Thursday, 2 August 2012
Cliché corner

Is the world full of clichés or is it me?

Yet another book, according to Kirsty Brimehow QC in The Times, purports to "challenge a way of thinking and straightens many popular misconceptions about Sharia". Sadakat Kadri's Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Sharia Law sets out to disabuse us of what one Guardian review calls "any illusion we might have that the sharia is a uniform, unchanging code, whose application is a crude and simple thing". And perish the thought that Islam oppresses women. We need to challenge that stereotype immediately:

When you think of the hijab, you probably don't think "political". Or "independent". Or "empowered". Feminist? Certainly not – feminism is far better known for burnt bras and slut-walks than headscarves.

Actually, these days we probably do think "political", "independent" and the rest. And how could we forget "empowered"?

When a Muslim or Muslim apologist claims to "challenge popular misconceptions" about Islam, you can bet your right hand woman that those "popular misconceptions" are that Sharia oppresses women or chops off hands. But is this really the stereotype? Isn't it rather that Muslim women are "empowered" that Muslim Spain was a haven of tolerance, and that Muslims were designing clocks while Christians were burning witches?

Then again, we must remember that Islam Is Not Monolithic. How dare we assume that all Muslims are empowered and enlightened and tolerant and wise. It is our duty as Westerners -- if we can spare the time from burning bras and witches -- to challenge this misconception and find an exploding honour killer. And if we can find one who wasn't oppressed by Israel, the stereotype is blown sky-high.

In other news, Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting believes that we live in a "post-truth society". Well she would say that, wouldn't she?

Posted on 08/02/2012 8:38 AM by Mary Jackson
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