It’s time the U.S. media stops pushing a monolithic, sexist narrative of the “Muslim World”

Very few countries have sterling records when it comes to gender equality. Almost everywhere in the world, women are paid less, subjected to greater violence and granted fewer opportunities to obtain political power than men.

Despite this problem’s global nature, the American media too often pushes a troubling narrative: that gendered oppression is the norm in Muslim-majority countries.

Here to reject this claim is Resa Aslan, a renowned religious scholar who went on CNN this week in response to comedian Bill Maher’s equating of the “Muslim world” with Islamic State, the violent group that’s taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq.

"Liberal Western culture is not just different [from Islam], it’s better," Maher said.

Here’s why this statement is so problematic

Dean and Sam introducing Cas to all the classic movies one evening - Star Wars, Star Trek, Indiana Jones. They stay up all night watching movies and stuffing themselves with beer and popcorn until Sam and Cas - the weaklings - pass out around five in the morning half-way through the first Indiana Jones movie. 

Cas’s head is resting on Dean’s shoulder, one arm around Dean’s waist. Sam’s head is in Dean’s lap, hands resting at his sides and he’s snoring, loudly. One of Dean’s arms is slung around Cas’s shoulder, pulling Cas as close to him as possible. His other arm is resting at his side, his fingers gently carding through Sam’s hair, just like he used to do when Sam was little to help him sleep.

Dean is just sitting there with this ridiculous grin on his face, radiating in the strange glow of joy that surrounds him.

He’s with the two people he loves the most in this world and he couldn’t be happier.