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Hossein Martin Fazeli
Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
In a mosque, a young Muslim woman has just bared to Allah the fact of her broken soul. She is repulsed by her husband Aziz, with who she was placed into an arranged marriage by her father when she was sixteen. Aziz quotes Allah as he beats her in finding any reason to doubt her devotion to him. She admits that she does fantasize about being freer in her life, however they are purely fantasies as she submits wholly to Allah. She is placed into a conflicted situation internally with this submission to Allah, as she cannot tolerate what Aziz does to her in his name. Two further issues exacerbate that conflict. First, she is raped and impregnated by her paternal Uncle Hakim, her father refusing to acknowledge that his brother did anything wrong. And second, she meets Rahman solely by chance in a market, the two who have an immediate attraction. She prays to Allah for salvation and awaits his response. Written by
Are there laws in Denmark against beating women? In most civilised countries, there are. This is what Hirsi Ali was expressing: that women are often abused in Muslim households and are often powerless to stop it. You may consider it blasphemous to fight for women's rights, but Hirsi Ali would disagree.
You call it propaganda... So is the Diary of Anne Frank (or any other book written about a person's experience) propaganda? It, like Submission, also describes the experiences of one person, as they experienced the world. Submission is an expression of what Hirsi Ali has seen/experienced. You insult yourself when you say it is generalising about all Muslims because nowhere in the film does it say every Muslim abuses every woman. Does every piece of work always have to represent everyone? If I write a play about a Dane, does he have to represent all Danes? If he commits a crime, are all Danes criminals?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (www.vpro.nl) has lived in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. In my opinion, she understands what goes on in Muslim countries better than someone in Denmark. Furthermore, this piece is a combination of what happened to many women she encountered as well as herself. There were a few people who thought that Ms. Ali knows nothing about Islam. If you know anything about her, you would inevitably disagree. I commend you, gentlemen for not beating your wives... and ladies who are able to work in Egypt and other Muslim countries. In fact... I think you should write a play glorifying Islam's treatment of women (and hope you don't get stabbed). I just want to know why you think your experiences are representative of everyone else's in the Islamic world?
To conclude... even if Ms. Ali is lying, making up stories, etc., in Holland/Western Europe, she has every right to do so. If you are offended by it, change the channel. If you think this is the first time a piece of film misrepresented a people... go watch a Country Western, observe the savage Indians hopping around on horses, making bird calls. However, no one seems to raise their voice about how Native American culture is 'misrepresented' or try to stab John Wayne in broad daylight on a busy street.
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