23/01/2017 9:17 AM IST | Updated 24/01/2017 3:38 PM IST

How Liberals Are Letting Down Muslim Women Every Day

Are they blind to the injustices perpetrated by Islamic culture?

Yadid Levy

For as long as they have existed, liberals have prided themselves as the promoters of freedom of religion, expression, and equality. At face value, these concepts are the key ingredients to a thriving society. However, a deepening abyss has been growing between the original ideals of the liberal movement and what they actually support.

While Trump's indiscretions toward women may be alarming, they are not nearly as alarming as the culture of Islam that the liberals unconditionally support.

I'm confounded at liberals' faithful, unconditional support of Islamic culture—after all, it is the very opposite of what the liberals claim to celebrate and uphold. Instead of exposing and critiquing the components of Islamic culture that are in direct opposition to their core beliefs, liberals prefer to quiet critics of the religion, regardless of facts and experiences. Muslim women are the silent majority in the matter and their experiences and voice are often dismissed. Their opinions and plight are largely met with harsh treatment and more oppression. This presents a paradox for those seeking to uphold the values of the liberals, but expose their contradictory stances as well.
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Liberals have built a platform on concepts such as freedom of expression, gender equality, and religious freedom. They relentlessly oppose and attack those who they perceive as violators of these human rights. During the 2016 presidential election, there was a huge outcry against the statements President-elect Donald Trump made about women. Many critics argued that his stance on women disqualifies him from running a country that prides itself on being a progressive nation. Liberals used every media outlet they could to highlight this shortcoming, replaying sound-bites of Trump's conversation repeatedly to garner support for their position.

But while Trump's indiscretions toward women may be alarming, they are not nearly as alarming as the culture of Islam that the liberals unconditionally support. More than any other major religion, Islam is closely associated with oppressive views toward women, violence, terrorism and inequality. Even in moderate Islamic nations, such as Turkey, freedom for everyone is no guarantee. Just recently, a Turkish girl was sentenced to two years in prison and 100 lashes for being raped by her neighbour. According to the Sharia courts, she was not accompanied by a male guardian, thus making herself more accessible to rape. Liberals largely ignore these common human rights violations and often refuse to speak out. Instead, they attempt to separate the violence and oppression associated with Islam and label it as "Islamic extremism." Outside of terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, Sharia law is still the prime influence and governing standard in many Islamic countries. Despite the numerous facts and experiences that are presented to the liberals, they still align themselves with support for Islam, which is not consistent with the values they vehemently strive to uphold.

Liberals attempt to promote freedom of expression, religion and equality by ignoring or harshly condemning any valid critiques of Islam. For the sake of seeming "non-discriminatory,' they separate the very culture of Islam—a culture that is steeped in oppressive thought and ideology—and label those who carry out Sharia law as extremists.

Liberals tell the masses that Islam is a peaceful religion and those who do not behave peacefully are not true Muslims, they belong to a radicalised faction of Islam. The fear of speaking out against the ills of this religion, in the name of being inclusive, is the very reason they have blindly sided with governments and ideas that support oppression and inequality.

Outspoken Muslim women often have a hard time fully supporting the liberals due to their inconsistencies. Liberals fail to capture the reality and experiences of countless Muslim women. As a Muslim woman, I am placed in the barren middle. To which group can Muslim women devote their allegiance? On one end, there is radical Islam, a section of Muslims that regularly violates women. They persistently bully and terrorise the religious minorities in Muslim-majority region of the world. Violence is a means to garner attention, spread influence globally, and strike fear into their opponents. Being a vocal opponent to this form of extremism from members of the far right often falls on deaf ears. In predominantly Muslim countries, women are met with harsh treatment or death when they criticise the shortcomings of Islam.

Liberals fail to capture the reality and experiences of countless Muslim women.

On the opposite end, there are the liberals—a group that has become so politically correct that they shun any constructive criticism of Islam. In the name of inclusiveness, they have muted any negative rhetoric of Islam. It is concerning that my experiences, along with those of myriads of other women, coupled with facts, are not enough to warrant a thorough examination of the support liberals extend to Islamic states unconditionally.

Liberals' inability to truthfully reflect and admit that there are fundamental issues with Islam prevents their ideologies from ever thriving. The same groups the liberals vow to represent are the same groups that are become more vulnerable under their agenda. As a Muslim woman, I am caught in a conundrum. Many liberals are morally and politically confused, despite their best intentions. When they align themselves with a group of individuals that oppresses women and religious minorities, they are actively working against their fight for peace, inclusiveness, diversity and liberty. It is a dangerous and regressive catch for those Muslims who identify as liberals, as they must struggle for their voices and experiences to be heard and fight radical Islam and Sharia law.

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