Sunday, June 05, 2005

Taking the Slam out of Islam

It was two days after she appeared on "Nightline" talking about her fight to change her mosque that the death threats began. The first call came on her cell phone. The caller left a message, in Urdu: "If you want to stay alive, keep your mouth shut." Otherwise, he said, he would "slaughter" her, halal style, saying a prayer as he slid a knife across her throat. If she didn't shut up, he'd slaughter her mother and her father, too. Think before you speak, he said. I know where you live. I know where your parents live.

Then he called her parents' home 10 minutes later. Just to reinforce the message.

It's not a message that Asra Nomani, Muslim, unwed mother, former Wall Street Journal reporter, author and left-leaning feminist, is planning to heed (although she did contact the FBI and her local police). Yes, she's started locking her doors now, a rarity for her here in her hilly home town. But she won't be shutting up, definitely not, never...

Nomani's mantra: It's time to take the slam out of


..."I refuse to sit in the back, that's so demeaning," says the small-boned Nomani, 39, whose soft voice contains both Valley Girl-esque inflections and a faint lilt of India. "The mosques are set up like a men's club. . . . I just want them to consider women as human beings. Not to throw us into corners. I want the Muslim world to fast-forward into the 21st century and not segregate us into women's ghettos."

Other mosque members doubt her sincerity:

"She's like a troublemaker," says Gamal Fahmy, 31, a British-born, Egyptian-raised assistant professor at West Virginia University and a mosque member who once clashed with Nomani and her father in a study session. "I don't think she's that religious, she's that zealous about Islam and being a Muslim," he says. "Bottom line, I believe she's doing this for profit reasons."

- From The Woman Who Went To the Front of the Mosque:
Feminist Faces Ostracism -- or Worse -- for Praying Among Men
, in today's Washington Post.

While googling "Asra Nomani," I came across alt.muslim, where these and other questions are addressed in the Opinion & Commentary section:

Should Muslim Women Be On Mt. Everest? :"We have to admit that the requirements of modesty depend on context, and that there is more to a woman's soul than her hijab...It appears that two Iranian women have become the first Muslim women to scale Mount Everest. This impressive feat will no doubt be heralded around the Muslim world, and for good reason. But do many of us really have the right to be proud of them?..."

Are We Really Supposed To "Kill All The Infidels"?
Are We Really Supposed To "Kill All The Infidels"? (Part II)

Qur'an Desecration: Far Worse Than Abu Ghraib

The Rwandan Genocide: What Would I Have Done?

Ihya Uloom al-FatAlbert- "Fat Albert said something that reminded me of a verse in the Qur'an. He said that loving someone is inherently wonderful, even if the person is not physically with you."


The Most Profound Statement In The Qur'an - "This statement, "Let not the hatred of a people toward you move you to commit injustice," is perhaps one of the most profound statements in the Qur'an."


Arethusa said...

There's a Canadian blog in one of the webrings I'm in, written by a Muslim woman who addresses some of these issues. Very good writing I will find and link it to you maybe. :)

Canowine said...

Thank you! I'm definitely interested.