Over the past day or two, three news stories have been on my mind from the world of radical Islam. The first is equal part horrifying and frustrating and the second maddening beyond belief, but the third provides at least a glimmer of hope.
As we steel ourselves for years and years of battle in the Global War on Terror, I believe it is incredibly important to understand not only exactly what we are fighting against, but also who it is that actually stands with us. Hopefully, these three stories will shed just a little light on such distinctions.
First, according to a Fox News report released today, a 75-year-old Syrian woman married to a Saudi has been sentenced to receive 40 lashes and four months in prison after being caught by the Saudi Arabian Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice socializing with two men who had brought the elderly woman bread.
If anything, the Saudis should be celebrating the virtue of younger people taking care of their elders rather than searching for vice in a woman saying thank you.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen evidence of the subjugation of women under Islam. We’ve seen women stoned for committing adultery, arrested for talking to men at a coffee shop, imprisoned for daring to drive a car. Where, in all of this, is the National Organization for Women? Where are the other women’s groups? Here, in today’s story, we have a 75-year-old woman about to be beaten and thrown in jail for merely mingling with two men who did a good deed — yet we hear not a single, solitary peep for those who claim to champion women’s rights.
As frustrating as it is, the deafening silence is far from surprising. See, the women’s rights movement is not about women but rather about control, much in the same way that global warming is not about environmentalism and stem cell research is not completely about matters of faith. It’s about control, and 75-year-old Khamisa Sawadi just does not fit into NOW’s busy agenda.
If the women’s rights movement was actually about women, we would have seen outcry when Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was absolutely savaged by the mainstream press after being selected as John McCain’s running mate. If the women’s rights movement was about women, we would have seen outcry when a British schoolteacher was arrested and threatened with death in Sudan for insulting the Islamic Prophet by naming a class teddy bear Mohammed. But we didn’t hear anything on either account — because the women’s rights movement is not as much about women as it is control.
This explains why Hollywood activist actresses like Annette Bening and Alfre Woodard have no problem traveling to Iran, or congressional fools like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Syria, donning headscarves and lauding a culture which stones women for adultery, whips women for socializing, and looks upon women as third-class citizens, but once back in the States turn right around and show up at events sponsored by NOW and its discriminatory counterparts. It’s about control, not women. In the meantime, Bening, Woodard and Pelosi need to pick a side. It’s equality or subjugation, ladies — you cannot have it both ways.
Ignorance, Arrogance and Stupidity
Second, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men currently–but not for long–detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have once again shown their true feelings for American and the West, confessing their role in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In a document entitled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations,” the group of detainees who describe themselves as the “9/11 Shura Council” cited portions of the Q’uran, deemed their actions an offering to God, and essentially laughed in the face of the American obsession with judicial intervention. Killing Americans, they wrote, is the model of Islamic action, and the accusations made by the United States government cause them no shame.
“To us, they are not accusations,” the Gitmo detainees wrote. “To us, they are a badge of honor, which we carry with honor.”
Of course, Mohammed and his feral counterparts will not be detainees at Guantanamo for long, considering the executive order signed by President Barack Hussein Obama which ordered the closure of the facility within one year. In fact, others who have plotted against the United States–such as Binyam Mohamed–have already been released. Obama’s decision on Gitmo is perhaps the greatest possible window into his complete ignorance as to matters of foreign policy, national security, and just the basic difference between good and evil in the world.
Given the statements made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the recent release of Binyam Mohammed, perhaps more attention will be paid to legislation which should be introduced this week by Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, a bill which would require that former Gitmo detainees be kept out of America once the facility in Cuba is shut down. Similar pieces of legislation have been proposed at the state level, but it should be noted that Shadegg is a rock-solid, principled conservative if there is one, and America’s Right hopes that either he or Rep. Jeff Flake run against Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2010.
Islam Holds the Burden of Proof
Finally, in a Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday written in part response to the British reaction to Dutch MP Geert Wilders and his “Fitna” movie (a must see, as far as I am concerned), Islamic reformer Tawfik Hamid wrote that Islam must indeed prove itself to be a religion of peace. Now, for those not familiar with him, Hamid has an interesting perspective on radical Islam — while he now possesses an M.D. in internal medicine and Master’s degree in cognitive psychology and educational techniques, and now serves as both Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and president of Global Movement Against Radical Islam, he was at one time a member of JI, a Islamic terrorist group known for promoting one of its own, Ayman al-Zawahri, to second-in-command of Al Qaeda. Not many people know fundamentalist Islam like Tawfik Hamid.
That being said, Hamid wrote that it is up to the leaders of Islam, the scholars and clerics alike, to reform the way that young Muslims are taught. Gone must be the days, he said, where Muslims are taught to look upon Jews as pigs and monkeys, and to spread Islam through bloodshed and war. An excerpt:
There is a certain schizophrenia among many Muslims who seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion, while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as “a religion of peace, love and harmony.”
Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are “pigs and monkeys,” that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn’t, then, Mr. Wilders’s criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.
The scholars and clerics throughout Islam are not the only ones who need to wake up. The rest of the world does, too. What incentive, after all, do those who truly do want to practice Islam peacefully have if the rest of us abandon them due to a monochromatic view of their faith? We must all wake up, we must identify evil where it stands, and we must not tolerate the subjugation of women, the disproportionate penalities and the Draconian measures of Shariah law as practiced by radicals.
When women are beaten for looking at a man, talking to a man, walking in front of a man, we all need to stand up in protest. When Muslim youths riot at the sight of a mere political cartoon, we all need to draw attention to it. And when a neighbor or friend or co-worker states, unequivocally, that all Muslims are terrorists, we need to remind them that there are many Muslims who work alongside us, who fight for our country, who want nothing more than to raise their families as we do, and who look at the atrocities carried out in the name of their faith in the same way Christians do at those who bomb abortion clinics.
While we absolutely, positively must not even blink when it comes to keeping vigilant in the face of those who wake up each day from colorful dreams of our destruction and demise, we must simultaneously be prepared to support those who look at Islamic terrorism and oppression the same way that we do.