Feminism Or Islamism: Which Side Are You On?

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What is the problem? Why can’t you oppose, say, the war in Afghanistan, if you wish, while also opposing the subjugation of women? Why can’t you say that Western societies give women greater rights, while also opposing this or that Western policy decision or politician? Why, in short, can you not walk and chew gum at the same time? I don’t mean to single out academics for special condemnation. The postmodern university may not be able to guide society, but it reflects its deformities and double standards. I know civil servants, liberal journalists, broadcasters, politicians, diplomats and police officers who never read an academic paper from one year until the next. They will condemn the gender pay gap or the sexual abuse of white-skinned women, but stay silent about the religious oppression of brown-skinned women. Fear of violent reprisals, fear of causing offence, fear that their enemies will denounce them for possessing a racial or sectarian hatred play their part. On the Left, there is the strong fear of accusations of complicity with the status quo, which never go down well in arts and humanities departments. Tax quotes one left-wing academic booming at a colleague: “Secular feminists’ concern that Muslim fundamentalist religious codes impose and sanction violence on women and queers relies on a myopia that understands Muslim women only as victims of Muslim men and Islam, ignoring the role of imperial violence in defining Muslim realities around the world.” No one looking for tenure wants to hear words like that directed against them

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