Thursday, May 18, 2006


In Saudi Arabia, women have just become even more invisible than they were before:
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has told newspaper editors to stop publishing pictures of women as they could lead young men astray.

After a meeting with editors on Monday, the king was reported in the Saudi media as saying that "one needs to think if he would want his daughter, sister or wife to appear like that. Of course, no one would".

Newspapers have recently broken with tradition and published pictures of women with hair covered but faces showing.

They had also begun to debate women's issues, such as being forbidden to drive and vote.

This is only more evidence of muslim and arab men's extreme fear of female sexuality-- a fear that has resulted in the continued culturally-sactioned oppression and humiliation of women and has dragged the entire culture to an intellectual standstill. Some might argue that it has even sent them backwards in time. I would tend to agree.

But, there are female freedom fighters, whose voices are being heard in that backwards world.

Egyptian feminist Dr. Nawal Al-Sa'dawi and Saudi columnist Maha Fahd Al-Hujailan speak out against the inferior status of women in Arab society. (hat tip: Free Thoughts):
"The man is permitted to be violent towards his wife and even to murder her. Article 237 of the penal code states that a man who kills his wife in order to defend his honor is sentenced to imprisonment only, and does not receive the punishment meted out for other kinds of murder, namely the death penalty or a life sentence with hard labor[…] [Moreover], the murderer husband may [even] be released if the judge sympathizes with him, as frequently happens.

"If a husband is entitled to defend his honor, why doesn't a woman have the right to defend hers? [Are we to understand that] a man has honor while a woman does not? What is the difference between an adulterous wife and an adulterous husband? Doesn't justice oblige us to evaluate the act by the same standards, regardless of [the perpetrator's] color, gender or status?"

Meanwhile, in the West, the Netherlands should be ashamed of its treatment of another outspoken voice. Their loss is America's gain.

(from Cox and Forkum)

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