Monday 19 May 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Double-Bind of Muslim Women’s Rights

 Great artice by Rochelle Terman.

To be clear: There are plenty of great reasons to reject Hirsi Ali for an honorary degree besides the fact that she represents one extreme of the double-bind. Contrary to the claims by right-wing pundits, Hirsi Ali was rejected for an honorary degree at Brandeis University because she espouses deplorable positions, not because she’s a “critic of Islam.” And we need not invalidate or belittle her personal experience with gender violence to find her political positions and actions deplorable.

Take, for instance, her bigotry (She calls Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” and called Islamophobia a “myth”); or her militarism (“we are at war with Islam” and must “crush” the enemy with force); of course, her paranoia and fear-mongering (“there is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West”) is also illustrate of her unworthiness.  There is also her hypocrisy (she’s a self-purported advocate for free speech but advocates the abolition of Muslim schools, saying “All Muslim schools. Close them down.”) And her apologetic stance towards right-wing terrorism, extremism, and fascism (she said Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik’s views were “censored” and that  “he had no other choice but to use violence”) is yet another indicator of her views and politics.
These are the legitimate grounds upholding the reversal of Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree, not airing our dirty laundry. The real issue in the Brandeis debate is (or should be) her and not how people might interpret her.

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