The husband and his wife have been American citizens for years. In all outward respects they appeared to have fully embraced Western culture and the American life style. Mr. Hassan started a Muslim TV station in 2004, popular with US Muslims. His purpose was to present Americans with a kinder, gentler, face of Islam. So much for that.
The same week a judge in Saudi Arabia sentenced a pregnant woman to one year in jail and one hundred lashes. Her crime? She was gang raped, beaten, and left pregnant by her attackers. It seems she was found guilty of adultery for her victimization, even though she wasn’t married, because she was outside her home unaccompanied by a male relative, a violation of Saudi Law. In a show of mercy, they won’t be administering the flogging until she gives birth to the child.
In November a thirteen year old Somali girl, a victim of rape, was falsely convicted of adultery (a capital crime in Islamic law) and stoned to death by an execution squad of fifty men. A crowd of one thousand gathered in a stadium to watch.
In Iran a woman was recently blinded by a rejected suitor. The would-be boyfriend poured acid over her head, into her eyes, down her face. She lost sight in both eyes and was horribly scared. He said he did it because he loved her.
This week in Turkey a woman was stabbed to death by six members of her family; an “honor killing” because she had been raped, which brought disgrace upon her family.
These obscene miscarriages of justice, acts of horrific vengeance, and perverted logic are not isolated examples. They occur regularly, daily, throughout the Islamic world, and among Muslims in Western countries. Most moderate Muslims (a term that I find paradoxical given their professed majority, yet their deafening silence over / lack of condemnation of radical Muslim actions) will say that the Koran neither prescribes nor condones these acts of injustice against women. They will say it isn’t a religious issue, it’s culturally driven. They are partially correct, partially lying, partially in denial.
The Koran and the Sunna (or Sunnah) comprises the Shari’a, the basis for Islamic Law. The penalty for adultery, for men or women, is death by stoning. The Koran says women are inferior to men, and their husbands have the right to “scourge” them for disobedience. And while honor killings aren’t specifically mentioned, most Muslim clerics justify it thus laws against it are laxly enforced, the penalties sometimes minor. For all intents and purposes then it has become part of Islam.
When a religion, and the culture that embraces it, makes women less valued then men; when it imposing penalties more harshly and frequently against them than male adulterers; when it obsesses over women’s dress, modesty, and obedience; when it places such a high value on woman’s purity that any loss of purity, whether by choice or by force, renders a family’s name for ever soiled; and when prescribed punishments for crimes, trespasses, “sins” are uniquely violent even barbaric … then you have a recipe for institutionalized , sanctioned, abuse of women.
For all intents and purposes Islam and the cultures into which it has inculcated its teachings and principles have condemned its people to a 7th century mentality. The losers are freedom loving / peace loving nations, the poor and undereducated Muslims, and Muslim women.
That’s the bad news. The worse news is Islam is the fastest growing religion on the planet, and they have an “end times” doctrine of their own. A worse combination is hard to imagine.