Feminism, the Taliban and the Politics of Counterinsurgency

Before it was ousted from power in Afghanistan, the Taliban was seen in the West as a retrograde regime whose intense misogyny and hatred of all things modern was typical of Islamic fundamentalism. Hollywood celebrities and the Feminist Majority campai...

Summary

Before it was ousted from power in Afghanistan, the Taliban was seen in the West as a retrograde regime whose intense misogyny and hatred of all things modern was typical of Islamic fundamentalism. Hollywood celebrities and the Feminist Majority campaigned to 'end gender apartheid in Afghanistan,' but they disregarded the role the United States had played in promoting extremist Islamic groups in the region, equipping them with arms, and creating a political climate in which the emergence of the Taliban was a predictable outcome. Saba Mahmood of the University of Chicago and Charles Hirschkind of the University of Wisconsin question the assumptions that guided the Feminist Majority's campaign and explore a bias against religion and tradition that clouds Western views of the Islamic world.Copyright 2002 The University of Chicago.