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Monday, May 22, 2006

When a woman's testimony counts less than a man's

You wouldn't expect a respectable newspaper to accuse abused women of making up their claims of assault without some pretty compelling evidence—never mind the ultra-liberal, staunchly feminist Toronto Star.

But when it comes to a staunchly feminist woman who happens to be famous for speaking out against Islam, all progressive bets are off. Witness Haroon Siddiqui celebrating the troubles of Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who's lost her seat in the Dutch Parliament after her citizenship was found to have been attained under false premises. Ali, you may recall, fled her family after being forced into an arranged marriage, sought refuge in Holland, and became a strong feminist voice, critical of misogyny within Islam. Famously, she co-wrote the film, Submission, with Theo Van Gogh—the one that fanatical Muslims ended up killing him over.

Or, in Siddiqui's version of events: "[She] told the tall tales the Bush administration wanted to hear to wage war. She told the stories the Dutch, and many Europeans, craved, to confirm their anti-Muslim prejudices."

Yep, that's the Dutch for you—always looking to please George Bush. If you can get past Siddiqui's many logical contradictions (the Dutch desperately needed her bigotry in Parliament, until they didn't) you may want to pause and reflect on his obvious schadenfreude over the fall from grace of a progressive Muslim woman and ask: who is this guy cheering for, exactly? Not even the most naive Muslim apologist can reasonably claim to question that there are some Muslim men who think of women as sub-human. All of them? Certainly not. How many? Who knows. When it comes to a big religion like Islam, even five percent means tens of millions of abused and oppressed women. Ali wanted to stand up for them—and denouce those who would kill Van Gogh (she'd be dead too, if it weren't for her tight security) for standing up for them—and to Siddiqui, that's a bad thing, because it confirms our "anti-Muslim prejudices." So any criticism of Islam is to be silenced, no matter how legitimate it may be? Yeesh. Burn down any embassies lately, Haroon?

But the most disturbing thing about Siddiqui's column, is the fact that he dismisses Ali's claims of abuse out of hand. His evidence that she made up her tale? He called some professor at Brandeis University who "knows" Ali. That guy said so. (When it comes to blaming the victims, FYI, the professor in question, Jyette Klausen, has experience: he accused the Danish government of wanting to stir up a "culture war" with the Mohammed cartoons.)

Imagine a Star writer calling local heroine Jane Doe—the outspoken (but anonymous) rape victim—a liar, because someone who "knows" her said she actually consented to coupling with the balcony rapist. Or suggesting that the outspoken refugees from Bountiful's polygamy cult, Jane Blackmore and Debbie Palmer, were exaggerating their stories of abuse and child molestation because some polygamy-apologist says they are. Can't imagine it? Me neither. Because it would—and should—never happen. Not with evidence that flimsy.

But then, Siddiqui's never been too hung up on veracity. Have a look at this takedown of his May 9 column—where he uses falsehoods to blast Canada's involvement in Afghanistan—by the folks at Army.ca.

Come to think of it, since, in that column, he calls on Canadian troops to save Muslims in Darfur, but essentially demands surrender of Afghanistan's Muslims to the Taliban ("If the U.S. tactics were going to work, they would have by now"), I'd say he's not much for consistency, either.

Posted by Kevin Libin on May 22, 2006 | Permalink


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The Toronto Star is not just left-wing; it's a hotbed of extreme left-wing rubbish. If they had their druthers, all Canadians would be speaking Arabic, and we'd all have to convert to Islam.

Posted by: WP on Politics | 2006-05-22 11:21:36 PM

Feminists went extinct in Canada years ago, there are apparently remnants of the movement, but it's not like the media would pay attention to such an extinct breed. There are groups of women around who squawk what they're told to squawk about George Bush or corporations, but they could hardly be considered feminists - many of them would support abandoning people so they could be ruled by the Taliban for instance - a party well known for oppressing women in the worst ways imaginable.

Posted by: infidel | 2006-05-23 12:32:49 AM

If I remember right, it took Siddiqui less than a week after 9/11 to write an article saying the Americans had it coming. I think he even patted himself on the back for having the 'courage' to do so.

Posted by: Timmyz | 2006-05-23 12:50:49 AM

Facts simply do not exist for Haroon the Magnificent. See this guest-post at "Daimnation!":

"Afstan: More inaccurate and misleading drivel from our major media" (April 9)


Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-05-23 7:01:26 AM

"The problem lies elsewhere — in the readiness of the paranoiac post-9/11 world to hear and believe the worst about Muslims and Islam. Hirsi Ali is just one of many to cater to that demand."

And You Haroon are PROOF that reinforces the fact that Islam is the refuge for the barbarous the deceitfull and the ignorant.

As for the TorStar descrption .... " Haroon Siddiqui, the Star's editorial page editor emeritus,"
Honorifics for this POS? Tells all you need to know about the Torstar.


Posted by: PGP | 2006-05-23 9:38:23 AM

Off with their heads!

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-23 10:26:59 AM

I often wonder what form of logic Haroon Siddiqui uses , as some of his editorials are totally off the wall.

... but hey why let mere facts get in the way when you are the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star.

Posted by: willy | 2006-05-23 1:08:24 PM

Why the hero worship for Ali? Like our resident Europhobic anti-Christ, Ali's agenda also includes the destruction of the European Christian patriarchy. She opposed government funding for a Dutch fundamentalist Christian party who are opposed to abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and polygamy. This women, like the atheistic Stalinistas is no friend of the West. It is the religious vacuum created by the secularist iconoclasts of Europe’s Christian civilisation, that provides the breeding ground for Muslim radicals.

Posted by: DJ | 2006-05-24 12:18:08 AM

Europe's post-Christian civilization.

Posted by: lwestin | 2006-05-24 8:30:32 AM

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