February 26, 2009
How Muslim Theory Suppresses Women
By Alyssa A. Lappen
RightSideNews Copyright © 2009
(also see Part One)
U.S. women received universal suffrage in 1920 with passage of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, avowing that neither the federal government nor any state could deny or abridge the right of U.S. citizens “to vote … on account of sex.” Article II granted Congress the right to enforce the amendment legislatively.
Long before the U.S. declared itself a nation, however, America gave women at large great respect. The Uxbridge, Mass. town fathers in 1756 granted the young widow Lydia Taft the right to vote in local matters, for example. America again showed its respect for women in 1789 when the states ratified the U.S. Constitution, inferring rights to women amongst “We the people of the United States,” when early 19th century suffragette Abby Kelley Foster first sought votes for women, and in 1869 when Susan B. Anthony’s formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Voting rights would never have accrued to American women, moreover, without their basic and universal right to free speech and their right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” as guaranteed in the First Amendment, drafted and ratified in 1791.
Nowhere in the world, by contrast, does Islam grant such rights to women, either political or religious. Far from it. Current Islamic teaching more or less parallels that of the 7th century original. In October 2006, for example, former Australian Mufti Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali described women as “uncovered meat” in a sermon at Sydney’s Lakemba mosque. Similarly, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf Qaradawi, widely recognized as Islam’s “greatest” living scholar, in the Status of Women in Islam derides any woman having “free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity… mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together.”
Moreover that theme—of women as not only chattel, but actually meat—is embedded in Islamic tradition, as stated by Second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644). Umar stated, “innamaa al-nisaa’ laHm `alaa waDam illaa maa dhubba `anhu” (Women are only meat on the butcher’s block, except for any parts that have dried up), according to a medieval Arabic text cited in 1937 by the great Islamic scholar, Georges Vajda. 
This might be unbelievable but for the fact that Islamic law, as cited in the Hadith (traditions of Mohammed) ascribes to women’s testimony just half the value given to that of men. Muslims consider the accounts of Sahih al-Bukhari unassailable. And according to Sahih al-Bukhari (3:48:826), Mohammed said, “This is because of the deficiency of the women’s mind.” Presumably for the same reason, Islamic law historically accepts accusations of rape only when there are four witnesses (not including the victim), an intentionally impossible benchmark. Three quarters of women imprisoned under Pakistan’s hudud laws, not surprisingly, are reported to be rape victims.
The global Muslim war on free speech is best exemplified by verbal and legal attacks on Dutch freedom fighter and Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, who has for years required non-stop personal security protection, now faces trial at home for his truthful statements quoting the Qur’an, and was recently barred entry to the U.K. This is all the work of advocates for global shari’a rule.
As we’ve previously noted at Right Side News, several large North American Muslim organizations also advocate global imposition of Islamic law, which prohibits “defamation” of Islam and Mohammed. For Muslims who leave the faith or “blaspheme” against Islam or Mohammed, the punishment is death, a statute on the books in several Muslim states, and widely enforced by mob rule in others. Non-Muslims may not criticize Islam or Mohammed, either. Pakistan’s hudud code enforces shari’a laws on everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan also enforce hudud laws. According to Islamic scholars, these statutes apply to all of mankind.
“Shari’a is barbaric, hateful, imperialistic, and unjust,” says ex-Muslim Abul Kasem, who no doubt voices the thoughts of tens of thousands of former Muslims. But the situation in which shari’a places women, both in Islamic countries and the West, is by far one of most intolerable created by the code. In Women in Islam: an Exegesis Kasem, a contributor to Leaving Islam, Ibn Warraq’s superb collection of essays by a host of former Muslims, challenges readers to imagine their mothers and sisters imprisoned under such shari’a.
“Men are in charge of women,” asserts the Qur’an in Chapter 4, verse 34. Other Qur’anic edicts concerning women are also especially harsh, and they are all based on the Qur’an, as well as other traditional Islamic sources. Kasem also asks readers to find a single Western law as misogynist as the following two Haditha, which equate a woman with a rib, and therefore crookedness.
From Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 113, as narrated by Abu Huraira:
“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness’.”
From Shahih Muslim, also narrated by Abu Huraira Volume 8, Number 3467,
“Women were created crooked; if you try to straighten her you will break her and breaking her is divorcing her…”
One of the foremost U.S. advocates of equal rights for Muslim women, in North America and worldwide, is AtlasShrugs.com editor and publisher Pamela Geller.
Here, in the second installment of an exclusive four-part Right Side News series on the Evils of Islamic Political Ideology, investigative journalist Alyssa A. Lappen focuses the discussion on the plight of Muslim women worldwide.
AAL: Why do you consider the situation of women so important within the Muslim war upon Western freedoms?
Atlas: This war is for women, and about women, and the ownership of women. You can judge the health of any society by how they treat women. And obviously in Islam, women are chattel.
