The rights of women

“It was Katha Pollitt, writing in The Nation last month, who made me see it. Pollitt, a noted feminist writer, wondered why the American liberal-turned-neocon David Horowitz – founder of the bizarrely named Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week – had suddenly developed an interest in the rights of women. Specifically, Muslim women. ‘Life is not a picnic for women in China, India, Africa and Latin America’, wrote Pollitt. ‘Why no interest in them?’ She speculated that by focusing on the oppression of women, Horowitz had found an easy way to target the Muslim world.

“In his ‘age of horrorism’ essay last year, Martin Amis also developed a feminist sensibility. Amis, whose novels so often feature flat, cartoon-like women, connected the failure of Islamic states with the ‘obscure logic that denies the Islamic world the talent and energy of half its people … the suppression of its women’. Well, there is definitely work to be done regarding the rights of Muslim women, but a lot also needs to be done for all the non-Muslim women oppressed around the globe.”

Noorjehan Barmania in the Guardian, 14 December 2007