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About Meredith Tax

Meredith Tax has been a writer and political activist since the late 1960s, She was a member of Bread and Roses, founding chair of International PEN’s Women Writers’ Committee, founding President of Women’s WORLD, and a co-founder of the Centre for Secular Space. Her latest books are Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights and A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State





Articles by Meredith Tax

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sound the Trumpet

Trump offered white voters the illusion they could prosper. We have to offer all our people a way to move forward together and save the planet.

A revolution is not a dinner party

Does the word “revolution” mean the same thing to the Kurdish liberation movement and to American leftists who supported Bernie Sanders? A little history...

The Antis: anti-imperialist or anti-feminist?

A recent article on "imperialist feminism" accuses the US women's movement of being a cheerleader for American empire from the war in Afghanistan to the present. Is this a sectarian strategy that misses the target and attacks the liberals instead of the right?

A fresh look: towards an Israel-Palestine two-state solution

A two-state solution is still possible in Israel and Palestine, but it will take a more aggressive strategy - one that focuses on the religious-nationalist right on both sides, and on concrete steps towards nation-building in Palestine.

Gaza: The Jewish Right and the Muslim Right

The war in Gaza has strengthened both the Muslim Right and the Jewish Right; while the results have been disastrous for the people of Gaza, they aren't good for the people of Israel either. Meredith Tax asks, what does this mean for the two state solution?

Human rights without religion is like a fish without a bicycle

Is separation between religion and the state essential to human rights?  Meredith Tax says secular space is necessary for the protection of religious and sexual minorities, freedom of thought and expression, and women's rights. It might even be central to the survival of the planet.

Women's emancipation and human rights: "Can These Bones Live?"

Is the human rights movement just a couple of big Northern organisations?  The emancipation of women is one of the greatest human rights issues, but Meredith Tax says experts still think they can answer these questions without taking women's human rights work into account

Rashid Rehman: chronicle of a death foretold

Defenders of Pakistan's blasphemy laws say the rule of law prevents rule by mob.  The May 7 murder of human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman - to prevent him from defending a young professor accused of blasphemy - shows the hypocrisy of such a defence, says Meredith Tax. 

Climate change and false gods: Moloch and the bible-punchers in the US

The UN's IPCC report on climate change calls for immediate action to deal with a crisis which supersedes and includes all other questions. Meredith Tax says that international pressure on the US government to deal with the crisis is essential, for soon it will be too late.

Gender-based censorship

Gender-based censorship, which takes many forms, can be seen in attempts to stifle women’s public voice - from the suppression of Taslima Nasrin’s series for Indian TV to death and rape threats against US feminist bloggers

Human rights, social justice, and US exceptionalism

American politicians often talk as if human rights were only relevant in other countries, but grassroots organisations are increasingly using the human rights framework to win social and economic rights for the poorest and most marginalised people in the US. Cathy Albisa, director of the National Economic and Social Rights Inititative, spoke to Meredith Tax

The Suicide Caucus: big oil, good ol’ boys, and bible punchers

Who engineered the Congressional shutdown that imperilled the world economy?  Meredith Tax looks at an alliance of three groups: big oilmen, Southern oligarchs, and Christian fundamentalists.

Fundamentalism and education

At a time when global warming requires that we do our most creative thinking, public education and free thought are under attack by both austerity programs and religious fundamentalism.  So where are our new creative thinkers supposed to come from?

Unpacking the idea of “Islamophobia”

The term “Islamophobia” is everywhere, but its meanings work at cross purposes - to liberals, it refers to discrimination and hate crimes that can be addressed through existing laws, but to fundamentalists, it refers to offenses against religion that must be addressed through censorship or death.

Nude protests and political contradictions

Femen’s April 4 protests in response to death threats against Tunisian nude blogger Amina Tyler have prompted much debate.  How do we reconcile the need to defend free expression with the ambiguities of using nude women to market feminism?

Double Bind: tied up in knots on the left

Instead of sanitizing the Muslim right as a way of fighting racism in the North, Meredith Tax argues that the left should develop a strategy of solidarity with democrats, trade unionists, religious and sexual minorities, and feminists struggling in the Global South against both neo-liberalism and fundamentalism.

The peace movement: debating alliances

Meredith Tax responds to Rebecca Johnson and Pam Bailey: a movement must ensure that its short term tactical aims and alliances do not contradict its long term strategy.

Code Pink, the Taliban and Malala Yousafzai

The US antiwar movement is failing to develop a politics that is critical of both US imperialism and fundamentalist movements like the Taliban.

The politics of provocation

Feminists have been saying “Beware of fundamentalism” for the last twenty years, and we need to say it now louder than ever: anyone who whips up religious antagonisms to win political power is an enemy of human rights, says Meredith Tax

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