I have learned a lot over the years from the writings of Petra Marquant-Bigman. She is a non-Jewish German-Israeli author, holder of a doctorate, who concentrates on outing the purveyors of antisemitism. Below is her latest on the lies of the regressive Left’s new darling, Sharia apologist Linda Sarsour.
“This term sharia is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew word halakhah.” Linda Sarsour
Once upon a time, when being a leftist and a feminist meant something very different than what it means today, I happily considered myself both. But when someone like Linda Sarsour is cheered as a leftist feminist icon, I can only feel politically homeless: I want no part of Sarsour’s left, and I most definitely don’t support the crowd assembled by the notorious Pamela Geller for a protest that the New York Times (NYT) was only too happy to cover – after all, it was a good opportunity to tell readers that Sarsour’s “critics are a strange mix, including right-leaning Jews and Zionists, commentators like Pamela Geller, and some members of the alt-right.” Newsweek readers were also informed that “Feminist activist Linda Sarsour has become one of the far right’s favorite targets.”
Meanwhile, as is the way of those with no real platform, Petra was immediately labeled a racist by one commentor for calling out Sarsour’s lies. I left this response for that solipsistic apologist.
Sharia as practiced today is anything but mild mannered, nor is it women friendly. Moreover, to say that sharia is like Jewish law or Church law, is to ignore the reality that both Judaism and the Catholic church have gone through a reformation and a renaissance, that has taken both religions out of the biblical interpretation of reality. Something Sharia law has not gone through.
The entire idea behind “modesty” in Islam is to protect the honor of the male members of the family. It has nothing to do with the rights or humanity of the women who are forced to veil. In fact, for the majority of Moslem women veiling is not a choice. For them it is either veil, or be honor murdered, or thrown in prison. Why don’t we ask Dina Ali what it is to live as a woman in a Sharia compliant nation, if she isn’t dead already at the hands of her male family members, for the crime of wanting to run her own life. Which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. You know, KSA, the nation that Sarsour defends because it gives women 10 weeks maternity leave. (PS she can say its snark all she wants, but those of us who read the original tweet know better since it lines up with all her other proKSA Sharia tweets. And she was not a child but a grown woman when she wrote all of her tweets.)
The reason women in Orthodox Jewish communities practice tsinuis (modesty) is to bring about a more “holy” world. It has nothing to do with how others view them in as much it has to do with their own spirituality. The idea that women dress modestly in Judaism is so that that thoughts of sexuality do not pervade an otherwise religiously devoted life. They are not going to be killed nor are they going to be put in prison if they do not comply. The worst that will happen to them in their communities is that they will be made cherem, or banished. While this is also a nasty bit of reality, it pails in comparison to the harsh choice, of veil or be killed, that are forced upon the majority of Moslem women. You can also see the progressiveness of Orthodox Jewish feminists, as the first female Hasidic judge just took up her position in NY. Where are there any women judges in the Moslem world outside of Israel?
Laws themselves are never stand alone. It is never the ideas themselves that are at question, but the reasoning behind the ideas that are the important factor. Like with US law, when the plain meaning is misunderstood, judges who interpret the law, can look to the legislative intent. Here the legislative intent of the reason for modesty in Islam and Judaism is wholly different, and that is a relevant factor in the discussion, in addition to how the communities would react to such a violation.
Moreover, Judaism itself has gone through a renaissance of sorts. Rabbis, since the middle ages have rejected the biblical interpretation of Jewish Law for a more updated version. Jewish sages for eons have not promoted animal sacrifices, nor do Jews promote stoning people, selling their daughters or any other myriad of biblically based laws. In fact, at present, your Orthodox feminists have taken aim at the outdated divorce laws and are fighting back against this practice. Orthodox Jewish women are not afraid to speak up and demand an accounting from those that interpret Jewish law.
