When Al Gore was running for the White House in 2000 she was hired as his consultant at a salary rumoured to be $15,000 a month.
In 2008, following a visit to the Middle East, this feminist declared:
".... 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....
.... 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. ..."ere) ably taken to task by another feminist, Professor Phyllis Chesler, who was once married to an Afghan and experienced first-hand Islamic oppression of women.
And now, in what some observers see as a grudge-match, Naomi Wolf has attacked Phyllis Chesler for the latter's condemnation of Brandeis University for its decision not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali a degree after all.
Phyllis Chesler has the full story of Naomi Wolf's snide and snotty attack on her (and her Zionism) here (be sure to read it!), and concludes:
"Unlike Wolf, I view the burqa as a sensory deprivation isolation chamber and as such, a violation of human and woman’s rights. I was once held captive in purdah in Kabul. The polygamous family which isolates and sequesters women is totally against freedom for women. While I enjoy all-women company just as much as Wolf does, I would never enjoy it if it was the only company I was allowed to keep.
Naomi: I challenge you to address the issues. Do you agree with the Brandeis signatories and also believe that women on the Brandeis campus are as endangered as women in Iran, perhaps in Evin Prison are? As endangered as child brides in Afghanistan or genitally mutilated girls in Indonesia? As endangered as the 100 girls just scooped up by an Islamist paramilitary group in Nigeria to be their sex slaves? As endangered as a girl who wants to choose her husband is in parts of India? As endangered as a girl who wants an education in Pakistan or who insists on driving her car in Saudi Arabia? Do you believe that the face veil and the burqa are religious choices, or “sexy” and mysterious? Even if girls and women who refuse to wear them are honor killed by their families for this very reason?" [Emphasis added]Jamie Glazov, in a must-read no-punches-pulled article on the subject, absolutely nails it when he observes:
"Wolf’s attack on Chesler is an extension of the collision that occurred between the two a few years back, after Wolf went on a political pilgrimage to the Muslim world and returned singing the praises of the burqa. Chesler dismantled Wolf’s embarrassing fairy tales of the female gulag that Islam has constructed for nearly a billion women with such precision that one wonders why Wolf is now even bothering to step back into this mismatch. Unlike Wolf, Chesler is a true scholar of Islam and as the former bride of a Muslim in Afghanistan, she has first-hand experience of the horrors of Islamic gender apartheid.
Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas."Meanwhile, in a humdinger of an article, conservative theorist Roger Scruton observes:
"....I am not in favour of the growing habit among universities of awarding honorary degrees to politicians, CEOs and celebrities, merely in order to gain status for themselves or to illustrate their political correctness. An honorary degree ought to reflect the recipient’s achievements in the intellectual sphere, when these achievements are either great in themselves, or an expression of a life informed by public spirit and lived on behalf of the rest of us. It gave me great pleasure, therefore, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brandeis University – to be conferred precisely now, at the first anniversary of the Boston bombings. What better way to show that we stand for something, that we believe in ourselves and the people who are prepared to make sacrifices on our behalf? The intellectual life as we know it and as our universities are obliged to endorse it, is a life in freedom, in which the dissenter is protected against every orthodoxy that would seek to suppress him. To honour Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose battle on behalf of intellectual freedom has awoken so many of us to its value, is to show, as all universities should show, a commitment to the true life of the mind.
The award was all the more gratifying in that Brandeis university, founded in 1948, and named in honour of Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish Justice of the US Supreme Court, has made a point of offering a non-sectarian education under the sponsorship of the local Jewish community. It is a valued and civilising presence in the Boston area and in the intellectual life of Massachusetts. The award of this degree at this critical and anxious time made a clear statement, on behalf of the values that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has defended in her distinguished and beautifully written books. What better way of expressing our solidarity with the victims of the Boston bombing?
Inevitably, of course, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) protested. Hadn’t a death sentence been passed on this troublesome woman? Wasn’t she guilty as an apostate, and hadn’t she spoken out against the society that created her and to which her allegiance was owed? Wasn’t all this stuff about the rights of women really ‘Islamophobia’? Knowing the sanctimonious clap-trap with which CAIR masks its contempt for the American idea of freedom, I was not surprised by this. But when I learned that 85 of the 350 members of the faculty at Brandeis had, in response, signed a petition calling for the award to be rescinded, on the grounds that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a purveyor of ‘hate speech’, and that her presence would make Muslim students ‘uncomfortable’, I recognized the real problem that we now confront, which is not Islam, but the liberal mind-set.
We are embroiled in an existential conflict, for which innocent people in the West are paying with their lives. Liberals tell us that ‘we’ are to blame for this conflict and not those who attack us. When someone flees to the West, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did, in order to say ‘not so, it is they who are to blame’, instead of welcoming her many among us wish to turn her away. For her message is a threat to our complacency. No one could possibly want to attack us, the liberals insist, since we are so obviously nice – at least, the liberals among us. Our enemies are not those who threaten Western civilisation, but those who defend it, since their words are a ‘provocation’ and their presence an affront. Thus is blame redirected from the aggressor to the victim, and the duty to defend our inheritance turned into a duty to reject it.
To my chagrin Brandeis University caved in to this petition, and the offer of an honorary degree has been rescinded. This great university, created by American Jews in order to pass on the values of Western civilisation, has chosen instead to betray them."Read the whole of Roger Scruton's article here