So this article by Nick Kristof isn’t actually as bad as it could be. He honors Dr. Hawa Abdi, who is a pretty amazing woman. He points out that it’s totally fucked up that there are going to be Congressional hearings on American Muslims, led by the Republican party (although Kristof’s contention that it’s “the extremist side of Islam that drives Islamophobia in the United States,” which leads to these kinds of hearings, is… naive, to be generous). Anyway, for the most part, good story. Great woman. Wonderful to give her and her work more publicity.
But really, New York Times headline writer, “Heroic, Female and Muslim”? Am I the only person who thought of the “But… he’s gay!” YouTube video that circulated a while back? (For those who haven’t seen it — spoiler — it’s a news segment where the newscaster is discussing a man who bravely climbed Mt. Everest and, with a great dramatic pause says, “BUT… he’s gay.” Aaaand then immediately corrects herself to say, “I mean, he’s gay, excuse me, he’s blind.” The whole thing is just yikes.
The Kristof article is kind of like that. It basically goes, “Islamic fundamentalists do terrible things to women, and so American Christian fundamentalists hate them, but look here’s this woman who did something awesome… but she’s Muslim. Bet you didn’t see that coming!” Yuck.
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- The GOP’s Muslim Problem by Jill December 29, 2007