Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy fights Islamophobia/Cancels her talk in the Islamophobic debating centre De Balie, Amsterdam

Image result for Mona Eltahawy/Images
MONA ELTAHAWY

It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ??. I hope to return to soon.

7:48 AM – 22 Apr 2019

For those asking “Why cancel your appearance over one event”: 1. That “one event” was bad enough 2. That event inspired a closer look at the centre & what it represents 3. Only white people can play “free speech” & “debate all ideas” game. I am not white. This is not theoretical

 

EGYPTIAN FEMINIST MONA ELTAHAWY FIGHTS ISLAMOPHOBIA/
CANCELS HER TALK IN THE ISLAMOPHOBIC DEBATING CENTRE DE BALIE, AMSTERDAM
INTRODUCTION:
Dear Readers,
Hereby I share with you a Shout Out Letter to the Egyptian feminist Mona
Eltahawy for her cancelling of her talk in the debating centre De Balie in Amsterdam.
Background

 

The Egyptian writer, journalist and feminist, Mona Eltahawy would pay a visit to the Netherlands [her second] to
talk about her feminist ideals and especially about her forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September 2019.
But debating Centre de Balie and her director Yoeri Albrecht has
turned into an Islamophobic centre.
A notorious example was a socalled ”ethnic cleansing debate”, held in De Balie,
called ”Waarom haten ze ons eigenlijk” [Dutch for ”Why do they hate us?”] [1]
where notorious Islamophobic personages like the Dutch professor of jurisprudence
Paul Cliteur [2], the Belgian extreme right wing propagandist Wim
van Rooy and his son [a former politician of the Dutch right
wing Party of Freedom of Geert Wilders] and others, talked in
hate speech language about the Islam and muslims.
After this notorious debate another hatemonger, the Dutch journalist
Bernadette de Wit did a plea for the ethnic cleansing of muslims,
who didn’t respond to her sick, far right views. [3]
Those facts were unknown to Mona Eltahawy, who lives and works
in Egypt and New York and is, except for radical feminist, being
a muslim herself, also a tough fighter against racism, fascism, Islamophobia and
”all forms of bigotry” [her own words] [4]
Luckily, her Dutch progressive contacts and followers [Mona Eltahawy has
a very active twitter account] [5], warned her against the Islamophobic character
of De Balie and so she cancelled her talk tour evening in De Balie! [6]
I applauded this statement and decision of Mona Eltahawy, [whose
struggle I support although not agreeing at all points with her] and
therefore I wrote to her a KUDOS Letter of appreciation, titled
”YOUR STATEMENT TO DE BALIE/SHOUTOUT TO YOU!”
See below my KUDOS Letter to Mona Eltahawy, with notes
And down below, the notes, belonging to this Introduction, the Statement
of Mona Eltahawy [7] and
also the De Balie reaction on Mona’s cancelling [8]
ENJOY READING!
Astrid Essed

 

