Friday, November 6, 2015

The Price of Modesty

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ayaan-hirsi-ali/the-price-of-modesty_b_8481776.html
 
11/05/2015

Rokhshana was 19-years-old when a gang of men in Afghanistan stoned her to death this week. The men who stoned her were enforcing Islamic law, otherwise known as Sharia. According to the governor of the province, Ghor, she lived in a Taliban-controlled village. Rokhshana was forced to marry someone she did not want and she fled with another man, hence the accusations of adultery that led to her sentencing and brutal execution.

Sharia codifies Islam's many rules and governs everything from how to worship daily to personal behavior, economic and legal transactions and the governance of a nation. However, it is most commonly used as a tool to rob women of their most basic rights, including sexual autonomy.
Before Rokhshana's tragic death, the world's attention was caught for a while by the plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death for adultery in Iran, a country governed by Sharia law. Sakineh was ultimately not executed after an international outcry in her defense.

Before that, the world knew of the plight of the girl from Qatif, in Saudi Arabia, who was gang-raped by seven men and sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for being alone with a man who was not her relative (see this from Katie Couric's Notebook when she was at CBS).

The girl from Qatif was ultimately pardoned by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia under pressure from President Bush. Unfortunately, the pardoning did not mean that a precedent was set to quash the law in such cases; it was nothing more than a gesture of politeness to the US.

Sometimes a publicity campaign here in the West followed by strong diplomatic action can work to save the life of a victim. Thanks to pressure from Western governments, Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death by the government of Sudan for apostasy and adultery, was able to get out of Sudan last year.

The problem is that so few cases make it to the headlines of the Western or even local media. What I find to be a double tragedy is that when the life of a woman is lost or threatened, we in the West condemn the act of cruelty but fail to take a stand against the principle upon which the punishment rests. It is like denouncing the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 while saying nothing about the South African government's doctrine of racial apartheid.

The only way to stop these ghastly punishments against women is to campaign forcefully against the principle of Sharia -- to stop the Islamist narrative that says Islamic law protects the modesty, honor and well-being of the family.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ayaan-hirsi-ali/the-price-of-modesty_b_8481776.html
 

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