Archive for September 7th, 2007

“Western Feminst: At the Service of Radical Islam” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Middle East Quarterly Vol.XIV NO.4. | Fall 2007

One might expect Western feminists to take the lead in challenging Islamic gender apartheid, but sadly, this is not the case. Rather, they tend to be more concerned with Israel’s “occupation” of Palestine or the U.S. “occupation” of Afghanistan and Iraq than with the Islamist persecution of women. They consider it “racist” to condemn gender apartheid of the most savage sort, and “racism” trumps concerns about gender.

Incredibly, those same Western feminists who condemn Western patriarchal institutions of marriage, biological motherhood, heterosexuality, and religion now view Islamic veiling, the hijab (head scarf), purdah, arranged marriage, and polygamy as sacred religious rights. Those same feminists who condemn Christianity and Judaism for more minor (but still serious) misogynist practices only whisper about major Islamic misogyny—lest it be viewed as politically incorrect criticism of a formerly colonized culture. Like other academics, feminists will not characterize a culture as “barbaric” if it is an Arab or Muslim country—not even if that culture or country is perpetrating genocidal violence against Muslims and what I call gender-cleansing—as is the case in the Sudan. Western feminists and leftists do not feel it is their right to condemn Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

Muslim Women Activists in North America and A History of Women’s Seclusion in the Middle East: The Veil in the Looking Glass take such thought disorders to new Orwellian heights. Both books are published by university or academic presses; both have many footnotes, and the latter volume has a long, somewhat outdated bibliography. These academic trappings notwithstanding, neither volume is a scholarly work but each is a work of propaganda, in the latter case of a rather fevered imagination. Both volumes illustrate the worrisome trend of prestigious presses publishing non-scholarly works disguised as works of scholarship. (Other examples include the University of California Press publishing Norman Finkelstein, Oxford University Press publishing Tariq Ramadan, and Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux publishing John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.)

When Bullock mentions Muhammad, she consistently follows his name with the phrase “peace be upon him” and refers to “Muslim religious theology” as “the Islamic sciences.” She views Muslim communities in North America as “under siege,” condemns imaginary, omnipresent “Muslim bashing” and “hate crimes” against Muslims. In her view, “covered” women are not oppressed because “many do positive volunteer activism.” Paradoxically, however, Bullock herself notes that many such “covered” and “non-oppressed” Muslim women in this volume themselves write about “negative pressures” from within the Muslim community regarding a “woman’s right to speak publicly, be involved in community decision making.” Such women have only been able to resist community pressures with the “help of a father or husband.”

Bullock’s authors also propound some chilling ideas. Nimat Hafez Baraazangi, born in Syria and currently living in Ithaca, New York, views herself as a “feminist activist.” But I see her as an Islamist exploring ways to use the American legal system to wrest some separate-but-equal gender justice for Muslim women and girls (and only for them, not for other groups of girls and women). I do not oppose such efforts, but they are far short of what Muslim women, even in Ithaca, probably need. Proudly, Baraazangi reports how she used Title Nine and the Fourteenth Amendment to persuade Ithaca town officials to allow Muslim girls to swim separately from boys. However, she was unable to persuade Muslim families to allow their daughters and wives to swim at all.

Gul Joya Jafri, a Canadian Muslim and self-described activist, worked with the Afghan Women’s Organization. She addressed the way in which the mainstream media portrays Muslim women. Her activism consisted of monitoring media outlets and fighting against “anti-Islam” forces. Joya Jafri’s activism does not find it incumbent to protest women’s forced wearing of burqas or women’s mistreatment by the Taliban. Instead, she laments that the media chooses to portray only these aspects and stories about Afghanistan. It is “true,” she says, “but it doesn’t need to be reported in that way.” As a high school student, Joya Jafri “dreamily quoted the U.N.’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights: ‘Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of the person,’” but as an adult, she focuses on a fair portrayal of Muslims in the media—presumably a portrayal that does not focus upon or condemn forced veiling, forced marriage, wife beating, female genital mutilation, and honor murders but that, instead, focuses on a Muslim woman’s right to practice Islam in a highly visible and separatist way in the West. Like Bullock and Barazaangi, hers is a faith-based perspective—one that does not focus on a Muslim woman’s right not to cover, become an “apostate,” or to live in a way in which the separation of mosque and state is viewed as an advantage.

