Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Honor Thy Father -- Or Else The Religion of Peace, with yet another prominent feature that has nothing to do with the religion. Or something like that. Why is it that there are so many things done in the name of Islam that somehow have no connection to it? Jihad, honor killing, and terrorism, the apologists tell us, aren't what Islam is all about. Coulda fooled me.

All these elaborate protocols are done in the name of "protecting" women and girls from themselves. But the truth is, it is self-defense on the part of the Muslim man. To protect Muslim women, immigrant families to the West comply only 50 percent with normal Western dress codes. How often have I seen, in the south of France in the baking heat of summer, a North African family walking across a parking lot, daddy and the teenage son in smart Bermuda shorts, T-shirts and Reeboks, hair cut trendily short and gelled, as Western as you please, and lumbering along in their snappy wake, struggling with the shopping and the swathes of draperies, two or three ambulatory swathes of black sheeting.

The time devoted to the micromanagement of women in most, not all, Muslim societies is unique in the world, not shared by any other society. Plus, there's an entire sub-category in the Islamic publishing industry for manuals by mullahs on how to beat disobedient wives and daughters without leaving a mark. When Western men are watching football or cruising the home improvement aisles for new gadgets, Muslim men are working themselves into a lather worrying whether a female family member is showing a wrist.

Which brings us to "honor killings", or, if you insist on clarity, the tolerance of the murder of girls and women for stepping out of line.

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