Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Enemy of Equality and Peace

I ended my most recent post by implying that the next time I wrote, health care would be the topic. Well, it will actually be the topic of my next post after this one. In the meantime, I am taking the opportunity of this little blog to mention two stories you probably haven't heard on your six o'clock news.

The first comes from Gorja, Pakistan, where Muslims accused three Christian youths of burning a copy of the Koran last week. The youths denied the charge. Then, on Sunday, a group of armed Islamists "responded" by attacking a predominantly Christian neighborhood with gas bombs, looting and setting fire to dozens of homes, burning at least eight people to death, and firing guns into he crowd of people who were fleeing them.

The other story comes from another Islamic country, Sudan, where 13 women were arrested in a restaurant last month for wearing trousers. Two days later, 10 of them accepted the punishment of being lashed 10 times with a whip. Two others have yet to receive their sentences. However, the thirteenth woman -- Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who was sentenced to 40 lashes -- has responded in true Gandhi/MLK fashion by appealing the verdict and saying she will bear any consequence of her appeal in order to rally the public against this kind of theocratic misogyny, which is common throughout the Muslim world.

Al-Hussein is a journalist and she invited other journalists to attend her first hearing in court, to which she arrived wearing the same clothes which led to her arrest. She stated: "If some people refer to the sharia (Islamic law) to justify flagellating women because of what they wear, then let them show me which Koranic verses or hadith say so. I haven't found them...Tens of thousands of women and girls have been whipped for their clothes these last 20 years...It's just that none of them would dare complain...I want people to know. I want these women's voices to be heard."

When women showed up in support of al-Hussein today, police beat them with batons. It is reported that they also beat one of her attorneys.

Slowly -- although never on the first page of newpapers (the page most people read) and never near the beginning of news shows (when people are actually paying attention) -- a few MSM outlets have started to acknowledge al-Hussein's plight. Still, they give it nowehere near the attention it deserves and as a result few people know about it. And they say nothing about the plight of the Christians in Gorja.

It is interesting that America's major media outlets -- all of which claim to be champions of oppressed women and minorities -- are so silent when the oppression is committed by Muslims. They are much more interested in criticizing Sarah Palin and complaining about the president who left office six months ago than they are in doing anything about the true evil afoot in the world.

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