An American Bride in Kabul will be coming out in paperback in October, 2014. I am very interested in “meeting” with your book club via Skype. Please contact me through my website.

Here is a possible list of questions you may wish to discuss.


You are cordially invited to attend my book events. The following is a current list of my appearances which I will update over time. For further information about all events please contact the sponsoring organization.

  • March 12, 2014    
    Atria, NYC
  • March 20, 2014
    The Core Club, NYC
  • April 8, 2014
    Mandell JCC, West Hartford, Ct
  • April 22, 2014 at 7:30pm
    Temple of the Arts,
    Los Angeles, CA

» See all appearances here

Latest Articles

The Bride Wears Aqua

May 1, 2014  •  YouTube and Palgrave-Macmillan

This Bride Wears Aqua On Camera

Here is a video that is now up on YouTube. In May it will have a permanent home at Palgrave's new website. We shot this video in the Flatiron Building, where Palgrave is located. I love their Belle Epoque elevators, the lacy black grillwork. As it rises, I always imagine I am in Paris before World War One and am holding a parasol and wearing a hat. I am answering questions about An American Bride in Kabul. Enjoy!


Would Halevi have banished Spinoza? Turned Rushdie over?

April 20, 2014  •  THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

My esteemed colleague, Yossi Klein Halevi, together with the Muslim chaplain at Duke University, Abdullah Antepli, have penned a defense of Brandeis University's decision to disinvite Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

They write that Brandeis President Lawrence has provided an "essential teaching moment," one that they hope will "prevent our descent into a holy war which would desecrate our faith and devour us all."

In service to this messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli support the dishonoring of Hirsi Ali as a "renegade;" they do not see her as a "dissident" whose rights they might otherwise respect.

I wonder whether Halevi would have argued for the excommunication of Spinoza on these same grounds. Perhaps, "renegades" are radicals and dissidents are "reformers." We certainly need both points of view.

My colleague Yossi is truly a dreamer.



Miriam's Message

April 18, 2014  •  The Jerusalem Post

Most women—men too--are already exhausted long before the first Pesach Seder: they have been cleaning, swapping out sets of dishes, shopping for food, new clothes for children, inviting guests, accepting invitations as well as last minute guests--all before they even step foot in shul. Then, after days of creating or serving matza-based cakes, puddings, kugels, candies, entertaining guests and being entertained, exhaustion has reached a fever pitch. "Will Pesach ever end?" "Each year we leave Egypt but each year we're back there again." "Will we ever really leave Egypt?"

Such exhaustion often allows for transcendent experiences.

This is perfect since the last days of Pesach represent a mystical and messianic moment.

Sometimes, an exhausted Jew can actually see the future and experience it with his or her whole being in the present. This is precisely what Miriam and the women do when they sing and dance with joy, accompanied by their drums or tambourines, in recognition of God's miraculous redemption at the Reed Sea.

Sometimes the future is also pre-figured in the beginning.



Naomi Wolf Attacks Me as a Zionist Agent

April 17, 2014  •  Breitbart

As everyone knows, Brandeis publicly announced that they would award Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary doctorate--and then, under siege by nearly 30% of their professors, and by thousands of their own students, they publicly disinvited Hirsi Ali. This campaign was orchestrated by the Muslim Student Association and by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization which is the American face of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Someone sent author Naomi Wolf a copy of my latest article about this scandal: "Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment." It was my response to Brandeis's shameful dis-invitation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I noted that 21% of the signatories taught in Women and Gender Studies and I mourned the abysmal state of academic feminism. In response to my article, Wolf published this at her Facebook site:



Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment

April 16, 2014  •  Israel National News

The Brandeis professors who demanded that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be "immediately" dis-invited wrote that "we are filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali's) above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis's values." The professors also castigated Hirsi Ali for her "core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples" and for her suggestion that "violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam." The professors note that such a view "obscure(s) such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus."

This is exactly what these professors are teaching the more than four thousand Brandeis students who signed a petition to rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali's award. (Read it here.)

Are eight year-old girls being genitally mutilated at Brandeis or forced into polygamous marriages with men old enough to be their grandfathers? Are they being forcibly face-veiled or honor murdered for refusing to marry their first cousins? Perhaps they are being executed because they have been raped, for leaving an abusive marriage, or for daring to express an independent opinion?



An Outspoken New York Native

April 11, 2014

That's me! Please enjoy this brief and utterly charming video interview which appears at New York Natives. Click HERE to watch video.

On a more sober note, please find what I've written about Passover in the pages of the international edition of the Jerusalem Post. Click HERE to download.


