Honor killings are unlawful in modern countries, but still occur, particularly in isolated areas, even when they are imported to the West. Women are also killed in several parts of the world after being accused of witchcraft, not necessarily associated with Islam, although ignorance creates death in both cases. Ironically, many of the most barbaric beliefs among Muslims regarding females come from ancient tribal codes, not Islam. They are not found in the Quran.
Protecting female “modesty” is a double irony, because deep fundamentalist Islam wants to store women in a canvas sack so no one can even tell they are female, and much of the West works hard at making women look naked without actually being naked. Check out the recent fancy gowns that graced the red carpet in Hollywood events, with “necklines” showing six inches of skin down to below the navel. Breasts are all but bare, except nipples are scrupulously shielded for some reason. It seems like only a matter of time before other “lady parts” get their due. Thong swimwear, in fact, is near nudity, with only nipples and (shaved) pudenda barely covered. Why is it so hard to strike a reasonable balance between the female-storage bag and nipple-pudenda pasties? There is something to be said for genteel modesty, and both extremes make a mockery of it.
Modern Muslim women, usually urbanites in more sophisticated and educated families, generally go along with the parts of Islamic practice they cannot change, but fight against repression in subtle ways. Most are strong believers in the importance of their education, and many are superior to their lazy male counterparts because of that. This, of course, arouses males’ interest in “protecting” them from normal life, that is, suppressing them.
Although Islam disapproves of contacts between boys and girls, teens and young adults often find ways to get around this. There are nighttime gathering places where they can sit next to each other in the dark and talk. There are virtually no mixed events, but crowds of girls and crowds of boys find ways to enjoy themselves separately, sometimes quite rowdily. Young women are often able to attend college, and become accomplished in various careers. They also attend graduate school, and some manage to study abroad, particularly if they are married. Even so, repressive regimes often prevent women from working, or from advancing, thus wasting at least half of the intelligence and abilities of their country.
The elements of repression and violence in the West are less obvious than the guns and bombs of radical jihadis, but they probably hurt a lot more people. Western fighters, including Obama, have managed to solve the problem of some of the worst jihadis in the only way possible—by killing them. Jihadis may be the only ones in the world who are able to decide by themselves on someone’s guilt for an offense against Islam, and killing him because of it.
Many of us in the West fail to understand the terrible effect that Western politics and corporate malfeasance have had on so many millions in other parts of the world. Perhaps the reactions of radical Islam would be reduced if we were to put limits on this corporate and military activity, but we are not doing that even at home. In fact, corporations are always trying to get laws passed—and often succeeding—that favor corporations and prevent the people from protecting their own interests. Right now there is a law in Congress that would prevent states from requiring food to be so labeled if it is genetically modified. And we are on the verge of approving yet another trade policy written in secret by our corporate masters, which is virtually guaranteed to make them richer, harm the economic health of the rest of us, and bring down the rage of jihadis who are already plotting ways to end Western hegemony and corporate rule.