The Offensive Face of Islam
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Look at the places where Islamic radicalism has taken root. They are all characterized by the oppression of women. Muslim women know very well the problems of Muslim culture. They are at the sharp end of it. Salman Rushdie
These are news items I have read in the first week of 2006:
- In Afghanistan: Taliban guerillas entered the home of the principal of a girls school. They executed the man in front of his family because they consider educating girls is an offense against Islam.
- In Pakistan: A man killed his stepsister because he suspected her of adultery, a suspicion not shared by the woman's husband. He then killed his 3 young daughters so that they would not grow up to be adulteresses. All of them had their throats cut in front of each other and in front of his wife. He expressed pride in his deed in that he had defended family honour as required by Islam. 260 such honour killings are known to have occurred in Pakistan last year. That's just the ones that managed to come to the attention of the human rights commission
- In India: A prominent Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa against Sania Mirza, an Indian tennis star who has defied the odds and reached the top 50 on the international women's rankings. The offense of this devout Muslim girl who prays five times daily? The short skirt she wears while playing tennis.
When this type of article makes the news in the western world, there is always a Muslim who writes into the paper stating authoritatively that "This is not Islam. This is contrary to the teachings of the Prophet. etc. etc. blah blah blah." But for the vast majority of Muslims in the world, this is Islam. This does represent the teachings of the Prophet. And their Imams, their Sheikhs, and their Ayatollahs remind them of it every day of their lives.
If the Muslims who live in the west think this is wrong and contrary to the Qu'ran, then it is long overdue they started communicating it to the Muslim world. Telling their fellow Westerners it is contrary to Islam is useless, because we have the liberty to read what really is going on.