A few posts ago, I wrote about the issue of women in Islam, at the time that old Jack Straw was, correctly, making waves.
Part of the argument was my view, based on experience, that male British muslim youth is often raised to have a “utilitarian” view of women, leading to crass, nasty, and sadly politically incorrect sexism.
Now, while we applaud the downfall of middle eastern dictators come the reports of sexual assault of female journalists: Lara Logan who clearly underwent a horrific attack, and Angella Johnson, whose article is mandatory reading to get a feel for the casual brutalism of women in the muslim world, quite apart from stonings, hangings etc. The recently praised Al-Jazeera was too embarrassed to report on the Logan attack.
I don’t remember this sort of thing when the Berlin wall came down. It doesn’t automatically go with the territory of liberation from dictatorship.
It’s no surprise that some of the most dynamic opponents of militant islam are women, like Pamela Geller and Oriana Fallaci. The astonishing thing is that the barbaric treatment meted out to half of the human race attracts so little criticism from liberal/left commentators and politicians. Their obsession with the local, and with party political points scoring, coupled with an overwhelming hatred of Western Christian culture, history and mores means they ignore this particular elephant in the room.
So, what happens next in Egypt, to the Copts, to the status of women in what is one of the most educated muslim countries, with a strong middle class, will tell us a great deal about the future of islam, and our relations with it.
If in doubt, try this…