Thursday, December 22, 2005

When all else fails

Blame the women. For everything. Impose religious and cultural restrictions on them because then you can avoid facing issues that confound you.
World news from The Times and the Sunday Times - Times Online: "Thundering into a microphone at a gathering of wives, he made clear where he felt the fault lay: “The Holy Koran says that if women are good, then a country is good.”

A year after the disaster which many see as a divine punishment, emboldened Islamic hardliners are doing their best to eradicate sin — and women are their prime targets.

With reconstruction slow, irrational fears of a second tsunami high, and nearly 500,000 still homeless along 500 miles of coastline, the stern message falls on fertile ground. A Sharia police force modelled on Saudi moral enforcers enthusiastically seeks out female wrong doers for public humiliation.

The Wilayatul Hisbah, which loosely translates as “Control Team”, has arrested women, lopped off their hair, and paraded them in tears through the streets while broadcasting their sins over a megaphone.

More than 100 gamblers and drinkers — men and women — have been caned in public and some clerics are calling for thieves’ hands to be amputated.

The Islamic law introduced without popular enthusiasm in 2002 has been implemented rigorously since the tsunami, especially in towns such as Lhokseumawe, where Fatimah Syam, of Indonesian Women for Legal Justice, knows of 20 women who have fallen foul of it.

She said: “They seek out women without headscarves or unmarried girls meeting boys in private and parade them through the streets in an open car. I’ve seen the police laughing and boasting, and the girls in tears. The Sharia police say the tsunami happened because women ignored religion. We never heard of this parading before the tsunami.”"
We talk about democracy and freedom in this country but we are unwilling to deal with countries that regularly oppress women for whatever reasons, usually relgious. Is it because they don't have oil and women are seen as breeding centers for the next male generation?

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