Monday, 23 April 2012


Neo-Orientalist Misogyny against Sharmine Narwani
By Amal Saad Ghorayeb

Sharmine Narwani has written a scathing attack on Western journalists’ coverage of Syria in this excellent article here: “Western Journalist: Visa Denied”.

As expected, her piece was met with the usual barrage of you -are -a-baby-killer type insults on Twitter and on Joshua Landis’ blog, Syria Comment. But none were as offensive as one Tweep’s reference to her as a “regime lap dancer”. This isn’t the first time white western males, whose interests are allied with Empire, refer to us “Middle Eastern” female political analysts in such sexually derogatory terms, as I personally know only too well. What is particularly disturbing about this case though, is how Arab female, anti-Assad “revolutionaries” rushed to his defense and attacked Narwani’s condemnation of his vile misogyny.

As a woman and an anti-imperialist, I really have to restrain myself from resorting to the same type of ad hominem attacks against him and his kind that he so gratuitously avails himself of on Syria Comment and on Twitter. His misogynistic, sexually abusive slur against Sharmine Narwani as a a “regime lap dancer” is all too reminiscent of Orientalist tropes which revolve around the sexualized belly-dancing Muslim harem. Such is his intellectual and political bankruptcy that he could not even abide by the minimal requirements of liberal, politically correct discourse which, while insidious in its own way, at least tames its more sexually and racially offensive elements into professing multicultural tolerance and sexual equality.

Nothing scares such types more than the image of the decolonized native who rejects their preferred al-Jadaliyya (read, House Arab) line of thinking, than the decolonized female native who takes the lead in liberating the minds of her fellow natives. What a silly little white man.

And as for you Arab women out there who are siding with your white, Western, male oppressor: the efforts of the likes of Narwani to liberate you from his grip, are wasted on you. You deserve your own self-imposed enslavement.

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