The feminism I once championed — and still do — was first taken over by Marxists and subsequently “Stalinized.” It was then conquered again by Islamists and “Palestinianized.” I and a handful of others maintained honorable minority positions on a host of issues. In time, women no longer mattered as much to many feminists — at least, not as much as Edward Said’s Arab men of color did. The Arab men were more fashionable victims who had not only been formerly “colonized” but who, to this day, are still being “occupied” by allegedly “apartheid”–intentioned Jews.
While most of my generation of feminists have long ago retired, died, fallen ill, or have continued to rest visibly on their own earliest laurels, I continue to champion universalist values and to resist the death-grip of multicultural relativism.
But my cohort have influenced the media. Thus, I am not at all surprised to see that Deborah Scroggins has just written a book titled Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafiya Siddiqui. Truly, she has got to be kidding. Alas, I am afraid that she is serious.
Recently, the New York Times gave a relatively glowing review to this new work. According to critic Dwight Garner, the two women are “such opposites that, as the author memorably observes, ‘Like the bikini and the burka or the virgin and the whore, you couldn’t quite understand one without understanding the other.’”
Garner continues: “If you are wondering who is the bikini (and thus the whore) in that formulation, Ms. Scroggins leaves little doubt that it is Ms. Hirsi Ali, whom her book relentlessly attacks.”
Hirsi Ali is indeed “wanted”— but by misogynist Islamists whom she exposes and opposes. Siddiqui, “Lady Al Qaeda,” was indeed “wanted” and is now in prison for attempting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan for al-Qaeda. In 2003, the FBI “named her as the only known female operative of al-Qaeda.” In 2010, Siddiqui, a devout Muslim and a Brandeis-educated Pakistani, was sentenced to 86 years in jail.
Which of the two women do you think Scroggins prefers? The brave feminist freedom fighter Hirsi Ali, or the pro-Islamist and terrorist Siddiqui? Scroggins finds a “weird symmetry” between the two. Of all the false moral equivalents with which I am forced to live, this rankles quite a bit. But Scroggins sees them both as “rebels,” as sister-equivalents.