Tell that to the women who live in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran etc.
Via Huffington Post:
Brandeis University has withdrawn the honorary degree promised Ayaan Hirsi Ali after realizing that Ali has criticized Islam in the past. In fact, criticising Islam was the focus of her best-selling memoir Infidel. The petition to reject her was written by a barely literate undergrad peeved that the university would honor someone who is “an outright Islamophobic.” Oh dear. Views are Islamophobic. People are Islamophobes.
But despite the ill-conceived reaction, there is a tension here. It’s one thing to point out that, generally speaking, Islamic cultures worldwide tolerate what non-Islamic people would call misogyny more than other cultures. Female genital mutilation, child brides, violently enforced dress codes for women are more prevalent in Islamic societies than in non-Islamic societies. This is true, and needs to be said.
But it’s quite another to say Islam itself is misogynistic. Ali has pointed out that the Quran mandates harsh punishments for women and described the religion as a “cage.” Her message is that Islam oppresses women. She has said, “I think we are at war with Islam.”
It is lazy and unhelpful to take the craziest, worst people/aspects of a religion or ideology and use them to critique it as a whole.
It’s lazy because it lacks nuance and understanding. Islam is the fastest-growing religion on the planet. It’s been around a while and is practiced in a multitude of ways throughout the globe. To say it is necessarily anything, other than maybe monotheistic, is necessarily to stereotype and overgeneralize.
And it’s unhelpful. Because Islam isn’t the enemy, misogyny is. Calling Islam misogynistic makes Islam the enemy, which makes the Muslims who love it and hold it dear the enemy.