Rahaf al-Qunun: Differentials in Common Problems


The Metroreported on Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun from Saudi Arabia, who has been granted asylum to Canada, recently. She fled to Kuwait from alleged abuse and then landed in Bangkok. Following this, she began to seek asylum.

With the surprising effectiveness of the work by al-Qunun and others, and similar social media social justice campaigns including #MeToo, Twitter became a catalytic platform for the improved efficacy of the calls for social justice for Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun.

As some may note, the socio-political left and the socio-political right tend to disagree on what should be the emphasis of the social justice in most instances, and utilize epithets against the opposition in the cases of that which they disagree.

But the possibility of further abuse of a girl and the killing of an ex-Muslim united the internet for social good, a social justice activist effort. Many Canadian voices were in favor of the work there.

The unifying story was the abuse and the context in which men and women live in the culture. Men and women are grossly unequal in Saudi society.

One interesting story is relayed within the article about the way this works for gay men too. The former Muslim man, who left, had to disengage with family, because of the disagreements in belief.

The author described a sympathy, in common experiences, with leaving religion in an area of the world at this time that takes the violent approach to those who leave. One can see this environment with Christian in the centuries past.

Those who leave in these coerced-into-religion contexts become difficult, dangerous, and even life-threatening. The man felt as though — as a gay Muslim man — he had let down the creator and sustainer of the universe.

As opined, “I know of Christians who have left their faith and converted to Islam who talk of pressures from their families, and where some have had their immediate family stop all communication, sometimes for decades. However, what is troubling is that the levels of pressure and intimidation against ex-Muslims rumbles on and that time and time again,”

To attribute this to innate tendencies is wrong, as if one group is a separate species, while, at the same time, to deny this happening disproportionately in Muslim communities is also wrong, it is happening at a higher rate, insofar as a large number of ex-Muslim communities are showing u — and the subsequent stories coming out connected to them.

The author of the opinion piece explained, “I heard from those I interviewed they feared to leave Islam and when they did, they felt scared all of this, it is important to mention that it is not faith or religions themselves that are the problem. Yes, there are difficult elements of texts, but it is how they are interpreted and how families and individuals implement them in their families. For many of the people I interviewed, a harsh and controlling interpretation of Islam meant that they pushed their loved one away from Islam. Yet, there are just as many families where Islam is interpreted so that people feel accepted, loved and valued.”

Photo by Martin Brechtl on Unsplash

Leave a Reply