Can Islamists Be Feminists?
Are domestic abuse and sex slavery more feminist than Israel?
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Linda Sarsour, an Islamist organizer of the Women’s March, announced that Jewish women couldn’t be feminists. At least not so long as they continued to be Zionists and believe that Jews have the right to a country. But a better question might be whether an Islamist like Linda Sarsour can be a feminist.
Sarsour had tweeted defenses of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic treatment of women. Worried about Saudi Arabia not letting women drive? “10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame.”
Maternity leave is a bad joke in an Islamic State where large numbers of jobs are closed to women. Even if they could drive to work or leave the house. Meanwhile in Zionist Israel, women have 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. And they can actually drive to work. They can even drive tanks and fly fighter jets.
Puts Linda Sarsour, her leftist enablers and Saudi Arabia to shame. Or least it ought to.
But the left has chosen to define feminism by Islamism. If being forced to wear a hijab is feminist, an Israeli woman defending her people with a gun must be sexist. Being tracked so that your male guardian gets a text message when you try to leave the country, as in Saudi Arabia, is feminist. But women of all races and religions running their own lives in Israelis must be sexist.
Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism is one of those areas where Islam and the left cozily intersect. But hating Jews and supporting Islamic terrorists has all sorts of funny intersectional consequences.
One of them is that the oppression of women by those who hate Jews and America becomes feminist.
“In Saudi Arabia - ur boogeyman Islamic state, Women r in parliament,” Sarsour furiously tweeted.
There were just a few minor details. Women running for office couldn’t campaign around men. And women weren’t allowed to vote without getting permission from their husbands or fathers. Past council meetings were sex segregated. Women could only participate by video.
But that’s an Islamic state for you. It’s run under Islamic Sharia law, which Linda Sarsour also defends.
“Shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics,” Sarsour tweeted.
“Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other,” the Koran says. “And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them.”
Does Linda Sarsour believe that Koran 4:34 and its approval of domestic violence makes a lot of sense? Can Sarsour be a feminist while supporting the beating of women?
And if so, what if anything does feminism even mean? At the lowest possible bar, feminism supposedly means that women are equal.
But that’s not what Islam believes.
According to Mohammed, the founder of Islam, women were deficient in intelligence (Sahih Bukhari 6:301) and made up most of those suffering in hell (Sahih Bukhari 54:464). These aren’t just bygone sexist opinions. Instead they are encoded in Sarsour’s Sharia law. Here is a typical example.
“’Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?’ They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in her intelligence.’” Sahih Bukhari (6:301)
Islam considers women deficient in intelligence. So it takes two female witnesses to equal one man.
That deep contempt for women came from Mohammed, a serial rapist and pedophile, whom Linda Sarsour described as “a human rights activist, a feminist in his own right”.
How can a man who kept sex slaves, inspiring the ISIS imitation of his practice, be a feminist?
Linda Sarsour is either lying to her liberal allies or to herself. Islam doesn’t believe that women are equal. It believes that women are property. Islamic Sharia law does offer plenty of rights to women.
There is the right of Muslim men to rape female prisoners (Koran 4:24) and the right of Muslim men to force their wives into sex. As Koran 2:223 puts it, “Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like”. You don’t need to unpack any knapsacks to spot the objectification and the rape culture.
These are more than mere words. Islamic Sharia law isn’t something abstract. It affects the lives of millions of women around the world.
In Pakistan, Sharia law meant that rape victims needed four “pious” male witnesses to prove they were raped. In Iran, it meant that teenage girls on death row were raped since Islamic beliefs held that only women who are virgins go to heaven.
In Saudi Arabia, it means that women are wards of male guardians from the day that they are born until the day that they die. They aren’t even allowed to leave the house without the authority of a male guardian. “No woman should travel except with a mahram.” (Abu Huraira 2:20:194)
Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale is just ordinary life under Islam.
How are any of Linda Sarsour’s Islamist beliefs compatible with the principles of the Women’s March?
The Unity Principles of the Women’s March state, “It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities.” Islamic sharia law is based on gender and racial inequities. Islamic laws hold women inferior as witnesses, in marriage and divorce, and even in the value of their lives.
“We believe in Reproductive Freedom,” the Principles declare. Islamic law outlaws abortion and frowns on most methods of contraception. The Principles endorse gay rights. Islamic law endorses throwing gay people from the nearest roof. The Principles call for “freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment”. Islamic law denies this essential right to non-Muslims.
Mohammed declared, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.” (Sahih Muslim 019:4366) Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State defended by Sarsour, forbids Christians from practicing their religion and has been known to raid non-Islamic religious gatherings. (But wait till you see their maternity leave.) That is the fulfillment of Mohammed’s command.
Linda Sarsour’s Islamist ideology is hardly compatible with even the lowest bar for feminism. And to the extent that Zionism intersects with feminism, it’s that Israel is the only country in the region where women have equal rights. Are domestic abuse and sex slavery more feminist than Israel?
Sarsour insists that Zionists can’t be feminists, but the rejection of Islamic territorial claims to Israel, much as it infuriates her tribal sensibilities, has nothing to do with feminism. Sarsour accuses Zionists of refusing to stand up for the rights of “Palestinian” women. Zionists are far more likely to care about Muslim settlers living in Israel than she is about the Israeli women terrorized by her Islamist allies.
Arafat had boasted that the “womb” of the Arab woman was his strongest weapon. That’s what the PLO’s idea of caring about “Palestinian” women really means. Domestic violence is endemic under PLO and Hamas rule in the two “Palestinian” states. But that’s not what Linda Sarsour means when she demands that we care about “Palestinian” women. Caring is defined purely in the tribal and the negative.
If you care about “Palestinian” women, you will support the tribal Muslim campaign against Israel. To care about them, you must make war on the Jewish State. That isn’t feminism. It’s tribalism.
That’s not caring. It’s hatred.
Women are half the population of every group. If rejecting the claim of Muslim settlers of any gender invalidates the feminism of Jews, then the Muslim rejection of the Jewish right to Israel invalidates Muslim feminism. Follow Sarsour’s logic and taking sides in any conflict where women are involved nullifies someone’s feminism. That is unless Jewish women have less worth than Muslim women.
And that is what we are truly up against.
Why do Jewish women matter less than Muslim women? Why is no one reading Linda Sarsour out of the feminist movement for not caring about Israeli women? Because Jews matter less than Muslims.
That is the ugly truth. It’s not about sexism. It’s about racism and anti-Semitism.
The left has discovered a newfound interest in using anti-Semitism as a talking point. Perhaps it will agree to unpack its own knapsack and discuss why it supports the racist Islamic war against the Jews.