I grew up in the Golden Age. I grew up in post World War II America. I was a post-boomer, what they called the generation Joneses. I grew up watching Andy Griffiths and I Love Lucy — mindless, carefree, free. Freedoms were like the air I breathe. It was not until those freedoms were threatened that I realized how privileged I was and am and how I must do everything in my power to save it. No one stomps on my neck because I wear high heal shoes and low necked sweaters.
And now, the key to our freedom, believe it or not, is the freedom of women in the Muslim world.
AAL: Changing the situation for them seems like a very tall order, almost an impossibility.
Atlas: Women in the Muslim world have to be part of the effort, although they know nothing else and they live under fear and oppression. They have no one fighting for freedom. They’re people who’ve had Stockholm Syndrome for 1,400 years.
If you throw a frog in boiling water, he will jump out. But if you put a frog into warm water and turn up the heat until it gets hotter and hotter, that frog will be toast. That is what has happened to Muslim women, and it’s why we have to work for them. We have to stop that, because it is already happening here.
People are auto-censoring themselves. There is double speak. People say what seems correct because they are afraid of the truth. Where you are not free to speak we are all in trouble. And the battle line in North America, first and foremost, is for Muslim women.
AAL: How can we show skeptics how difficult things have already grown in the West.
Atlas: Look, all you have to to is going onto YouTube to see videos on how to beat your wife without leaving marks, what tools to use, like they would beat a dog. There are Islamic clerics who teach men to beat their wives “gently.”
The long and short of it is, in Islamic countries, women are slaves. And there is still slavery in these countries. They have human trafficking. It is not part of our culture; it is not part of our rules. Of course there is illegal human trafficking here, but it is not systemic. It is against the law. Slavery was abolished with the emancipation proclamation. Slavery is still very much a part of Islamic societies.
They consider it perfectly normal.
But we currently have a United Nations that has paid no attention to the millions of people murdered in the southern Sudan and Darfur genocides. These atrocities are of no consequence to them. So women’s rights are certainly not even on the playing field.
AAL: How much of this happens in the West. Do we now have an epidemic in North America, too?
Atlas: So many people ask me how many women in the West are murdered in honor killings. I can’t give them an answer. Part of the problem is that even when there’s unquestionably been an honor killing, officials do not want to label it. This was the case when Yaser Abdel Said murdered his daughters Amina Said, 18, and Sarah Said, 17 on New Year’s Day in 2008. They were gorgeous, vibrant, quintessential girls. But they were too Western and they were dating non-Muslims. They spoke to a teacher at school. They called social services. They totally invested themselves in the West. They took honors and advanced placement classes. None of that mattered. No one helped them. Finally they ran away. The West could not save them. Their mother Patricia and brother, Islam, lured them back to Texas, to be murdered on New Year’s Day. Their father Yaser fled the country, probably to Egypt and the FBI issued a wanted poster. Their great aunt, Gail Gartrell, lobbied officials to designate the crimes honor killings, which they were.
Their mother, father and brother are still at large. And it took the FBI 10 months to add the words “honor killing” to the wanted poster. I called it a pig-flying moment, when the FBI finally acted, it was so rare. They called a spade a spade. But within days, the FBI caved in to pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood and revised the wanted poster, to exclude the truth.
AAL: That’s horrible. But this is anecdotal. To play the devil’s advocate, how do we know the problem is so huge, even in the U.S.
Atlas: For one thing, there is a fear of labeling. It took the FBI 10 months to call those murders honor killings. After 10 months, the wanted poster finally said:
Yaser Abdel Said is wanted for murder. On January 1, 2008, Said took his two teen-aged daughters for a ride in his taxi cab, under the guise of taking them to get something to eat. He drove them to a secluded park in Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot both girls to death. They died of multiple gunshot wounds. The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father’s rules of not dating non-Muslim boys. Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an “Honor Killing.” Said may have fled to New York or Egypt.”
But the FBI redacted that language very quickly. I called them on it. I called the agent and the man in charge. And he said, look we do not want to get involved in labeling. So there is real fear. It’s fear, or dhimmitude.
AAL: How can people grasp the severity of the problem?
Atlas: I am documenting as much as I can, but I cannot cover everything. This is one giant thing. I keep a running list of cases, and I am adding to it all the time, unfortunately. Look at these gorgeous girls. Look at Amina and Sarah. Beautiful. But there was also a “deer-in-the-headlights” quality to them. In Canada, Aqsa Parvez was 16. Her father and brother killed her because she refused to wear a hijab. She’s in an unmarked grave. I said, “This is nuts.” I established a fund and let me tell you. People responded, with little amounts. But they did.
