Symposium: Hate Behind the Niqab 3

FP: Thank you Dr. Kobrin, I am intrigued a bit at your reference to the “anal sadomasochism of terrorism.” Can you expand a bit on this?

Kobrin: I am using the term anal sadomasochism in a more metaphorical sense. My point is that it is basically an anal withholding society that leads to deprivation and self-punishment, which then transforms into unleashed aggression against those who have what they don't have. This manifests primitive envy of Freedom and Democracy. They attack those whom they envy. The theme of anality surfaces alongside submission, part of the world where little boys are anally raped – a cruel message to being manly. I would add to that in this withholding environment a fixation that accompanies the sadomasochism. The niqab signals a fixation with the female body. Its “pornography” is how it arouses a perverse eros concerning female sexuality. I began my remarks noting the shared Semitic root in Hebrew and Arabic which circulates around the female, while there are pockets of patriarchal clannish ultraorthodox in Judaism where the female is controlled, by and large Judaism has modernized and adapted. This has not been the case with Wahhabi Islam; it has remained stuck in a regrettable mode of envy and destruction.

Gabriel: Dr. Kobrin has made an interesting point when she states that Islam is a society in which “they attack those that they envy.” I also reason that the attacks are perpetrated upon Islam’s enemies whom they see as individuals who will not allow themselves to be controlled by Islamic theology. The vision of the woman in a niqab is sexually stimulating for the Islamic man as it represents a macho form of control over the Muslim female. Islamic traits of machoism and dominance are typical of Islamic culture which gives permission to the Muslim male to exert power and authority over Muslim women. Sexual relations are controlled by the Muslim male.

The niqab is also a symbol of control by Muslim men to exercise their authority over the physical size of their families and the world Muslim population. If Islam could survive without women, they would eliminate them from their society entirely. The niqab is a reminder to the Muslim woman that her role in Islamic society is to be submissive to the Muslim man and to reproduce, thus allowing the continuance and future of Islam.

Islamic societies are suffocated by shackles around the human spirit and brain. Islamic theology is driven by machoism, dominance, intolerance, submission and violence to all that disagrees with Islam’s principles of law. The niqab is a constant and visible symbol of all of the above.

Darwish: I agree with all of the views expressed. Mr. Kasem’s connecting the dots with the Hadith and physical and cultural environment of Arabia , its open and exposed desert, where women had to use their garments as a form of shield that gives them some sense of privacy at a time that provided no modern day bathrooms. Chesler’s description of women gossiping and competing with each other is also very truthful when she said: “gossip against them and slander them so that men are forced to kill the female target for the sake of "honor." Very often it is women who force other women into conforming to the Islamic dress through a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. Muslim women often turn against each other instead of supporting and standing by each other’s rights to say no to Niqab. That is one reason why we do not see a strong Muslim women’s feminist movement. Muslim women are busy conforming to the most extreme ideals of Islam in the hope of disproving the many hadiths that describe them as untrustworthy, inferior or ‘deficient in intelligence and religion’. The niqab thus is one way of proving the negative hadiths wrong. It is a Muslim woman’s way of saying: “yes women might be deficient or inferior to men, but not me. “

Dr. Kobrin’s description of the culture as: “This manifests primitive envy of Freedom and Democracy. They attack those whom they envy.” is so true and it applies to many facets of Muslim culture. Instead of respecting other culture’s differences, Muslim culture is terribly threatened by them. They want to destroy the opposition. Western democracy stands as a constant reminder that Western values have produced a more successful society and a happier man/woman relationship.

Other cultures are expected to conform to Muslim standards and Muslims could get angry and hostile when this does not happen. It is like a vegetarian who gets offended and upset when others eat meat. Muslim standards, dress and otherwise, need threat, fear and pressure to be enforced and Western freedom of choice are seen as a great threat. Muslims are thus extremely afraid of losing their extreme Islamic traditions if left to people’s choice.

I cannot even imagine how inconvenient it must to wear a Niqab day in and day out especially by women who do it by choice in the West. A woman is deprived of the sun ray touching her skin and the wind blowing her hair while looking at the world from a small hole. With her choice of Niqab she is telling the world: “I am a piece of meet and I am responsible for men's lust and I must tolerate all of this for the sake of men not to commit sin by looking at my body.” What a sacrifice that is. They must carry their shame, tolerate the attention the Niqab brings, especially the shocked faces of children. They represent everything opposite to what American women stand for. This is the ultimate counter feminist movement done by none other than women. Paradoxically, American feminists are very accepting.

Gutmann: The particular significance of the Niqab aside, why is there so much tumult in Europe , the UK and North America around Islamic dress-codes and institutions?

Regarding dress, there is constant agitation about the wearing of veils in school, the Chador and the Niqab at work and in the street, while separate gym spaces and locker rooms are demanded for Muslim school-girls. Regarding institutions, there is much pressure, particularly in the UK , to bring Islamic families under the umbrella of Sharia law.

Note that all of these controversies have to do with the proper garb of Islamic women, the concealment of their naked flesh from infidel eyes, and the regulation of their marital condition. Bluntly put, these teapot tempests all have to do with controlling Muslim women's sexuality in the liberal climate of the Infidel Diaspora.

Dr. Kobrin would have insights about this, but whatever its basis, the fear of female sexuality is intense, and is deeply rooted among Arab men. It has its counterpart in female shame - a shame so great that village girls will submit to painful and dangerous cliteroidectomies intended to blunt their sexual pleasure and desire.

As the Israeli anthropologist Raphael Patai put it in his classic study, "The Arab Mind," "women are seen to be like animals, highly sexed, and willing to have intercourse with any man." This Islamic phobia against female sexuality is not a fall-out of modernity, but has a long history: a typical story in the unexpurgated Arabian Nights tells of a noble, handsome prince, married to a beautiful and loving princess, who is called away from his palace on a mission. But as soon as he is out the door, his princess rushes to copulate with a dirty, diseased, but well-endowed black slave. The message is clear: women have an uncontrollable, unappeasable sexual appetite that will seize on any object, however inappropriate.

Islamic immigrants to the West want to take advantage of its higher living standards, and political freedoms; but they do not want their women to be liberated along with them. In their thinking, female political and social liberation ultimately leads to the dreaded outcome of sexual liberation, and to the emergence of the sexually omnivorous woman.

Accordingly, Islamic leaders want to change the customs and legal structures of host countries so that patriarchal controls over women will be maintained, for the comfort and psychological security of the Muslim male, in otherwise egalitarian and democratic societies. The Islamic leadership is in effect demanding that liberal societies tailor their laws and institutions to create, or recreate, the social ecology of intense sexual repression that the "patriarchs" left behind when they migrated westwards.

They are finally running into opposition: from Western governments that refuse the Dhimmi role; and from courageous Islamic women like Nonie Darwish and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who insist on sharing in the new freedoms found in the West. The struggles that are looming, between the Islamic leadership and their Western hosts, between that leadership and their own women, and between liberal and traditional Arabs, will dwarf

any current skirmishing over the Niqab.


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