Chamberlin’s work amounts to a romantic hodgepodge moored in American feminism of the 1970s. In effect, she argues that Western women who seek to integrate previously male-only space are far more “conservative” and “patriarchal” than are American lesbian separatists or veiled Muslim women who live in purdah. She sees women-only religious rituals and women-only space as equivalent to anti-patriarchal protest or resistance movements. She views purdah as a “feminist defense against exploitation and as an empowering force.” In truth, very wealthy women may have “ruled” other women in the harem or household—but this is equivalent to a wife or mother-in-law ruling her female servants. Some may have influenced their sons or husbands in ways that had far-reaching consequences; however, this paradigm describes only a handful of Muslim women, not the masses at their mercy.

Chamberlin’s approach is seductive and dangerous. It caters to a woman’s desire to feel morally separate and superior, valued, and safe. Chamberlin claims that slave women in the pre-Islamic and pagan Middle East were forced to work naked and to be sexually available at any moment to all men. Thus, “covered” and secluded women were safer than slave or “uncovered” women—mainly because they only had one male master, not many. The distinction is similar to that between housewives and prostitutes.

The conclusions Chamberlin draws are zany. In her own words:”X million tons of toxic waste created per year or an astronomical national deficit are to the natural and economic resources of our children what the abstraction and exploitation of the individual—women in particular—are to their emotional resources. When faced with exploitation similar to what American women—and more gravely, their children—stand on the brink of today, women in the Middle East millennia ago threw their veil over their faces, put up a wall of mystified honor, and said: ‘So far you may exploit, but by God no further.’”

The Islamification of America is fully underway. Pro-Islamist, anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-Jewish hate speech is protected on American campuses by concepts such as academic freedom and freedom of speech. False and often paranoid allegations of “Islamophobia” are taken seriously by both western intellectual elites and Islamists while the reality of the radical Islamic war against infidels is hotly denied or justified. In addition, doctrines of multi-cultural relativism and unspoken, often unconscious fears about “death by lawsuit” or by more physical acts of terrorism make it difficult for anyone (scholar or citizen) to tell the truth about the Islamist war against western values such as freedom, tolerance, and women’s rights.

If western feminists are not alone in appeasing Islamification; then the post-colonial and postmodern feminist academy is very much part of the problem.

Muslim Women Activists in North America: Speaking for Ourselves. Edited by Katherine Bullock. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005. 215 pp. $22.95, paper.
A History of Women’s Seclusion in the Middle East: The Veil in the Looking Glass. By Ann Chamberlin. New York, London, Oxford: Haworth Press, 2006. 298 pp. $39.95.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a new contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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“THE NEW PALESTINE POST” by Fern Sidman

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Once upon a time ago, we lived in a world where we were taught that the media was an instrument to disseminate news. To report the facts, check and re-check sources assiduously and maintain lofty levels of fairness, accuracy, objectivity and integrity. So much for utopian concepts and fairytales.

One need only to look to The New York Times, the paper that boasts that it only runs “all the news that’s fit to print”, to get a better idea of a paradigm of journalistic opportunism, fueled by a left wing, liberal, vehemently secular political agenda that is embraced by the elitist community of academics and intellectuals. The views espoused in this “paper of record” are regarded by those who have assumed positions in the “politically correct” world as the only serious opinions that shape current political discourse.

The New York Times does not stand alone as the mouthpiece of “politically correct” and disingenuous reporting. It is but a concept. There are many New York Times’ ominously circulating on this planet. The Israeli version of such press is what is considered the “premiere” newspaper of the country, Haaretz (The Land). For decades it has promulgated a vociferously extreme left wing, Marxist-Leninist agenda, echoing the policies of Israel’s Labor party. Despite this flagrant and brazen display of partisan politics, it was still considered a paper that embodied support for the country that it represented. Not so anymore.

Enter Danny Rubinstein, a member of Haaretz’s editorial board, a prominent columnist and Arab affairs editor. Rubinstein has now crossed the line from being a critic of Israeli policy to a staunch enemy of the state. Last week in Brussels, Belgium, Mr. Rubinstein took the podium at a United Nations sponsored conference on Palestinian rights and sanctimoniously declared to the world that “Israel is an apartheid state with different status for different communities”.. He also stated that, “Hamas won the election of the international community and Israel cannot ignore that.” He added that Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel each had “a different status,” according to a summary of his speech by a United Nations web site.

