Female Democrat Senators 'Brush Off' Female Scholars Against Islamism

A recent New York Times op-ed took aim at Democratic female senators, accusing them that contrary to popular liberal opinion, feminism isn’t for everyone – at least when it comes to Muslim women who oppose Sharia law.

Scholars and activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra W. Nomani wrote a piece titled “They Brushed Off Kamala Harris. Then She Brushed Us Off.” They exposed the absolute hypocrisy  that they experienced from feminists on the left when asked to testify about their experiences in the Muslim world before a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Islamism earlier this month.

Literally calling out Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Heidi Heitkamp, Maggie Hassan and Cliare McCaskill, Ali and Nomani describe the silent “shutdown” they received from these supposed feminists, who didn’t even look them in the eye let alone ask them a single question about the political ideology of Islam. "Just as we are invisible to the mullahs at the mosque, we were invisible to the Democratic women in the Senate."

McCaskill, they reported, even took issue with the theme of the hearing, “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule…We should not focus on religion."

Ali and Nomani expressed their concerns over the “deeply troubling trend among progressives” when confronted with the Islamic extremism. Sure, feminists are front and center when it comes to abortion rights, birth control, sexism, pay gaps and workplace discrimination, but when it comes to confronting the brutal realities of Islamic extremism – no one is speaking. There are no marches against honor killings, sex slavery, female genital mutilation, child marriages. There is only silence from the left. They wrote:

Sitting before the senators that day were two women of color: Ayaan is from Somalia; Asra is from India. Both of us were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried. And we have both been threatened with death by jihadists for things we have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.

In other words, when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

The article drew over 1,000 comments, so the Times invited them back to take questions from readers. 

Speaking to Tucker Carlson on Fox last week, Nomani said because there is this stigma that anyone who speaks out against Islamic extremism will be labeled bigoted or Islamophobic, American feminists think twice about speaking up. She also explained that there are many ways to help combat the abuse and violence women face, but it all starts with an open conversation on the issue of Islamic extremism. Clearly Kamala Harris, Heidi Heitkamp, Maggie Hassan and Cliare McCaskill aren’t the type of feminists open to such a frank conversation.

Religion Islam Feminism New York Times
Melissa Mullins's picture


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