Women, Islam and Syria.

I had wanted to write about this, but Jill at Feministe beat me to it. The New York Times discusses the revival of Islamic teachings in the secular state of Syria predominantly led by women. Naturally, this is a complicated issue between the growth of religious conservatism and clear empowerment of women through learning, reading and spreading the teachings. Do we have a handful of empowered young women or a serious *threat* to secularism?
Jill says,

Emracing religion is one thing; the regressive religious politics that we’ve seen sprouting up from Idaho to Istanbul are troubling, whether their Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, or whatever else. Religious conservatism is certainly nothing new, but it does seem to be taking hold in countries that were previously more moderate. And it seems directly related to U.S. foreign policy — as we invade Muslim countries, and set our sights on others, Muslims in the Middle East feel threatened. When we position all Muslims as the enemy, we aid in establishing a collective religious identity that trumps nationalism.

The issue no one wants to talk about. How is US foreign policy DIRECTLY linked to the growth of Islamic conservatism in countries vulnerable to US invasion imperial overthrow? Plus I am pretty sick of Islam being discussed as a threat period and especially a threat to nationalism, as if nationalism is some picnic to women’s rights or international foreign policy.
via NYT.

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