I called Aqsa’s family and asked what they would like. They said “we don’t speak English.” I went through the cemetery. We were willing to accept any changes the family wanted. But they never looked at the artwork we sent by email or snail mail. The family would not sign off on anything. They will not allow a marker. I raised money from readers for a simple plaque. The family does not want that. She was too Western. She dishonored them. The cemetery also refused to let me buy a plot near her.
I worked with readers to find another location, an arboretum at the University of Guelph in Mississauga, where she lived. We were all set to have a memorial garden. But the University of Guelph canceled at the last minute. They told the school newspaper they didn’t want to appear to support my “politically charged views.” They’re liars. They are afraid of Islamic reaction to a plaque for a victim of an honor killing. We wanted trees and a little plaque to read “Aqsa Parvez — Beloved, Remembered Free.” That’s it. It would not have been controversial. But no. The arboretum sent an email saying, “We will not let you do it. This is a peaceful place.” I will not burn, sue, deface, harass, intimidate — I will be civilized. How could the University consider this political?
The case of Aqsa Parvez is one story. But it is a microcosm of everything. It is a travesty that this beautiful girl, who lived a tortured life, who was subjugated, beaten and finally murdered, cannot have a freaking headstone. It’s insane. People refuse to change, and refuse to help. They say Islam is peaceful. But what does “peace” mean in Islam, except submission. Aqsa Parvez had no freedom of any kind, certainly not freedom of speech. That’s why I am doing this. It is insane.
AAL: And there were many others as well.
Atlas: Yes. Now there was a “moderate” beheading in Buffalo, New York. Muzzammil Hassan, a Muslim Brotherhood big whig, murdered his wife Aasiya Hassan, 37, at the Bridges TV Islamic station they founded in 2004 to show Muslims in a good light. She’d filed for divorce, and had gotten a protection order against him. But that did not save her.
Muslims in the local community all knew Aasiya was suffering severe abuse. The Northeast Intelligence Network had investigated Hassan’s TV station for its relationship with Hezbollah’s al Manar TV. That’s a terrorist group. It’s illegal in the U.S. Okay, but this guy is charged with second degree murder for beheading his wife. And like Robert Spencer has reported, the media obfuscates about honor killing. It has to stop.
In India, in another case, Mohammed Suhaib Ilyasi, “a famous journalist who started the TV Show ‘India’s Most Wanted'” married Anju Singh. This non-Muslim converted and lost all her property, cash and jewelry to him. He was connected to the Islamic mafia and slit his wife’s throat. The police caught him, but his father was important in the All India Islamic Cleric Association and Ilyasi got away.
Let’s ask why it’s okay to throw out our women like so much chattel. Where is the wall-to-wall television coverage like that given to Natalee Holloway, Callee Anthony, Jesse Davis? The media has already submitted to Islam and Muslim women who experience the worst from shari’a law are trampled like so much garbage, in the name of multi-culturalism. What about Muslim women.
This week a German Muslim was jailed for life for murdering his 16-year-old sister last year. She “turned away” from Islam. There have been at least 50 honor killings in Germany in the last decade. Again, those are just the ones recognized officially.
In Basra, Iraq, 133 women were killed last year. At least 47 of them were honor killings. Abdel-Qader Ali stomped, suffocated and carved up his 17-year-old daughter Rand to cleanse his honor. She fell in love with a British soldier, Paul, and dreamed of a future with him. Ali went free and then beat his wife Leila Hussein, 41. He broke her arm for reporting the murder. Leila finally roused enough courage to leave him, go into hiding and plan to go to Amman. Before leaving Basra, she was targeted and gunned down.
Why didn’t the Americans protect her? Why didn’t U.S. troops arrest him? Did we free Iraq to institute shari’a? And the dhimmi media loves telling us she was still a virgin. What difference does it make? If she wasn’t a virgin, would her father have had a right to kill her? Of course not. This was a life.
I’ve written at least 81 blog entries on Islamic misogyny and honor killings. I get their photos. Every one of these women was a life. A beautiful life wasted, for what? Look at them all.
The point is that there is an ever growing number of these things that we know about. I have a list of cases that I keep adding to. And for every one we know about there are probably at least five that are never reported as such. The point is these are girls. They are young girls and young women. They just want to be free. And they are all individual people. Their lives are snuffed out. And the number is large and trending up.
AAL: Well obviously you care a lot about these women.
Atlas: Yes, I identify with these girls. The random brutality of every story is remarkably the same. Aqsa was getting on a bus to go see her friends and her mother saw her and socked her in the head.
When Amina was a sophomore she came to school with huge red bruises on her arms and back. She told a friend that her father kicked her in the face after finding notes from her boyfriend. Her lips got intertwined with her braces and the family refused to take her to a doctor.
Amina was willful. She was the one who wanted to get away. He had to kill her immediately. Sarah was quiet and subservient. She figured if she went along, she’d stay out of her father’s line of fire. I read the autopsy and shared it with a friend who is a prosecutor. Sarah, the subservient one, he tortured her. He put the gun to her arm and shot. She had 9 bullets when she called 911. He tortured that girl.
