Thursday, June 02, 2005

Driving by women leads to evil...

Conservatives, who believe women should be shielded from strange men, say driving will allow a woman to leave home whenever she pleases and go wherever she wishes. Some say it will present her with opportunities to violate Islamic law, such as exposing her eyes while driving or interacting with strange men, like police officers or mechanics.

"Driving by women leads to evil," Munir al-Shahrani wrote in a letter to the editor of the Al-Watan daily. "Can you imagine what it will be like if her car broke down? She would have to seek help from men."

But al-Zulfa contends neither the law nor Islam bans women from driving. Instead, the ban is based on fatwas, or Islamic edicts, by senior clerics who say that any driving by women would create situations for sinful temptation.

It is the same argument used to restrict other freedoms. Without written permission from a male guardian, women may not travel, get an education or work. Regardless of permission, they are not allowed to mix with men in public or leave home without wearing black cloaks, called abayas.

There doesn't appear to be a day that goes by that a story comes out of the Arab world showing how utterly backward Arab civilization can be. Let's point out the first thing; that the KSA is an American ally and that the US has no problem with womens' rights in the KSA, compared to say, our great cause in Afghanistan. The stunning hypocrisy of the USA when it comes to women's rights is totally apparent to many observors; we won't fund international birth control programs but we suddenly discovered our sacred duty in Afganistan by coincidence after the WTC collapsed.

I can already hear female radicals from the hysterical left explaining away such things and our criticism of that society as failing to understand the multi-cultural issues. I dare say that few, if any of these same women would feel that way were they living in the KSA. I posted a few weeks ago an astonishing conversation from a particularly vile Canadian woman who attempted to explain genital mutilation and compare it to, gasp, circumcision.

WHile I am tempted to comment on women driving, (in truth it is testosterone laden teenage men and their twentysomething compadres who are by far the biggest assholes on the road)in the final analysis this isn't at all funny.

If there was any doubt we are at war with a seventh century mentality, this is one more piece of evidence that we are. As much as many would like to reduce our conflict with the mideast to imperialism and the reaction to it, let's be honest about it.


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