To get some idea of the atmosphere in which Rubinstein made these comments, it is imperative to understand why this conference was convened. This conference entitled, “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestine Peace” is in actuality a platform for anti-Israel rhetoric by the United Nations Committee for Palestinian Rights. This committee was established by the UN General Assembly in 1975, the very same day that the world body adopted the infamous “Zionism is Racism” resolution.

According to a JTA report, seven members of the European Parliament published a letter to the International Herald Tribune saying that, “despite the neutrally sounding title of its conference,” it “has a proven record of anti-Israel bias, spreading propaganda that presents only the Palestinian narrative, including the delegitimization of Israel – a UN member state.”

Susanna Kokkonen, political director of the European Coalition for Israel, which represents five Christian organizations and works closely with members of the European Parliament who advocate Israeli interests, said the two-day conference last week had “an atmosphere that was thick with hate towards Israel.” “I was most shocked to hear an editor from Haaretz condemn Israel in a way that was worse than the Arab speakers,” Kokonnen said.

Among the haters of Israel who shared the podium were a virtual sea of Palestinian activists along with a delegation from Neturei Karta, who attendees welcomed with an ovation for their vehement opposition to Israel’s existence and who participated in a highly publicized gathering of Holocaust deniers in Iran. Rubinstein’s views were shared by British parliament member Clare Short, who reportedly said apartheid in Israel was worse than in South Africa. “Israel doesn’t want a two-state solution, and the E.U. is allowing the state of apartheid to continue”. Short told the attendees that “we have to start sanctions against Israel.” Other speakers called for boycotts of Israel and observers said that during one workshop, Richard Kuper, spokesman for the London-based European Jews for a Just Peace, argued that Israel supporters emphasize the conflict in Darfur to direct attention away from Israel’s human rights violations.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva based UN Watch said, It’s disturbing that a leading Israeli journalist is participating with a Soviet-era enterprise whose sole aim is to assault Israel morally, legally and financially. But that he would full throatedly join the jackals and call Israel ‘an apartheid state’ is an outrage.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Schwammenthal told the JTA he was so shocked by what he heard that he later confirmed the comment with Rubinstein. “I asked him if he really thought Israel was in a state of apartheid and he answered ‘yes'” Schwammenthal said.

Rubinstein’s remarks prompted the British Zionist Federation, a 10,000 member pro-Israel body to cancel his scheduled appearance at the Federation’s conference, “Israel at 60,” which was held in London. The Federation’s chairman, Andrew Balcombe said that “by using the word apartheid in a UN conference held at the European Parliament, Danny Rubinstein encourages the demonization of Israel and the Jewish people. I believe he was naive to attend the UN conference. Indeed his own newspaper Haaretz head earlier reported that Israeli and EU lawmakers had attacked the UN meeting for having a completely one-sided, anti-Israeli agenda.”

Not so, according to Rubinstein. “People do use the word apartheid in my circles. My newspaper increasingly uses that word. This is nothing new”, Rubinstein told a crowd of 100 who attended a speech he gave at the New North London Synagogue. The talk at the London synagogue was organized by the left wing organization, New Israel Fund who claims to reject the use of the apartheid label but stress the need to defend “free speech.” Rubinstein told the audience at the London synagogue that, “I only started using the word apartheid recently after reading Jimmy Carter’s book, ‘Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid’, though I didn’t like the book.” Rubinstein defiantly proclaimed to his listeners that “I am not apologizing for what I said. I have a professional responsibility to say what I think, and I won’t change what I say or what I think depending on the place.” Audience members said Rubinstein could not fathom why he should modify his positions for an audience abroad – even one that includes anti-Zionists.

