How can an imbecile command such high public regard?
The imbecile in question being one Taslima Nasreen. She is the ex muslim Bangladeshi blogger and “human rights compaigner” currently publishing weapons-grade nonsensical dribble on the rigidly feminist blogging site run, apparently by a white-knight biology professor calling himself PZ.
For those unfamiliar with Nasreen, or the reason for the open contempt she is held in here; she is the same dim bulb who made the asinine claim “men hate woman’s body[sic]”.
She remains a dunce, as anyone reading her writing can tell, but that is not what is so perplexing about her. The question without apparent answer is how can this apparent mental defective be held in such high regard? Her author’s bio on the absurdly misnamed “freethoughtblogs” site is 283 words of exaltation, listing the most flowery collection of international humanist medals, scholarly distinctions, doer-of-the-good laurels and flattery to appear anywhere in serif font. An international freer of the trodden, thinker of thoughts and righter of wrongs, a scholar excelsior, and champion of courageous courage-y-ness too.
And then you read her writing. It is inane, facile drivel.
Obviously, everything I’ve just said is no better than unworthy characterization. We will have to look at Taslima’s essay directly.
Her topic is the practice within some fundamentalist Islamic regions of the world, of throwing acid into the faces of women and girls. This is arguably one of the more vicious and cruel practices of any human culture, and it continues today, in the year 2012. Like the routine murder of homosexual boys in the same region, if international pressure can arrest such brutality, then writers with understanding of the cultural forces driving such carnage must bend themselves to that goal.
As an ex Muslim with an intimate knowledge of the culture in which this impossible brutality occurs, we expect a nuanced evaluation of the social and economic pressures, the cultural taboos, and how resistance to change might drive religious ideologues to commit such atrocity. We expect a thoughtful, implementable solution which would allow rigid and reactionary systems of belief and culture to abandon what seems to us, unimaginably horrible disfigurement of women by fundamentalists of the Islamic faith. This is a subtle and difficult task which only a native exile of that culture could reasonably attempt.
Taslima Nasreen begins with the following:
“Men throw acid on us with the intention of injuring and disfiguring us. Men throw acid on our bodies, burn our faces, smash our noses, melt our eyes, and walk away as happy men. Acid attack is common in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and a few other countries. Men throw acid on us because men are angry with us for refusing sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, proposals of marriage, demands for dowry, for attending schools, for not wearing Islamic veils, for not behaving well, for speaking too much, for laughing loudly and for pure fun.”
The remaining body of Nasleem’s article consists of eight accounts, copied from other reporting in Ethiopia, the UK, Zambia, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia of women savagely crippled in acid attacks. None of the reporting appears to be Nasleem’s, as the accounts show different writing styles. However, noticeably absent is any real sense of frequency of such attacks, an omission made glaring by the mention in a borrowed reporting from German journalist Carsten Stormer, that the Khmer Rouge were authors of such attacks. Stormer refers in his Khmer Rouge comment to battles over ideology, a nuance absent from the other attacks presented in disjointed snippets within Nasleem’s article. Reasons given for the disfiguring attacks read as non sequiturs. A father pours acid on his own daughter’s face, because he (apparently) doesn’t want another daughter. Where is the context? What has gone so monstrously wrong within a cultural zeitgeist that these actions are even entertained?
Not only does Taslima Nasreen fail to provide any answer this question, she doesn’t even ask it. In her words :
“Men throw acid on us because men are angry with us for refusing sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, proposals of marriage, demands for dowry, for attending schools, for not wearing Islamic veils, for not behaving well, for speaking too much, for laughing loudly and for pure fun.”
The “men” of this narrative are unrecognizable to me. But these are apparently male specimens of the same species Taslima, you, and I are members of.
After the decline of Ancient Greek civilization, Islam carried the torch of civilization, science and philosophy. Now stagnant compared to the technological west, something has gone terribly wrong. And how does Nasreen, the Bangladeshi native of this culture, and human rights campaigner explore the possible factors leading to such shocking violence?
“We are more abused, harassed, exploited, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, or men we know well than by strangers. Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.”
Are you kidding me?
“..murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends..”
