Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Islamophobes Under The Bed

After the Islamist attacks in San Bernadino & Paris, there has been some understandable worry of revenge and "Islamophobic" behavior.

Always proving to be a venue for all kinds of concern, VICE published a post from a muslim woman in Toronto that describes a self-defense class held for muslim women:

A few weeks ago, I committed to attending this self-defence session offered by Konga Fitness at Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga, Ontario, located just west of Toronto. It is one of the 20 self-defence workshops and sessions being offered for women in the last two months. After an alarming number of attacks on identifiable Muslims occurred in the Greater Toronto Area following the tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino, a few community members and organizations mobilized to offer workshops and self-defence classes.
The classes are in response to an "alarming number" of attacks on muslim women:
Most of the victims of recent attacks have been young women. And some close to my home. As a result, some have decided to not go out at night as often. I don't blame them. But I opted for physical preparedness in case my daughter or I were ever in that situation.
And the post discusses her daughter, "Jihad": (if this is a pseudonym, it's a ridiculous choice)

Jihad initially groaned and insisted that the wrestling sessions in our living room with her dad and three brothers were sufficient. But I wouldn't have any of it, fearing that Islamophobes and misogynists could unleash their ignorant rage on her. She would come to this workshop; if only for giving me and her father some peace of mind.
Jihad was the youngest one in the session but victims of such attacks can be quite young. I think about this a lot. In the United States, one such victim was a girl in sixth grade and beaten by three schoolboys who shouted "ISIS" at her as they punched her.
The post continues to talk about "racist violence":
I want my daughter to be able to defend herself, and I will not always be there. Those thoughts weigh heavily on me. Young Muslims, who grew up on timbits and homogenized milk in Canada—the only home they have ever known—worry about their safety. Those young female Muslims cheer for the same hockey teams, volunteer at community hospitals and inhale poutine like any other teenager from Canada. But they worry about being targets of racist violence, which many in this country will never experience.
And missing and murdered women:
Gendered Islamophobia is rooted in racism and misogyny. It is a constant in the lives of women. Misogyny has lurked in the true north strong and free for a long time. It is not something new to Canada. Our government just released an inquiry about over 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Self-defense classes for a thirteen year old girl named "Jihad" is definitely a good idea. "Jihad" would already be a strange name in most of the muslim world, so it can be assumed "Jihad" in the afterglow of 9/11 would be a little bit off-putting. It's almost as bad an idea as naming one's child "Apple" or "North". The child will need to be able to handle their own business on the playground.

As clever as self-defense classes are for women, the motivations for these classes is full of an absurd irony. For they are so concerned with "Islamophobia", an irrational fear and hatred of Islam, that they are irrationally fearful and afraid themselves.

A calculated look at what threats muslim women face leads one to believe that self-defense classes are long overdue - not because they're needed to fend off the waves of racist misogynists, but necessary to protect women in their own conservative religious community. As it turns out, there is a long history of violence against muslim/minority women in this specific area - committed by men in their own family.

Some examples:

Aqsa Parvez - 16 year old murdered in a suburb of Toronto by her own father and brother for not wearing a hijab.

Bahar Ebrahimi - stabbed by her Afghan-Canadian mother in Montreal after staying out too late one night.

Shaher Bano Shahdady - killed by husband who disguised himself in a burqa to gain access to her Toronto apartment.

Aasiya Zubair - beheaded by her husband that managed an American Muslim television network. Her body was found at the TV station in Buffalo.

Zainab Shafia, Sahar Shafia, Geeti Shafia and Rona Amir Mohammed - man and woman in polygamous marriage kills the other wife and three children, drowning them in Rideau Canal. Bodies were found in Kingston, north of Toronto.

One wonders what these women would have thought about the anti-racist, anti-Islamophobic self-defense classes now held not far from the location of their demise. Surely the classes are a good idea, however there is a disconnect when women fearful of another Craig Hicks or Wade Michael Page get published thinkpieces in "progressive" magazines while women afraid with their overbearing fathers and husbands are already long dead and forgotten.

Also of interest is if Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi and currently residing in Quebec, feels the need to take precautions against the rising tide of "Islamophobia" in her adopted country. And one hopes that the hijabis among the 25,000 refugees arriving in Canada are given coupons to these classes and have the clear and present danger explained to them. 

The article mentions a topic with a lot of relevance - that of missing and murdered indigenous women. Another topic that also thankfully receives a lot of press right now is the frequency of which people die in police custody. As it turns out, a Canadian woman died in prison and the government did next to nothing. 

By many measures Canada is a nation that needs to do a lot of soul searching, especially in respect to failing its indigenous population. However there is no need to conflate this issue with needing to respect Islam, as there will be no inquiry into missing and murdered muslim women. For there is no mystery unsolved - the women were obviously in the care of their coo-coo conservative male relatives. Islamophobia did not toss four women into a canal - unfortunately this fact goes unmentioned due to an obsessive need to create a faceless bogeyman that muslim communities can use to avoid meaningful self-reflection for another century or three.

Everyone ignores the plight of women. It's simply a matter of whether this ignorance is born out of bigotry or respectful political correctness in pursuit of "social justice".

One should always pay attention in class. 

More importantly, one should always be able to best one's brothers.

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