Women as Reason: No power for bishops or mullahs!

September 24, 2011

by Terry Moon

The racist U.S. Right has used the specter of terrorism in attacking Muslim religious law, Sharia, as a way to build and deepen fear of all Muslims and forward their reactionary agenda of racism against all minorities, sexism, and anti-immigrationism. Genuine feminist organizations like the decades-old Women Living Under Muslim Laws and the Britain-based One Law for All make sure to distinguish themselves from such anti-human organizations.

A new One Law publication, Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right, shows how right-wing British anti-Sharia groups “betray an unwillingness to distinguish between Muslims and Islamists and reveal a desire to target Muslims en masse.”[1]

It exposes a racist U.S. group, led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: “In 2010 Spencer defended his and Geller’s colleague Joseph John Jay, who had recommended the ‘wholesale slaughter’ of Muslim civilians, including children. Spencer has also written that there is ‘no distinction’ between American Muslims and Jihadists….Geller and Spencer have also defended Serbian war criminals….Islamism and the far-Right are two sides of the same coin using similar methods, ideologies and tactics in order to promote their bleak and inhuman worldview.”

Clearly it is not fear of religious law trumping secular laws that animates such creatures, as they have not one word to say against another actual religious doctrine seeking global hegemony.


U.S. Catholic medical institutions now treat one in every six hospital patients and refuse to do abortions or direct sterilizations, honor patients’ end of life wishes, give rape victims the morning after pill, or dispense any birth control. They are particularly dangerous to women experiencing miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies–which are always life-threatening–because they delay or outright refuse treatment if there is even a hint of a fetal heartbeat, even when the woman’s life is endangered and the fetus is bound to die regardless.

Imagine the outcry if Muslim fundamentalists established a hospital that would allow a woman to die because there were no women doctors available at the time to treat her and they forbade the male doctors to help. Yet we know about the young woman in 2009, only 11 weeks pregnant and suffering such severe pulmonary hypertension that she would die without an immediate abortion. St. Joseph’s Hospital broke Catholic policy and the woman received the life-saving abortion. But the Phoenix diocese bishop was so incensed he declared the hospital no longer Catholic, and excommunicated the only nun on the ethics committee. He was sending a message: even if both the fetus and woman will die without an abortion, Catholic law must be obeyed.

No imam or Muslim religious order has permanent observer status at the UN, but the Holy See–the government of the Roman Catholic Church ruled by the Pope–does. In most UN conferences they are granted UN member status, including voice and vote. This has been most problematic at conferences on population, where they partnered with Sudan, Libya, Morocco and others to oppose emergency contraception for refugees, the promotion of condoms as protection against HIV/AIDS, sex education, and making sure that legal abortion is safe and accessible.

The Catholic hierarchy’s power, rivaling state/national/international governments, is also manifest in their decades-long cover-up of pedophile rapist priests. The recently published Cloyne Report revealed a 1997 confidential letter from the Vatican’s ambassador in Ireland to Irish bishops. It warned them that new Irish child protection policies violated canon law, which states that, instead of turning abusive priests over to civil authorities, they should appeal their cases to the Vatican. Furthermore, the letter dismissed the Irish guidelines as “a study document.”


It is far from an isolated incident. As Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, put it, the report of “the Cloyne diocese in Ireland is eerily similar to the grand jury report released earlier this year by the district attorney of Philadelphia. Like Philadelphia archdiocesan officials, Catholic church leaders in the Cloyne diocese continue to show a brazen disregard for both civil law and the church’s own internal policies.”[2]

It is telling that the racist Muslim-haters never come out for the separation of church and state because they have no problem with their interpretation of Christianity being the law of the land. What the whole rotten debate reveals–be it the bogus threat of Sharia taking hold in the U.S. or the real problem of a Catholic hierarchy determined to keep the power they have and take more–is the need for a total uprooting of such disgusting racism and sexism and the creation of a society based on new actual human relationships.



1. . “Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right,” published by One Law for All, August 2011, pp. 5-8.

2.”Reactions to the Cloyne Report,” http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/07_08/2011_07_14_Coday_ReactionsTo.htm

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