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Women's Lack of Rights Should be Focused on Much More

Reader comment on item: Mahram Despotism vs. Saudi Women

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Jul 20, 2009 at 18:37

I am perennially amazed at the free ride most Moslem nations, especially Saudi Arabia, get from the rest of the World with regard to the deplorable attitude toward women in their states and their culture. So it is refreshing to have someone look at this most retrograde aspect of Islamic society in some depth, as Pipes does in this piece.

One of the most obvious public policies our politicians, columnists, and others should take up is to adopt, for the first time ever, a strong public and private stance of Free Your Women - free your mothers, free your sisters, free your daughters, free all your women from a legal status and myriad forms of cultural practices and attitudes which are indistinguishable from slavery.

There are many signs that a huge percentage, perhaps a large majority, of Moslem women have internalized the terrible attitudes of their culture toward their sex, which has led to something like a civilization-wide Stockholm Syndrome in which most Moslem women appear to agree they are inferior beings to men and should remain mentally and behaviorally shackled.

On the other hand maybe that's an illusion, which could be exploded, or popped like a bubble, if the rest of the world, especially the West, took a clear stand toward this whole complex of retrograde attitudes. Especially does this suggest itself in view of far less deeply prejudiced attitudes toward women and women's rights in the West, yet which have been successfully attacked and dismantled with accelerating success in just the last couple of decades.

The only caveat I have to this piece is the comment that "most interpretations" of Islam do not call for the profoundly backward status of women that actually exists in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But this is letting Islam off the hook far too easily. If it's true that Islam has some sort of an enlightened attitude toward women's rights, then surely this illustrates that Islam is hopelessly weak in its ability to culturally and legally enforce such alleged enlightened attitudes.

No professedly Islamic society should be allowed to claim one thing and practice its diametric opposite.

Submitting....

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