Reza Aslan Takes Down Arguments that Equate “Muslim Countries” with Women’s Oppression

The claim that “Muslim countries” are defined by their oppression of women pops up whenever Americans are debating U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. The claim also has a much longer history than that; it was a part of what justified colonialism—which is a topic for another blog post. For now, I leave you with Reza Aslan’s incredibly elegant, but sadly failed, attempts to show CNN anchors what’s wrong with the way they insist on talking about women and Islam.

Among the incredibly difficult (read sarcasm) distinctions be makes in the clip:

*Countries in which Islam is the predominant religion are not all the same.

*It is possible to condemn oppressive practices like stoning without arguing that they are  caused by a “violent religion.”

* Some countries with Muslim majorities have elected female heads of state; others do not allow women to drive.

* Just because something to occur in a country where Islam is the predominant religion does not mean that it is caused by Islam.

2 Responses to “Reza Aslan Takes Down Arguments that Equate “Muslim Countries” with Women’s Oppression”

  1. um guido

    Well, the critics of Islam do maintain that Islam is innately a misogynistic and patriarchic religion. Then again, so is Christianity. So why has the Western world moved on from witch hunts and Islamic world is still as mired as it is in anti-woman barbarities? Today the closest thing that Christians come to misogynistic violence would be abortion clinic bombings. Yet in certain countries in Asia or Africa women are still stoned to death and still the victims rather than rapists get punished. One really has to question whether this is due to the lack of religion reform or the lack of the kind of inherent element in Islam that makes it possible to condemn stoning. At least Jesus said that he who is without sin cast the first stone.


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