Book Review: women fight the Islamic state

Janet Biehl,

A Road Unforseen: Women fight the Islamic State, by Meredith Tax.ROAD-UNFORESEEN-by-Meredith-Tax-9781942658108

Second Wave feminism, once it erupted in the late 1960s, called out misogyny where it came into view. Breathtakingly, it insisted on recognizing human rights for all women everywhere. But today many Western feminists hesitate to speak in such bold terms. Wrestling with the legacy of imperialism, they decline to pass judgment on the sexist behavior of local men in postcolonial societies. As a result, the moral compass on human rights for women has weakened.

This retreat occurs even in the face of the brutally misogynistic Islamic State group (ISIS). To be sure, ISIS tortures and beheads people regardless of gender; it has slaughtered and abducted thousands of civilians, male and female; it has committed systematic genocide against Yazidis, both men and women.

But the salafi-jihadists of the would-be caliphate reserve especially cruel treatment for women, subjecting them to organized rape and systematic sexual slavery, including young girls. Their standard operating procedure is to buy and sell females, gang-rape them, and enslave them. A year or so ago, the liberal feminist Phyllis Chesler called out Western feminists for their silence in the face of ISIS’ murderous misogyny.

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