The anti-woman, anti-Semitic Islamophobes of the USA

This is a video from John McDonnell, British Left Labour MP – Against Islamophobia.

By Barbara Ehrenreich, in her blog at the Huffington Post in the USA:

Happy Fascism Awareness Week!

Posted October 22, 2007

I’ve never been able to explain Halloween to the kids, with its odd thematic confluence of pumpkins, candy, and death. But Halloween is a piece of pumpkin cake compared to Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which commences today. In this special week, organized by conservative pundit David Horowitz, we have a veritable witches’ brew of Cheney-style anti-jihadism mixed in with old-fashioned rightwing anti-feminism and a sour dash of anti-Semitism.

A major purpose of this week is to wake up academic women to the threat posed by militant jihadism. According to the Week’s website, feminists, and particularly the women’s studies professors among them, have developed a masochistic fondness for Islamic fundamentalist. Hence, as anti-Islamo-Fascist speakers fan out to the nation’s campuses this week, students are urged to stage “sit-ins in Women’s Studies Departments and campus Women’s Centers to protest their silence about the oppression of women in Islam.”

Leaving aside the obvious quibbles about feminist pro-jihadism and the term “Islamo-Fascism,” which seems largely designed to give jihadism a nice familiar World War II ring, the klaxons didn’t go off for me until I skimmed down the list of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week speakers and found, incredibly enough, Ann Coulter, whom I last caught on TV pining for the repeal of women’s suffrage. “If we took away women’s right to vote,” she said wistfully, “We’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream; it’s a personal fantasy of mine.”

Coulter is not the only speaker on the list who may have a credibility problem when it comes to opposing oppression of women in Islam or anywhere else. Another participant in the week’s events is former senator Rick Santorum, whose book It Takes a Family blamed “radical feminism” for pushing women into the workforce and thus destroying the American family. A 2005 column on that book in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, began with: “Women of America, I hope you look good in a burqa. If Senator Rick Santorum, R-PA, has his way, we will all be wearing the burqas discarded by our recently liberated sisters in Afghanistan…” (This was before the Taliban re-emerged.)

Not quite in the burqa-promoting league, but close, is another official speaker for the week, Christina Hoff Sommers, who has made her name attacking feminism for exaggerating the problem of domestic violence and eliminating opportunities for boys. These are the people who are going to save us from purdah?

Another disagreeable feature of jihadism — anti-Semitism — is also represented on the list of speakers for Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week, again by the multi-faceted Coulter. Just last week on CNBC, she referred to America as a “Christian nation.” Asked where this left the Jews (not to mention the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans and atheists), she said they could be “perfected” by converting to Christianity.

You might imagine that this view of Jews as “imperfect” would bother Horowitz, who is famously alert to any hint of anti-Semitism on the left. But no, he defends Coulter, writing that “If you don’t accompany this belief by burning Jews who refuse to become perfected at the stake why would any Jew have a problem?” Sure, David, and if that’s the threshold for intolerance, Osama bin Laden could probably win an award for humanitarianism.

Maybe none of this should be surprising. When Mel Gibson, who is not known to be a member of the Hollywood left, unleashed a drunken anti-Semitic tirade on his arresting officers, Horowitz also rose to his defense, arguing that ensuing outrage reflected a “hatred” — not of anti-Semites — but of Christians.

As for the anti-feminism of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week: This fits in neatly with the thesis of Susan Faludi’s brilliant new book, The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America. She shows that, in the wake of an attack by the ultra-misogynist Al Qaeda, Americans perversely engaged in an anti-feminist campaign of their own, calling for an immediate restoration of traditional gender roles. Coulter was part of that backlash, opining in 2002 that “feminists hate guns because guns remind them of men.” …

Yes, feminists tend to hate war and sometimes even guns, and this may be why Horowitz and company hate us. They should know, though, that we especially hate a war that seems calculated to inflame Islamic fundamentalism world wide. If many Muslim women around the world willingly don head scarves today, it’s in part because our war in Iraq has, tragically, pushed them to value religious solidarity above their feminist instincts.

Or maybe I’m missing the point of Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week. Maybe it’s really an effort to show that our own American anti-feminists (and anti-Semites) are just as nasty as the ones on the other side. If so, good job, guys! No need to continue with the trick-or-treating, you’ve already made your point.

See also here.

“Join Jewish Voice for Peace in our condemnation of this campaign of racism and bigotry!” Here.

Hitchens’ Weak Defense of [the term] “Islamo-Fascism”: here.

Krugman: No such thing as ‘Islamofascism’: here.

Bush Admin Prosecution of Largest Muslim Charity in U.S. Ends in Mistrial: here.

The head of Malaysia’s main Islamic opposition party has won damages from a British newspaper after it mistakenly described him as an Al-Qaeda leader and a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay: here.

Bush and ‘Islamofascism’: here.

Nah, Curt Schilling, comparing Muslims to Nazis is not a good idea.

The over-representation of the religious right in the US media: here.

7 thoughts on “The anti-woman, anti-Semitic Islamophobes of the USA

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