If you’ve ever wondered why radical leftists—who supposedly care about women’s rights—feel compelled to justify Islam’s violent oppression of women, you should read United in Hate by Jamie Glazov.
Glazov does an excellent job of examining the love affair between leftists in the West and radical Muslims who treat women as “less worthy than cows and sheep,” as Palestinian writer Souad says in the book. While some liberals in the U.S. and Europe have no problem telling the truth about Islamic gender apartheid, others fanatically defend it.
Consider the issue of rape. Rape is common in Muslim countries, and often results in a death sentence—for the victim.
“In 2004, a sixteen-year old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in a public square in Iran,” feminist writer Phyllis Chesler wrote in her book The Death of Feminism. “Her crime? Rajabi was charged with adultery—which probably means she was raped. Her rapist was not executed.” Rape victims are frequently stoned to death with the approval of Muslim courts, and it is estimated that 75 percent of female prisoners in Pakistan are behind bars because they were raped.
Therefore, it’s not surprising when Muslim immigrants import their rape-supportive cultures to the West: in 2001, Norwegian newspapers reported that two-thirds of rape suspects were Muslim men.
How did the Western apologists respond? Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, said the victims had it coming for not veiling themselves from head to toe, as women in countries like Saudi Arabia are forced to do.
“Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes,” Wikan said. “Women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.” (Wikan echoed Danish Muslim leader Shahid Mehdi, who said women who don’t veil themselves are “asking for rape.”)
The radical left also lies about the nature of female genital mutilation (FGM), a savage practice in which a little girl has her labia and clitoris cut out without anesthetics in order to keep her from enjoying sex. In 2007, when David Horowitz attempted to raise the issue of FGM during a speech at Emory University, angry protestors chanted “that’s not Islam!”
Really? Maybe they should explain why Sheikh Muhammed Sayyid Tantawi, “the highest spiritual authority for nearly a billion Sunni Muslims,” according to the BBC, defends FGM, calling it “a laudable practice.”
Women who have been subjected to FGM also confirm its religious roots. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist, said the practice is “justified in the name of Islam.” In 2000, a brave Somali girl named Kadra secretly taped Norwegian Muslim imams encouraging their followers to practice FGM. For this, she was brutally attacked by a group of Muslim men, who broke several of her ribs.
The radical left’s response to FGM is to lecture us on “cultural sensitivity.” In a finger-wagging article in the Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights, Rachelle Cassman said efforts to stop FGM must not include “the imposition of Western beliefs on African cultures.” She reminded readers that “all cultures are equally valid.”
Then there’s the fact that most Muslims approve of wife-beating. As Phyllis Chesler notes, “The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences has determined that over ninety percent of Pakistani wives have been struck, beaten, or abused sexually — for offenses on the order of cooking an unsatisfactory meal or failing to give birth to a male child.” (Domestic violence has the approval of Muslim leaders, such as Spanish Muslim cleric Mohamed Kamal Mustafa, whose book Women in Islam gave men specific instructions for hitting their wives.)
A 2002 poll taken by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found that most Palestinians support wife-beating, and 57 percent agreed that “a man has the right to beat up his wife if she underestimates his manhood.” Souad recalls of her childhood in Palestine, “It was the law of men. The girls and women were certainly beaten every day in the other houses, too. You could hear the crying.”
Given this uncomfortable truth, the apologists have invented an interesting excuse: It’s the Jews’ fault. “Leftist feminists admit that Palestinian men are abusive, but argue they are so only because of the humiliation they feel under Israeli ‘occupation,’” Glazov writes. “As feminist author Jan Goodwin argues…if only American and Israeli oppression stopped, Palestinian men would no longer feel a need to beat their wives.”
No matter what the evidence, people who tell the truth about radical Muslims’ abuse of women are accused of “racism,” “Islamophobia,” and my personal favorite, “cultural imperialism.” (I know—how dare I think that American culture is superior to cultures that hang rape victims?)
Why? As the title of Glazov’s book suggests, the radical left is united in hate—which includes a hatred of their own culture, and a fanatical need to excuse the horrific practices of others.