Syrian Women Fooled by Islamist Rebels?

Syrian women rebels feel excluded by male IslamistsAs the Syrian opposition edges closer to winning the civil war, some women who have been active in the struggle say a steady rise of fundamentalist Islamists within their movement is spoiling the sense of victory.

These men, they say, are extremists who are expanding control, waving the black flag of Jihad and excluding women in a way that mirrors the male domination of the autocratic regime that is still clinging to power.

“All opposing Syrian factions insist on marginalizing women,” said Maya al-Rahbi, a human rights activist, “which means that these factions are not a true representation of the Syrian people. Half of the population is left out.”

Rahbi, director of a Damascus-based women’s research center, said “this indicates how patriarchal these groups are and how unbelieving they are in democracy, which can never be achieved without giving women their rights.”
[ . . . ]

“We, women, have been fooled,” Majida said. “How can such a weak representation be accepted? Do three women reflect the role of the female population in Syria? Did they forget what women died during the revolution by organizing protests themselves? How thousands of us were arrested and tortured just like men? It is men who chose the armed conflict, limiting the physical role of women to some extent. But our suffering was greater than theirs, because murder, rape and torture always affect women and children more than men in armed conflicts.”

Rahbi echoed that outrage. “Where are all the mottos we’ve been hearing since the beginning revolution? Where did the calls for ‘freedom, dignity and justice for all citizens’ go?” she said.

She added that, “This reminds us of the same oppressive regimes and of their same policies against women. Why then did women take part in the revolution from the very beginning? Why did they sacrifice and lose their loved ones? Why were they killed, arrested, exiled and stranded? Why the revolution in the first place?!”

Read the rest: Syrian Women Rebels Marginalized by Islamists.

Obviously these women are getting a hard-earned education in sharia law and the ideology of Islam.  It’s too bad that they didn’t read their own religious and legal texts before joining forces with the rebels.  Fooled?  No they are fools for thinking that they would be spared from the misogynistic grip of the fundamentalist jihadis and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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