Rubinstein’s remarks do indeed reflect the editorial shift of Israel’s “premiere” newspaper, Haaretz. By referring to Israel as an apartheid state, a bold and audacious lie and distortion of the facts, Rubinstein has served as the chief facilitator in the transformation of Haaretz from a paper that prides itself on direct confrontation with Israeli policies to one that is bent on its destruction. Rubinstein’s vituperative has brought unbridled joy to the hearts of those in Baghdad, Teheran, Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Riyadh and all over the world that hate Israel and have sworn her total eradication. One may wonder if Rubinstein is being paid off by lucrative sums of money from the Saudis, but alas, Rubinstein is an ideologue, not a mercenary. He doesn’t need to be bribed to destroy Israel; he will be more than glad to offer his diatribes free of charge.

And of his paper, Haaretz?? It can now go about the process of changing its name from “The Land”, meaning the land of Israel to the Palestine Post. Rubinstein’s hateful and fraudulent labels of apartheid have permanently removed Haaretz from the Israeli political scene for all time. I’m sure Rubinstein and company from this newspaper can find other, more friendly accommodations in Gaza City.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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MTV To Air Bisexual Dating Show

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Yet another reason to block MTV from your television (as if we needed another reason).

MTV has greenlit a bisexual dating show with a star who built her fame on MySpace.

“A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila” is scheduled to premiere on MTV Oct. 9.

The 10-episode series will feature contestants who want to win the heart of Ms. Tequila, who has more “friends” than anyone in the history of the online social network MySpace.com.

MTV says Ms. Tequila is a bisexual, which means the contestants on the show will be sixteen straight guys and sixteen lesbians.

“The finalists move into her mansion, live together, and each week Tila will narrow down her suitors. “Every episode will culminate in a dramatic ceremony unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” according to the network.

“Tila Tequila made a name for herself by doing things her way, captivating legions of fans online, both men and women. Now she is taking that attitude and sex appeal to her own TV series where she is looking for a mate…by again, captivating a group of both men and women,” said Tony DiSanto, executive VP of series development and programming for MTV. “The show is a rollercoaster ride of drama, conflict and emotion, busting stereotypes and challenging the norm—proving that the rules of attraction are made to be broken.”

“A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila” is produced by 495 Productions and MTV.

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Atheism On the Rise In America?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

God Help Us!

The signs are everywhere. Many of America’s top-selling books right now are angry, in-your-face, atheist manifestos. Judges try to outdo each other in banning references to God like the Ten Commandments and the “Under God” phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. And nearly half of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, would be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States of America – a nation founded by devout Christians.

In its groundbreaking September edition, titled “THE RISE OF ATHEIST AMERICA,” WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine provides a powerfully eye-opening analysis of what’s really behind the current atheist phenomenon.

“This is atheism’s moment,” brags David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Books, celebrating the tremendous success of anti-God bestsellers like “God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything” by journalist Christopher Hitchens and “The God Delusion” by Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. “Mr. Hitchens has written the category killer,” he says, “and we’re excited about having the next book.” That’s right – this fall the publishing world will further cash in on the anti-God juggernaut with the release of “The Pocket Atheist,” featuring the writings of famous atheists, edited by Hitchens.

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Bin Laden Plans 9/11 Anniversary Video

Friday, September 7th, 2007

While the families of those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks six years ago mourn and remember, Bin Laden and his terror cronies celebrate.

Osama bin Laden will release a new video in the coming days ahead of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in what would be the first new images of the terror mastermind in nearly three years, al-Qaida’s media arm announced Thursday.

Analysts noted that al-Qaida tends to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary with a slew of messages, and the Department of Homeland Security said it had no credible information warning of an imminent threat to the United States.

Still, bin Laden’s appearance would be significant. The al-Qaida leader has not appeared in new video footage since October 2004, and he has not put out a new audiotape in more than a year, his longest period without a message.

One difference in his appearance was immediately obvious. The announcement had a still photo from the coming video, showing bin Laden addressing the camera, his beard fully black. In his past videos, bin Laden’s beard was almost entirely gray with dark streaks.

Bin Laden’s beard appears to have been dyed, a popular practice among Arab leaders, said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terror messages.

“I think it works for their (al-Qaida’s) benefit that he looks young, he looks healthy,” Katz said.

The announcement and photo appeared in a banner advertisement on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida’s media arm, Al-Sahab, frequently posts messages.

“Soon, God willing, a videotape from the lion sheik Osama bin Laden, God preserve him,” the advertisement read, signed by Al-Sahab. Such announcements are usually put out one to three days before the video is posted on the Web.

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