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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Am I a good driver?

My favorite quote in a while is courtsey of some brainwashed soul who goes by the name of Fatima Al-Sahimi:

وأتحدى أي امرأة في العالم أن تقول أنها تفضل النجاح في مجالها كعالمة ذرة أو رائدة فضاء أو رئيسة وزراء أو لاعبة كرة على تمتعها بمشاعر الأموم ، وقبل ذلك مشاعر المودة والرحمة المتبادلة مع الزوج

"... And I dare any woman in the world to claim that she prefers success in being a nuclear physicist, astronomer, prime minister, or soccer player over the pleasure of motherly feelings, and more importantly, the pleasure of a mutual liking and mercy between her and her husband."

يلعن عمري انا بس

No, seriously, how come they're always doing such questionaires and dares around "kol il 3alam" and skipping me? BLEH!

Knowing the Arabian readership, and to cut myself some slack, let me say this: I would NOT have stuck religion into this if the article this excerpt is from isn't accounting for the debate USING religion. When I refer to an entity as "we", I am NOT refering to all Arabs, and neither do I mean only Muslims (I've gotten into arguments where the Arabs of other religions were the ones worthy of quoting as "brainwashed souls"). Some would jump and say that the Islam Fatima is using to account for ill logic isn't real Islam, and perhaps it's not, but regardless, it's really not about which religion; faith is universal, but understanding is arbitrary, and there has to be a revolution in the way we understand.

Having said that, you know what they should start teaching at schools in our wonderfully backward Arab world? Philosophy. LOGIC. Not mathematical logic mind you, I know that's already being taught, rather, philosophical logic. Stop accounting for everything with religion! Teach the kids to think for themselves! Teach the kids to look at life through experience, relativity and science rather than through blind creed. Reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God.

The rest of the article is just as filled with hilariously sad ideas, reading it makes me feel like I'm reading a Wahabist version of The Stepford Wives. The below sentence refers to women and their rights:

إنها ملتزمة بمنطقة محددة تمارس فيها من الصلاحيات مالا يمكن لمخلوق غيرها أن يمارسه في جو من الحرية الشرعية لكنها تفقد هذه الصلاحيات بمجرد استسلامها لإغراءات الخروج ورغبتها في مزاحمة الرجال في تحقيق أمجاد وإنجازات غير مطلوبة منها في الأصل

She is restricted to a certain area where she can practice her rights like any other human in an atmosphere of holiness. She loses these rights as soon as she succumbs to the temptations of leaving her home and succumbs to her urges to interact with men in order to maintain glory, although it is not required of her to accomplish anything anyway.

It would have been amusing, except this is actually written by a woman. "Succumbs to temptations"? "Urges to interact"?

AHHHHHHHHH! I WANT TO SHOOT MYSELF! Especially as I still haven't come to the best part. The sentences above are excerpts from the introduction, where our dear Fatima is skillfully making way for the grand unveiling of the topic she wants to discuss. Fatima is actually offended as to why men are the ones talking about the logic the sinfullness of women driving.

نقاشات الحارة تدور هذه الأيام حول المرأة والمعركة تستمد وقودها من حطب كشف الوجه وقيادة السيارة والمرأة ــ كعادتها ــ ترقب الوضع عن بعد دون أن تعبر عن رأيها الفصيح ،تاركة الأمر برمته للرجل ليؤيد ،ويعارض. والآن يا سادة بصفتي امرأة فسوف أطرح رأيي

"Many hot debates are taking place these days about women, and these debates are fueled by discussions about uncovering the face and women driving. Meanwhile, the woman- as is her usual stance- sits from afar and watches unexpresssively as men agree and disagree. Now, gentlemen, as a woman, I will give you my opinion."

After which Fatima blabbers on for a while about how the fact that she doesn't drive and covers her face haven't been a boulder in her life and that she is educated and so on and so forth, which is cool and all, then she says my favorite sentence of all:

فإن المنطق والعقل على الأقل يقولون إن قيادة المرأة للسيارة قد يكون له بعض الإيجابيات لكن مصائبه وسلبياته ستكون أكبر من أن تحصى

Logic and intellect at least dictate that women driving a car will have some positive aspects to it but its traumas and negativities will be too great to even account for."

Logic and intellect indeed.

I personally believe that intellect and logic are achieved through knowledge, which can be obtained from many sources including past and contemporary readings of the varied fields of science, art, humanities, and philosophy. Rationality should be the means to establish an authoritative system of knowledge, ethics, and aesthetics.

Let me end this post with the much-cited opening paragraph of Kant's essay on enlightenment:

"Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if its cause is not lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own intelligence!"

Oh, yeah, much thanks to Jameed for sharing this article with me.

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