Men Distort Religion, Experts Distort Reality
I just finished reading an amazing Reuters article by Jan Strupczewski. Strupczewski writes:
Men all over the world distort the teachings of Islam and Christianity to justify abusing their wives and daughters, leading to thousands of "honor" killings a year for which courts provide virtual impunity, experts say.
Although all the honor killings cited happen in Muslim communities, the point of the article is to try really hard to equate Muslim honor killings with patriarchal Catholicism. Islamic teachings are sugar coated like this:
While traditional Islamic Sharia law does impose stricter dress codes on women and stresses their household duties, one Muslim cleric at the conference said the Koran condemned abuse of the weak but its teachings had been distorted over time.
That doesn't sound too bad, does it? Islamic countries just have stricter dress codes. It's not like women can't drive, or vote or anything crazy like that. I mean, that's nothing compared to the evils of Catholicism where:
Predominantly Catholic Poland, although free from "honor killings," has a problem with violence against women, rooted in the strong influence of the Catholic church on public life, Polish minister for gender equality Magdalena Sroda said.
"Catholicism does not directly support or oppose violence against women. But there are indirect links through culture which is strongly based on religion," Sroda told Reuters.
I'm just sitting here slack jawed at this. Women in Poland are free to live and love. They can hold jobs outside the home. They vote. They have the same rights as men. How in the world can someone compare the plight of women in Poland to women in Afghanistan, where, according to this same article, there have been 405 documented honor killings?
You can't compare them. So, my next question is why someone would even try to compare the two. Only one answer comes to mind. These "experts" are trying to fight the growing backlash against Muslim immigration in Europe by equating Islamic extremism with traditional Catholicism.
And once again, I suspect that all of this is being done in the name of "tolerance". We should accept Sharia law because it's not that much worse that Catholicism and eventually things will change:
Zorayha Rahim Sobrany, deputy minister for Women's Affairs in Afghanistan, said the concept of women's equality to men was slow to take root, but that progress was being made.
"We need time. We must move step by step. If you go too fast, the reaction is that people close themselves," she said.
I find that attitude so ironic. Basically, these experts are saying that Muslim women should just put up with abuse and lack of freedom and equality. They shouldn't rock the boat because that'll just make things worse. Isn't that exactly the opposite of what we'd say to a battered woman in America? Why should it be so different in the rest of the world? Why are we so afraid to say that Sharia law is just plain wrong? I'm more afraid that we're going to tolerate ourselves into the grave.
Posted by at December 8, 2004 09:45 PM
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