A couple of items in National Review's The Week got my attention. I apologize if everyone knows about these things already; I don't keep up too well. The first concerned an actress who stars in children's movies, the Harry Potter ones to be exact:
Cute, isn't she? Her name's Afshan Azad. She's twenty-two now. The story goes that her father and brother - both British born and educated Muslims - beat her up and threatened to kill her because she refused to stop dating her Hindu boyfriend. They left her "badly bruised." The men are out on bail and awaiting trial. Afshan's taken refuge with friends in London. She has pleaded with the court to drop the charges against the two (I have no idea why), but the judge refused. There are rumors that an honor killing might have been in the offing. I don't understand why the father and brother were so upset. In this article, we find out that Hindus commit honor killings too, although the Western media tend to play those up while minimizing the Muslim variety, of which latter we also learn that Mom sometimes has her part to play.
I'm trying to imagine one of my daughters telling me that she wants to marry a Hindu, so I react by smashing her in the face and threatening to kill her. I wouldn't like it, of course. As far as I can tell, Hindus believe some odd things. But, at the very thought of hitting her, my whole being rebels, and thinking about it for too long could probably induce vomiting. The point being that in the very different regard in which women are held by Christians and Muslims, there is an abyss that cannot be bridged. My own view is that they (women) are, of the works of God's hands, the most sublimely crafted. Next to faith in God, they are what make life worth living, and no man comes into the world without first having lived in hers. I find the burka, for example, not merely a quaint cultural oddity, but a horror. It is not universal to Islamic society, but in general the Muslim woman is kept under wraps. The facets of her beauty are concealed, the delightful grace of her feminine intelligence repressed, and her will subjugated to that of the family and tribe in such degree that the power of her capacity for love may never be fully revealed. Miss Afshan was not bundled up, nor was her beauty concealed, but in the end that most awful thing of all, the denial of her freedom to love, remained intact; and if that freedom is denied her, those she was allowed have little meaning.
The other item that caught my attention concerned an Iranian woman - Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani - who was scheduled for death by stoning. She was accused of adultery and had already received 99 lashes (with what we are not told), in the wake of which she confessed but later recanted. The stoning sentence has been lifted, but she may still face death by other means, say, hanging. About the same time I also noticed that The Weekly Standard's cover story for the week was an article entitled "Should Israel Bomb Iran?" I haven't read it yet because I'm afraid of what it will say. The thing you've got to understand about the Middle East is that there are a fair number of good looking women over there. What Mother Teresa said of babies is true of beautiful women: there can never be too many. I'd hate to see any of them become statistics in a collateral damage assessment. For example, take a look at this protester:
Or this one:
Her name's Neda Agha Soltan. Unfortunately, she did become a statistic in last year's election protests. In this Youtube video, you can watch her get shot by a security forces sniper and bleed to death in a matter of seconds on the streets of Tehran.
I wish there were some way to save the women of Islam. Maybe we need a new strategy (objective, I should say, since the strategy's not completely thought out) in the War on Terror. The societies we're trying to save may not be worth saving. (This is aside from the fact that I'm not sure that should have been our purpose in the first place.) A society, or a religion, in which honor killing is known, but not the honor due to women, is worthy only of our contempt. The men of such a society don't deserve their women. So let's hit them where it hurts. I say we let the men wallow in their dungheap of tribal and misongynistic animosities, but come to the rescue of the women. They're worth saving. And to demonstrate that this offer is made in the spirit of true Christian chivalry, I'm in favor of rescuing the plain and the ugly as well as the comely. And the children too. Why the children?
Well, if the sources Kevin Jones consults are reliable, terrible things are being done to children in Afghanistan while Allied soldiers are instructed to look the other way, becoming parties to the crime. In this country - in the West in general - we gnash our teeth in rage over the crimes of Catholic priests and weep not when a Father Geoghan is murdered for it in prison. In Afghanistan, our soldiers have to treat "Man Sex Thursday" as a cultural curiosity, a mere "difference" of which they are not qualified to judge. When of course they should be putting a bullet through a rapist's head.
I'm not sure how it will work. But rather than taking the fight to them before they bring it to us, let's instead try luring them with what they claim most to despise, frivolous and decadent Western leisure activities. I saw on the news that NASA has a new function described as Outreach to Muslims, apparently an exercise in raising their self-esteem. They are to be reminded of their great accomplishments of the past, whatever those were. We are no longer the wicked Crusader or the Great Satan, but rather therapist to the Muslim masses. I don't know how that's supposed to work either, but if we're going to press an arm of the federal leviathan into service (most of them need something else to do anyway), why not merge the military objective with the social uplift? We're an open borders nation. Come to America, ye Muslims. For the women and kids, a month's worth of free tickets to Six Flags and Disney world, and for the men (following the lead of Mohammed Atta) complimentary visits to strip clubs of their choice (we have plenty here in Florida), free drinks and foot-washing basins included. To prove that we don't hold too much resentment over 9/11, we could sweeten the pot by offering to teach them how to fly the space shuttle or letting them ride within the nosecone of any missile of their choosing. Once we have the women and children apart from the men, we offer freedom if they want it. Some won't, but at least they get to choose. On the way to the strip club, the men are instead driven to a secure location and held there (in better than Gitmo conditions) until the women and kids have had their fun, then put on an airplane back to their sandbox.
Others may have a better way to go about it. Fine, let's hear it. There might also be unwanted side effects. A man without a woman - even one who thinks she belongs to a lesser species - can be a dangerous animal. He'll fight to get her back, not to defend her divinely appointed equality, but to reclaim the tyranny of his mating rights.
As for our military involvement in various Muslim snakepits, I suppose each one needs evaluating on its merits. But as to Afghanistan, the enemy of our enemy is hardly our friend. Either save the women and children or get the hell out.