Is Taslima Nasreen a toddler who was hand-fed a collection of horrific facts that she simply doesn’t understand?
Without any exploration of social issues, culture, religious doctrine and ideology, the nearly incomprehensibly brutal crime of burning a human being’s face off with acid is described in the terms of:
“Men throw acid on us […] for laughing loudly, and for pure fun.” and without attribution of underlying social dysfunction, or what is twisting a society to allow such savagery, she closes with the Pollyanna sentiment “Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.”
Unstated, the clear picture of a type of sadistic and cruel animal called men, who due to their saintly forbearance, Taslima and her female compatriots: “ never stop loving [them]”.
Whether Nasreen is a complete and total mental defective, or merely posturing as the most saccharine, sweetly innocent martyr possible – how is her apparent international esteem possible? This woman’s writing has all the depth of a semi-literate 9 year old.
Although I was born and live in Canada, am non-religious, and have never seen an acid burn victim in person, I did a couple of quick searches while writing this piece. Emphasis on “couple of quick searches”. I ended up on wikipedia where I learned, with a few seconds of skimming that in Bangladesh, Taslima Nasreen’s country of origin; such attacks are relatively common, and are mostly a form of domestic violence, which is interesting.
It’s interesting because DV is a topic I’ve researched and written about frequently, and consequently, I have an understanding of it just a bit deeper than the false picture of sexually one-sided violence presented by the DV grievance industry. Stated simply, DV is almost always bi-directional, and usually occurs in a reciprocally violent relationship. The wikipedia paragraph on acid attacks within Bagladesh confirms this, by saying “it is a form of violence primarily targeted at women”.
If it did not also target male victims, the word “primarily” would be absent from that sentence.
The paragraph in the wiki article for Cambodia, a location also mentioned by Taslima Nasreen has the following to say: “In Cambodia, it was reported that these attacks were mostly carried out by wives against their husbands’ lovers.
Wikipedia also lists Afghanistan, where acid attacks, carried out against women are not by Taslima’s undifferentiated “men”, but by religious extremists.
And I learned all this with less than a minute of searching Google, without even having been born in Bangladesh, then exiled as an apostate Muslim, as our Taslima is.
But in her words: “Men throw acid on us with the intention of injuring and disfiguring us. […] for speaking too much, for laughing loudly and for pure fun.”
Not religious extremists, (Afghanistan). Not “ wives against their husbands’ lovers”(Cambodia). Nope, according to Taslima, just men.
At issue here is not even Taslima’s selective reporting to cultivate a truly monstrous conception of men. It is the (apparent) craven lionization of this idiotic, dishonest, hate-mongering quasi-illiterate “celebrated scholar and humanist”. How can she command such esteem with such transparent, facile, deceptive and hateful rhetoric?
Her abject stupidity (or supremely calculated malice towards men) is totally inconsistent with the endless torrent of praise evident in the author’s byline of her freethoughtblogs site.
This is what I do not understand at all. Have people become so conditioned to bow and scrape before the mighty uterus that no matter what drivel issues from a female-owned keyboard, it will rock to trumpeted praise of the highest esteem?
And is the implicit hatred, and characterization of fully half the human race – as inconceivably vicious, sadistic, and amorally cruel monsters to to tolerated and abided so that an unskilled, intellectually vacant blogger is flattered, simply because she is a member of the preferred sex?
And on what date did writing badly, and selling vicious, unsubstantiated hatred against an entire sex become a thing which won international esteem and laurels as a humanist advocate of human rights? It is not even Taslima who so disgusts me, but those who lionize a sexually bigoted vender of lies and hate.
Multe mulțumiri din partea AVfM. Acest articol a fost tradus în limba română pentru susținătorii drepturilor bărbaților din România de către Lucian Vâlsan
Translated: With special thanks from AVfM, this article has been translated into Romanian language for fellow Romanian MRAs by Lucian Vâlsan
 Scholte, Marianne (2006-03-17). “Acid Attacks in Bangladesh: A Voice for the Victims“. Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
 Mydans, Seth (2001-07-22). “Vengeance Destroys Faces, and Souls, in Cambodia“. The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-29.