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Friday, February 4, 2011

Hypocrisy in the Muslim world

I hate hypocrisy and I hate double standards, and most people are afraid to point these out when they see due to fear of retaliation, that is why I was glad that someone had the boldness to call it out. Veena Malik, a Pakistani star spoke out against the double standard against women that exists in Pakistan. A cleric on a talk show shamed her for appearing on the Indian show, Big Boss and wearing short dresses. For the cleric, Ms. Malik misrepresented Pakistan and Islam, and should be shamed for her actions. Ms. Malik on a talk show defended herself and lashed out against the comments made by the cleric, saying that she does not represent those things, and that the clerics are always ready to condemn the behavior of women and not the true injustices committed against them. While the cleric might have had a right to express his viewpoint about what he considers immoral, the need to highlight this issue when there are more pertinent issues in the country shows the double standard of the society. Men in the entertainment industry are never ridiculed or slut shamed, while women quickly become the targets. Ms. Malik points out that women are considered soft targets because they never speak back since they don't want to not bring more attention to themselves in this regard. Also in Muslim societies women become the carrier of honor, and their every action is scrutinized, a misstep is considered a point of dishonor. The good things that a woman dose is discounted and she is thrown under the bus for a misstep or for speaking her mind. The weapon of shame and discrediting woman are powerful tools used to silence dissent, a way to keep women subservient. Ms. Malik and others like her (e.g. Mukhtar Mai) who speak out instead of taking the abuse or retreating in the face of shame are needed to give women more courage to speak out and also to show the men that we are not to be taken lightly. Those that purport to speak out against immorality and injustice should do so against everyone who commits them, not just women. By targeting their women, the Pakistani men show their real cowardice. Why not go after those men that rape and throw acid on the faces of women, maybe they are afraid. 

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