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Marwa Berro vs. “32 Badass, Ruthless, and Honest Muslim Women”

with 7 comments

muslim women against femen

On January 10, 2014, Tasneem Nashrulla posted at Buzzfeed:32 Powerful And Brutally Honest Tweets.” The subtitle explains it’s a “snippet of how badass, ruthless and honest Muslim women are.”

Marwa Berro, Lebanese, wore the veil until the age of twenty-four. She writes Between a Veil and a Hard Place. Let’s compare Tasneem Nashrulla’s Tweeters with Marwa’s blog:

Brutally Honest Tweeter #1 – نورالعين شاحد @YxxngHippie: White fems want to pull your hijab off and ‘liberate’ you and Muslims tell you you don’t need feminism (See Muslim Women Against Femen)

Amina Tyler – Arrested for conducting “provocative acts,” Imams have called for stoning as punishment

Marwa Berro: “…a white Western woman, Lauren Rankin, attempts to make the case that it is not Islam that contributes to misogyny and oppression of Muslim women…Rankin has engaged in what I say is a dangerous refusal to examine the very real influences and intermingling of religion and patriarchy in violence and oppression against women and children in Muslim-majority countries. / My oppression is not a lie, Ms. Rankin.” – The Bigger Lies You’ve Been Told in Denial of Muslim Women’s Oppression

BHT #2 – Aniqah @AniqahC : Constantly having to prove to white fems that Islamic feminism DOES exist so stop trying to “free” me from Islam.

Happy Muslimah woman

MB: “I wonder about us–Muslims, ex-Muslims, Muslim-ish people, queer and LGBT Muslims and citizens of Muslim-majority countries, Arabs, South Asians, North Africans, Southeast Asians, Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, people from traditional patriarchal societies in the third world, immigrants, et al. I wonder if all of us, if any of us, can reconcile our spiritual, personal, and worldly identities and still do justice to the phenomenally unique pain and/or diversity of experience we carry.” – A Call for Mercy Because of What Muslims and ex-Muslims Share

BHT #3 – Noor يحيى Amr @noor3amoor: Dear FEMEN: Your pasty tits don’t liberate me. (See Amina Quits FEMEN)

Alia Elmahdy – Received death threats for posting photos of herself online

MB: “We are all Amina Tyler. We are all Aliaa Elmahdy.” A Call for Mercy Because of What Muslims and ex-Muslims Share

BHT #4 – n.s @nsyakiras: white feminists simply love malala yet will not stand in solidarity with other muslim women.

MB: Respect, respect, love to you, Malala. Can you tell me I have hope when someone with your belonging is so hated? – A Call for Mercy Because of What Muslims and ex-Muslims Share

BHT #5 – Zahraa @loredsaviour: White feminists argue women should be able to dress how they want to, yet refuse to let me wear my hijab in peace

The UK protects her right to wear the veil

MB: “I was forced to wear this shit for 14 years, and ten of those years were in ‘liberal’ Lebanon. Unless the choice to NOT wear the hijab is free of ANY social or legal or material costs by institutions or social structures EVERYWHERE then it’s not a free choice and it can and should be discussed.” – Stop Pretending Your Right to Hijab Is at Risk

It doesn’t take “brutal honesty” to conform to your culture.  Ynxxg Hippie & Crew vs Marwa argue against one other. And what’s with the simplistic reductive attack on “white feminists?” Any human who cares about the issue should be welcome to weigh in. As to who takes the risk, bravery is a willingness to face danger without fear. Until Western governments start stoning women who wear the veil, I’m not really buying the “brutally honest” and “powerful” Tweets.

Update:  The Death of a Muslim Woman (Details honor killings in Germany of women who want to escape, like Marwa, one woman killed for not “wearing hijab”)


Written by Caleb Powell

January 14, 2014 at 3:05 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Amazing!!! being a Muslim woman, I was somewhere between laughter and anger having experienced most of the issues spoken off by these strong ladies. I think Western feminists should stop using the Islam card for trying to free us from Islam and kindly take a good look at their feminist ideology that promotes brainless bimbos, nudity, drug abuse, sexual objectification of women’s bodies etc as signs of liberation. Such women have no right to teach me about women’s emancipation, thanks!


