Gender issues in Islam

Phyllis Chesler posts an audio of her being interviewed by Tomar Yonah of Israel public radio.

It’s an ear-opener for sure, and an eye-opener too, making me wonder if its time to take off the rosy glasses that color my hopeful view about a spring blossoming of freedom in Egypt.
I go back and forth between these two opinions about what may become of this new current on the Nile: “democracy” winning out, or “sharia” creeping in instead.
So anyway, Phyllis offers a discouragingly realistic assessment about the infamous Muslim Brotherhood, and sharia, hajib and niqab,  lurking in the dark background of these groundwell changes that seemed to reach a crescendo in Tahrir Square. Phyllis’ informed perspective presents a glimpse of the organized force from deep-rooted Islam. It is a strong native presence that could overpower disorganized nascent democracy factions there in  the ancient land of the pharoahs.
Ms. Chesler’s wake-up call makes me wonder if my fledgling hope is laced with threads of naiveté.  Listening to pubic radio and other sources here in the good ole US of A, I’ve been wishfully(perhaps) thinking that the throng of free expression reverberating from Tunis and Tahrir is all about freedom and secular opportunities facilitated by our western electronic sweethearts–Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

It seems that public radio in the US is a different animal from public radio in Israel. No surprise there, I guess. Israel has been fighting for its existence since long before its rebirth in 1948.
Dreaming about the power of western liberties and their proliferation through social media would be nice, but every day or two I’m stricken with a reality check. That’s what this Phyllis Chesler interview is, and I’m still trying to figure out what to think about it. Maybe if you listen to it you can help me decide.

Glass half-Full


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