Friday, June 16, 2006

A Muslim Barbie - please!

A journalist recently called to ask what I thought about the Muslim barbie doll, which is properly veiled and covered up in the Islamic tradition. Doesn't it offer the veiled child something she can relate to?

Please I said:

When a slave child has a slave doll to relate to;

When a child labourer has a doll which comes complete with a sweatshop;

When a girl who has been genitally mutilated has a doll with mutilated genitals;

and when a child 'bride' has a baby barbie doll dressed in white to relate to;

Then, I suppose, this veiled doll will also make sense...

That is, of course, if and when we have reverted back to the Middle Ages and full on barbarity.

The doll may help parents, the parasitic imams or Islamic states and groups impose the hejab on some girls but that does not change the undeniable fact that child veiling is nothing but child abuse.


To find out more on why I think child veiling is child abuse, Click Here.

To read Mansoor Hekmat's In Defence of the Prohibition of the Islamic Veil for Children,Click Here. It is a brilliant defence of the child. You can skip the first few paragraphs and get right into the crux of his argument.Maryam Namazie.


jams o donnell said...

Well said Maryam

David Broder said...

So much of the British Left goes on about the state "repression" of children in French schools who are not allowed to wear the veil.

While I do not agree to a state ban per se, as many teenage Muslim girls may (however falsely) see it as a curb on their 'free' expression, I think it's incredibly important to make the point Maryam has.

Cultural relativism is rampant on the Left, and the SWP constantly play down how much Islam represses women.

For example, whenever you quote the bit from the Qu'ran saying that men can beat their wives, you get a flood of quotations in response with irrelevant bullshit from the Qu'ran about "loving everyone", which supposedly counters the wife-beating bit!

beatroot said...

Correct me if I am wrong but I just don't think that the young Muslim women brought up in the west are turning to the veil as some kind of religious expression. This is about 'identity issues'.

We have been told by, I am sure, well meaning liberals, that multiculturalism is the only the only way for multiethnic societies to work. What that has done is emphasise 'cultural' identities at the expense of all else. This has led to different groups competing with each other for victim status.

The veil is an expression of this. For young muslims it's a bit like having a purple mohican punky hair cut like I used to have to scare my mum with. It's saying 'What about me, me me,...'

I don't think it is anything about the Koran. It's about a western society with an elite that can come up with nothing to bond us together as people. Add to that David's cultural relativism and you get the return to the veil...and worse.

Mike Ballard said...

I like the bourgeois revolutionary impulse to separate religion from the State. I don't think private religious schools should be banned, but I do not like religion coming in to the government sphere.

And now a word from the proletarian revolution:


"We peasants, artisans and others,
Enrolled amongst the sons of toil
Let's claim the earth henceforth for brothers
Drive the indolent from the soil.
On our flesh for too long has fed the raven
We've too long been the vultures prey.
But now farewell to spirit craven
The dawn brings in a brighter day.

No saviour from on high delivers
No trust we have in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.
Ere the thieves will out with their booty
And to all give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do his duty
And strike the iron while its hot."

MC Fanon said...

Veiling should be a choice. Muslim families should present the option but only if the child wants to. Sure, it may be religious tradition but I don't believe it's necessary according to the Koran. That should be a choice and not imposed/forced.

Very interesting and provocative post, Renegade. Bravo.

SecondComingOfBast said...

And just imagine-these are probably aimed primarily at "moderate" Muslims. The real "conservative" Muslims would not allow any doll at all, probably, as it would be seen by many as a violation of the prohibition against graven images, much the same reason Mullah Omar never willingly allow himself to be photographed.

And, actually, all veiling is oppressive. You can make the case an adult woman has the right to choose to be veiled, but you have to wonder just how many women would "choose" to do so if they weren't brainwashed and browbeaten from the earliest age to accede to it.

Unknown said...

Lal Salaam

billie said...

probably the only issue i agree with the right on- the need to combat the rise of radical islam. of course, i would take it further and include all radical religions- judaism and christianity- as well. i admire the left for wanting to include everyone- but knowing where to draw the line has been a bit elusive for us.

beatroot said...

Wouldn't it be more productive to stop seeing religion as the problem (religion as been with us for a long time - suicide bombing and al-qaeda type cross border terrorism has not)and look at why there is a growth of this sort of thing happening in the west and in certain parts of the developing world.

