May 12, 2021

Feminism as colonial tool

Feminism as colonial tool

by: Saffiyah

It was reported that former President George W. Bush expressed his concern for Afghan women given a nearing US withdrawal. He said, “My first reaction was, wow, these girls are going to have real trouble with the Taliban…I’m deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls in that country.”

Note the consistent expressions of American care for Afghan women. This has been the case throughout the US-imposed war which rendered 111,000 civilians dead or injured since 2009, according to UNAMA. The colonialist saviour complex of Western white knights using feminist narratives to help justify invasions has infact contributed to the “plight” Bush expresses false concern about. In this case, the ‘civilized’ and ‘enlightened’ American hurried across continents in 2001 to save liberation-awaiting Afghan women from ‘oppressive’ Taliban. It is typical colonialist nonsense.

Feminism was originally a tool for male European colonialists before the emergence of first-wave feminists. Both Muslims and non were targeted for imperialistic agendas aided by feminist reasoning, and through such reasoning were crimes against them justified. A resemblance to Afghanistan today.

The feminist ideology has been utilized for decades as a western justification for the invasion, subjugation and bullying of Muslims. Today, the West seeks to ideologically subvert Muslim cultures through ideologies such as feminism. Aside from this, the feminist package undermines what is actually central to a Muslim person — his familial life, the home. It attacks the institution of family in a family-centric Muslim society.

One seeming patient of this ideology is the Afghan journalist who stated recently that she felt “unsafe” and was filled with “terror.” Why? Because Suhail Shaheen did look at her in Doha, Qatar.

The possible implication of her bizarre comments is: what might constitute in Muslim societies an Islamically respectful avoidance of eye contact with the opposite gender must be replaced with West-appropriate intergender interactions that, again, conform to the demands of feminism — another West-inspired belittling of Islamic culture.

The mindless recitation of misleading western narratives regarding the Taliban and women’s rights can be heard since time immemorial. Under the deceptive guise of women’s rights, such people attempt to help legitimise a foreign imperialistic invasion and undermine the target country’s religious and cultural values. They seek to subtly weave and normalize feminist stances through Afghan, and Muslim societies generally, even if sometimes through seemingly innocuous demands, e.g. education.

One Afghan female activist spoke at the UN Security Council last year. “Our hard-won gains can be snatched away without a warning”, she lamented, as if to suggest the Taliban were enemies of women’s rights. In a Muslim society, however, such rights must be defined by Islam. If man-made feminist understandings of what is good for women are allowed to dictate the discourse on women’s rights in a Muslim country, we dismiss the Islamic religion as inadequate and lacking. Why must the non-Muslim US hold a monopoly on what should comprise ‘women’s rights’, or even men’s rights, in a Muslim Afghanistan?

Western cries of “women’s rights” appear a harmless demand. But when coupled with the incompatibility of much of these rights with the Islamic religion, their destructive effects on human society, their historical origins and the dangerous agendas for Muslim societies curtained behind them, a more sinister perspective emerges. Therefore, the Islamic definition of women’s rights is the only definition that is of benefit to women as its source is the Creator.

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