The young feminist taskforce chair at the National Organization for Women (NOW), N. Jerin Arifa, wrote one of the most misleading articles about Islamophobia I've every read. In Arifa's piece titled Islamophobia Encourages Violence Against Women, she writes in the first sentence "There is significant and well-justified concern within the feminist community and beyond about Muslim women’s rights" This is true but it doesn't have anything to do with Islamophobia (a non-recognized phobia that's hurled at just about any criticism of Muslims or Islam by Muslim activists). She might want to review a recent decision by the Assocated Press: AP Drops ‘Homophobia’ And ‘Islamophobia’ From Its Style Guide. She went on to say this concern for the treatment of Muslim women was used by the US government as justification to go to war. Say what?
Arifa admitted in her article she's been accused of using the term Islamophobia too much and was misquided:
These “feminists,” who have spent decades working in the anti-domestic-violence field, are using the same tactics as abusers to shut me up when I point out oppression. They minimize and deflect their racism, accusing me of bringing up Islamophobia too often, although I work on everything from sexist Halloween costumes to the labor movement. Coupled with the racism, they tell me I am misguided because of my young age and just need time to be enlightened to leave my faith, since being “a religious feminist is an oxymoron.”
She said the Quran denounced violence against women and that extremist have hijacked it for misoginist purposes. She failed (purposely, I presume) to mention the verse in the Quran that allows for hitting or beating of a wife if she's difficult which most all the Islamic sharia rulings back this up. Check out Verse 4.34 for your self. Arifa went on to say when violence does happen to a Muslim woman it is discussed in terms of the religion or the culture rather than the victim which then (somehow?) makes it possible for hate crimes against Muslim women to take place and linked to the story of an Iraqi woman in California who was beaten to death and a hate note left behind as proof.
Arifa failed miserably here, either by purposeful omission or just not doing her homework, because this woman's husband was charged in the crime. He was the one who tried to frame his wife's death as a hate crime. This horrible and senseless death had absolutely nothing to do with Arifa's allegation. She went on to claim that it was a false notion that other cultures treat their women differently. Then she says if you need convincing that racism against Muslims is un-feminist she link to an article about rape. The big problem with this accusation is Islam isn't a race, at all.
Seriously, this has got to be one of the worst articles I've ever read. Yes, N. Jeri Arifa, your critics are right, you are misguided - and I would add - very.