Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American left, and Universal Human Rights (2013)

A discussion of the Muslim Right from a left wing feminist and human rights perspective, focusing on the UK organization Cageprisoners, and discussing Five Wrong Ideas about the Muslim Right.

“At a time when some sections of the Euro-American left have elected to actively support and defend extreme right-wing, often violent religious forces in the name of ‘anti-imperialism’ and ‘anti-racism’, the powerful arguments of this report are important – to generate debate and discussion, provoke challenges, and articulate the persistent opposition of the anti-war and socialist-feminist left to violations of human rights by Western powers, states and movements.”--Chetan Bhatt, London School of Economics and Political Science

“Meredith Tax cuts through right wing cant and left wing guilt, offering a subtle analysis of the double binds that weaken progressive political work. How can we protect the victim of US repression or brutality while at the same time criticizing and opposing that victim when he advocates for repressive theocratic states? Tax names a secular space where activists from both the Global South and North can meet as partners seeking democratic rule of law, religious pluralism, sexual freedom, and feminist understandings of women’s rights. A tour de force.”--Ann Snitow, Director of Gender Studies at the New School University and founding member of the Network of East-West Women

“This is a brave and urgently necessary book – an invigorating counterblast against the pernicious notion that my enemy’s enemy must be my friend even if that ‘friend’ wants to destroy all that we hold dear.”--Francis Wheen, author of How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World

“This courageous book addresses the most difficult questions confronting emancipatory activists and movements today. It dispels some of the myths that paralyze and prevent them from criticizing and struggling against those who believe in and support blatant violations of human and women’s rights. These myths include the ideas that the Muslim right is anti-imperialist, that ‘defensive jihad’ is the equivalent of national liberation struggles and that any critique of Islamism equals anti-Muslim racism.”--Nira Yuval-Davis, Director, Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, UEL; a founder of Women Against Fundamentalism


Reviews and Press

Meredith Tax, “Double Bind: Tied up in knots on the left,” open Democracy 50.50, Feb. 5, 2013

Jolene Tan, “Feminism without borders,” The FWord, Feb. 7, 2013

Richard Landes, “The Double Bind of the Useful Infidels: Feminist Meredith Tax on the Red-Green Alliance,” The Augean Stables, Mar. 8, 2013

Jolene Tan, “Double Bind,” The FWord, Mar. 15, 2013

Max Dunbar, “The Players of Games,” 3:AM Magazine, Mar. 17, 2013

Sumanta Banerjee, “Book Reviews: The Left and Political Islam,” Europe Solidaire sans Frontières, Mar. 30, 2013

Nick Cohen, “Feminism or Islamism: Which Side Are You On?” Standpoint, April 2013

Matthew Vadum, “A Leftist’s Harsh Words for the Unholy Alliance,”, July 11, 2013

Jamie Palmer, “Priyamvada Gopal's Double Bind: Gender Segregation and the Postmodern Politics of Despair,” Unrepentant Jacobin, Dec. 22, 2013

Noor Elahi, “The left should be honest about CAGE and Moazzam Begg,” Left Foot Forward, Oct. 21, 2014

Bill Weinberg, “Jihadist Scylla, Imperial Charybdis,” Countervortex (blog), Winter 2014,

Meredith Tax, “The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name,” Tablet, Aug. 5, 2014

Bill Fletcher, Jr., “Reading Meredith Tax’s “Double Bind” and thinking about 21st century solidarity,” Sept. 2, 2014

Chris Carr, “The Dry Cleaner Cast,” [audio], June 2016