Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror

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Betsy Reed
Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002 - Social Science - 427 pages
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Long before the Bush administration had heard of the Taliban and their scorched earth policy toward women, feminists were alert to the threat to women’s freedom posed by religious fundamentalism, in Afghanistan and throughout the world. Nothing Sacred is a unique collection of feminist writings from America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia on religious fundamentalism and women’s oppression—before and after September 11. Is secularism a necessary condition for women’s liberation? How has religious fundamentalism contributed to discrimination—and violence—against women, both in Muslim countries and the West? Contributors reflect on the rise and fall of the Taliban and the contentious debate among feminists about the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Nothing Sacred also confronts and challenges the simplistic “clash-of-civilizations” thesis advanced by Samuel Huntington and his disciples, developing a more nuanced and compelling analysis of the culture war that continues to pit religious conservatives against advocates of women’s empowerment and human rights not only in Afghanistan but everywhere. The volume includes a variety of perspectives and views, and ultimately advances a new, internationalist feminism. Contributors include Arundhati Roy, Barbara Ehrenreich, Karen Armstrong, Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, Susan Sontag, Ellen Willis, and Laura Flanders.

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About the author (2002)

Betsy Reed is the executive editor of the Nation. She was the editor of Unnatural Disaster: The Nation on Hurricane Katrina, and the anthology Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror.

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