Frauenheldinnen » FrauenHeldinnenMagazin » News » Gen­der iden­ti­ty the­o­ry and fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam — dou­ble suf­fer­ing for women?

Analy­sis by Eva Engelken

Gen­der iden­ti­ty the­o­ry and fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam — dou­ble suf­fer­ing for women?

by | 14.05.24

Foto von <a href="">Liam McGarry</a> auf <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Foto von Liam McGarry auf Unsplash

An analy­sis by Eva Engelken

What do gen­der iden­ti­ty the­o­ry and fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam have in com­mon? Can they be seen as two facets of the rever­sal of women’s rights that can be observed world­wide, and is it per­haps no coin­ci­dence that their cur­rent mas­sive appear­ance and their top-down infil­tra­tion into West­ern soci­ety coin­cide? But why do some women hold back with their crit­i­cism? For fear of being seen as anti-Mus­lim?

First of all, the par­al­lels.

Both make women invis­i­ble. Gen­der iden­ti­ty the­o­ry, by tak­ing away their right to their own name and redefin­ing wom­an­hood as an iden­ti­ty that can be applied via make­up, while at the same time eras­ing the word woman in favor of sex­ist word cre­ations such as “peo­ple with uterus­es”. Fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam makes women invis­i­ble by wrap­ping at least their hair, if not their entire bod­ies, in black or gray cloth.

They both push women out of their rooms and restrict their free­dom of move­ment. Some take away women’s safe spaces by open­ing them up to men. The oth­ers deny women free and safe par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic life from the out­set. Both restrict women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in soci­ety. Some take the hard-won lead­er­ship posi­tions (or women’s quo­ta places) away from women by iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as women. The oth­ers do not even allow women to run for rel­e­vant posi­tions.

Some are mak­ing women’s sport obso­lete by allow­ing men to play it. The oth­ers do not allow women to take part at all or only allow them to do so in a tex­tile cov­er­ing.

Some dri­ve a wedge between par­ents and chil­dren, oth­ers declare child mar­riages to be legal. Some cel­e­brate gen­i­tal-alter­ing and libido-restrict­ing inter­ven­tions as health care, while oth­ers declare gen­i­tal muti­la­tion of girls to be a nec­es­sary act of puri­ty. Both of them are lord­ing it over women’s fer­til­i­ty and sex­u­al­i­ty. Some declare them­selves moth­ers and use women’s bod­ies as con­trac­tu­al­ly rent­ed incu­ba­tors via sur­ro­ga­cy and egg dona­tion. The oth­ers for­bid their wives to use con­tra­cep­tion — here they are sim­i­lar to fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­tians — and sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly turn their wives into incu­ba­tors for as many off­spring as pos­si­ble. Some cel­e­brate all sex­u­al deviance as a sex­u­al iden­ti­ty wor­thy of pro­tec­tion and pros­ti­tu­tion as sex work. The oth­ers enable pros­ti­tu­tion by declar­ing it an ultra-short-term mar­riage.

Both place ide­ol­o­gy and vic­tim nar­ra­tives above real­i­ty: some cre­ate the nar­ra­tive of the priv­i­leged cis woman, which allows them to rein­ter­pret the defence of urgent­ly need­ed women’s safe spaces as the “dis­crim­i­na­to­ry exclu­sion of mar­gin­al­ized trans women”, and the sex­u­al harass­ment made pos­si­ble by the intru­sion as the right to “equal­i­ty” and the “right to pee”. The oth­ers use the post­colo­nial nar­ra­tive of the injus­tice of the West­ern world to por­tray them­selves as the sole vic­tim in the event of a crime, which, based on this nar­ra­tive, can­not be a per­pe­tra­tor at all

Such a com­plete per­pe­tra­tor-vic­tim rever­sal is oth­er­wise only found among pedocrim­i­nals who try to jus­ti­fy the abuse of a lit­tle girl with the lie that they were seduced by the lit­tle girl.

Both demand uncon­di­tion­al, almost total­i­tar­i­an sub­mis­sion to the nar­ra­tive from their sup­port­ers and try to silence their crit­ics and even more so their female crit­ics: the one by call­ing them trans­pho­bic and fil­ing crim­i­nal charges, the oth­er by fram­ing any skep­ti­cism as an expres­sion of so-called anti-Mus­lim racism.

Last but not least, those who are sup­pos­ed­ly pro­tect­ed are the first to suf­fer. For homo­sex­u­als or diag­nosed trans­sex­u­als, gen­der iden­ti­ty the­o­ry does not bring recog­ni­tion, but rather hos­til­i­ty. For mod­er­ate or entire­ly sec­u­lar Mus­lims, fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam brings back the restric­tions on free­dom from which they fled to Germany/Europe at some point.