AAL: Assuming you cannot scientifically prove your theory of rising honor killings, or even if you could, what can we in the West realistically do about this?
Atlas: There has to be a place for people to go. America was always that place. I believe in individual responsibility. So women, if they want to get out, have to find a way.
But there are also Muslim victims here in the West. Europe is no longer safe for women. And U.S. society has to wise up. Do you remember that journalist who went around wearing a burka to find out what it was like to be a Muslim woman? Afterwards, she said everyone was so solicitous to her. The only ones hostile to her were Muslim women. They know what it is. They don’t want us to be trapped like them. They want us to free them.
Now in some ways, you have to hold Muslim women responsible. In Iran, I have a problem with that. If you do not like your country, fight or get out. Do something.
The U.S., though, is a country Muslim women can run to, where Muslim fathers should not get away with murder and their sins should not be covered when they commit honor killings. This is what has to be done. We have to expose them. But the question remains, are we setting an example for the rest of the world. Are we setting a good example of what it means to be free. President Bush did that, and he got his ass handed to him.
AAL: Do you have any hope that Obama could help?
Atlas: He will not benefit the rights of Muslim women in any way. He’s giving the Muslim world a blank check to do and act as they wish. I don’t know anyone who left Islam with a happy face. I don’t know anyone. And I don’t think Obama is naÃ¯ve or ignorant about that. He was raised on Islam. He lived in an Islamic nation and went to an Islamic school. He memorized Qur’an. It’s where his sympathies rest. And think about his church. I do not consider Rev. Wright a Christian. He founded a black nationalist organization, and was very close to the nation of Islam before he started that church.
It bodes ill for all of us, but especially for women.
AAL: So what’s the answer?
Atlas: As I said, the key is the women in the Muslim world. They have to be part of the effort.
We’ll get nothing from Western feminists here. It’s an abomination that no feminist group has researched these numbers or taken bold action. Meanwhile, Muslim men commit these heinous crimes.
But we must not give them an imprimatur of legitimacy. We cannot let them get up and spout evil incitement. This did not have to be handled militarily.
At the turn in last century, one in ten Americans were part of the Klu Klux Klan. Now, the KKK is completely marginalized. They are not accepted. We have to marginalize honor killing and Muslim abuse of women to the point where it is simply not accepted.
That is what should have been done with Islamic jihad. But it was not done. This was a critical mistake. In any compromise between good and evil, evil profits. We are still suffering from this poisonous fruit.
At the birth of this nation, there were people for slavery and people against it. The founding fathers allowed slavery. That was a mistake. It was rectified by the bloodiest war in our history. Deals with the devil are much more injurious when you do not nip them in the bud.
So as bad as things are, and as bad as they will get, we should put these people in padded rooms, like heroin addicts who need to get clean. That is what the country needs.
AAL: Why it is that Islamic culture has this problem with women? Why is that.
Atlas: This problem also exists in other cultures. It does. Muslims are not the only ones to commit honor killings. The shame-honor culture is also specific to other tribal societies.
But Islam brings several things to the picture so that Muslim men are more likely to kill women. Women are but little possessions in Islam. There’s a devaluation of women in the Qur’an, making them but little possessions. Also, the Qur’an gives no clear prohibition against murder. Mohammed personally killed people and ordered people to be killed.
We like to think that religions provide the ethics and morals to control impulses, to stop humans from acting like animals. Good religion stops those base instincts. Bad religion amplifies them. And unfortunately, the West is becoming increasingly Islamic in nature.
You tell me. What instincts did the father of those gorgeous girls, Amina and Sarah, have?
This is what we have to do. We have to make it safe for girls who want to escape Islam. Any Muslim girls who want to escape Islam, contact me. I will put them in touch with people who will make them safe.
Islam needs a Vatican II. Islam really needs a reformation. But until such time as Islam reforms, we have to save those we can save.
As I said before, in any society and any political system, you look at how they treat their women. It says everything. That’s why, ultimately, this is why a war about women and over women, over control and dominance. The West doesn’t want to recognize that. But it is plain as the nose on your face.
 Georges Vajda, “Juifs et Musulmans Selon Le Hadit” [“Jews and Muslims According to the Hadith”] Journal Asiatique 1937, Vol. 229, pp. 57-127, included in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Texts to Solemm History (2008, Prometheus)
Alyssa A. Lappen, a freelance investigative journalist, is a former senior fellow of the American Center for Democracy, former senior editor of Institutional Investor, Working Woman and Corporate Finance and former associate editor of Forbes. Her work has also appeared in FrontPage Magazine, the Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Pajamas Media, American Thinker, Human Events, Midstream and Revue Politique. Her website is http://www.alyssaalappen.org/.