Tuesday, August 16, 2005

WSJ: Iraq Women's Rights Rebuttal

Last week, I took the Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal writer Marc Gerecht to task over his article concerning Islamic Shari'a in Iraq's constitution and its impact on women's rights.

I wrote him a letter explaining briefly what I saw as his errors and/or misrepresentation of Shari'a.

This week, Ayn Hirsi Ali, the Dutch PM whose life is in danger because she has been declared an apostate for voicing her opinion on women's rights and the failure of Islam, wrote a rebuttal and discusses how Canada's Arbitration Act of 1992 has effectively placed Muslim women in Canada in the same predicament as Iraq.

Is this an overstatement? Maybe, then again, her base argument is that Shari'a in any form severely impacts women in Islam because, if they are faithful to the extent that Islam requires under Shari'a, they feel they must accept even its worst tenets in order to avoid being an apostate; an untennable position.

That's just for starters. Then she winds up and let's go at the left and their silence.

It seems strange to associate the context of Canada with that of Iraq, but a closer look at the arguments used to reassure the demonstrating women in both countries reveals the similar ordeals that Muslim women in both countries must go through to secure their rights. It shows how their legitimate and serious worries are trivialized, and how vulnerable and alone they are. It shows how the Free World led by the U.S. went to war in Iraq, allegedly to bring liberty to Iraqis, and is compromising the basic rights of women in order to meet a random date. It shows how the theory of multiculturalism in Western liberal democracies is working against women in ethnic and religious minorities with misogynist practices. It shows the tenacity of many imams, mullahs and self-made Muslim radicals to subjugate women in the name of God. Most of all, it shows how many of those who consider themselves liberal or left-wing see their energy levels rise when it comes to Bush-bashing, but lose their voice when women's rights are threatened by religious obscurantism.

She said what I said.

Later, I see what appears to be a direct respose to Marc Gerecht and several other notable Republican figures (including some bloggers and commenters on the right) who, after declaring that there is a moral difference in ideology and forms of government, begin their own crude multi-cultural dance telling us such things as, "remember, it took the US 13 years to get ours right and we still made changes"; or "if women don't have their rights now, they still have two years to ask for an amendment" (tell that to the woman who is shot down in the street because her abaya didn't cover her ankles or she left her abusive husband who nearly killed her last time, but it's against Islam for her to leave; tell it to the girl that is stabbed and burned near her family home because she had the audacity to talk to a boy not related to her, much less held his hand or kissed) or "it's their constitution, in a true democracy the majority rules and if the majority doesn't want to give women their rights, who are we to tell them differently" and a number of other variations of those statements.

Ayn Hirsi Ali takes them to task:

I thought that President Bush and all the allies who supported the Iraq war aspired to bring democracy and liberty to all Iraqis. Aren't Iraqi girls and women human enough to share in that dream?

Frankly, I don't believe we shed the blood of over 1800 of our soldiers, including over 35 women, to settle for half measures of freedom in Iraq; cultural disparities be damned.

The Muslim women's arguments that "free choice" is relative when you are psychologically, financially and socially dependent on your family, clan or religious group seem to fall on deaf ears. The populations of battered Muslim women in "tolerant" Canada's women's shelters seem to be ignored. In Canada, battered Muslim women say that their husbands told them that it is a God-given right to hit them. If the current Iraqi constitution goes through, Iraqi wife-abusers will be able to add "It is my constitutional right to beat you."

Read the rest here

PS..I just switched to a new/old religion called "Herlam" (not to be confused with "Harlam" though it has distinct similarities) that says any man that has the audacity to disagrees with me I get to beat to death with my Louisville Slugger and my defense will claim that it is my religious obligation and should be enshrined in the constitution.

"Women" that disagree should immediately make an appointment with your physician because your testes haven't dropped yet and you may need hormone therapy.


Scott from Oregon said...

Not so much the apathy of the left that leaves the women's issue in Iraq alone, but the resignation of the left....

Just how much cultural meddling is allowed, these days?

While I fully support equality for all women, I also realize that cultural and religious doctrine is what is truly in the crosshairs.

At some point, large blocks of people must be left to evolve on their own. Sure, throw in your two cents, but leave out the temptation to change what you don't like by force of arms....

And why are you not on a platform everyday, defending India's 'untouchables?'

(Just had to throw in a fallacious argument, so I could write the word 'fallacious'....)

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

This conundrum of Democracy was foreseeable, and foreseen by opponents of the war, I will have to admit. That was, that if you bring the vote to people, there is always the possibility they will vote to take AWAY liberties rather than preserve them.

If women have the vote, there's not much else that can be done there other than perhaps continue to try to educate people.

April said...

If they get the vote in the first place, the rest will eventually follow. Not soon enough.

It grieves me that there are FEMINISTS who feel that we need to leave these cultural questions up to the Iraqis.

If I were 20 years younger, the goal of opening up rights for Muslim women would be enough to get this mostly non-interventionist to join the armed forces.

Scott from Oregon said...


O' Tim said...

Scott from Oregon said...

"And why are you not on a platform everyday, defending India's 'untouchables?'"

The U.S. made a U-turn from Afghanistan to Iraq. Is another in store toward Saudi Arabia and then the world's remaining misogynists?

Even if we could afford to spread out a bit (for whatever reasons), the U.S. is coming to the end of its days as a sojourning world power. We've got enough problems at home, for God's sake.