If you did that then maybe the conclusion you will come to is that it is problems in the west that are to blame ( atomized society....relativism...collapse of political ideology...) and not something that can be found in the Koran or Bible.

Jim Jepps said...

"Muslim girls may (however falsely) see it as a curb on their 'free' expression"

Whether you like it or not banning girls from wearing particular clothes is a curb on their free expression. It isn't about cultural relativism but whether you can liberate through repressive legislation.

Personally, I would like to see the left actually listening to Muslim women and girls more - and talking about them a bit less.

The idea that the miniskirt equals good and the veil equals bad always strikes me as "Spice Girls Feminism" rather than a serious analysis.

I think Beatroot is right about this being more about culture than religion - the Koran does not demand the veil - most women in Iran do not wear a veil for instance.

Protestant and Catholic terrorists in Northern Ireland may have been defined by religious doctrine - but the conflict was never about religion at heart.

voltaires_priest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
voltaires_priest said...

Furthermore, people who want to support a ban in the UK, largely do so without thinking through any of the ramifications. Who would enforce it? The prospect of teachers at the school gates being made to turn away pleading Muslim girls who just want an education, all in the name of "secularism" (actually calling the hijab ban "secularist" is a misuse of the term) is not an edifying one.

On a deeper level, the ban notion presumes that liberation can be enforced by the state, which of course makes it nor liberation at all. The fact, whether UK ban supporters like it or not, is that the hijab is *not* "forced" on most Muslim girls by their families. And a lot of the arguments consequent are about people looking for a liberationist argument for banning something that they don't happen to like, no more and no less.

troutsky said...

As a small WASP child I was "forced" to do all manner of things.My dolls all carried weapons. Being raised religious in any way imposes some strange restrictions, anxieties etc which cannot be healthy andcultural mores cannot be seperated from religious doctrine. But a state imposed ban cannot be the remedy,instead we must work for educated societies which understand childrens mental health, which understand the difference between spirituality and dogma.The oppresion springs from the economic structure which stifles education and free expression.

billie said...

not to split hairs- but many of the issues that we are having are being done in the name of religion- so perhaps religion itself isn't to blame. the ultra conservative religions are the platforms of these issues- such as the head scarf, women allowing men to make all decisions,etc. of course the doll is a way of reaching the children and is one more indoctrination tool- like children's picture bibles and the veggie tales videos. whether it is religion or cultural- it is still indoctrination.

Agnes said...

Also: Holocaust and Gulag dolls, tiny toy electric chairs for death row inmates ....m any can relate to a horror, as for our children, one never knows. Osama bin Laden as Ken, and the dolls not only veiled but also in burkas for little girls in Afghanistan, where simple veiling is not enough, obviously....

Frank Partisan said...

I don't see it as a Bible/Koran issue. I do think religion through Islamism, state theocracies and fundamentalism entered hard ball politics.

Be sure to read the article recommended by Maryam on this subject:
As Maryam said about that article, don't dwell on the first part.

Maryam's article is presenting this right of a child in a political context, freeing it from the decision of a nine year whether to wear a miniskirt or veil. It is institutionalizing protection from beatings etc.

glenda said...

Wished I had read your post before I did mine on dolls this morning.
This is great, wonderfully written. Thanks

Graeme said...

I agree with the article. Great post

beatroot said...

Red: It is institutionalizing protection from beatings etc.


I am well aware that horrible things are going on in Iran etc, where girls are beaten in some areas for not wearing veils.

But I get the impression that Renegade means Muslim girls in the West have to be protected from having to make the choice of wearing a mini skirt of a veil.

This is missing the point. In France it was 16 17 18 year old girls who decided to wear veils to school. Not their parents (who are less 'traditional' in many ways than their second or third generation kids.)

These girls want to wear the stupid things.

The real question is: what makes a Muslim girl in the West want to wear a veil? What is so uninspiring about the West to make them want to do that?

is it because we have given up trying to defend things like rationalism, right and wrong?

Anonymous said...

Why are many Iranians so spiteful against respecting Islamic customs and tradition? I can't think of any other group of secularized, sellout Muslims, other than the Turks, who so utterly hate their own roots and bask in self-loathing as a form of political protest.

Every Iranian I've known is either an extreme whore (males and females) or an extreme housewife. There's no in between with them. I guess having religion crammed down their throats everyday has fried their wiring.

