reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Month: August 2006

Pamela Bone: “Muslim sisters need our help”

A deeply-bowed, indebted tip of the hat to Instapundit for pointing this article out.  It is without a doubt one of the best pieces of work I have had the good fortune of reading in a long while, and I’m so glad not to have missed it.  By all means, please do “read the whole thing” as Glenn suggests!

IN Tehran in June, several thousand people held a peaceful demonstration calling for legal changes that would give a woman’s testimony in court equal value to a man’s. The demonstrators, most of them women, were attacked with tear gas and beaten with batons by men and women from Iran’s State Security Forces, according to Amnesty International.

Iranian women may not travel without their husband’s permission but they are allowed to wield a truncheon against other women.

Do you think women in Western countries marched in solidarity with the Iranian women demonstrators? Of course not. Do you think there are posters and graffiti at universities condemning the Iranian President? Of course not. You know, without needing to go there, that any graffiti at universities will be condemning George W. Bush, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (I concede Bush is easier to spell.)

You know, before you get there, that at the Melbourne Writers Festival starting this weekend the principal hate figures are going to be Bush and John Howard. You know there will be many sympathetic references to David Hicks but probably none to Ashraf Kolhari, an Iranian mother of four who has been in jail for five years for allegedly having sex outside marriage and, until last week, who was under sentence of death by stoning.

Thank goddess, as they used to say: a few Western feminists have begun to wonder why women who once marched for women’s rights are marching alongside people who would take away even the most basic of those rights.

It has bothered me for a long while now that Western feminists seem to have been largely and conspicuously silent on issues of women’s rights in the Muslim world, and on the subject of precious advances in that arena that have been made and ought to continue to be made in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.  Ironically, such feminists have often chosen to instead focus their ire on the very country and culture whose efforts have made most of those recent liberating advances possible.  It does seem to me that Western feminism has taken a passive and obedient back seat to multiculturalism’s demand that we pander to notions of cultural equivalence, which I find has worrisome implications for women elsewhere in the world and for the future success of freedom at large.  I sincerely hope we’ll start to hear more from corageous, independent-minded feminists like Pamela.

Great stuff recently enjoyed and not to be missed

Bill Whittle is back at the presses again with latest essays, “Rafts” and “The Web of Trust”. As usual, I found both to be stirring and right on target. I’m greatly looking forward to watching his new book project, “An American Civilization”, take shape.

Glenn and Helen have another great podcast interview/discussion up with Austin Bay and Jim Dunnigan. Springing off from the recent news regarding the British terror busts and Israel-Lebanon/Hezbollah conflict, they discuss data gathering technology and the balance between privacy concerns vs. antiterrorism efforts, cycles of Islamic fundamentalism, and prospects for the region. Truly great stuff, as always seems to be the case when they get Jim and Austin on the show. Don’t miss it!

Back in the game?

Things finally having let up a bit in my work life, it looks like I may actually be able to set aside some time to start blogging here again. — I certainly hope so! After starting this project a little over a year ago, I’ve still got plenty of ideas queued up and ready to write about, and have been looking forward to getting back to it. I don’t have a particular schedule in mind yet, but will try to start writing and posting again as I can find moments in which to do so. I’ve been enjoying lots of good reading and listening material lately, so may start with a bit of “linkblogging”. Stay tuned!

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