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'Why Do They Hate Us?' A Blogger's Response

Mona Kareem responds to Foreign Policy Magazine's “Why do they hate us?” She is surprised by the topic — the niqab, to her mind, is not the most useful starting point for a discussion of female oppression in the Arab world — and disappointed by the article’s simplistic “Anglophone feminist” approach, which relies on stereotypes to make its points.
Zainab al-Khawaja (C), daughter of human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, takes part in a rally held in support of her father in the village of Bani-Jamra, west of Manama March 11, 2012. Supporters of human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja came out onto the streets in various villages in Bahrain asking for his release. Al-Khawaja is on his 32nd day of a hunger strike in prison, after being convicted by Bahrain's military court. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed (BAHRAIN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

Mona Eltahawy’s article “Why do they hate us?,” published in Foreign Policy Magazine’s special issue on women, has a catchy title.  When I first saw it, I honestly thought it was referring to the Egyptian military’s violations of women’s rights by performing “virginity tests” — especially as the military’s aim seemed to be to exclude women from taking part in political life by brutalizing them and showing them as fragile and vulnerable.

But it was not. 

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