Op-Ed: Honor Dishonored: Brandeis and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

April 11, 2014  •  Israel National News

Long ago, in Jerusalem, in Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, King David's son, famously wrote: "There is nothing new under the sun."

How right he was. Brandeis's decision to disinvite Ayaan Hirsi Ali is "nothing new" under the liberal Waltham sun.

In 2003, Brandeis partnered with Al-Quds University—and did so, year after year, until 2013, when violent demonstrations broke out on the Al-Quds campus, replete with traditional Nazi salutes.

In 2006, the Brandeis community of students and professors did not protest the Distinguished Professorship Brandeis awarded to the "inflammatory" anti-Zionist playwright Tony Kushner.

In 2006, Brandeis also staged a "Voices of Palestine" exhibit. Seventeen paintings by Palestinian youths depicted their lives under Israeli "occupation." This time, refreshingly, Brandeis students had the exhibit taken down because there was absolutely no Israeli perspective being exhibited.

This was not surprising. There usually isn't an Israeli perspective exhibited. Kudos to these Brandeis students.



Phyllis Chesler: The Shame of Brandeis University

April 10, 2014  •  Newsmax

By now, we all know that Brandeis University was about to bestow an honor on the elegant and distinguished author and activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, best known for her critique of Islam, her decision to leave Islam, and her championship of Muslim women's rights.

One might understand why an apostate intellectual might be in danger in Somalia, the country of her birth, or in Saudi Arabia, where she once lived.

However, she has just been dishonored by Brandeis University, which withdrew its offer of a Distinguished Professorship because the Muslim Brotherhood in America, known to us as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its national student group, the Muslim Students Association, which is also allied with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) mounted a successful campaign against the award. Both CAIR and ISNA are unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case.

CAIR provided the Muslim Student Association (MSU) at Brandeis with outdated, out-of-context, and highly inflammatory quotes from Hirsi Ali. They did not provide her thought-provoking, stirring, moving passages of which there are many. Brandeis simply caved to the lynch mob.



Chesler's Facebook Chronicles

April 7, 2014

I have been in an Afghanistan state of mind lately--but I have also been alarmed by Saudi policy on atheism and on not allowing Jewish-American journalists in to cover an American President's visit; the persecution of Arab Christians by Arab Muslims and the silence of the Western mainstream media; the human rights records of China and Iran; the pimping of British children ("easy meat") by male Muslim gangs. I promise, if spring actually arrives, I will write about it but until then--here is a round-up of what's caught my attention.


Amazing Afghan Photos by Niedringhaus



Remembering Rivka Haut - The Sisterhood

April 1, 2014  •  The Forward

Yesterday, a fearless and legendary leader of Jewish women, Rivka Haut, was memorialized, mourned and buried.

The funeral took place at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale on March 31. Rabbi Avi Weiss compared Rivka to black fire and white fire — the black fire are the letters and words of the Torah, the white fire, upon which these words are written, are more fluid, tender, kind. Just like Rivka. It was an apt and yet extraordinary comparison.

There was a delay in bringing the casket into the synagogue. And so I said, to lighten the moment, "Rivka has probably flown the coop. She cannot bear such attention and so much praise." People laughed. Here is what I said at Rivka's funeral:

"With whom else could I be such close friends?

God introduced us. We met over a Torah in the women's section at the Kotel. It was December 1, 1988, and Rivka asked me to open the Torah for us so that women could pray from it. This honor, which will never be surpassed in my lifetime, wedded me to Rivka's vision, to Torah study, and to a deep friendship.



Op-Ed: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery

March 26, 2014  •  Israel National News

"Easy meat" is how Islamic doctrine looks at the abuse of non-Muslim women. And now it is documented in the UK.

Soeren Kern has just published an article about child sex slavery in the UK. He focuses on a new report about the large-scale "grooming" of non-Muslim girls (11-16) by gangs of Muslim men into sex slavery. These men do not prey upon Muslim girls. The government, police force, and media have been "multi-culturally correct" and very reluctant to expose this phenomenon or to charge these men. The government, police force, and media have been "multi-culturally correct" and very reluctant to expose this phenomenon or to charge these men.

I am sure that many feminists would say that men all over the world buy and sell women, kidnap or trick them into prostitution. And they are right. But they are wrong to refuse to focus on Pedophilia and Sex Slavery wherever and whenever this monster rears its ugly head.



Chesler Facebook Chronicles

March 25, 2014

I begin to understand why people have increasingly shortened their words, going from handwritten letters to computer-driven email to a few sentences on Facebook to a limited number of characters on Twitter. It is very Talmudic--and haiku-like, very much "on the run," both easier and harder to reduce one's thoughts to a few, very carefully chosen words. Pictures also draw people in. But so do worthy causes. So far, what I posted about the upcoming execution of a young Iranian woman has attracted almost 1000 readers who, in turn, may have shared my request to sign a petition on her behalf with many others. Here are some of my recent FB postings.


