Womens Magazine

Womens Magazine – September 7, 2015

Solidarity and Historical Memory

As the prime minister of Hungary announces that his country will not accept Muslim refugees, Professor Paola Bacchetta talks with Michèle Sibony, commentator and spokesperson for the French Jewish Union for Peace about Islamophobia and claims of rising anti-Semitism in France.  Sibony locates the roots of French Muslim resentment against Jews in the colonial history of both communities, but also talks about how her group and others have been able to break through that history of mistrust by simple demonstrations of solidarity.  They also discuss the specific targeting of Arab and Muslim women by neoconservative rhetoric and policies.

We also look at the controversy over plans to build a memorial to Asian women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in World War II. Monuments to the “comfort women” have been approved in Glendale, California, Long Island, New York, and a number of other cities around the world.  But some feminists say the memorials unfairly single out Japan and promote racism against an already traumatized community: Japanese Americans. Japanese American activist Kathy Masaoka talks with Preeti Shekar about why her group, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, supports the memorials.

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