Muslim Women Using Pop Culture and Social Media Technology to Effect Change

While President Obama bemoans technology and innovation—those nefarious ATMs and airport kiosks stealing jobs all willy-nilly—moderate Muslims, particularly the women, are embracing it as a way to potentially effect change.  The real kind, not the faux hope-and-changey kind.  You see, that pesky innovation and technology could be a key factor in one day making a true Arab Spring a reality.

Obama only spouts platitudes about the “unclenching of fists” to appease radical Muslims, while his administration practices its incompetent version of diplomacy that can only be described as, “This foreign stuff is super hard.  I can haz cookie now?”  Even during his speech outlining our withdrawal from Afghanistan, he uttered more cheesy lines than Barney Frank during Fleet Week.  Worse, he had the audacity to claim that we can totally leave now because we met our commitments, and there are “new opportunities being created for women and girls,” and that we will join “initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban.”  The TALIBAN.  Oh yeah, they create wonderful new opportunities for girls, such as permanent vacations from school.  And they’ll go so far as to kill the head of a girls school to ensure such vacations.

The President’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton practices the same such “diplomacy.”  She was recently shamed into oh-so-bravely proclaiming that Saudi women should be allowed to drive.  What about being able to walk down the street alone without fear of a stoning, Hillary?  But, hey, she said they should be “allowed” to drive, isn’t that enough?  After being shamed into saying it.  By truly courageous activists in Saudi Arabia.  Activists whose bravery was shown throughout the world, via YouTube.  Within 48 hours of the lone brave soul, Manal al-Sharif, who defied the driving ban, being imprisoned, the YouTube video of her drive was watched a half a million times.  Within a month after that, Saudi women rose up and staged a “Driving Day.”    

Thereafter, even demonstrating became a crime, punishable by imprisonment and/or flogging.  Did this stop the women?  No.  They again took to available technology, and YouTube videos of other Saudi women began appearing.  A Facebook page titled “We Are All Manal al-Sharif” was started.  Thousands of Saudi women joined the page, under threat of punishment.  Many have subsequently been jailed. 

Yet Muslim women are continuing to quietly, and courageously, work to truly unclench fists.  These first-wave feminists are the real deal, unlike our modern-day lefty feminists.  They aren’t burning bras.  They are burning up the Internet, on sites like YouTube, as well as satellite television, enabling Muslim women around the globe to watch other Muslim women fighting back.  Women in Egypt are using the Internet and newspapers to demand rights and equality.  There is power in numbers and there is power in seeing, with your own eyes, other women fighting to break the shackles of oppression.  There is strength found in knowing that you are not alone.

Moderate Muslim nations, such as Malaysia, are not only using technology, but are also using pop culture to aid women.  As Andrew Breitbart has long been preaching here, pop culture is the front line for effecting change.  The Left has a hold on our media, in films, on television, in print, and as such, they’ve long framed the narratives.  We all know this.  We’ve seen it in detrimental actions, and people like Andrew Breitbart are striving to correct that. 

The “culture wars” must be fought on this front line.  Hence, Malaysia’s latest reality television show.  While reality television may not be a favorite of our smarty-pants elite set, in this instance it is a core piece needed to help change mind-sets and to strengthen the rights of women.  The show, “Solehah” (pious female), is to air in Malaysia and is a contest to find the best female preachers in Malaysia.  Under Islam, female preachers are allowed but are uncommon.  This show hopes to change that, and there is a good chance that it will, considering that Prime Minister Najib Razak has made strengthening the role of women in Malaysian society a priority.  He has already appointed two female judges to the high courts—unheard of in most Muslim nations. 

This seemingly simple act—a reality television show—may serve not just to further empower women in Malaysia, but Muslim women around the globe.  Women in other Muslim countries can see the show via satellite television or by viewing YouTube clips once it airs.  Because it is a Malaysian show, it will be especially beneficial, because Malaysia is a moderate Muslim country.  The television medium will be used to not only showcase women and advocate for their rights, but will promote actual moderate Muslim ideals, not radical Islam.  For example, the audition process included giving a speech on the responsibility of Muslims to help disaster victims.  No talk of martyrdom and suicide bombing here.  In fact, the Malaysian prime minister has vehemently spoken out against suicide bombing.  Not only did he say it does not represent Islam, but he said suicide bombers are not martyrs, thereby disavowing all their deluded hopes of that whole 72 virgins deal, and more importantly, any religious salvation.  No other Muslim leader has ever done so.

I’m no President of the United States nor an ‘intellectual’ or anything, so I’ll take reality television, even if it includes The Situation and Snooki (fist pumps, not clenched fists!), and will suffer gladly those insidious job-stealing airport kiosks in exchange for the innovation and technology that may one day serve to play a part in marginalizing radical Islam, which is a grave danger worldwide, and in releasing millions of women from subjugation and oppression. 

One of our pop culture figures, Prince, can continue to prattle on moronically about how Muslim women love burkas and radical Islam is “fun”—in what I can only assume is a desperate plea for attention.  Unlike him, I’d like to see Muslim women speak for themselves, and help to change their culture.  May this be a good first step, however small.