The Salafi preacher Khalid Abdullah seems determined not to let any woman activist escape his venomous attacks. His latest victim is Tawakkul Karman (also Tawakel Karman), the Yemeni activist who won the Nobel Piece Prize for her role in the Yemni revolution against Ali Abdullah Saleh. On his show, he plays a tape of an interview with her, but not before blurring her so she is unrecognizable. She doesn't even deserve to have rose substituted for her face the way salafi election posters did in the recent elections in Egypt. Instead, she appears as a blotch, a ghostly figure, not to be seen, and to be heard, grudgingly, and only to hang with her words.
But why is Karman the target of Abdullah's anger? For unlike the other women that Abdullah and his salafi friends have been character assassinating, such as Nuwara Negm, she has solid Islamist credentials as a high-ranking member of the main Islamist party in Yemen, Al Islah. She is the aristocracy of Islamist women activists and politicians.
Not according to him. "Who is she to be given the Nobel Prize and to be going here and there to give talks and and lectures?"
Here is why Khalid decided to take her down:
One: She believes Islam should be a source of inspiration not legislation. That is a no no in his book! And I would say in the book of the Muslim Brotherhood as well. Karman is clearly pushing the envelope on this one.
Two: She believes in a civic state as opposed to a religious state because she wants the state to be for all its citizens, including Christians and Jews. She believes a Yemeni Jew has the right to be president of the country. This is a big NO No for the salafis.
Three: She doesn't believe the Niqab, the full face covering (in case you still don't know what that is) is not of Islam and that she wore it for many years but eventually found it a barrier to communication. She calls on other women to do without it because she wants them to participate in public life without any barriers. Women should not be speaking from behind any walls, she says. Khalid's response to that is to blur the heck out of her. Clearly, the salafi version of women's choice is that a Muslim woman is allowed to say her opinion of the Niqab only if she agrees with it wholeheartedly and recommends it to all Muslim women.
Four: She doesn't have any problem dealing with the United Sates and the west generally as long as she uses their support to advance her agendas. In response, Khalid accuses her of being brainwashed and used. And to trash by association he mentions "training in Serbia"!!!
Khalid concludes his attack by expressing his regret that this woman is considered a Muslim at all. Clearly, on his Salafi measuring scale of who is a Muslim and who is not, she gets a zero.
Whose next on his assassination list? I'll keep you posted.