MY KUDOS LETTER TO MONA ELTAHAWY
””YOUR STATEMENT TO DE BALIE/SHOUTOUT TO YOU!”
TO
MRS M ELTAHAWY
Writer
Columnist
Journalist
Champion of women’s rights and fighter against racism,fascism
,Islamophobia and all forms of oppression
Dear Mrs Eltahawy,
Being an admirer of your courage in the struggle for women’s rights
as against racism, fascism and Islamphobia [although we disagree
on some minor points, but that matters not], I was very pleasantly surprised by your cancellation of your evening talk tour at De Balie.  [1]
I am very glad you did, because on this way you are making a powerful
statement against De Balie’s long time Islamophobia, with racist components
when it concerns easpecially Moroccons and other muslims of
colour.
De Balie angered me since long time, with as horrible point of depth the ”ethnic cleansing” debate ”Why do they hate us” [2] during which notorious
Islamophobe speakers like the Dutch professor of jurisprudence
Paul Cliteur [3], the Belgian extreme right wing propagandist Wim
van Rooy and his son [a former politician of the Dutch right
wing Party of Freedom of Geert Wilders] and others incited hatred in
their debate about ”the Islam” and ”muslims”
After their hatred debate Bernadette de Wit, a hatemonging
journalist, invoked to the deportation of muslims.
There was pretty much outrage about this scandalous talk and
de Balie Director Joeri Albrecht [another Islamophobe] did not condemn
this ethnical cleansing debate.
I am glad, mrs Eltahawy, that your Dutch friends and contacts warned you
and that you canceled your De Balie talk.
KUDOS!
BRAVA!
You did the only right thing, given the circumstances
As you wrote in your excellent statement:
”These are dangerous times.” [4]
There is an increasement of racism and fascism in Europe.
In the Netherlands, fascist parties like the Party for Freedom
[Geert Wilders] and Forum for Democracy [Thierry Baudet] [5]
are not only flourising.
They are treated like normal parties, especially in
talk shows as the media.
This is deadly dangerous.
As for me, on my own way I try to fight racism and Islamophobia [6]
and luckily there are far more critical people, but we are too few and
our number is diminishing.
Therefore you gave us hope.
Go on Mona Elthawy, with your struggle for what is right.
All the progressive forces will fight together and NEVER give up!
I thank you.
Though long the fight we know that right will triumph at the end!
Kind greetings
Astrid Essed
Journalist
Historian
Human Rights activist
Amsterdam
The Netherlands
NOTES
[1]
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ����. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon.
Thank you for your email and your kind
words about my work.
I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing to
tell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to be
returning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where I
have spoken in the past and where I have made many friends I
remain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie has
been a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch political
party at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.
This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and
a dehumanization of Muslims.
It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days
asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.
This is not a theoretical debate for me.
This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.
I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray painting
over a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violence
against Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’s
Mosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.
This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amid
the rise of the far right across Europe, including in the
Netherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe
massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.
Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed a
Muslim ban and continues to incite violence against one
of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive world
of theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.
These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.
I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is one
that is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.
Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,
Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose
opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want to
bring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was first
invited to speak there.
In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues which
offer me a platform.

I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my new

book and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believe
is more suitable to the femonism I advocate with its
robust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.
I thank them for their interest in my work and hope they
understand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesd
to bring me there.
With regards
Mona
[2]
ETHNIC CLEANSING DEBATE
WAAROM HATEN ZE ONS EIGENLIJK
”WHY DO THEY HATE US?”
MY ARTICLE
”MOSLIMHAAT IN DE BALIE/OPROEP TOT
ETNISCHE ZUIVERINGEN”
ASTRID ESSED
IN ENGLISH
”MUSIM HATRED IN DE BALIE/INVOCATION
TO ETHNIC CLEANSINGS”
[3]
WIKIPEDIA
PAUL CLITEUR
[4]
[4]
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ����. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon.
Thank you for your email and your kind
words about my work.
I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing to
tell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to be
returning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where I
have spoken in the past and where I have made many friends I
remain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie has
been a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch political
party at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.
This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and
a dehumanization of Muslims.
It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days
asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.
This is not a theoretical debate for me.
This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.
I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray painting
over a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violence
against Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’s
Mosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.
This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amid
the rise of the far right across Europe, including in the
Netherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe
massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.
Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed a
Muslim ban and continues to incite violence against one
of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive world
of theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.
These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.
I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is one
that is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.
Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,
Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose
opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want to
bring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was first
invited to speak there.
In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues which
offer me a platform.