Sangroncito said...

Liberate all dolls!

Craig Bardo said...


I have trouble with your account of the doll and Maryam's post. Throughout the world, parents make decisions for children. The decisions aren't always correct. As a father of 5, I can speak with authority on that point. However, as wrong as I may have been on any given occasion, I will always have more interest in my own children's well being than the state. Even if the state's interests somehow approximated my own (which must sound absurd even to the childless) the state's knowledge of my child can't compare with mine. So who is in a better position to make decisions, me or the state?

Recent studies have concluded that the part of the brain that governs reasoning is not fully developed until the age of 25! So should the state require parents to cede control over even seemingly innocuous choices such as dress to children?

Further, to compare a religious expression, such as a veil, to slavery or genital mutilation is a bridge too far. What about a yarmulke or kippah? What about the piercing of an infants ears? What about the bonnet or brim worn by the Amish and Mennonites?

I do believe that Islam has been hijacked, but I don't believe the state should ban it no more than the state should ban your secular humanist beliefs. While the Qu'ran, the Bible and Talmud have been used abusively by men, so too have positions of authority held by collective bargaining units and educators with liberal bias or those whose sexual appetites run toward children. But I don't recall hearing any calls for bans of labor unions or schools by those on the left.

Anti-clericism it seems is just as fanatical as anti-secularism.

celticfire said...

Oh! Trotsky! Where are you save the day? LOL. j/k.

Frank Partisan said...

celticfire: Where is the Red Guards, when you need them?

A child's right to wear a veil is irrelevant. Children are dependant to please their parents. The discussion is outside the childs responsibility.

Banning the veil, goes along with opposing the teaching of creationism, having The Ten Commandants in a public spot, etc. When I was in high school, there was a movement for removing the Christmas tree.

In some countries, it's against the law to spank children. It steps on parents rights. I think that law's good, outstrips parents rights.

Further, to compare a religious expression, such as a veil, to slavery or genital mutilation is a bridge too far. What about a yarmulke or kippah? What about the piercing of an infants ears? What about the bonnet or brim worn by the Amish and Mennonites?

Comparing the veil to slavery or genital mutilation is not a stretch. It is part of the package that goes with sharia. Other religious symbols as yarmulke need to be questioned in the public arena.

Craig Bardo said...


Again, I am no fan of sharia, in fact I believe it to be corrupt, but that is a blog for another date. However, if your objection to the practice of veil wearing is based on it being public, then you have gone further than I originally thought.

You're now in the realm of thought control and totalitarianism. One way of defining public is to view it as all things that are not private. What is private? Sex between two men (Texas sodomy law overturned by the men and women in black)? Body piercings or tatoos displayed at school? A religious service inside a sanctuary, mosque, synagogue or temple that is open to the public?

Who then defines what is appropriate expression? Holding hands like wearing a yarmulke is an expression. Spiked, green, mohawk hair is expression, just as the wearing of a wedding band or crucifix.

You would effectively replace the tyranny you fear from the right, with tyranny from the left.

Anonymous said...

In a country where freedom is being shredded faster than we can guarentee it there are bigger issues at stake.
Whether or not Muslim Barbie is offered in Walmart young Iranian's will choose to submit themselves to their parents will or not.

General Cucumber must not have known many Iranian people. I've never been to the Middle East but have known or
met many, many Iranians here and in Europe since the late 70's. They were as varied in their approach to dealing with the world as most people seem to be. Some were funny, sad, ambitious or scared. That virgin/whore thing was as much a part of our culture in the 20th C as it is there - here it was under the table and there it sounds like more of a centerpiece.

Anonymous said...

As I was enjoying a wonderful evening at a shopping plaza, I was shocked to see a mother buy her 14-16 year old daughter a t-shirt that had in big bright sparkles the word "pornstar" on it, shortly after, they proceded to purchase some underwear that can be best discribed as dental floss.

The girl and mother seemed very happy after their purchases, while this incident reminded me of this blog post. What a child wears or does not wear lies somewhere in between what a parent finds suitable and/or accepatble and their societal norms.Throughout the world, parents make decisions for children. Calling the veil child abuse is a little to far, since based on cultural perspective one could call what I witnessed the same thing.

Just to clarify, I am not judging the morality of the incident I witnessed,,rather the poor taste.

Anonymous said...