Joe Blough

Top 10 Islamo-Fascist Apologists

Posted on September 2 2010 8:00 am

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#8: Feminisogynist Category – Naomi Wolf

Coals to Newcastle, I know. Perverse rationalizations coming from Naomi Wolf on the subject of Islamo-fascism and its brutal subjugation of women have already been throroughly demolished herehere and elsewhere.

But she earns a place on this list in part for feminist fame and in part for the publication of a remarkable piece called “Behind the veil lives a thriving Muslim sexuality.” Together they make her almost emblematic of a whole crowd of alleged thinkers of the left who, while making their livings on the claim of representing the interests of women, are nonetheless weirdly unmoved by the very real and bloody suffering of millions of women living under the sway of sharia.

Her essay, in short, is a rationalization that the anonymizing shroud-like coverings forced on Mohammedan women are really not so bad — on the grounds that certain parts of life remain comparatively normal, and the women involved are not constantly suffering. This, mind you, from someone who’s fame is based on the claim that fashion and cosmetics are terrible things. Is it just me, or does placing those two things together lead your mind in a disturbing sinister direction?

I can’t resist calling attention to the strangely creepy phrase in her title “thriving Muslim sexuality.” Um, what is Muslim sexuality exactly? Is it different in some meaningful way from say, Eskimo sexuality? Perhaps Ms. Wolf simply seeks to reassure us that the Islamic nations have not been smitten by an epidemic of sexual incapacity. I’m sure the daily more outnumbered Christian population of Lebanon will be greatly comforted by the news.

Be that as it may, her malformed conceptions and fuzzy thinking are characteristic of the femisogynist cover-up. She opens by telling the world that:

Ideological battles are often waged with women’s bodies as their emblems, and Western Islamophobia is no exception.

A tiny grain of truth, drowned in mind-freezing verbal anaesthetics — producing blur.

It is certainly true that we often do personify our ideals as women and express them in images of women. From Helen, Athena and Aphrodite to Columbia and Lady Liberty in the NY harbor. But it is not simply women’s bodies, but rather women in their entirety. I refer the reader to Camille Paglia for a more literate and rational treatment of that subject. But don’t leave that sentence without noticing that she simply asserts and assumes “Western Islamophobia” as a given. She makes it clear whose water she is carrying, and it’s not ours.

Before we move on, it seems to have escaped Ms. Wolf’s razor sharp mind that the image of the veiled, submissive, anonymous woman itself represents a cultural ideal. The anonymous, faceless, apersonal She represents the supression of individual identity and personal autonomy which is central to the Islamo-fascist value system. And that is what is troubling people all over the western world — whether or not they can clearly articulate that even to themselves.

The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women’s appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one’s husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling – toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home.

Apparently Ms. Wolf missed the Islamophobic memo that’s been going around. We are not worried that the ladies of the Muslim communities are insufficiently randy. Neither is it “repression” or “suppression of sexuality” that we are primarily worried about. It’s the part where they throw acid in your face for taking off the veil that has us concerned.

No doubt in the world of the oh-so-cosmopolitan Ms. Wolf and many of her collegues, antique freudian notions about suppression of sexuality still constitute a great bogey. (Does anybody reading here even remember that stuff?) The rest of us are more concerned about veiling and female anonymity as a symbol, indeed a manifestation of suppression of the individual … period. Of slavery, brutality and unreasoning authoritarianism. We also have some concerns about such practices as female genital mutilation and the ironing of young girls’ breasts. All of which, one might say, are also represented by the anonymity of the veil.

The ideal of man as nobody — of the human as a nameless, faceless, shapeless lump in the crowd. Obedient and meaningless.

Ms. Wolf seems to have enjoyed her first taste of the lash veil.

I experienced it myself. I put on a shalwar kameez and a headscarf in Morocco for a trip to the bazaar. Yes, some of the warmth I encountered was probably from the novelty of seeing a Westerner so clothed; but, as I moved about the market – the curve of my breasts covered, the shape of my legs obscured, my long hair not flying about me – I felt a novel sense of calm and serenity. I felt, yes, in certain ways, free.

Free to do what? Shop? Free from what? Free perhaps, from the burden of an individual identity. Free from that awful western work, of visibly being somebody in particular, separate from the anonymous crowd.

She finishes by telling the reader that:

… it’s worth thinking in a more nuanced way about what female freedom really means.

Well, arbeit macht frei comrade, I think not. We do not need to think in a more nuanced way, but to think simply, clearly and honestly.

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