I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my new

book and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believe
is more suitable to the femonism I advocate with its
robust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.
I thank them for their interest in my work and hope they
understand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesd
to bring me there.
With regards
Mona
[5]
WIKIPEDIA
PARTY FOR FREEDOM
WIKIPEDIA
FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY
[6]
RACISM IN THE NETHERLANDS/PARTY FOR FREEDOM/
PVV, WILDERS AND THE POISON OF RACISM
ASTRID ESSED
1 MARCH 2014
A TSUNAMI OF RACISM, THE POLITICAL VIEWS OF MR
WILDERS
ASTRID ESSED
2007
OR
END OF MY KUDOS LETTER
NOTES, BELONGING TO MY INTRODUCTION
[1]
ETHNIC CLEANSING DEBATE IN DE BALIE
WAAROM HATEN ZE ONS EIGENLIJK
”WHY DO THEY HATE US?”
[2]
WIKIPEDIA
PAUL CLITEUR
[3]
SEE NOTE 1
[4]
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ����. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon.
Thank you for your email and your kind
words about my work.
I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing to
tell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to be
returning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where I
have spoken in the past and where I have made many friends I
remain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie has
been a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch political
party at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.
This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and
a dehumanization of Muslims.
It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days
asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.
This is not a theoretical debate for me.
This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.
I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray painting
over a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violence
against Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’s
Mosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.
This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amid
the rise of the far right across Europe, including in the
Netherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe
massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.
Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed a
Muslim ban and continues to incite violence against one
of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive world
of theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.
These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.
I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is one
that is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.
Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,
Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose
opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want to
bring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was first
invited to speak there.
In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues which
offer me a platform.

I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my new

book and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believe
is more suitable to the femonism I advocate with its
robust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.
I thank them for their interest in my work and hope they
understand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesd
to bring me there.
With regards
Mona
[5]
MONA ELTAHAWY ON TWITTER
[6]
It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ����. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon.
Thank you for your email and your kind
words about my work.
I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing to
tell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to be
returning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where I
have spoken in the past and where I have made many friends I
remain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie has
been a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch political
party at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.
This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and
a dehumanization of Muslims.
It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days
asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.
This is not a theoretical debate for me.
This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.
I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray painting
over a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violence
against Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’s
Mosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.
This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amid
the rise of the far right across Europe, including in the
Netherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe
massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.
Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed a
Muslim ban and continues to incite violence against one
of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive world
of theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.
These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.
I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is one
that is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.
Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,
Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose
opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want to
bring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was first
invited to speak there.
In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues which
offer me a platform.

I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my new

book and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believe
is more suitable to the femonism I advocate with its
robust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.
I thank them for their interest in my work and hope they
understand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesd
to bring me there.
With regards
Mona
[7]

THE MONA ELTAHAWY STATEMENT:

It was one particular event that took place at De Balie (that was brought to my attention on Saturday) which began a closer look for me at the centre and made me question whether I wanted to speak there. I explain my position ����. I hope to return to #Amsterdam soon.
Thank you for your email and your kind
words about my work.
I have given this a lot of thought and I am writing to
tell you what I have decided.
When I was invited to speak at the Balie I was excited to be
returning to the Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, a city where I
have spoken in the past and where I have made many friends I
remain in touch with.
I was especially eager to talk about my forthcoming book, The Seven
Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, which will be published in
September.
On saturday it was brought to my attention, that de Balie has
been a venue in the past for an event by a far right wing Dutch political
party at which the deportation of Muslims was discussed.
This is an outreageous affront to fundamental human rights and
a dehumanization of Muslims.
It greatly disturbed me and I have spent the past two days
asking for feedback from Dutch friends whose opinions I respect.
This is not a theoretical debate for me.
This is about me, my family and fellow Muslims.
I was arrested in New York City in 2012 for spray painting
over a racist pro Israel ad which I believed incited violence
against Muslims.
Less than a week later, a white supremacist set my brother’s
Mosque on fire in the U.S. Midwest.
This is very personal.
This is also a time for growing hate and bigotry amid
the rise of the far right across Europe, including in the
Netherlands.
Less than two months ago, a white supremacist Islamophobe
massacred 51 Muslims in New Zealand.
Here in the U.S, we have a president who has passed a
Muslim ban and continues to incite violence against one
of the first two Muslim congresswomen.
All of this is a reminder that we have left the exclusive world
of theoretical debate and we are beyond the marketplace of ideas.
These are dangerous times.
My new book focuses on the fight against patriarchy globally.
I insist that feminism and the fight against that patriarchy is one
that is not limited to just fighting against misogyny.
Feminism must fight mysogyny, white supremacy, racism, fascism,
Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry
With that in mind and after consulting with Dutch friends whose
opinion I trust, I believe that de Balie is not a venue I want to
bring my views to.
I regret that I did not look more closely at de Balie when I was first
invited to speak there.
In the future I will perform more due diligence on the venues which
offer me a platform.

