18 Oct

Bernard Lewis Sets the Course for Discussions Abroad and Articles at Home

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 10/18/04

The MARS HILL AUDIO interview with Bernard Lewis on Volume 59 of the Journal played a formidable role in the life of an article about the history and shape of Islamist feminism that was published in the October/November issue of Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

"Western visitors to Muslim lands have 'talk[ed] with horror of the subordination and ill-treatment of Muslim women (and, I might add, with ill-concealed envy of what they imagine to be the privileges of Muslim men). Muslim visitors to the Christian world are shocked and horrified by the loose and promiscuous ways of the West and also the absurd deference, as they see it, given to Western women.'"

This statement from historian Bernard Lewis in his MARS HILL AUDIO interview on Volume 59 of the Journal prompted journalist Lauren Weiner to research some of the differences between how Middle Eastern and Muslim countries treat their women and how the West treats its women. She recorded her findings in "Islam and Women: Choosing to veil and other paradoxes," an article published in the October/November 2004 issue of Policy Review, a publication of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In her article Weiner addresses the development of feminism in Muslim societies; radical Islamist reactions to it and to Western feminism; Western feminism's response to acts of terror from radical Islamists; and how Islamic feminism differs from Western feminism. She writes that both groups should focus on bringing about a decent life for women and men, who ought to have their rights respected: "This is, in fact, what the woman questions brings out especially well: the rights of human beings that are manifest not in any penumbra of any constitution but in the full light of day."