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H.  7 Rajab 1432 No: 1432 A. H. /16
M.  Friday, 10 June 2011

Press Release
Liberal Culture Should be on Trial Alongside Strauss-Kahn and Berlusconi for its Routine Denigration of Women

 Following the arrest of the ex-IMF head and front-runner in the French Presidential elections, Dominique Strauss-Kahn for the sexual assault of a chambermaid in a New York hotel, increasing numbers of women across France have been speaking out against the deeply entrenched sexism that has long afflicted French politics and French society in general. They have described sexual taunts and harassment of women as an accepted way of life in France and that an ingrained sexist culture exists amongst many men in positions of authority. Political journalists have spoken openly about harassment by French politicians while Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno described the daily barrage of sexist comments that female politicians faced from male parliamentarians.

French women's groups have reported a 600% increase in complaints from women regarding sexual harassment since the arrest of Strauss-Kahn, willing to now break the long-standing wall of silence and revealing the true extent of the denigration of women within ‘liberal' French society. Last month, Civil Service Minister Georges Tron was forced to resign after allegations of molestation by two former female staff members. The light nature by which many men within the French establishment view the sexual assault of women was highlighted by comments from former Culture Minister Jack Long who said that Strauss-Kahn should have received immediate bail because, "no-one had died". It is hardly surprising then that of the 75,000 women raped each year in France, only 1 in 10 victims report the assault, many resigned to the fact that the crime will not be addressed with the gravity it deserves.

 Meanwhile in neighbouring Italy, Prime Minister Berlusconi, a re-known womanizer whose political career has been awash with sex scandals, now faces charges of paying an underage prostitute for sexual relations. In February, hundreds of thousands of women protested in over 200 cities across the country against the routine representation of women as sex objects by the Italian media controlled by Berlusconi, and called for an end to the sexism that saturates ‘liberal' Italian culture and politics where women often acquire jobs and promotions based upon engaging in sexual relations with employers rather than merit.

 Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Central Media Representative, Hizb ut-Tahrir commented, "The Laissez-faire attitude promoted by liberalism has nurtured a mentality that men are free to use and abuse women as they see fit. It has provided an environment of impunity to public expressions of sexism. Liberal culture needs cross-examination alongside Strauss-Kahn and Berlusconi. Its' sexualisation of society and promotion of sexual freedom has normalised pornography, adultery, and promiscuity, harming the healthy cooperation of the genders and wreaking havoc on the unity of family life. Its' contemptible systematic degrading of women through their objectification and commoditisation in business and entertainment licensed by freedom of ownership and expression has generated a view amongst many men in capitalist liberal states that women are simply objects to play to their desire. It is therefore not surprising that in ‘liberal' UK, 2000 women are raped each week and that in the ‘liberal' US, a woman is raped every minute. It beggars belief that despite drowning in this social chaos, Western states have the audacity to continue to export capitalism and liberalism globally as champions of women's rights - this is one of the greatest scandals!"

 "While accusations of Islam's oppression of women continue to dominate French, Italian and European political and media circles, a look in the mirror would clearly demonstrate that it is liberal values that have failed to protect the dignity of women and have made them subservient to men's desires. In stark

 contrast to capitalism, Islam rejects the placing of money over morals and hence out rightly prohibits any form of objectification of women or the profit-driven sexualisation of society. It states unequivocally that the view of the woman should be one of respect always. Unlike liberalism, it does not believe in sexual freedom that makes individuals slaves to their desires but rather nurtures a mentality of responsibility and self-reflection in the consequences of one's action upon others and upon society. It views the protection of the dignity of women on the level of protecting life itself and hence considers any form of sexual harassment as a grave crime with serious repercussions. Islam's social laws that regulate the relationship between men and women and often labelled as oppressive by Western politicians and journalists, in reality are aimed at driving sexism out of society, protecting the family unit and generating productive interaction between the genders in public life that is not hindered or cheapened by sexual distractions."

 "Therefore it is not Islam but capitalism and liberal freedoms that should be labelled public enemy number 1 to women and their wellbeing."

Hizb-ut Tahrir: Media office
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E-Mail: media (at) hizb-ut-tahrir.info

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