In 2002, when the invasion of Afghanistan was under way and the drums of war beat on insistently, Lila Abu-Lughod published an article that refused the argument that the United States was engaged in a mission to save women from the Taliban. Laura Bush had famously justified the war on terror as “a fight for the rights and dignity of women” in Afghanistan. “Because of our recent military gains,” she said in a November 2001 radio broadcast to the nation, “women are no longer imprisoned in their homes. They can listen to music and teach their daughters without fear of punishment” (32). Abu-Lughod’s article, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?,” provided many of us with an eloquent and definitive answer to Bush’s claim, rejecting the cynical and condescending notion that it was up to “us” to save “them” from the terrorists. Based on long years of ethnographic fieldwork in Egypt...
Do Muslim Women Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod
JOAN W. SCOTT is professor emerita in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Her most recent books are The Politics of the Veil (2007) and The Fantasy of Feminist History (2011). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan W. Scott; Do Muslim Women Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 March 2015; 11 (1): 108–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-2832385
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