Mona Eltahawy Profile picture
Oct 7, 2018 22 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I have barely slept.I have been unable to stop thinking about #JamalKhashoggi. I knew him from when we both were columnists for #Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat b4 I was banned.We met just once, I think. But reports yest of his killing came same day as #Kavanaugh & my worlds collided
Trump has emboldened so many dictators,esp Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.With so much attention been sucked up by US,the killing of Jamal,who wasn’t an esp outspoken critic,is sure to embolden regimes further & signal to dissidents & opponents that their harm will go unnoticed
To think that you could go to your country’s consulate to get paperwork for an upcoming wedding and be killed and dismembered because of your writing is horrific. It’s evil. And to know that the regime responsible for that has a best friend in the most powerful country in earth!
That powerful ally for decades - under both Dems & GOP Presidents - has supported, armed and bought oil from the #Saudi absolute monarchy, knowing its violations and crimes. Trump has dictator envy & is increasingly authoritarian so US has little standing to criticize.
I send my condolences to #JamalKhashoggi’s loved ones. And all my solidarity is with #Saudi dissidents and all dissidents in the Middle East right now who I am sure can only imagine what further unleashed horrors lie ahead.
I am esp concerned about feminists & women’s rights activists who’ve been imprisoned in #Saudi since May,some incommunicado,simply for daring to advocate for what Mohamed Bin Salman has boasted of doing-lifting driving ban - & for daring to work to end laws that infantalize women
Very few countries dare to speak out against the violations and crimes of the #Saudi absolute monarchy. Oil, arms deals and Islam’s two holiest sites have ensured an almost global silence or at most lip service paid to human rights concerns.
I have long called what #Saudi Arabia does to women gender apartheid. That alone should have had the world boycotting that country. But the “Oh it’s their culture/religion” nonsense has been a good cover for the benefits that too many enjoy from dealings with the royal family.
So now what? After a journalist was killed and dismembered? We know #JamalKhashoggi’s name but you can be sure that the #Saudi regime has done similar and worse to others whose names we don’t know and whose fate goes unnoticed or ignored.
One name I do know is @WaleedAbulkhair - a human rights lawyer I had the honour if knowing via Twitter. He was sentenced to 15yrs for his human rights work and for daring to hold a salon in which his fellow #Saudis could meet to imagine and discuss the freedom they deserve.
There are many more, of course. I am thinking of @Saudiwoman and @azizayousef and @LoujainHathloul - in jail since May - & other women & men accused by #Saudi regime’s media of “treason” bec only traitors dare to fight the patriarchy perfected by the royal family and it’s clerics
I am thinking of the Shi’a activists imprisoned for daring to think that as a Muslim minority in the country home to Islam’s two holiest sites, that they deserve dignity and a life free of discrimination as #Saudis and as human beings.
And when #Saudi regime signals criminality so brazenly, that thuggery from the highest levels translates into day to day thuggery. I am thinking of vulnerable migrant workers, esp female domestic workers who are subject to misogyny that all women face as well as labour violations
And that’s all just in #Saudi Arabia. Imagine what killing of #JamalKhashoggi is telling dissidents in neighbouring countries, such as my country of birth #Egypt where the president is ex-army chief who has accepted $billions from #Saudi regime to ensure failure of our revolution
Bob Woodward in his book Fear quotes Trump as calling Sisi - our fasccist president in #Egypt - a “fucking killer.” Nonetheless, under Trump the US continues a long-held policy of giving #Egypt aid and arms even as the regime builds more prisons and silences all critics.
#Egypt is worth many threads of its own, but for now, I leave you wjth this as a reminder of how the #US enables and is complicit in the thuggery and criminality of regimes that it considers friends in return for “stability.” Fuck stability and fuck fascism everywhere.
I say all that having worked as a journalist in Middle East for a decade & had my arms broken & was sexually assaulted by the #Egyptian regime’s police, called a “whore” by its media, spent my teens in #Saudi Arabia and was a columnist and then was banned by one of its newspapers
I know the threats and their consequences, from working as a journalist in the region. And I know that reports that they killed #JamalKhashoggi are horrific and will make the threats & their consequences for so many others worse than they have already been for years.
#JamalKhashoggi was known, had a recognized byline and lived outside of #Saudi Arabia. So imagine what it’s like for the less known and for those who can’t leave.
And as I say in my thread, #JamalKhashoggi was a mild critic of #Saudi regime. He has said Saudi Arabia wasn’t always the way we see it now with MBS crackdown but that’s where I would disagree. Perhaps it was not as brazen but it’s always been intolerant of critics & opponents.
The #Saudi regime’s jails have long been filled with opponents, Shi’a minority has long been discriminated against and gender apartheid is a feature not a bug.I am very sad for his loved ones,very concerned for other journalists, activists & all who speak out. Love and solidarity
Watch @jrezaian of the @washingtonpost talk about the importance of accountability and truth about what happened to his colleague on the paper #Saudi journalist #JamalKhashoggi, who #Turkey says was killed in the Saudi consulate in #Istanbul

