Friday, September 16, 2016

Disney does the Hajj: Diaa Hadid in Mecca, again

Notice that she conflates whatever rules and regulations Saudi regime does with what she calls "Islam":  "There it was again. I was at once frustrated by Islam’s nitpicky strictures on women’s dress".  But the cutest thing is that Ms. Hadid delves into feminist discussion here: "At its founding, 1,400 years ago, Islam was revolutionary for its time in seeing women as spiritual equals. But in its contemporary conception, the day-to-day gender roles trouble me."  She is troubled by the gender roles: but where? Where in Islam? Lebanon? Tunisia? Egypt? Or Saudi Arabia? For her Islam (as Said pointed out in Orientalism) is uniform and unchanging.  And she then proceeds to offer us her views of Islam and gender. But that is odd. She is a correspondent in Gaza and the West Bank for the Times: will the New York Times ever ask--or even allow--, say a Jewish correspondent of the Times in Israel or somewhere else to offer readers a critique of Judaism? That would be so odd, if you think about it.  Notice the extent of her generalization: "Each day in Mecca provided powerful reminders of a religion that seems to simultaneously embrace women and push them away."  So whatever she encountered on a trip (sponsored by the Saudi government) is to be blamed on "Islam".   And then she suddenly tells us the conditions of her trip: "She got here only because the Saudi government allows some women over 45 to come with an older female companion. (I got around the mahram requirement because I came on a journalist visa, which included a different kind of guardian, a Saudi minder named Abdul-Rahman who accompanied me during all my reporting.)"  And basically Ms. Hadid blamed Islam for any unclean bathroom she saw in Mecca.