The way women are treated across the Muslim world; the way sons see their fathers dominate their mothers, and the way scholars and imams regurgitate age-old ideas of women’s positions in life are all things that not only need unlearning but clear accessible actions.
What a way to
Drown out the her-stories of History.
Deemed her legacies unworthy,
Severed the lineages of our identity.
Removed our communities agency.
For a while, the heroes of the decade were people whose mind and matter were not white, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Malcolm X in America, Ben Bella in Algeria, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, amongst many others. Suspend your politics of left and right or your views on violence and non-violence as a means for liberation for a second and consider that for a period, people tried to put the oppressed people first.
Daisy is a representation of the marginalisation of women and their existence as possession in the 1920s; her trophy wife status, beauty and lack of intelligence highlight a lineage of societal gender expectations on a woman. All of this as we are well aware of is an abstract image that still lives on today, built by males to manipulate and design the idea of the perfect woman. A mute, submissive and pretty woman.
Nafisi fails to separate Islam from Muslims, the actions of the men seem to represent Islam in her writing. She under-handedly supports the Islamophobic views of Islam’s outdatedness, barbarity, and anti-feminism. Her Western education and nationalist Iranian loyalties, highlight her lack of knowledge on the rights of women in Islam, as well as her general ignorance of the globality of Islam.
Patriarchal studies along the years had relegated her work as emotional, typical of a woman, and even hysteric and obsessive. However, in a world, where Arabs believed themselves the fathers of poetry, her poetry would not have risen to popularity let alone survived had it just been emotional or beautiful.
Modern analysis on Rabi’a often plagues her spiritual legacy by placing her in contemporary debates of feminism. Without falling within the paradigms set out by Western feminism and the notions that string along with it, Rabi’a focused on the inward unseen immaterial rewards in her life.
Contemporary historians failed to do justice to Lubna’s legacy. The why can be easily answered by the fact that she was a woman. A woman no less who earned her right to fame through skills and hard work. A woman who wasn’t the wife of someone influential, nor the daughter of a famous man.