Speaking recently at U.C.L.A, Brooklyn-born professor Phyllis Chesler recounted her experiences as a married woman living under Islamic law in Afghanistan, addressed topics of female oppression in the Muslim world, and growing anti-Semitism worldwide, including in the academy.
When Bangladesh split from Pakistan in 1971, Chesler appealed to American feminists to airlift women out of the country to protect them from the violence that she had witnessed under similar Afghan laws.
“I knew they would be gang raped, impregnated, then killed by their families, or by themselves,” she said.
Upon arrival in Afghanistan, Chesler’s American passport was confiscated and she treated “like a slave,” until she escaped and returned to the U.S.
She also linked growing anti-Semitism to new communications technologies.
“Today, in my opinion, the danger to the Jews is far graver and more complex than the pagan or medieval world, and graver than it was during World War II. The new anti-Semitism you see in almost every form, in every language, beamed around the world on Youtube,” she said.