Boreal

The Hérouxville Fourteen

In January 2007 the municipality of Hérouxville of the province of Québec (pop. 1,338 at the time) introduced a code of conduct (Normes de vie) to inform immigrants of the townspeople's values and traditions and why newcomers should respect them. The first article of the Code declared: "We consider men and women equal ..."

I may never understand women. This does not mean that women are not predictable, it is the logic of what they do that escapes me. Take for instance the fourteen traditionally draped Muslim women dispatched by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) to Hérouxville to set the locals straight on what Islam is all about.

What a believing woman wears is often indicative of the radicalism of her faith with the hijab and the chador representing the mildest form, the niqab and the burqua the most intense. This generalization does not apply to countries like Afghanistan where what a woman wears may have nothing to do with the depth of her religious convictions but simply a way of surviving another day.

Courtesy Christian Science Monitor

The CIC promotes traditional Islamic values and traditions and was at the forefront of the initiative to bring Sharia Law to Canada. Since that defeat, the CIC has put on a decidedly feminine face.

When the Congress held a news conference to protest the publications of the infamous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, it was a woman who delivered their message: freedom of expression should be curtailed where God's Greatest Messenger was concerned.

It should not have come as a surprise that, when it came time for the CIC to show its disagreement with the leadership of the town of Hérouxville for implying that women, under Islamic Law, were not equal to men, it was women who were sent to articulate the men's specious argument.

What is less clear, is what compelled these women to travel hundreds of miles to condemn a declaration which, in essence, recognized them as the equal of men; which the Koran doesn't?

2:228 Divorced women should keep away from men for three menstrual periods. And it is not lawful for them to conceal that which Allah has created in their wombs, if they truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. Their husbands have the right in the meantime to take them back, should they seek reconciliation; and women have rights equal to what is incumbent upon them according to what is just, although men are one degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Nor their beloved Prophet:

“The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal half that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind." Bukhari

What logic drove them to act in way that is clearly not in their interest? Is it because women are wired for submission as Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente enquired in Wired For Submission, November 3, 2006?

Was the Prophet Muhammad ahead of his time? Did God's Greatest Messenger instinctively understand what some surveys and studies have suggested that many, if not a majority of women want to be dominated, but perhaps not brutalized into submission?

Olivia Ward in Why women put their faith in Hamas, in the July 2006 issue of Chatelaine, writes how Palestinian women were instrumental in putting these bad boys in charge.

Lyrics from two recent chart toppers by popular female performers may indicate that Western women may not be much different from the Muslim women who voted Hamas into power.

Gwen Stephany's Bathwater

So why do we choose the boys that are nasty...

Why do the good girls always want the bad boys...

I still love to wash in your old bath water

Makes me feel like I couldn't love another

I can't help it, you're my kind of man

Whoo-oo, doo-oo

Whoo-doo, doo-oo

No I can't help myself, I can't help myself

Pink's Stupid Girls

What happened to the dreams of a girl president

She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent

They travel in packs of two or three

With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees

Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?

Oh where, oh where could they be?

Why would a woman want to wash in a man’s old bath water? Why do women like the boys that are nasty? Why do women want to be treated like dim-witted sluts as implied in Pink's song? Were the Prophet and his Mentor justified in placing all those restrictions on women, ostensibly to protect them from themselves, from their stupid selves?

The most influential Canadian promoter of the Islamic view that women are inferior to men is, of course, a woman. She is Zarka Nawaz, creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie, the CBC's puerile attempt at comedy with an Islamic theme. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's production peddles a sanitized, misleading and dangerous parody of Islam as mostly fun and games where women's second class status is simply the fodder for obvious jokes.

Are Muslim women, in the West, who simply parrot Allah and His Messenger's misogynous point of view abrogating their responsibility to elevate the debate in favour of equality for their sex?

Are they selling out their sisters in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somalia … by promoting, in a society that considers them equal, a prejudiced view of women that if widely accepted would reduce their status to that of their sisters living in obscurity in male-dominated societies where the Koran is supreme?

Bernard Payeur