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HAS THE INDEPENDENT BECOME A PART OF SAUDI ARABIA’S SOFT POWER STRATEGY?

Solving the problem of abuse by appealing to the Quran which, like the Bible, is an openly misogynist text, seems surreal. But when a newspaper with a long liberal tradition like The Independent supports such a claim, it becomes a problem.

Why this story matters:

On October 15, the Independent published an article by Qasim Rashid, entitled “How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent future sexual abuse scandals”, in which the author comments on the Weinstein case.

Rashid, who is a lawyer and the spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the US, argues that the Quran “establishes men and women as equal beings” and “forbids men from forcing a woman to act against her will, thereby ensuring that women maintain autonomy and self-determination”. The author seems to overlook the discrimination that many women experience under sharia law. Instead, he claims that the teachings of Muhammad would be a bulwark against the culture of rape.

In the past few weeks, we have discussed many concepts on how to prevent harassment, but this one is brand new. To be frank, solving the problem of abuse by appealing to the Quran, which — like the Bible — is an openly misogynist text, seems surreal. Certainly, it is understandable that believers of any faith would try to reinterpret their sacred texts, so that they seem to respect human rights. But when a newspaper with a long liberal tradition, like the Independent, supports such a claim, it raises eyebrows.

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Sono redattrice di "MicroMega" e collaboratrice del portale europeo "Newsmavens.com". Ho studiato filosofia e ho scritto "Non c'è fede che tenga. Manifesto laico contro il multiculturalismo" (Feltrinelli, 2018); "La Terra è rotonda. Kant, Kelsen e la prospettiva cosmopolitica" (Mimesis edizioni, 2015). Mi occupo principalmente di diritti civili, laicità e femminismo. Vivo e lavoro fra Roma e Francoforte. Per contattarmi potete scrivere a cinziasciuto@animabella.it