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More from @monaeltahawy

Oct 8, 2018
This is how propaganda for the patriarchy works: it paints women who have been sexually assaulted as the criminals and men who have assaulted as the victims as a strategy to divert sympathy from the former to the latter. For example:
Popaganda for the patriarchy insists that we look at the men who sexually assault as “our brothers, sons, husbands,” rather than seeing the women they assault as “their sisters, daughters, wives” so as to divert sympathy from the latter to the former
Propaganda for the patriarchy succeeds in making people identify with and rally around the patriarchy
Read 8 tweets
Oct 6, 2018
Whatever happens today:
- Trump did not invent white supremacy or patriarchy.
- White supremacy and patriarchy will not end if Kavanaugh is not confirmed.
- Defy, disobey and disrupt white supremacy and patriarchy at every turn
- Make them fear you
My message is to white Americans who will spend today saying:
- “This isn’t the America I know” - it is and has been for a very long time and you should be asking why you just now paid attention. Where have you been?
To white American women who’ll spend today saying:
-“Roe v Wade! No more rapists in power!”
Rapists have been in power for centuries.Ask indigenous & Black women.Anti-choice legislation in several states already made abortion nearly impossible for many women of colour,poor women
Read 9 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
For too long rape and sexual violence during war was considered a byproduct of conflict. It is more and more finally being seen as weapon of war, not byproduct.
In 2016, my friend & journalist @AhNidzara took me to Vilna Vlas, a hotel & spa in Višegrad which was used as a rape concentration camp in 1992 during Bosnian war. Women & girls were raped individually & en masses in empty swimming pool. It is still being used as a hotel and spa.
In 2017, I went with France-based anti-racist activists from @EGAMofficial to Rwanda to take part in the commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis. Rape was used as a weapon of war systematically against women who were also mitigated, and many killed.
Read 10 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
“Women for Trump” aka Footsoldiers of the Patriarchy
These “Women for Trump”:
- Who indoctrinated them?
- Who taught them to submit to men?
- Why are they so brainwashed?
- Should I save them?
For decades, I’ve been asked by white people:
- What is wrong with Muslim women?
- Why do they put up with all that patriarchy and misogyny?
And here I am asking the same about these “Women for Trump” who are the 53% of white American women voters who voted for him.
Read 16 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
Once again: white women never missing a chance to be footsoldiers of patriarchy:
Believe Blasey Ford: 46%
Believe Kavanaugh: 43%
- Quinnipiac University poll
h/t @Jteisele
Believe Blasey Ford:
Black people polled: 83%
Hispanic people polled: 66%
White people polled: 40%
The rot of white patriarchy:
White men
Believe Blasey Ford: 33%
Believe Kavanaugh: 57%
Read 15 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
Look what Trump does to a female reporter part one
Look what Trump does to a female reporter part two
That female reporter who jumped in willingly to ask a “question on trade” after Trump shut down the female reprter asking a question about Kavanaugh: shame on you! When you see a fellow reporter demeaned & shut down like that, ask the Q Trump refuses to answer until he answers!
Read 7 tweets

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