Sure, the Taliban would cut off her thumbs, if not her head, without blinking, but Duke University’s Miriam Cooke, Professor of Asian and African Languages and Literature and President of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, is more concerned about the evils of George and Laura Bush than the Taliban.

Don’t miss Frontpage magazine’s report on the feminist professor.

“…Rather than being grateful for calling attention to the suffering of fellow women, she castigated First Lady Laura Bush for her radio address on behalf of the women of Afghanistan. Cooke accused Laura Bush of furthering ’the imperial project in her highly gendered appeal to a world conscience.’…

“In the same talk, Cooke mocked ’the campaign to democratize the Middle East,’ that she claimed, ’deployed women as victims to save or to empower.’ Empowering Muslim women would seem to be a good thing, but according to Cooke, if Western interests are involved, women’s liberation is no longer valid. Cooke opposed the war in Iraq for this very reason, fatalistically predicting that Iraqi women would end up ’like the Shiite women who were driven out of their homes in southern Iraq in March, 1991, to enter refugee camps in Saudi Arabia and then went on to exilic futures outside the Middle East.’”

“In fact, none of this happened and the numbers of asylum-seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan have been drastically reduced from pre-war levels. Most importantly, no longer are Iraqi women captive to Saddam Hussein’s rape rooms, or to having their husbands taken away in the middle of night. And six female ministers in the new  Iraqi government demonstrate that women are making strides in that country. But for Cooke, none of this seems to matter. All that matters is keeping those nasty
’imperialists’ (America) at bay.

“So what exactly does Cooke have to offer to Muslim women as a concrete course of action to better their lives? It turns out, not much. Not only are her ideas vague and overly academic, all too often she falls back on concepts steeped in the terminology of Islamism. For instance, throughout her career, Cooke has written extensively about the idea of a ’women’s jihad.’
“During a lecture at Wellesley College in November, 2003, Cooke elaborated on this concept. This jihad, she maintained, is not for an ’Islamist state,’ but rather for ’an Islamic community.’  Subscribing to a pacifist model, she insisted that women’s role within the Islamic world should be ’drawing attention to the consequences of war, not advocating violence.’ Yet somewhat contradictorily, she also sanctioned, ’the defense of the community when attacked by outsiders.’ Which outsiders exactly she was referring to is unknown; but it’s a safe guess that American soldiers and their allies were involved.”