On Sunday, C-Span ran the Cooper Union panel with Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and — until recently — banned from America for funding terrorists and working with their networks. On the platform were Slate's Jacob Weisberg, the moderator, and George Packer (who provided the only illuminating moment in the proceedings) and Joan Wallach Scott, a notorious academic enabler of Ramadan and terrorist Sami al-Arian, and a professor at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. Also present was Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim version of Scott. Ramadan claimed to be an all-American democrat (but kept attacking the Iraq war which brought democracy to millions of Muslims as "illegal").
Mogahed and Scott deflected questions from Weisberg about the oppression of women in Islam — an international scandal — by 1) talking about economic inequality and joblessness among Muslim immigrants in Europe and 2) in Scott's case — the oppression of women in Catholicism. This was an instance of immoral equivalence brought to a new low. Weisberg asked Ramadan about his revealing statement that there should be a "moratorium" on the stoning of women for alleged infidelity. Here Ramadan introduced a word he was to use throughout the evening: "contextualization" — the verbal equivalent of a fog machine. If you contextualized "stoning" you could forget the barbarity of it and see it as a cultural oddity which needed to be reconsidered. Wallach Scott, professing to be a "feminist," thought the moratorium to be a good idea, and in doing so raised progressive hypocrisy to new levels.