Support secular forces instead of appeasing the bully

Karima Bennoune, of Algerian extraction, is the author of Your Fatwa Doesn’t Apply Here; Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism (2013). Like the indomitable political activist Maryam Namazie Bennoune stresses the importance of support from the West for secular forces in the Middle-East. Do this, I add, instead of engaging with Islamists, apologizing for them, ‘understanding’ them and looking away from their, in Bennoune’s words, all out war against women because of cultural sensitivities.

Indeed, Hamas, Isis, the Muslim Brotherhood and the like, are male supremacist movements, that seek to implement Sharia law under which a woman’s testimony is worth half of that of man’s, rape is legal, a rape victim can be stoned to death for adultery (link leads to particularly gruesome example, be forewarned), ‘domestic violence is the prerogative of the husband,’ gender apartheid is enforced and women are marked as second class citizens by restrictive compulsory clothing codes such as the burqa and the hijab. It is deeply ironic – and would be funny if it were not so dead-serious – that feminists and the left would support any of these groups. And yet they do. They support Hamas and Fatah, for one. I see this in my Facebook newsfeed just as much as on Twitter. Useful idiots…

The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s statement: “One of the biggest intellectual mistakes of the West about the issue of women is ‘gender equality.’” Khamenei’s views are not mere rhetoric; they have been codified since 1979 in Iran’s system of Sharia law. The Islamic Revolution brought Iran back to the medieval ages with stoning, gender apartheid and systematic oppression of the country’s women.

 New educational restrictions were imposed on women in 2010, barring female students from access to certain social studies courses (women’s studies and human rights) because they are deemed to be “incompatible with Islamic teaching.”
Iran’s war on women One year into Rouhani’s presidency, equal rights remain elusive BY Saba Farzan , Benjamin Weinthal for NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bennoune’s talk was uploaded by Ted Talks on July 10, 2014.



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