Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mullah's Dilemma

Okay ... has everyone stopped snickering at the cartoon yet? C'mon, get it out of your systems ... the rest of this post is serious.
A very important subject has been left out of the debate on Iraq, by the very people who purport to strongly defend human rights. That's right the Democrats have overlooked the situation in the Middle East in respect to women's rights. Even Hillary Clinton, the first viable female candidate for President of the United States has remained mum on this subject (sorry Shirley Chisholm ... you were the first, but you were a long way from being viable).
In most middle-eastern countries women are denied basic human rights. They are treated like cattle, bought and sold for the highest dowry. Men can have multiple wives, but the thought of a woman having multiple husbands ... or of even having sex outside of marriage can bring grave penalties. Honor killings are not only practiced but encouraged (the youngest son is usually the one to put the woman to death). Women must be covered head to toe in order to leave the house. Though I have never worn one, these "burkhas" look to be terribly uncomfortable and hot. When they leave the house, women must be accompanied by a male member of the family. In some societies, women are not allowed to work or attend school past a certain age. When they travel by car, they must ride in the back seat. It is possible to see a man driving a car, alone in the front seat, while his four wives are stuffed in the back. When out in public, women are segregated from men in restaurants, theaters and even while attending mosque. Women legally have no say in how to raise their own children, where to live, or the household finances. All this and we haven't even started on the right to vote or run for office.
As long as Islamic fundamentalists are in charge of nations, or even villages or towns in those nations ... the plight of women will never improve. As a secondary result of the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, women are experiencing more freedom than they ever had (it is a bigger difference in Afghanistan than in Iraq).
It is my sincere hope that during this period of greater freedom for women, Islamic men will come to recognize the value of women ... and not in just how many cows or chickens they may be worth. These women need to take advantage of this chance to get an education and a good job and especially to vote and run for office.
Hillary needs to be in front of this issue and start praising the changes in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of just jumping on the Democratic bandwagon of everything in Iraq is bad. The rest of her colleagues in the Democratic Party need to get behind this as well, and if they don't, the GOP needs to start hammering it till they do. Folks, this is a no-brainer ... can't we decide to get behind at least this one thing?

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In_spired said...

No...I'm still snickering!

I shall return!

snowelf said...

Yea... you got me...I laughed.

Ugh!! I can't believe people sometimes... Okay, I can... but still... from anyone who claims to want to lead this country... I feel like they should be setting the example--so of course, as usual, Mr. Champagne, I agree with your look on this subject. Everything about Iraq is not "bad"'s just different from our way of life... Different isn't bad, it's just different. And I hate the way women are treated--it's sad and disgraceful, but it's going to take a lot of work to change that kind of culture. Can you imagine the opposite happening here--that's it women, you will all be subservient... I feel like the idea of liberating women in Iraq would be met with the same amount of force... but I also feel it's something worth trying for...because things can turn over with time. Slavery and woman's rights are just two examples of that in our own country.

I would really like to see how people actually live in Iraq--because there has to be some happiness there--it can't be constant misery, can it? I would hope that's just our impression from the eye of the media. I don't really know first hand though--I just know I'm skeptical to think of Iraq as the equivalent of "hell" for almost all it's citizens.

Just some rambling thoughts there...


In_spired said...

Don't get me wrong! I certainly don't want to go around sporting a burkha! But neither do I want to expose my body for the world to see, which is the image of our American women, worldwide.
The burkha and the bikini are two extremes and the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Yes, definitely, the freedom of the Afghan and Iraqi women should be upheld and Ms. Hillary is not as sharp as she should be if she doesn't pursue this success.

But we, as a nation, need to have a huge "back yard clean-up, as far as the image of our women is concerned.

(Funny as it is, the cartoon says a lot)

lime said...

in the last year i've read two books on this very subject that have opened my eyes quite a lot.

in the name of honor: a memoir by mukhtar mai is about a woman who was sentenced to be gangraped to restore family honor after her young brother was accused of impropriety toward a high class woman


reading lolita in tehran (name of the author escapes me now) which covers the changes that came about in iranian society after the islamic revolution...many many steps backwards for women in that nation.

Jenny! said...

Agreed! The way that the democrats will automatically but the negative on ANYTHING Iraq makes me sick...there ARE Postives...they should shut the fuck up and give recognize postive things in the world...even if they don't support 100% of the way it got that way!

WomanHonorThyself said...

youre so right..women are slaves and objects of torture in the Mussssssssslim world but lefties could care less~!

