Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Muslim Woman Risks Everything to Pose for Playboy… Was It Worth It?

This may very well be an international first: A Muslim woman featured in Playboy.

Sila Sahin, a 25-year-old raised in Germany by Turkish parents – who are none too happy with her at the moment – bared all for the 12-page spread (no pun intended) supposedly to say, “Girls… don’t have to live according to the rules imposed upon us.”

While I suppose I’m happy the German soap star has thrown off the shackles of an often oppressive and misogynistic religion, did she really have to spit in its face in the process?

Somehow, I think not. Nor do I think stripping naked to please the sexual fantasies of an almost wholly male audience – essentially exchanging one set of restrictive expectations for another – worth risking and receiving death threats.

The Sun, a British publication, reports that threats for her act of “shaming Muslim womanhood” and “prostituting herself for money” have popped up on Islamic internet sites. And one local shop owner said that he would murder his daughter if she ever behaved in such a way:

“I would kill her. I really mean that. That doesn’t fit with my culture,” he said on German TV.

In addition, Sahin now says that her mother won’t speak to her, that she fears being “spat at” and “shamed” and she’s been actively labeled a “whore” and a “western slut.” Considering past acts of violence against people who were even perceived to be insulting Islam, she would probably be well served to watch her back intently.

Yet Sahin states: “For years I subordinated myself to various societal constraints. The Playboy photo shoot was a total act of liberation.”

Her physical and verbal statements could merely be one big publicity stunt. Or maybe she really did feel the need to express herself in such a controversial way.

Regardless, I find very few ideals worth dying for… And the right to get naked in front of strangers certainly isn’t one of them.

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