Saturday night the guys and I attended the performance of a new play, debuting this weekend in town. Locally written and produced, it was called 'You-Go-Girl.com. It was a musical with a cast of about 20 women, young, old, all shapes and sizes. Each scene introduced characters from different periods in time and the woman's point of view. Included was a scene of an Afghan woman's story, sending her young daughter and son to America for a better life. A performance of the play on Sunday night was also a benefit for charity benefiting women in today's Afghanistan.
I had high hopes for the play. I am sorry to say I was bored out of my mind. The last couple of scenes of Act Two were good, but they were the exceptions. It just seemed to be so passe for today. The whole empowering women theme seems so yesterday. This is what women my age were doing in the 70's, for goodness sake.
I know it's not a perfect world. It's just how I felt.
I watched the stories of two women this weekend that seemed so much more worthy of passing time with, I must say. They were both two brave, outspoken women who have moved to his country to escape the clutches of extreme Muslim laws that truly take freedom from the ordinary woman. Both are under threats of death and both have published books telling their stories.
My favorite Muslim woman today is Irshad Manji, the author of 'The Trouble with Islam'. She is Canadian and still a practicing Muslim today. She lives in a house with bullet proof windows and receives death threats on any given day. She is a voice of moderation and intelligence.
She is very brave.
I first saw her on tv over a year ago and watch her whenever I stumble across her. Her book is on my to-read stack. Her intelligent, articulate voice is what draws me to listen to her.
The second woman is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman from Somalia who escaped a forced marriage by fleeing her country for Europe. She has lived in Holland for many years and was an assistant to Theo van Gogh. You may have read of van Gogh's murder by radical Islamists last year. They didn't approve of van Gogh's art.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was so distressed over bin Laden's words after 9/11 that she denounced his quotes from the Quran. "when you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck" being one. She went from a voluntarily cloaked Muslim in Somalia, to show her true belief in Islam, to a voice for Muslim women. Her book, 'Infidel' is also in my to-read stack. I would be much more rushed to read these two books if I hadn't listen to these women so much recently. Finally we hear more moderate voices of Islam. There is a huge void out there that need filling.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has since converted to Christianity.
She lives with the death threats. She speaks out anyway. How many girls born in Digfeer Hospital in Mogadishu in November 1969 are even alive today", she asks. "And how many have a real voice?"
She is a brave woman.
When I read and watch these women and others recently, finally able to begin to get the messages of moderate Muslims out against the backdrop of radicals bastardizing the religion of Islam, so many other issues seem so small.
Americans ask, 'Where are the voices of moderation in Islam?' Many are not speaking out due to fear. The radical arm of the religion has infiltrated into this country of ours. To ignore that fact is to ignore the threat to our way of life. You may think this sounds a bit alarmist but I listen to those who warn us.
They've lived it.