by Eliana Benador
Last Friday in my article “Obama, Alwaleed, and the Ambush of Israel, America and Western Civilization” published on these pages, my readers got some flavor of the complex cultural differences between “them” and us.
This time we will dive in the world of “make believe” that in our society mostly belongs to our children, but in the Muslim world, it’s an adult deformation of wishful thinking. To make the picture whole, it is a “make believe” completely compatible and convenient to the agenda of corrupted politicians and businessmen in the West.
Muslim society at large is good at giving the impression to be completely “Westernized”. The elites enjoy a vast education -one that nonetheless has at the very root, a natural and deep education of their religion, ingrained in their traditions which include an incredible appreciation of “family” life -quite unique and very much unlike American modern society where we have witnessed in these last months the dismembering of such “family nucleus,” a major impediment at the base of any potential progress and advancement of a well-functioning society.
Regardless of all the Western education they may receive, whether they attend Oxford or Harvard, the crib of their minds and their souls is impregnated with an unlimited retrograde vision of society.
Not all the Lamborghini in the world or the fine art museums they build can make up for some human values that go with a refined soul.
Neither can billions and trillions of dollars do to make up for the soul of a society whose raison d’Ãªtre is the destruction and annihilation of other people and other cultures as they aim for world domination.
Needless to say, the most fantastic tailored suits and Hermes ties will never be able to fill the gap between men who accept, understand, excuse, and silently, tacitly support terrorism against innocent civilian victims in the West.
To be sure, there can be no comparison either between a mother who raise their children to hate other people and cultures, with the purpose to massacre innocent civilians -and particularly, mothers whose main goal in life is raise their children surrounded with love and learning respect for human beings -and yet when push comes to shove, they are ready to do what they need to do to protect their children. In this case, one cannot speak of “difference”. One can only speak of “categorical antagonism.”
We in the West have learned about their infamous taqqiya. Their legal way to distort the truth in order to advance the cause of Islam and their goal of world domination.
Recently, news of “democratic elections” has reached us. And, I cannot avoid smiling… Sure.
News from so-called Muslim-Islamic elections have come from diverse sharia-abiding countries such as United Arab Emirates -where elections were for an advisory council but in reality it will wield little real power.
In Bahrain, the Sunni government’s actions are also contradictory. The continuing repression -that counted with Saudi intervention- has not returned stability to the country and is not likely to do so -as the rift between the Sunni royals and the majority Shia community are not followed by concrete efforts to solve the conflict and power struggle continues inside the royal family with an ever deepening division.
Meanwhile, a royal decree in Saudi has announced changes in favor of women. That simple fact, implies that it is the King’s ‘wish’ to do so.
And, in that “make believe” world, actual Saudi women’s vote is four years away -they have to wait until 2015. Until then, they will continue to need the approval of a male family member -fathers or husbands- to exercise their rights to vote (run in municipal elections and be appointed as full voting members of the Majlis Al-Shura, government “advisory” group,) or to travel, work, receive health care, attend school or start a business. Saudi women are banned from driving.
In the kingdom of oil wealth, last March the so-called Arab Spring made their voices also heard in Saudi, and when activists called for protests, the king responded by barring demonstrations and announcing nearly $130 billion in public spending. At least one common denominator, between West and the Muslim world of Islam, try to solve everything with influx of money.
However, to really prove to the world that this is not part of a taqqiya inspired move and that he is a true reformer, His Majesty will need to stop catering to ultraconservative members of the royal family and extremist Wahhabi clerics who are not about to actually change the situation of their women –who are barely to not-protected, from rape or domestic abuse. When some Saudi women held a high-profile right-to-drive campaign last June, the movement ended up in dozens of arrests.
Despite all of the above, it’s very important to consider that 58 percent of college graduates in Saudi Arabia are women. Yet they only represent 14 percent of the work force.
However, this flawed approach seen from the West, gives us an inadequate vision of a powerless female presence in Muslim, and most particularly Saudi society, which is far from the reality.
At a business meeting in the region, two other leading American colleagues preceding me, addressed the issue of “empowering” Muslim women.
“Empower” implies a sense of “powerlessness” that in my view is far from the reality of Muslim women -especially those who are part of the equivalent to their middle class and leading elites.
In my different and often trips and stays in the region I have not found powerless Muslim women. On the contrary, they are highly educated, experienced, savvy, entrepreneurial and very self-conscious.
As a matter of fact, during those meetings, when it was my turn to speak, I asked them to allow me to show my American colleagues how they, Muslim women, do not need to be empowered.
“Please, lift your black burqas and let us see what you have underneath them,” I asked them.
What did we see? Couture jeans, sexy sandals… not really the kind of wardrobe you would expect from ‘subjugated’ women. Living among them I learned to recognize how their small signs of revolt were present. In some cases, it was moving to see how some managed to allow the world to see a slight hint of their body shapes despite the black-cover of the burqas… But it also shows a “modus vivendi” they have come to master. One with which, they can keep their society’s status quo. Any Western “relationship” expert would say, this shows how these women ‘know’ how to keep their men happy. Indeed, black burqa covering them -and their Westernized outfits underneath…
However, they do have something powerful in their hands, which was part of my proposal to them. It’s the education of new generations of men, their sons, who like ours need to be taught politeness, and respect of women, and so much that only a mother can transmit to her son.
The transformation of their society at the hands of women may be a key element, because as long as Saudi Arabia will keep half their population segregated from fully participating in the economy and the civic life of the country, there may be only one solution:
Saudi women will have to weigh the advantages of following in the footsteps of their sisters worldwide who have not waited for men to grant them their rights. They have stood up and taken them.
After all, who can stop a woman from achieving something when she puts her mind to it…
Goodwill Ambassador Eliana Benador is a national and international global strategist and the former CEO and founder of Benador Associates. You can find her at the Goodwill Ambassador or at her website, you can follow her on Twitter, at her political page on Facebook and her business page on Facebook