most are economically dependent on the men who oppress them, so we can hardly blame these victims.
It’s the silence of the Western-educated feminists that I find most egregious. They speak out on so many other issues of perceived injustice towards women, yet withhold their activism when it comes to the intolerable lifestyle imposed on many Muslim women. Why don’t these feminists take to the streets and fill editorial pages with protests against honour killings, domestic abuse, forced child marriage and the virtual enslavement of women, all of which are condoned—indeed, some times required—by Islam’s Sharia, a sixth-century philosophy we imported into our country.
I’m told that in Arabic, Sharia means “the clear, well-trodden path to water,” and, as put by the BBC, “just as water is vital to human life, so the clarity and uprightness of Sharia is the means of life for souls and minds.”
A lovely, though hardly factual, explanation of Sharia, resembling little of the “political artifice created as a means to leverage the Islamic faith into a tool for totalitarians and misogynists,” as described by Muslim author and public speaker Raheel Raza.
No Canadian should tolerate practices such as are found at Toronto’s Valley Park Middle School, where an in-house Muslim prayer program is conducted in the school’s cafeteria. Apparently the school board allows this under its “Religious Accommodation” policy. How distorted a religious accommodation is it to see boys and girls segregated—on school property—with menstruating girls stuck at the back of the room? It’s the girls “unclean” time of month, you see. Surely we are better than this.
Religious Accommodation of this nature is nothing more than political correctness, a corrosive force eating away at our democratic rights and freedoms.
To single out and force young women—some still girls—to be at the back of the room because they are menstruating is tantamount to child abuse. Canadians should not stand for this.
Broadcaster Natasha Fatah, one of the three speakers at the Monday event, said we are “blind to Islamism’s true face: In the name of ‘tolerance,’ we permit the sort of degradation of Muslim girls [and] women that would be completely unacceptable if perpetrated against whites.”
I’ll overlook the term “whites”—what does race have to do with this; aren’t many “whites” Muslim?—but I’ll accept Ms. Fatah’s broader point.
It is time for feminists, union leaders, politicians of all stripes, ministers of all denominations and ordinary Canadians, both women and men, to tell Islamists in Canada, “Our policy of ‘Religious Accommodation’ will only stretch so far and is near its breaking point. Enough is enough!”