Sunday, September 23, 2007

Phyllis Chesler's Scholarly Integrity

Nathan Alexander, in reviewing Phylis Chesler's recent book, The Death of Feminism, says as follows:

Misogynistic Islamic attitudes towards women are being secured in America’s courts system today under the guise that Islam is “persecuted.” Chesler writes of Muslim scholar Ali Khan of Washburn University in Kansas, who argues that exposing the abuse of women in America’s Islamic communities should be against the law. In a recent publication, Professor Ali Khan argues that Islam is a form of intellectual property, hence its adherents have the right to protect its “integrity” from “innovations, repudiation, internal, disrespect, and external assaults.” In such situations, Chesler argues, “Islamic Shari’a law would actually replace American law when it came to those identified (by whom?) as Muslims.” Where is feminism when it comes to Muslim women, Chesler asks. It’s busy trying not to offend “Muslim culture,” so as not to appear “racist.”

I've not read the book. It is unlcear whether the book reviewer is attributing the above statement to the author or whether the author has indeed made such a statement. It appears that neither the author, nor the book reviewer, has read the article to which they refer. If you read the article, you will not find it misogynistic towards women. The article is a jurisprudential piece that explains the fundamentals of Islamic law. I leave it to the readers of the article to make their own informed judgment. There seems to be a campaign to trash the article on Islam as Intellectual Property.