Friday, December 16, 2005

An Old-Fashioned American

If we do not oppose and defeat Islamic gender Apartheid, democracy and freedom cannot flourish in the Arab and Islamic world. If we do not join forces with Muslim dissident and feminist groups; and, above all, if we do not have one universal standard of human rights for all—then we will fail our own Judeo-Christian and secular western ideals. We will also inherit the whirlwind. If we do not stop Islamic gender and religious Apartheid abroad, be assured: It is coming our way soon. Indeed, it is already here. I document Islamic gender Apartheid in both Europe and North America in my new book The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom...It is dangerous to say what I have just said on most campuses in Europe and North America. If one describes the barbaric human rights violations being carried out in the name of Islam, one is instantly accused of being a “racist,” a “Zionist,” an American “imperialist,” and, the worse epithet of all, a “pro-war neo-conservative.” Islamic associations in the West, radical mullahs and Muslim leaders abroad, and culturally relativist western thinkers will sue you, shout you down, refuse to publish you, and refuse to listen to you...First, I am a feminist and an American patriot. Yes, one can be both. I am also an internationalist. I believe in one universal standard of human rights for everyone. Finally, I am a religious Jew and am sympathetic to both religious and secular world-views. Being religious does not compromise my feminism. On the contrary, it gives me the strength and a necessarily humbled perspective to continue the struggle for justice....Phyllis Chesler, Islamic Gender Apartheid in today's

Phyllis Chesler, for decades, was a darling of the feminist left, but her friends, allies, and colleagues, not to mention book reviewers, many of whom now openly scorn her, must have missed something. Like her partner, Chesler is a warrior for liberty. She's radical all right, the way Nat Turner was, the way Lincoln was, the way Americans of the best stripe always have been. That makes the Streisands and Sarandons of this world furious, because nothing so offends their sensibilities than the perspective that, when America is working, it's a force for liberation, of groups and individuals, and sometimes of whole nations. Author of the brilliant Women and Madness, recently re-released in a new edition, she has a new book, The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom, that's as bold, not to mention far more hazardous for her to publish, as anything she's written. Not all feminists think that the way to freedom is to surrender to the "cultural value" of political pathologies like the former regime of Saddam Hussein's or the former regime of the Taliban.


No comments: