Email This Article
Your Name:
Your Email:
Email To:
4 + 0 = ?: (Required) Please type in the correct answer to the math question.

You are sending a link to...
New book shines light on Muslim gender problems

Farzana Hassan writes in the Toronto Sun:

Phyllis Chesler’s book, Islamic Gender Apartheid: Exposing a Veiled War Against Women, analyses some pervasive gender inequities in parts of the Muslim world that are enabled by culture and laws. The book comprises essays, columns and articles written over decades, from the time the author was a captive bride in Kabul in the 1960s to the present day.

The book, therefore, shows the historical progression of these injustices and confirms that they have become worse as fundamentalism continues to grow in many parts of the Islamic world. Some of this deterioration can be seen in the introduction of draconian legislation such as the adultery laws of Pakistan.

The author also notes with disdain that criticism of such practices has become taboo in some Western circles and that “with some precious exceptions, Second, Third and Fourth wave feminists are silent on the subject of Islamic gender apartheid.”

Feminist silence is deafening on all the gender issues that prevail in countries like Pakistan, such as the segregation, marginalization and forced marriages of underage girls, honour killings, polygamy, wife battery, confinement of women to homes, brutal laws on adultery, rape and sexual violence, and the exclusive right of a man to divorce his wife by simply pronouncing a divorce three times. These are issues the book discusses candidly.

The author concedes that “the subordination, marginalization and disenfranchisement of women may be a problem in all religions. However there is a difference between an evolved diversified and pre-modern Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism Sikhism and Hinduism as compared to a medieval and barbaric version of Islam.”

This comment points to the dire need for a change in social and cultural attitudes and related law reform in Islamic countries.

But the required reformation can take place only if individuals with a conscience are allowed to question these practices and to come up with solutions and ways of implementing them.

The truth is that in most parts of the Islamic world, any questioning of the status quo is summarily shunned. Even what Westerners would consider moderate dissent is punished severely, as in the case of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia. Draconian laws, such as those on blasphemy, slow the momentum needed to bring about social change in society.

Similar but subtler obstacles to freedom of speech have crept into Western society. Chesler notes with dismay that the left’s extreme liberalism and modern feminism have prevented healthy debate. Even legitimate concerns about certain cultural practices associated with orthodox Islam have come to be shunned as Islamophobia.

About feminists, Chesler notes: “They consider it “racist” to condemn gender apartheid of the most savage sort. And “racism” trumps their concerns about gender. Incredibly, those same Western feminists who condemn as patriarchal Western institutions of marriage, biological motherhood, heterosexuality and religion, now view Islamic face- and- body veiling, the hijab, purdah [seclusion of women], arranged marriage, and polygamy as sacred rights.”

The book is an incisive account of many of these pressing issues. It tends to be a little repetitive at times, as it is a compilation of essays written over many decades. However, the issues need to be reiterated in the present context as clearly and forcefully as Chesler has done in her book. A misguided notion of racism must not obstruct the welfare of Muslim women and girls.

Available on Amazon
and Amazon UK.

Available on
and Amazon UK

Available on Amazon

Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile



A.J. Caschetta (6) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (2) Bat Ye'or (6) Brex I Teer (5) Brian of London (32) Christina McIntosh (857) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (363) Daniel Mallock (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (77) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (74) Dr. Michael Welner (3) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (2) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9181) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (57) Gary Fouse (95) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Clarfield (309) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hossein Khorram (2) Hugh Fitzgerald (20699) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (16) James Robbins (1) Janice Fiamengo (1) Jerry Gordon (2499) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (1) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (119) John Hajjar (5) John M. Joyce (381) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Marc Epstein (7) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mary Jackson (5066) Matthew Hausman (35) Michael Curtis (504) Michael Rechtenwald (1) Mordechai Nisan (1) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2580) New English Review Press (2) Nidra Poller (72) Nonie Darwish (3) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Weston (5) Peter McLoughlin (1) Phyllis Chesler (22) Rebecca Bynum (7148) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (78) Sally Ross (37) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (3) Steve Hecht (25) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (803) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (3) Walid Phares (28) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive