I must take issue with your generalizations about women’s place in
Islamic societies. First of all, it rings a little hollow coming from
the citizen of a country where a woman’s mere running for high office
is considered an achievement. At least four Muslim states — Turkey, , Pakistan, Indonesia
– have been headed by women. The Iranian parliament often has a higher
representation of women in its chamber than its British counterpart.
I grew up in Peshawar — Taliban country — and yet all four of my sisters had no trouble getting .
My sister was the first District Education Officer and another is now a
professor at the city’s frist women’s university (first women’s
university not because there were none for women prior to that, there already existed the coed Peshawar university where I studied. Remember — as
has pointed out — fundamentalism is a very modern phenomenon). My mom
went to a school dressed as a boy back in the ’50s. I had female
friends in Peshawar who were so well read that in UK only on rare
occasions have I met any who have shown similar erudition.
still many traditions that are morally repugnant. Most of them
practiced, incidentally, in precisely the regions where the
government’s investment in educational and social infrastructure has
been minimum. You are equating poverty and a lack of resources with
philosopher-by-association. His only claim at philosophy is having once
known Sartre. Norman Finkelstein put it best: what the rest of the world knows as a charlatan, in France they call a philosopher.
[Weiss: Idrees, You cite four Muslim societies. In two Arab ones I spent time in, Morocco and Syria, it did not seem to me that women had a large place in public life. That included a New Year's party at a restaurant I went to in Palmyra, no women at all. And cafe and street life struck me as overwhelmingly masculine in a way that I found grinding. When I brought up women's rights with a Tunisian Arab friend at a restaurant in Damascus, she held up her hand. Let's talk about this later, in private. What should I conclude?]