    January 15, 2014 at 2:42 am

    • That’s very illogical, and ignorant. Islam is a very hateful, misogynist, and violent religion. It’s one of the main reasons I left.


      January 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      • While I think there are problems within Islam, I like to quote Ziauddin Sardar, founding editor of CriticalMuslim, who wrote, “Rushdie and the Ayatollah were fighting over the territory that was the last refuge of my humanity – for somewhere between these two extremes was the humanistic interpretation of Islam.”

        All three Abrahamaic religions condone stoning women for adultery, a misogynistic practice, and sexual slavery, beating women, etc. would also qualify, and those who use/misuse religion to augment hatred of women deserve excoriation. But many Muslims are not misogynists. It’s difficult to quantify.

        I have lived in the UAE and taught at a high school. The faculty consisted of three Westerners and 45 Middle Easterners, the student body and custodial staff was entirely Muslim, as well. I’ve been engaged to a Muslim women, and have Muslim friends in the US. Most share humanity with me, there is common ground.

        At the same time, the fear some Muslim women have is real, as is what happened to you (or to Marwa). I often think even the best Muslim thinkers do not do enough to address the troubling elements of Islam, including forced marriage, quasi-slavery, honor crimes, and child marriage. Reza Aslan or Imam Feisal Rauf could do more. Irshad Manji does.

        I am interested to hear your story and your view.

        Caleb Powell

        January 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      • You can email me here:


        January 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm

  2. This is a legitimate pushback. But I think you mistake “Western feminism” for Western culture. The fact women are objectified is attacked often by those you call “Western feminists.” (Thanks, by the way, for modifying feminism with “Western” instead of “white.”)

    In the West most women and men find prostitution, sex trafficking, pornography, “brainless bimbos,” drug abuse, nudity in movies and TV, etc. as negative. But the important distinction is Western feminists also believe women should not be judged if they choose to show their bodies.

    Western societies cannot promote women’s rights from a standpoint of righteousness without acknowledge Western sexism. You cannot support the stripper if you are not willing to support the veil or hijabi or niqabi. But, to paraphrase what Marwa says, “The choice to NOT wear the hijab should be free of ANY social or legal or material costs.”

    Caleb Powell

    January 15, 2014 at 4:58 am

  3. Unfortunately, most western feminists I have met define feminism by exactly those things, but am sure as you say there are others with saner minds.
    Yes, the the important distinction is Western feminists also believe women should not be judged if they choose to show their bodies. But they judge me for wearing a hijab and they become my jury to remove it from my head without asking me too, so who’s answerable for that?
    I’m not a hijab wearer and its my choice, so if I exert my choice of freedom, so is she who wishes to wear the hijab but we both have to respect each others choices.
    Sorry to burst the bubble, most western feminists have no respect for Muslim women when they think they are liberating us from Islam by anti-hijabi ideology.


    January 16, 2014 at 5:28 am

  4. The issues of female infanticide, forced marriage, quasi-slavery, and killing women under honor crimes are traditional pre-Islamic Arabic-Afro continental customs that have no real justification nor legitimacy in the QURAN, Sharia or other religious scripts. Unfortunately, Mohammad was sent to Arabia in the exact place that had the highest number of female infanticides to STOP pagan atrocities against women. But historians Muslims and Western either do not know of this or they deliberately ignore it. The foundation of Islam were women and women rights and shame on Muslims globally to negate the message and continue these crimes against women in name of Islam. Muslim women fearing Islam and Muslim men is thanks to distortion of real message of Islam and for that we can also thank Mohammad’s youngest child bride which in western anti-Islamic doctrine is portrayed as victim child bride and no one is negating that, but it was she who made several anti-women additions to the religious scripts and doctrine, including Sharia. Her gifts include martial rape, hijab in public and lesser economic entitlements.
    Today, majority of Muslim thinkers are men, I do not see them doing much for women, we have to reclaim Islam and our weapon is Islam itself. But we need support and I think we need more Irshad Manjis, Riffat Hassans, Amina Waduds as well as men of great courage with us.


    February 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

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