danes "liberate" muslim women? not...

I don't usually borrow from other blogs, but saw something so shocking on Svend White's thoughtful and incisive blog called Akram's Razor (link added to my list) about the Danish People's Party's new campaign targeting Muslim women.

Called "Free Yourselves," they offer an escape for Muslim women as though they are trapped in a cult and in need of an intervention to "deprogram" them. The image speaks volumes of the message they wish to send out, and it's highly offensive. Now I'm not a big fan of the veil, but I also believe it's every Muslim woman's right to choose her path...clearly this group doesn't agree. The text of their campaign webpage, which Svend translated, reads:
If you as a Muslim woman free yourself from old Muslim traditions that require you to submit to male family members, you can become an independent woman and member of modern society. A woman who is not dependent on a man. A woman able to create for herself a career on the job market and not just stand over the stove or serve as a baby machine. You can show your children what a woman's potential is by having a job, home, and family while remaining a good mother. Women in the West have done it for decades. We live well and are thriving. You can be one of us.

One of us, indeed. No thanks.


Dennis Flydtkjær said...

You have a wrong idea about the campaign, because it is made to give advice to Muslim women on there rights.

It tells Muslim girls that they have some possibilities in Denmark.

I think its wrong that you take a small part of the text from the home page and make you analyse because of that. You should try to read the whole campaign before you judge it.

labasse, hamdullah said...

I would have liked to have read the text on the webpage, but since I don't understand Danish had to rely on Svend's translation. That said...based on what I have read about the source I would not imagine the translation and its interpretation to be anything but on the mark. The People's Party's representative to the European Parliament, Mogens Camre, was quoted as saying "All countries of the Western world are infilrated by Muslims...some of them speak to us politely, whilst they wait until they are enough to kill all of us." Nuff said.

labasse, hamdullah said...

...that was "infiltrate."
Sorry for the typo.

Nouri said...

The message seems to be that one has a future in Demark so long as they leave their identity at the door. The imagry alone seems to be very clear that the identificaiton with one's religion (Islam) is negative, dark, oppressive, etc.; the opposite, without that identification and that faith/religion is bright, sexual, "free", and socially acceptable. The Danish People's Party is well known for catering to xenophobes and for its members' bigoted comments and policy recomendations with respect to Muslims. Possiblities in Denmark or anywhere else should have nothing to do with one's religion or their commitment to it. The assumption that the veil or hijab is some kind of oppressive thing that is almost certainly the result of the force of man is something that permiates many Euro-American discussions of Islam and Muslims, and one that is generally speaking, especially with respect to Western born and raised Muslim women, not the case. Despite what Irshad Manji or the like say (with all due respect to their efforts) headdresses are not the biggest issue facing Muslims. One could adress the issue of gender empowerment or economic and social enfrancisement without attacking things that when attacked end up being signs of defiance against percieved cultural chauvanism. To adress Muslims, perhaps Westerners should change their perceptions and try to get into Muslim minds to better direct their campaigns. Ones such as these are far too easily read as attacks on Muslim identity and demonize Islam very obviously. It may not be the point, but proper advertizing should not look like an attack.

All this said, while I disaprove of too much covering (I don't mind a scarf or the like, but the cloaks and whatnot are too much for my tastes), and while I am a male, I think European governments should work at showing Muslim males that they have a future in Europe, because these are the ones at the biggest risk of violence, radicalism, joblessness, and so on. There is a much bigger problem between the Europeans and their angry Muslim men cordoned off in the ghettos ("suburbs") than with the women. Jobless and stigmatized young men are far more dangerous than their female counterparts, as recent (and historical) events have shown.

labasse, hamdullah said...

Nouri, as always you expand an illuminate in miraculous ways! :)