Surrogacy: The Evisceration of Biological Motherhood?



Chesler Facebook Chronicles

March 18, 2014

I have been busily posting at Facebook and growing quite a following. The discussions are often interesting, sometimes even riveting. I fear that FB has become something of a discipline, a habit, a practice. I see that many people post "selfies" or beautiful photos of Nature and share what they ate for breakfast, what glamorous restaurant they are in at the very moment, birth and death announcements, calls for action. Me--not so much. But for what it's worth, here is some of what has been on my mind. Today, a letter of mine has appeared in the New York Times.


Letter in NY Times

My home town newspaper had a front page story about an impoverished Afghan couple who had fallen in love. The would-be bride's parents threatened to honor (horror) kill her because her beloved belongs to another tribe; also, they want her to marry her cousin. And so: Our Juliet is living in a shelter for women and Romeo is roaming the streets in despair. And today my letter responding to this article is in the New York Times.


Daughter Killing in Texas



Op-Ed: Anti-Semitism, Old and New

March 15, 2014  •  Israel National News

And so, twelve years after I started writing my now out-of-print book, "The New Anti-Semitism: The Coming Crisis and What To Do About It"; eleven years after I published it in 2003, I am counted as one of the experts on the subject.

My words are joined by those of Irwin Cotler, Hasia Diner, Michel Gurfinkiel, David Mamet, Cynthia Ozick, Alvin Rosenfeld, Charles Small, who are grappling with the question of "Anti-Semitism. Where Does It Come From and Why Does it Persist? What are its New Forms? Will It Ever Go Away?"

Our answers vary. Jews have always been "outsiders and enemies;" Judaism has been viewed as an "antiquated" or as a "corrupting" religion. Anti-Semitism is a way of "externalizing evil," explaining "economic patterns," provides a "convenient scapegoat," is "misdiagnosed in America," is "complex and contentious," is a "politically correct disease, "an example of "Holocaust inversion," of "state-sanctioned hatred," is due to "Radical political Islam," and remains "an omnipresent threat."



International Women's Day -- why America's politically correct feminists dishonor human rights

March 8, 2014  •  FoxNews

As a young bride, I once lived in a harem in Afghanistan. It was a nearly fatal adventure but I survived, escaped, and learned about gender and religious apartheid long before the Taliban. My firebrand American feminism was probably forged in purdah in the early 1960s. However, something called me Eastward and I have remained involved with the Islamic world.

Today, decades later, I work with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents and feminists. They do not understand why Western feminists do not stand with them as they oppose normalized honor based violence, extreme state violence (think Iran, Saudi Arabia), and utter lawlessness when it comes to the torture and murder of girls and women.

Most recently, a law has been proposed in Afghanistan that will make it impossible for a woman whose family has beaten, tortured, or tried to kill her, to lodge a complaint of any kind. Such complaints are seen as endangering family unity. Orwell would understand this.

But why would intelligent and educated Western feminists remain blind to such crimes in America?



Zen and the Art of Motherhood

March 7, 2014

Last night, I was honored by the Museum of Motherhood and inducted into their Hall of Fame, as were Drs. Andrea O'Reilly and Barbara Katz Rothman.

All three of us have done research and activism on behalf of mothers and motherhood. The room was crowded with extraordinary women who had traveled from all over the country to attend a three day conference. They research maternal mortality rates, study mothering, practice mothering, are professors, filmmakers, artists, theorists, musicians and the energy in the room was exuberant and powerful.

I was surprised and very pleased that my son, Ariel, presented me with this award.

These are the words I offered when accepting this award:

I am thrilled to be honored for my work by the very visionary Museum of Motherhood and by its pioneering founder, Joy Rose.

In 1977, when I became pregnant—by choice, always by choice--a dear friend and leading feminist urged me to have an abortion. She said that I was "too important to the movement to spend my time being a mother." I laughed—but I hugged her too.


An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir

I recommend this book be put on the reading list of every American school.
--Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Author of Infidel and Nomad

This is a bold book, intimate and rich in detail… Chesler is a voice crying out for women. She will never stop
--Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics and Going to Iran

» Buy at IndiBound

» Buy at Barnes & Noble

Please Help Support My Work

Contact Phyllis Chesler

Join Mailing List

Follow Phyllis Chesler

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

© 2014 The Phyllis Chesler Organization.    Contact Phyllis Chesler

home   |   bio   |   articles   |   media appearances   |   honor killings   |   blog   |   spoken   |   photos   |   books   |   mailing list   |   donations