Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Q. Nomani appear before a senate panel to explain the plight of muslim women in the world and in America. But there were not heard. They postulate that they were not seen. Neither heard nor seen, they left dismayed.
Just as we are invisible to the mullahs at the mosque, we were invisible to the Democratic women in the Senate.
This is the view of Ali and Nomani before female Democratic Senators at a hearing on treatment of Muslim women.
…what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world. When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.
Sitting before the senators that day were two women of color: Ayaan is from Somalia; Asra is from India. Both of us were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried. And we have both been threatened with death by jihadists for things we have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.
In other words, when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.
More from Ali and Nomani here.