You might have thought that a feminist journalist would welcome the elevation of Caroline Lucas to the leadership of the Green Party and her election as the party’s first MP. But not Julie Bindel. In a piece of monumental ignorance published in Standpoint Magazine, Bindel writes:
“Lucas says she is a feminist. Yet she has shared a platform with those who believe that adulterous females should be stoned to death. In 2004, Lucas supported the International Network Assembly for the Protection of Hijab (Pro-Hijab), which was formed in response to proposed headscarf bans in France and parts of Germany. Its aim was to ‘dispel myths about the hijab’ to lobby to reverse bans already brought in and to prevent more ‘abuses of democracy’ being imposed. Lucas joined the former Respect MP George Galloway and London’s ex-mayor Ken Livingstone on the platform at the assembly’s publicly-funded City Hall launch.
“The guest of honour was Livingstone’s old friend Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, who has spoken in favour of female genital mutilation, wife-beating, the execution of homosexuals in Islamic states, the destruction of the Jewish people, the use of suicide bombs against innocent civilians and the blaming of rape victims who do not dress modestly.”
There is barely a word of this that is accurate. Neither Caroline Lucas nor George Galloway was on the platform at the Pro-Hijab launch in City Hall in July 2004, and there certainly were no speakers who believed that “adulterous females should be stoned to death”. As for Qaradawi he is opposed to genital mutilation and wife-beating, doesn’t believe that homosexuals should be executed, that the Jewish people should be detroyed or that suicide bombing against innocent civilians is justified, and he has never blamed rape victims for not dressing modestly.
But what can you expect from a writer who finds it reprehensible that “Lucas supports a boycott of Israeli goods”, and who has been applauded by fascists for promoting their racist myth about “Asian grooming”? Looks to me like Bindel is bidding to become the UK equivalent of Phyllis Chesler.