the miscellany chronicle

bit of this, bit of that

5.09.2007

also, she breathes too much

There is an interesting article at the SF Chronicle about Nawal al Saadawi, a feminist writer from Egypt. It is a bleak portrait of a culture, wherein religious fundamentalists feel they have the right to dictate not only the actions of a society, but also the art produced by members of that society. (Sound familiar?)

The part of the article that really jolted me, however, came at the end of a long list of ways al Saadawi has been targeted by ultra-conservative Muslims:

In 2001, an Islamic lawyer filed divorce proceedings to break up her marriage, arguing that "an infidel should not be married to a Muslim man." But her husband, 83-year-old Sherif Hetata, is one of her biggest supporters.

"Those who oppose al-Saadawi's ideas would never allow a logical discussion of them," said Hetata, a Cairo physician. "They know that enlightened thoughts would win the day and that is why they are afraid."


A man who, presumably, HAD NEVER MET EITHER ONE OF THEM, filed for divorce. He filed for the divorce of TWO STRANGERS.

The sheer gall is the most unnerving thing about it-- it somehow seems more offensive than death threats, for some reason. Some people want to end her life, but some people are willing to settle for merely dismantling it.

(And, of course, not one of her many outraged fundamentalist critics has even read the play they are protesting so vehemently. They've all heard that it is offensive and insulting to God, they just aren't so sure WHY or HOW. But, you know, details.)

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