The out­cry should actu­al­ly be huge. But instead, even rad­i­cal fem­i­nist women are hold­ing back on crit­i­ciz­ing the increas­ing­ly offen­sive calls for the Islamiza­tion of Ger­many. When I recent­ly raised the top­ic in a rad­i­cal fem­i­nist group, I was told: “As rad­i­cal fem­i­nists, we see all monothe­is­tic reli­gions as prob­lem­at­ic and an out­growth of patri­archy.” I replied that I did too, but that we in Ger­many now had a prob­lem with fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam. And the prob­lem would not get any small­er just because Chris­t­ian men also raped women and vis­it­ed broth­els. They said that they under­stood this, but were wor­ried about appear­ing anti-migrant or anti-Mus­lim with pub­lic state­ments.

Now, Chris­tian­i­ty and Judaism are also monothe­is­tic Abra­ham­ic reli­gions — and in their fun­da­men­tal­ist form they are an impo­si­tion and a depri­va­tion of free­dom for women. How­ev­er, in Europe, the USA, Cana­da and Aus­tralia, the two reli­gions are cur­rent­ly large­ly restrict­ed by the law. Sec­u­lar­ism and women’s rights, which are often even enshrined in the con­sti­tu­tion, pro­tect women from patri­ar­chal, reli­gious­ly moti­vat­ed desires. With excep­tions — such as the restric­tion of the repro­duc­tive right to abor­tion — this even applies to the evan­gel­i­cal US states: Even if the ele­men­tary right to decide on a preg­nan­cy is effec­tive­ly nul­li­fied here, there is still a sep­a­ra­tion of church and state, and (alleged) adul­tery is not pun­ished with lash­es or ston­ing. But wher­ev­er fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is on the rise, this sep­a­ra­tion no longer works because the Sharia law with its misog­y­nis­tic con­tent forms the legal sys­tem. Of course there is progress, for exam­ple in Tunisia, but over­all Sharia law dom­i­nates in Mus­lim coun­tries to the detri­ment of women. The Islamists are now also demand­ing its intro­duc­tion in Ger­many. And they empha­size this demand with a high birth rate in order to bring the hat­ed “West” to its knees numer­i­cal­ly

Not say­ing any­thing about the dis­en­fran­chise­ment of women for fear of appear­ing anti-Mus­lim seems sim­i­lar­ly short-sight­ed as refrain­ing from crit­i­ciz­ing trans­gen­der ide­ol­o­gy for fear of appear­ing anti-trans.

What is inex­plic­a­ble among many woke peo­ple and those who sym­pa­thize with the left spec­trum is their blind­ness to the fact that their way of think­ing would no longer have any room if a caliphate real­ly were to be estab­lished. In fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, it is life-threat­en­ing to form an oppo­si­tion. Women who tear the hijab off their heads in Iran, for exam­ple, are risk­ing their lives. “Left-wing” val­ues such as diver­si­ty and vari­ety or human rights are gen­er­al­ly not to be found in Islam­ic coun­tries. Nev­er­the­less, new­com­ers from these cul­tures are treat­ed with kid gloves, even if they open­ly dis­play and live out their misog­y­nis­tic val­ues. This can only be due to an uncon­scious? Unlike Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ists, right-wing extrem­ist Ger­mans of Ger­man ori­gin are — right­ly — con­demned and per­se­cut­ed in the strongest pos­si­ble terms by the same peo­ple. This remark­able dou­ble stan­dard can be found at all social and polit­i­cal lev­els.

On Sat­ur­day, May 11, a short video clip from the news por­tal NIUS gave a faint impres­sion of the con­tempt for women to be expect­ed in a caliphate.

In it, the young reporter Zara Rif­fler tried to ask the Ham­burg demon­stra­tors ques­tions and was met with icy silence and angry looks. The few men who answered her in mono­syl­la­bles were imme­di­ate­ly harassed by stew­ards. The fact that they were not sim­ply pushed away was prob­a­bly only due to the very present police, who did a good job, but not to the respect of the most­ly beard­ed men for women. Their women stood far away, ful­ly cov­ered under veils or dis­rupt­ing the counter-protests.

When their rights were threat­ened by gen­der iden­ti­ty ide­ol­o­gy, many women and les­bians first had to pluck up the courage to speak out. When it comes to the Islamist threat to their rights, there is an almost inex­plic­a­ble void for many peo­ple, which this arti­cle has hope­ful­ly filled a lit­tle

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