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When Women's Issues Hide Humanity's Problem

Barack-Obama-Nouri-al-MalikiPresident Obama welcoming Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, whose cabinet recently approved sharia-based draft law legalizing child rape ("marriage" to 9-year-olds)

You may have missed it, but March 8 was International Women's Day, a  holiday unconnected to a religious rite or person, and with no national  or even seasonal significance. It is socialist in origin, and it was  Lenin himself who made it an official holiday in the Soviet Union. Not  surprisingly, it is now a rite of the United Nations.

In these origins lie the day's basic fallacy: that womanhood is an  international -- global -- political state of being; that there is a  universal female political condition, which urges, a la Marx, "Women of  the world, unite!" Against what? The common foe -- men.

As with Marxism itself, for such a sisterhood to coalesce, even on  paper or in elite committees and multinational organizations, the  profound cultural and religious differences that shape and guide  people's lives have to be minimized, denied or actually destroyed. In  real life, however, culture and religion will out, as they did on this  year's International Women's Day.

In post-U.S. Iraq, Reuters reported on the International Women's Day  activities of "about two dozen" women -- a brave handful -- who  demonstrated in Baghdad against new, sharia-based legislation now before  Iraq's parliament. Known as the Ja'afari Law after an early Shiite  imam, the legislation would allow Iraq's Shiite Islamic clergy to  control marriage, divorce and inheritance. Among other things, this  would permit marriage between a man and a 9-year-old girl, according to  the marital example of Islam's prophet Mohammed. Indeed, by the  Gregorian calendar, as The Associated Press pointed out, such  legislation would apply to girls who are 8 years and 8 months old. (The  Islamic calendar year is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian  calendar year.)

Guess who has approved of this child rape legislation -- some den of  social outcasts? No, the ministers of Iraq's cabinet. They preside, of  course, over a government created in large measure by great expenditures  of U.S. blood and treasure. The draft law now awaits a parliamentary  vote.

The Baghdad protesters shouted: "On this day of women, women of Iraq  are in mourning." At least two dozen of them are, anyway. But more than  Iraq's women should be in mourning. After all, child rape -- not to  mention marital rape and discriminatory divorce and inheritance  practices also legalized in the draft legislation -- shouldn't be  defined as "women's" issues alone. If they are so pigeon-holed, by  feminist implication, the modification of "male" behavior will  ameliorate all. What these women are protesting, however, aren't men or  the "patriarchy" generally, but rather the brutal impact of Islam and  its law on women, on children, on the family itself -- the basis of  civilization. It is here, in the treatment of the weak and the young, of  motherhood, marriage and childhood, where core, existential differences  between Islam and most of the world's religions and cultures emerge.  They are obscured as "women's" issues.

In pre-withdrawal Afghanistan, the celebration of International Women's  Day took place inside the heavily guarded New Kabul Compound. It was an  upbeat event, at least according to a Defense Department report,  featuring several laudable and prominent Afghan women doctors, who  naturally talked up education and the need to retain post-Taliban gains  made on behalf of women in Afghanistan. Tragically, the State  Department's most recent report on the shockingly low state of human  rights in Afghanistan reveals that such gains for women -- not to  mention children, boys and girls alike -- are already mainly on paper  only. As the armed utopians withdraw, the dust of tribal Islam settles.

The elites who take International Women's Day seriously, however,  probably won't ever notice. Consider the one American woman who spoke at  the Kabul event, Rear Adm. Althea H. Coetzee. As director of U.S.  Forces Afghanistan, operational contract support, Coetzee has a big job,  a hefty salary, status and power that few women -- or men, for that  matter -- achieve anywhere in the world. But she, too, the Defense  Department report noted, took to the same podium as the Afghan women who  preceded her, to speak of her "challenges beginning with her graduating  in the sixth class of women at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985."

Poor thing. I wonder what the Afghan women really thought of Coetzee's  "challenges" -- being among an early class of women at the elite  military academy -- in comparison to the challenges of their  countrywomen -- violence and degradation suffered at the hands not only  of criminals and outlaws, but, as the State Department report makes  plain, policemen and judges and other officials, too. As "international  women," they all can relate, right?

The report continued: "Her career, by her standards, has been non-stop.  She reminded the crowd that she holds herself to three mantras that  have enabled her to minimize any missed opportunities, and allows her to  live life to the fullest. Those mantras are, 'Carpe Diem! Semper Gumby!  And, Insha'a Allah! That is, seize the day! Always be flexible! And,  everything will turn out, God willing!,' said Coetzee."

That's Allah willing, actually. There's a difference -- and  particularly for women and children. But not on International Women's  Day

Source:Diana West

Diana WestDiana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press 2007). Her weekly newspaper column is syndicated by Universal Uclick, and West also serves as Washington Correspondent for the European weekly newspaper Dispatch International. West is one of 19 co-authors (including Frank Gaffney, Andrew C. McCarthy and James Woolsey) of Shariah:The Threat to America (pdf), a 2010 publication of the Center for Security Policy.

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