By Phyllis Chesler in New York City
My feminist generation believed in universal human rights — one standard for all. I still do. Therefore, I have taken a strong stand against the persecution of immigrant women and dissidents. I now submit affidavits on behalf of women who have fled the threat of such killings and who are seeking asylum in the United States.
Those of us who condemn the plight of such women, who are mainly Muslims and ex-Muslims, have been demonized in activist circles as “Islamophobes” and racists because we do not, in the same breath, blame America, the West or Israel for their suffering. Many Western academic feminists are so afraid of being condemned as “racists” that this fear trumps their concern for women’s rights in the Arab and Muslim world.
Islamic gender apartheid, which has penetrated the West, is characterized by normalized daughter- and wife-battering, forced veiling, female genital mutilation, polygamy, purdah (the segregation or sequestration of women), arranged marriage, child marriage and first-cousin marriage. Girls and women often are honour-murdered if they resist such practices, if they wish to divorce a dangerously abusive husband, or if they are viewed as too independent, too modern.
Today, at its most extreme, Islamic gender apartheid is characterized by acid attacks, public stonings, hangings, and beheading of women in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Saudi Arabia — countries in which female rape victims are jailed, tortured and executed.
Feminists should be crying out from the rooftops against these practices. Some are. I am. Yet, many Muslims, as well as many intellectually “progressive” Western infidels, are not. They are welcoming the imposition of Islamic religious law, Sharia law, not only in the Middle East but also in the West. (Read more.)