Monday, April 06, 2020

The series every Western Feminist needs to see

‘Caliphate’ - The Series Every Western Feminist Needs to See

Forget 'The Handmaid’s Tale' - this harrowing thriller exposes real-world, Sharia misogyny.

Forget The Handmaid’s Tale. A new Netflix series called Caliphate (Kaliphat in the original) debuted last month which every feminist in the Western world needs to see, not because it will confirm their cultural self-loathing but because it may just open a few eyes to the misogynistic oppression That Must Not Be Named. Produced in Sweden (yes, the same feminist-run Sweden that has all but officially become a Muslim state; how did this show get made?), Caliphate’s storyline centers on Parvin, a Syrian woman desperate to get herself and her baby out of a marriage to a member of the Islamic State. Her only hope for rescue is to spy on her husband and his fellow jihadists, and surreptitiously pass along details of their terrorist plot against a Swedish target to an intelligence agent there named Fatima. Fatima is trying to pull off a balancing act between trusting Parvin, who could just be peddling misinformation, and battling her skeptical superiors, who seem suspiciously resistant to pursuing the lead.
Ostensibly a race-against-the-clock terrorism thriller (and it works very well on that level), the series is more broadly about the real dystopia for women: life under sharia. Not the anti-Trump allegory of The Handmaid’s Tale, but a brutal, oppressive reality that Western multicultural elites either glamorize or ignore altogether. Western women today play at donning hijabs in solidarity with their Muslim sisters, blind to how they are actually betraying their Muslim sisters. Apparel giants like Nike promote Islamic-compliant sportswear as empowering. Fashion designers present Islamic dress as chic and stylish choices – choices women under sharia are not allowed to make (Caliphate makes this clear in more than one scene in which women on the streets of Raqqa, where Parvin lives, are threatened for being improperly covered; in another darkly funny scene, Parvin’s hapless husband Husam is desperately searching for her in the neighborhood but cannot find her because all the women in public have been reduced to the same unidentifiable, black-shrouded shapelessness).
Caliphate dares to depict the precarious lives of real women trapped in (or in some cases, brainwashed into embracing) fundamentalist Islam.

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