I am eager to return to the Netherlands to discuss my new

book and look forward to doing so at a venue that I believe
is more suitable to the femonism I advocate with its
robust fight against all forms of bigotry.
My apologies to all those who bought tickets to see me speak.
I thank them for their interest in my work and hope they
understand my position.
And I appreciate the efforts of the staff at De Balie who workesd
to bring me there.
With regards
Mona
[8]
DE BALIE:
ONZE REACTIE OP DE AFZEGGING DOOR MONA ELTAHAWY
[IN ENGLISH ”OUR REACTION ON THE CANCELLING BY
MONA ELTAHAWY]
[IN ENGLISH]

It is with great regret that we must announce that the Egyptian-American feminist and activist Mona Eltahawy has decided not to speak at De Balie this Wednesday.

She says that a number of people pointed out to her, anonymously, that a debate took place at De Balie two years ago where audience members made some racist remarks. These were statements that De Balie strongly rejected at the time. The NOS media company and de Volkskrant newspaper reported on Eltahawy’s decision yesterday.

We very much regret Eltahawy’s decision. We feel that she represents a very important voice who expresses her views with much fervour and courage.

We also feel that she received inaccurate information about the evening of that debate. In her statement Eltahawy says that the event was organised by an extremist right-wing party. This was not the case. The event was also not organised by De Balie but by a group of volunteers on the occasion of the publication of a book. The event consisted of a two-hour programme on the reasons of Jihadists to hate their victims (both Muslim and non-Muslim). Are they ideologically motivated, or do the reasons have an economic origin? Guests from various backgrounds participated in the event, including Paul Cliteur who later became eligible for the new political party Forum voor Democratie.

After the panel debate, an audience member asked how many fanatical Muslims a society can cope with. The asker stated her belief that this could amount to just 1 to 2 per cent.

Cliteur’s reply, that “this would be a controversial and extreme measure” and that “one should start more carefully”, was troubling. In the wake of this event, we stated on various occasions and on several platforms that we distance ourselves from his views, just as we reject the views of Imam Haitham al-Haddad who advocates the death penalty for apostates and was a guest at De Balie in 2012.

The above-named debates were filmed and can be viewed on our website, precisely because we wish to be fully transparent about the events that take place in our halls.

We would like to stress our conviction that an open and democratic society is vulnerable and that we must struggle passionately to protect the rights of minorities and to preserve the rule of law. We organise events to support this conviction on a daily basis: events about emancipation, equality, freedom of speech, minorities’ and women’s rights, and about democracy and the rule of law in general. We are also, and obviously, against discrimination. We believe that fundamental rights such as freedom of religion apply to all. We strive with great care to be a platform where people of all faiths and convictions can come together to engage in dialogue. Dialogue, in order to better understand each other rather than reject and exclude each other, and so to make our society a place where everyone can live and let live. We expressly do not invite only those opinions that we endorse. We consider it our responsibility to offer a platform to present, and question, and probe different opinions.

We are eager to engage everyone in this dialogue. We invite everyone to share their views and shall continue to do so. We are very sorry that Eltahawy has chosen to withdraw her participation. We shall of course contact all who have already purchased a ticket to this event.

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