Anonymous said...


ISLAM is a religion of peace, but I guess that peace applies only to the males. The US needs to continue pushing on liberating everyone living under all this nonsense. Our best "friends" in the area are the Saudis, we need to push for basic liberties in that country [for females and for males], and maybe the rest of the ISLAM loving countries would follow the Saudi example. Oh by the way, that lady on the photo looks like one of my good female running friends! Have a fine TEXAS morning!


buffalodickdy said...

I would say the reason is that the Democrats want to stay clear of the mudpuddle the Republicans are stuck in right now!Changing cultures takes a long time...

Loving Annie said...

Good Sunday afternoon the 16th to you Paul C ! How are you doing ?

Thank you for commenting on my erotica blog, b.t.w. -- 3 times since August 1st ! You are a dear.
I left you a link in today's 'thank-you's.

*cyber hugs and smiles*
Loving Annie

Terry said...

Hey, I thought Hillary was supposed to be the Champion for Women!

Its so frustrating to think about how mistreated woman have been historically and today in places like the Middle East. Thanks for bringing this topic up, Paul!

Paul Champagne said...

snow ... actually one of the most repressive regimes (as far as women's rights) is Saudi Arabia. The problem in that country isn't that it is a theocracy, but that it is a monarchy.

Democracy is probably the only way to ensure equal rights for all citizens.

As far as seeing how people really live in Iraq ... you would be surprized. It is what we in the west would call hell. But under Saddam is was hell too. I was watching a news report on a little boy that was burned by insurgents (they litterally tossed gasoline on him and set him on fire). He was recently brought to the US to undergo skin grafts ... and his mother has the hope that he will be able to smile again. One of the things that was mentioned is that now that they are in the US, they are getting to see things that they saw on TV. The main thing that the kid was interested in was the play grounds ... he had never seen one before ... how sad.

inspired ... I would never dictate to women (except my daughters and grand-daughters) what is acceptable to wear in public. That being said, there are times when I am shocked by what some women are wearing ... but it is their choice. This is after all a free country and as long as they are within the public decency laws, they have done nothing wrong.

lime ... isn't it amazing that in the 21st century, we still have parts of the world living in the 15th century as far as women's rights is concerned?

jenny ... there is an old saying, "when life gives you lemons ... make lemonade". The Democrats have obviously never heard of it. Since it appears obvious that the Democrats have no say in the War, they should concentrate on the positives and make those their issues.

woman ... the "lefties" in society care ... it is the politicians that only care about one thing ... power. Unfortunately, this holds true for some politicians on both sides of the aisle.

tlrb ... absolutely correct ... the Saudis definitely need a cram course on human rights. I think I need to run with you if your running buddies look like the woman in the picture.

buffalo ... change is never easy, or quick. If you push too hard, things have a way of back-firing. I am just saying that it would be in the best interests of the Democrats to latch on to this and make it their own. It would be in keeping with the traditions of their party and aside from some bigots, who would disagree with them? It would be a win - win situation for them.

annie ... thank you, your blog is beautifully written.

terry ... it is not only a shame, but shocking. But I have a confession to make. I was inspired to do this post by the pic. I hadn't been thinking about women's rights till I came across the cartoon.

Blancodeviosa said...

i don't believe you can change a society engrained with these fundamental beliefs. we can't instill our ways of christianity or even a messianic view in a matter of years.

bush doesn't get this.

but then again, he doesn't read.
readings for pussies!

Paul Champagne said...

blanco ... we don't need to instill anything in these people ... democracy will do that for us. We just need to seperate church from state in these countries and all will benefit.

Reading is not for pussies ... That's why us guys have Tom Clancy.

Debbie said...

I've given up waiting for the women's libbers to speak up against the treatment of women my Muslims. Mum's the word so far. Perhaps they will change their minds if Islam wins.

Paul Champagne said...

debbie ... scarier words have never before been uttered, "if Islam wins". And what do you think will happen to bloggers like us "if Islam wins"?

Frasypoo said...

I loved this post,the plight of the Muslim woman is not good for want of a better word.
there are women in India who are Muslim and wear burkhas but get an education,work etc But I swear waering those polyester full body hoodies in Indian heat is something I just cant bear to think of.I went to a methodist school,got the best education i could ever dream of,I had a muslim friend who did the same thing and chose to wear a burkha...which made all of us friends wonder ...why,why,why ?He parents were well educated and her mom did not waer one