Where in Sarsour’s Sharia has she fought back by the way? She proudly states how when she went to work she got written permission from her husband, proudly shows off her dowry, and discusses how forced marriage at 17 was a terrific thing for her. At what point did this Moslem hijabi feminist ever denounce any part of how women are treated under Sharia? She in fact has gone so far as to say that Mohammed, who sold the Jewish women he captured into sex slavery, was the world’s first feminist. Was he showing his feminist side when he kept one of the Jewish captives for himself? How about when Mohammad said that it can only be considered rape if 4 men witness the rape, and that a women’s testimony is worth less than a man’s. Some feminism that Sarsour supports.
I have yet to read of any time that Sarsour came out against a practice in Sharia or stand up for those Moslem feminists who are against sharia. We all know about her vile attitude towards Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But when did she approach true hijabi feminists like the ones that appeared in the Honor Diaries? Oh yeah, she said that that movie was Islamophobic. I think the hijabis that appeared in that movie seem to have a real handle on what it means to think of women as full human beings with the right NOT to be murdered by male members of their family.
Additionally, there is more than one branch of Judaism, and each branch interprets Jewish law differently. Each interpretation becoming more and more modern, and washing away the idea that women are chattel and that they have lesser rights than men. Where is this interpretation of Sharia? Where is the Sharia practiced that is analogous to the reform movements or conservatives movements interpretation of Jewish law? Where in Sarsour’s world does she actually ever say that the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia, which is what has pervaded the world, is incorrect and that there are other interpretations? Where is her modern Sharia? She has never pointed it out nor has has she pointed out its practitioners. Where is this modern view of women under Sharia, actually practiced? Who has authored any new guidelines for it?
There are numerous texts on the discussion of Jewish law and Canon law that discuss the differences in past and present, as well as modern interpretation. There are arguments and beyond arguments that cause discussion and consternation among the Jewish and Catholic religious groups trying to interpret the law. Where is this in Sharia? Again, where exactly are the moderates that Sarsour keeps discussing or alluding to? The truth is that the only place you will find a practicing moderate form of Islam is in Israel, which just appointed it’s first female Sharia court judge. That woman, and not Sarsour, is a Moslem hijabi feminist. And remember it is Israel, that Sarsour wishes to destroy.
In other words, it is the liberal democratic nation that allows for many views of the interpretation of Islam, that this so-called Moslem feminist Sarsour wishes to ethnically cleanse of it’s inhabitants. I don’t see her calling for the destruction of KSA, Iran, or even moderate Indonesia which just sentenced a christian leader to 2 years in jail for blasphemy. I don’t see her calling for the destruction of Pakistan or Bangladesh, which have slid into the radical Islamist camps.
To say that Jewish law is the same as Sharia is to ignore the reality and the history of how Jewish law has changed, modified and been reinterpreted over the eons of the Jewish people’s existence. While there are some Jews who abide by the absoluteness of Jewish law, the majority do not and even those who abide by the absoluteness have no fear from society if they decide to question the authority of the rabbis. To equate Jewish law and Sharia is disingenuous at best, wholly ignorant of Jewish history at worst.
Sarsour is an Islamist apologist, who calls for genocide against another 6 million Jews. She is many things, among them is the fact that she is a vicious anti-Semite, although not by her definition, nor the definition of other antisemites. Funny how antisemites never think Jews can define antisemitism.
Moreover, Sarsour is NOT a feminist by any stretch of the imagination of real feminists. Real feminist are those of us who understand the reality of female disenfranchisement and make no excuses for it under any circumstances. The irony here is that according to those on the regressive Left Sarsour is a feminists. These western useful idiots, wish to be seen as progressive and inclusive, something Sharia law, and its purveyors and apologists, are not.
You can find the recognized international definition of antisemitism as adopted by the US State Department and the Government of the UK by clicking on the links provided and find more on antisemitism from the AntiDefamation League.
You can find more of Petra’s writing at:
Times of Israel HERE,
Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law HERE
The Jerusalem Post HERE
The Guardian HERE
The Tower HERE