from my novel, an excerpt

“I’ve never understood why Eve gets such a bad rap. There is nothing in the qur’an about a serpent or an apple. God forbade Adam and Eve from the tree and both of them defied him. So God tossed them both out of the Garden of Eden. He didn’t cite Eve for casting a spell or decide that thereafter all women would be punished for her sin.

Naseem once told me about the servant he caught stealing his mother’s jewelry. He walked in on her in his parents’ room slipping gold rings into the folds of her scarf tied at the nape of her neck. As soon as she saw him, she narrowed her eyes and smiled at him, then started to pull up the hem of her dress and walk over to his parents’ bed. She didn’t say a word to him, and he never said a word about her. He hated her from that day.

Maybe that is why when men hate women, they really hate them. They think women mess with their heads and create chaosfitna – a word in Arabic so scary that it is feared above all but God. That is why they think of doing so many things to a woman’s body. But there is still the self, and my self is no fiction. It is no hubris. It is real, and men, and the women who love them, are no match for me. Just ask Eve.”

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