International Women’s Day on March 8 is a day to celebrate the civil, economic, political, and social achievements of women. But it’s also an opportunity to advance a critical debate about why many women in the Muslim world allow themselves to be treated like prisoners, at a time when females elsewhere are enjoying unprecedented boons and freedoms.
Two disturbing cases in one week illustrate the grim point.
A Muslim cabbie was arrested on Feb. 25 outside his Flatbush home on charges of threatening to kill his daughter unless she agreed to an arranged marriage in Pakistan, where she claims she was held against her will for three years before escaping to a secret location in the U.S. with the help of the American Embassy.
Four days later, Muslims in Egypt stomped away their Arab Spring by tossing rocks and firebombs at cops while trying to storm a church on the suspicion that a Muslim woman had converted to Christianity, a blasphemous act in Islam — the so-called religion of peace — punishable by death.
Even progressive societies have bowed to pressure from Islamo-loonies to make Muslim women literally invisible — without a boo from Muslim women, mind you.
Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea won’t feature any women in the Saudi version of its catalog next year, after authorities in the birthplace of Islam ordered it remove all images of females because shariah law forbids them from being little more than comatose, veiled mummies in public.
Muslim women have promoted their domination by surrendering — kit and caboodle — to an oppressive regime that denies them basic human rights. One ridiculous “scientific” report by the Saudi legislative council upheld the kooky kingdom’s driving ban for women, warning that female drivers “provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, and divorce.”
A professor quoted in the report describes his experience in a coffee shop with cockeyed logic: “All the women were looking at me,” he states. “One made a gesture that made it clear she was available — this is what happens when women are allowed to drive.”
The subjugation, italicized by an enforced female dress code, is anachronistic and injures east-west relations.
Several European countries have banned the head-to-toe niquab, whose only apertures are eye slits, because it encroaches on personal freedoms and poses a security risk to free communities. Who among us hasn’t thought, while seeing a Muslim woman covered up like a bad rash in a burka on a scorching summer’s day while her male companion breezes on ahead in shorts and a T-shirt, “What would she give for the chance to ventilate her body and soul?”
Women are third-rate citizens in conservative Muslim society because they allow the dishonor. So, too, were their counterparts in the Free World, until they decided to take control of their own destinies — improving their lot and lives, and that of their children — with once-unimaginable gains that have been hard-fought in the terrible trenches and on the blood-soaked battlefields of civil rights.
International Women’s Day is the first step in recognizing an international problem that should not be swept under the rug, especially by those it affects the most, who need to show more courage and face the facts — consequences be damned.