Treatment of Muslim women

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2010-09-23

[I was sent some videos purporting to show scary footage of terrible treatment of women by purported Muslim groups.]

I don't think I want to watch those videos. I'm sure they depict horrendous things against women. I don't need to be convinced about the misogyny of some backward very religious inbred societies, the Al Quaida and probably some Taliban groups included. Probably these films show some of the worst practices -- that's probably what they are made for.

I think some of the misogynistic practices have been around for hundreds of years, possibly caused by complete cultural isolation and also difficult local conditions where men within the tribe had originally held dictatorial religious sway and then established that practice as the traditional way.

But who knows how these traditions get established. The fact is they do exist -- (partly also as a strong nationalistic reaction to protect their "identity" when a foreign force is a dire threat against them) -- and no outside military force can hope to eradicate these cultural "protections."

Other horrible anti-women practices such as clitoral cutting, for example, also occur in other isolated societies in India and Africa -- and one doesn't see the U.S. army sent to save the women at those countries.

My point is that these practices can only end in those inbred religious societies slowly, but even within one generation, when the isolation of those societies is altered by acculturation. And with elimination of an existential outside threat, and education and diversification, societies do change, maintaining their religion but eliminating eventually the cruel and inhuman practices -- it's a natural process -- and only a natural process from within each group, given a change of circumstances. I believe this strongly.

Your colleagues seem to forget that these practices are part of what the U.S. military uses to justify its almost 10 year invasion and siege of Afghanistan.

And the women in Kandahar city -- "liberated" from the Taliban since about '03 or so -- are in only a marginally better situation, even the few who are in the parliament, according to the vocal women's groups who are courageous enough to speak out.)

So I can only suggest that this might be an answer to the repulsion that is caused in people made to feel fearful by seeing these films. It's effective propaganda, and while true, it's shown for propaganda purposes. It's not an honest or morally principled film project.