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Naomi Wolf's Princess Diaries

Posted on October 6 2009 6:28 am
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Naomi Wolf continues to bristle at the criticisms leveled at her by this blog and others, criticisms which she characterizes in a recent Huffington Post article as “a small firestorm of distortion.” In that piece, Wolf writes about the examples of  “Muslim feminism” she encountered during her recent travels in Jordan. Women in that country, she says, were not looking to the West to save them, nor were they particularly worried about the veil:

“ They were too busy making egalitarian, modernist new worlds of their own, with an Arab, and often Islamic, imprimatur”.

As a prime example of a Muslim feminist fighting for oppressed women in Muslim lands, Wolf cites “Princess Rym Ali, sister-in-law of Queen Rania — the Chanel-wearing media star who is rebranding a more contemporary Jordan.”

I kid you not.  Here is how Wolf describes the place where she met the princess for her heart-to-heart talk about the fight for Muslim women’s rights:

“She met me in a leafy Amman suburb, in the palace that she shares with Prince Ali and their small children”.

When Wolf is not talking with princesses, she gets her insights from a boutique hotel owner whom she describes as:

“Martha Stewart meets Che Guevara, because, when not renovating the elegant public spaces of her hotel, she is suing Israeli generals for war crimes that she claims were committed against civilians in Gaza“.

Suing Israeli generals for trumped-up war-crime allegations in Gaza is Naomi Wolf’s idea of proving the bona fides of an Islamic feminist!

The only woman whom Naomi Wolf mentions in her Huffington Post article who can be taken serioiusly is an investigative journalist.   This brave woman, Rana Husseini, has received death threats for reporting on honor killings.

But honor killings, while horrible to be sure, are only the tip of the iceberg.   Islamic law stipulates a gender-segregated, patriarchal society in which women are treated as inferior beings. And that represents the mainstream of Islamic beliefs today, not a fringe extremist cult.

But don’t take my word for it. While Wolf prefers to get her insights about the plight of Muslim women primarily from princesses behind palace walls and from boutique hotel owners who sue Israeli generals in their spare time, I prefer to listen to the words of a woman who spent her first thirty years living the life of an average Muslim female in Egypt before emigrating to the United States.  Her name is Nonie Darwish, whose father was regarded in the Muslim world as a shahid (martyr) for giving up his life more than fifty years ago in the jihad against Israel.

Ms. Darwish has described in painstaking detail the daily hardships imposed on Muslim women as a direct consequence of Islamic law and mainstream customs in Muslim society, patterned after the Prophet Muhammad’s own life.  Here are just a few examples, taken from her book entitled Cruel and Usual Punishment: The terrifying global implications of Islamic Law:

  • The Sharia marriage contract is a document “granting sexual intercourse rights to the male and giving him total control over his wife or wives”.
  • A man is allowed up to four wives and can even enter into a temporary marriage contract to sanction a night of pleasure.
  • The husband is free to beat any of his wives if they are disobedient.
  • The husband can divorce his wives at will, but the wives are essentially stuck in loveless marriages at the pleasure of the husband they share. The wives’ shared husband is also favored in cases of custody of the children after the early years of childhood are over.
  • Men are granted the privilege to seek sexual gratification with children.  Muhammad placed his private parts between the thighs of six year old Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage with her at age nine.  Iran’s supreme leader and founder of its Islamic revolution, Ayotollah Khomeini, declared that it was perfectly OK under Sharia for a man to sodomize a baby.

So here is some advice for Naomi Wolf.  Your critics have not distorted your views.  You have only proven your critics’ point by using a privileged Jordanian princess and a boutique hotel owner with a lawsuit against Israeli generals as your models of Muslim feminists. You should have been speaking with Muslim women who actually suffered under the yoke of Islamic law. In short, you are a shining example of why leftist feminists such as yourself cannot be taken seriously.

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