A reporter takes leftists to task over their lack of response to the oppression and inequality of women in Islamic countries.
For the greater part of this election cycle, we’ve heard a good deal from the left about a fictional Republican “war on women.” Everyone from President himself to Georgetown-law-student-turned-Democratic-mouthpiece Sandra Fluke has tried to convince female voters that Mitt Romney is hostile to the female portion of the electorate.
But thousands of miles away, there is a real war on women. It is one that Obama and his supporters would prefer to ignore.
In the same region where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, were brutally murdered on Sept. 11, women suffer each and every day. Radical Islamic thugs were behind the fatal attack in Benghazi, as well as the riots that spread across the Middle East; Muslim females, however, are persecuted and oppressed not by terrorists, but by their own communities, governments and even families.
Obtaining insurance-covered contraceptives is the least of these women’s worries. Instead, females in many Muslim countries are focused on having their bodies fully covered from head to toe, aren’t allowed to drive and cannot leave their homes without the supervision of a male family member, [ can be beaten by their husbands for disobedience]. . . .
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Time magazine investigated this problem in an article called “The Women of Islam,” a piece that remains relevant today. It diagnoses the problem as a profound one, dating back centuries: “The Koran allots daughters half the inheritance of sons. It decrees that a woman’s testimony in court, at least in financial matters, is worth half that of a man’s. Under Shari’a, or Muslim law, compensation for the murder of a woman is half the going rate for men.
“In many Muslim countries, these directives are incorporated into contemporary law. For a woman to prove rape in Pakistan, for example, four adult males of ‘impeccable’ character must witness the penetration, in accordance with Shari’a,” writes Lisa Beyer.
And while all religions must grapple with how to integrate ancient texts, with their sometimes-outdated notions, into modern life, the Muslim world seems to have done far too little in this regard.
Take, for example, Islam’s attitude toward domestic abuse is found in the Koran (sura 4:34), which has been “interpreted to say that men have ‘pre-eminence’ over women or that they are ‘overseers’ of women and that the husband of an insubordinate wife should first admonish her, then leave her to sleep alone and finally beat her,” as Beyer chillingly wrote.
Not much has changed in the decade or so since. It was only two years ago when Time magazine ran the horrific and now infamous cover picture of, Aisha, an Afghan woman with her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban for fleeing her abusive in laws.
There is no excuse for this kind of medieval behavior in the 21st century. And yet it goes on. As Riffat Hassan, professor of religious studies at the University of Louisville, told Beyer, “The way Islam has been practiced in most Muslim societies for centuries has left millions of Muslim women battered bodies, minds and souls.”
The Arab Spring, which Obama has celebrated, has hardly been a boon for women. In fact, quite the opposite. “For many Egyptian women, sexual harassment — which sometimes turns into violent mob-style attacks — is a daily fact of life,” reports the BBC. . . .
It seems, then, that the “revolutions” in the region have only empowered fanatics to take their misogyny further out into the open. . . .
Writes Mark Whittington for Yahoo, “It seems the Obama administration is capable of accusing Republicans of hating women for not wanting to see the Catholic Church hand out free birth control contrary to the Church’s doctrine. While it is doing this, it is treating with a terrorist group that has as its governing platform the imposition of Shari’a Law, which would send Egyptian women into lives of degradation and oppression.”
Worst of all is that thousands of Muslim women have suffered from female genital mutilation if they don’t comply with these strict rules or have been the victim of honor killings — murders conducted by spouses or family members in the event of misbehavior. There is a growing trend of honor killings happening in the U.S., as well.
This, too, demands attention from the administration. But the silence has been deafening.
The real issue is the tolerance of the intolerant. If President Obama, many on the left and the media truly cared about women’s rights, they would acknowledge the real war on women instead of tip-toeing around it for political gain. A true champion of women’s rights stands up for all women, all of the time, not just when it’s expedient in an election year.