Reza Aslan recently claimed that women enjoy complete equality in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Turkey. I responded here. Feminists, however, remained silent, as is generally the case whenever they have an opportunity to stand against the oppression of women in Muslim countries.
But now Aki Muthali, a feminist writer, has taken this barely literate charlatan who routinely makes astonishingly clumsy errors of fact brilliantly to task in, of all places, The Nation.
The Nation standing up for women’s rights against an Islamic supremacist? This is extremely strange, as generally the Left surrenders all of its stated principles for the sake of its alliance with jihadis and jihad enablers — as Bill Maher is discovering. Could this herald cracks in the edifice? Probably not, but it still heartening to see.
“A unicorn’s legacy,” by Aki Muthali, The Nation, December 7, 2014 (all bracketed material is Muthali’s):
Reza Aslan has taken over the West like a storm. Media brass quiver in their boots and advise TV hosts to “really know” their topic before debating with this unicorn. Having thoroughly studied religious text and having had education and/or residency in any religious nation [to have firsthand knowledge of the laws and culture] isn’t adequate for Western [pseudo] liberals. They want someone who can cleverly seduce the audience in a smoke of cognitive dissonance while simultaneously suggesting any criticism of the depth of irrational drivel being presented as “evidence” and “fact” is an act of oppression and racism [to completely blackout criticism which are deemed offensive in almost all context].
Many people use denialism [of actual facts] as a sensible defense mechanism against criticism and accountability. Aslan isn’t alone in this. They inevitably contribute to a hostile society.
Aslan decided that his status as a religious scholar gives him the platform to manipulate the audience—hoping the audience will take his word like divine truth and fail to screen for authenticity of facts supporting his statements.
He was on CNN this past summer [debating human rights abuses occurring in the Islamic world] where he had described Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as an “African problem”—insinuating FGM has nothing to do with the Islamic culture. He then went on to claim FGM isn’t even “an issue” in other Muslim-majority places.
He continued, stating that women and girls are treated equally and fairly in Islamic nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Turkey. His head proceeded to bobble from side to side and his eyes almost jumped in and out of their socket with every contemptuous word [he] spat out against the hosts.
Moving on, he states “…in Indonesia, women are absolutely, 100 percent equal to men!”—and that right there is where I could have sworn I felt my brain short-circuit.
He continued his rant about how wrong it is to make “stupid” comparisons of barbaric practices [like stoning and FGM] from one Muslim country to another and claim it’s all the same in every Muslim-majority nation [even though that was never the argument] yet rewind back a bit and he used the same logic by claiming all religions are the same and that all worshippers are the same and their extremism is instigated by extremist views and has nothing to do with religious dictates.
On November 18, 2014, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported concerns over the state sanctioned “virginity testing” enforced on female police officers [in Indonesia] to “ensure” morality. According to Aslan’s logic—in Indonesia, this is “absolutely, 100 percent equal to men”—because men are dehumanized and violated in the same nature, right? HRW described the virginity testing as a form of gender-based violence—which I am compelled to greatly agree with—but to Reza Aslan, it’s all about equality.
He’s a scholar after all and in no way can a scholar be so daft to have been unaware of this abuse in a country he defended [on national television] as “100 percent equal”. This ultimately proves Aslan intentionally misled the audience or that he genuinely does not perceive this act of abuse against women and girls as “abuse” at all which would make Aslan an apologist of human rights abuses [the female population face in Indonesia].
Nothing speaks “equality” more than mandating a practice where someone inspects a woman’s body to “verify” her “morality”.
HRW made a second report regarding these dehumanizing acts against women in Indonesia. The report conveyed Indonesia’s effortless compromise on women’s rights to appease Islamists who in turn will provide political support. Shocker!
Within the same week of HRW’s reports concerning Indonesia’s systematic abuse on women—Turkey’s president Erdogan declared “women are not equal to men” and any criticism of inequality is an attack on “motherhood”. Wait—what?! But Aslan’s eyes won’t be bulging out at these disturbing details lacing a knot around women’s rights in Turkey—he’s a scholar after all and knows where and when women are subjected to abuse under the influence of religion.…