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Surprise, Surprise, the US Chooses Islam Apologist Asifa Quraishi over Feminist Hawk Ayaan Hirsi Ali for Women’s Rights Commission

Posted on March 4 2010 9:42 am
Feminist Hawk is a superheroine. She is also an Associate Editor of NewsReal Blog, in charge of running The Feminist Hawks' Nest.
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a courageous freedom fighter, a true Feminist Hawk who lives under threat of death for her fierce opposition to Islamic subjugation of women.

Asifa Quraishi is a University of Wisconsin law professor who publicly insulted Hirsi Ali’s integrity last month by accusing her of highlighting cherry-picked portions of Islamic law that portray Islam unfairly.

Care to guess which woman’s views will be represented by the United States delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women this month?  Ding, ding, ding! That’s right, Asifa Quraishi is one of five public delegates joining the U.S. delegation headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Quraishi is a specialist in constitutional law and Islamic jurisprudence who has written at length about the viability of Islamic law tribunals in the United States and the similarities between the Qur’an and the Constitution.  She says “the inherent gender-egalitarian nature of Islam” has been perverted, and that Islam and democracy go hand-in-hand.

When Ayaan Hirsi Ali took the stage at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on February 2, she painted a starkly different portrait of Islam. “The American creed and the Islamic creed are two competing ideas. They are as different as day and night,” she told the crowd of 1,300. “Islamic doctrine is incompatible with American theory,” she said, noting that in Islam it is “a matter of principle to oppress women.”

Hirsi Ali described her experiences as a young Muslim in Somalia. She explained that “Islam sanctions a special kind of hatred against women,” and that “the emancipation of the Muslim woman is the key to reforming Islam.”  Watching the video of her lecture is well worth your time:

After Hirsi Ali concluded her prepared remarks, she fielded questions and comments from the audience, including one from Professor Quraishi.  A student newspaper, The Badger Herald, reported:

UW constitutional law professor Asifa Quraishi cautioned audience members during a question and answer period not to take Hirsi Ali’s message as the whole story.

Just as American constitutional law cannot be reduced to specific controversial laws, Quraishi said neither can Hirsi Ali’s message.

“I advise all of us to take a pause and think that maybe there is a little bit more to this story than we have heard tonight,” Quraishi said.

To watch Hirsi Ali rake her talons over the moral parallels Quraishi sees between constitutional law and Islamic law, skip ahead to the 8:40 mark on this video:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes clear that you can support equality for women or you can support unreformed, scripturally-dependent Islam. You can’t do both and still claim intellectual honesty.

But as the appointment of Asifa Quraishi as a public delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women makes clear, intellectual honesty isn’t a high priority for the Obama administration. Unfortunately, neither is an uncompromising approach to the emancipation of women.

Luckily, brave Feminist Hawks like Ayaan Hirsi Ali can tear into the inequality of women under Islamic law without a perch at the UN.

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