(WOMENSENEWS)–With the Arab and Islamic world on the boil, the whole question of women and women’s progress–which bolster economic stability and moderation–has been brushed aside, reports Barbara Crossette in The New York Times.

Crossette, The Times’ U.N. bureau chief and and its specialist on economic development and women’s issues, reported in Sunday’s edition:

“In the war of militant Islam against the infidel West, there is a chilling paradox. Nowhere–not on protesters banners, pre-suicide videos or posters–is there a woman’s face.

“These martyrs and radicals call themselves the purifiers of society and saviors of the poor, yet everything the world has learned in the last decade about why some countries develop and others stay mired in poverty shows that women can make all the difference.”

As women have been pushed out of the political and economic spheres, their traditional moderating role has declined, said Fouad Ajami, director of Middle East studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. “This is the warriors’ time. The warriors, the martyrs–they are all men … the whole question of women and women’s rights is shelved.”