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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Left and Gender Apartheid

A female's chances of surviving are higher in countries with a Judeo-Christian heritage
than in countries with an Islamic, Confucian, or Hindu heritage. Source
Some leftists were talking about Islam and women. One of them said that Islamic hijab is comparable to Orthodox Jewish women wearing wigs. Another said that Christians practice clitoredectomy, just like Muslims, and Christians and Jews stone adulterers.

I disagreed.

My post is below.

I used to be a leftist because I cared about people and the left seemed more "caring about people" than the right, to my young eyes.

Me and my fellow leftists protested apartheid in South Africa and racism in America.

There were some cracks in my understanding, and one was that no one I knew on the left wanted to talk about gender apartheid in Islam.

On those rare occasions when it was brought to their attention, my comrades would invoke cultural relativism. "Islam is just like Christianity and Judaism which also oppress women." Or "All these oppressive features of Islam are cultural, not rooted in the Koran."

I found this odd. Why did my leftist friends, who were quick to condemn Christianity and Judaism without equivocation, suddenly sound like defensive attorneys, or public relations men, when it came to gender apartheid?

I gave this a lot of thought, for decades, and I now agree with other thinkers on the alliance of the left with Islam. Islam represents an existential threat to the West. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so gender apartheid gets a pass, just as Stalin used to get a pass from leftists in the West.

The facts are simple. Gender apartheid in Islam is all too real. It has nothing to do with Christianity or Judaism. It is rooted in the Koran, hadith, and sunna. For example, the Koran explicitly states that women are fields that men should plow whenever they want, that God created women as less than men, that men *should* beat women, that women should cover, that men can take sex slaves.

Traditions include Mohammed, at fifty plus, taking a six year old bride, and four adult males as witnesses to rape before it can be prosecuted, thus any woman raped without four adult Muslim male witnesses is a whore and must be punished.

One could go on and on. Stoning, clitoredectomy, taking children away from their mother, depriving girls of inheritances ...

Gender apartheid, as Leila Ahmed showed in Signs some years back, is not a reflection of seventh century Arab culture. Khadijah, Mohammed's first wife, who lived before he invented Islam, was an independent businesswoman who selected her own husband and ran her own business and was able to compel him not to marry other women. Ahmed shows that remaking Arab society to the Muslim ideal of oppressing women was a great project for early Muslim jurists.

Gender apartheid is real, it is rooted in Islam from the first, and it has nothing to do with Christianity or Judaism. It is reflected in the high sex ratios of Muslim countries. Women and girls have a much lower chance of long term survival in Muslim countries than in Christian or Jewish ones.

It will be a good day when all leftists join the rest of the civilized world and condemn gender apartheid unequivocally and effectively, just as we condemned race apartheid in South Africa.

For now -- I read a couple of good books by and about ex Muslims this year. In both books, ex Muslims speak very harshly of leftists in the West who turn a blind eye to ingrained injustice in the Muslim world.


  1. The left's silence regarding Islam's shameful treatment of women is telling. I wonder how, say, a Karen Armstrong, a John Esposito, or your typical leftist bourgeoise would fare under the horrid conditions they often ignore or, worse, justify. In fact, why don't we find out? Let's send X to a cave in Afghanistan, marry her off to a man old enough
    to be . . .

    No, I don't really mean that.

    I'm just tired of hearing naifs say things like, "Oh, so the US is concerned about
    women in Muslim lands? White men saving brown women from brown men!"

    And I have a question for you: Above, you quoted a series of truly ugly quotes from
    the Koran and the Hadith. Do you find these passages to be representational? I ask
    because, as you no doubt know, taking ugly, isolated passages from, say, the Talmud,
    is standard operating procedure for anti-Semites. That's why these lists of quotes
    make me uneasy. Am I being a wuss?

    Apropos your response to my comment under the post about your prayer-rejecting JW
    friend: I could count on one hand the number of practicing Christians who have called me a Christ killer, and I could on the other the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews who
    have called me a "goy."

  2. Liron, excellent question, and that you ask it makes you a mensch. It's really important not to misrepresent others' faiths by cherry picking.

    I know about the tactic with the Talmud that you talk about. I certainly encountered it often enough. I've argued against that tactic.

    No, you are not being a wuss, you are being a mensch.

    My answer is provisional. I am very open to being proven wrong.

    First, I address this a bit in a previous article, "Islam and Terror," that appeared on the answering Islam website.

    In that article, I talk statistics: how old the Bible is, how long it is, and how many different languages it is in.

    I contrast that with the Koran. The Koran is a fraction of the length of the Bible. I give the exact word count in the article.

    The Koran is often compared, in length, to the NT, which is a fraction of the Bible.

    Don Richardson says that the Koran is so repetitious that if all repetitions were deleted, it would be 40% of its current size.

    That leaves a very short scripture.

    Now, look at how Islam treats the Koran and Mohammed as an example.

    The Koran is almost divine. Anyone who says it has a human origin can be killed.

    Not so the Bible. We Christians and Jews debate it ad nauseum, and no one alleges that we are unbelievers for this.

    Mohammed is the perfect example. Anyone who insults Mohammed can be killed.

    Thus, Mohammed's personal practice of sex slavery and his advising his troops to practice sex slavery can't be criticized.

    So, yes, I think the above quoted verses are representational of the Koran and Mohammed's established example.

    There are Muslims today who openly promote this practice. See the sex slavery rings in Britain and "dancing boys" or child sex slaves in Afghanistan.

  3. Thank you. Very convincing arguments.

    I will check out your article and the Dancing Boys documentary. Sex slavery and child prostitution is a problem among the bedouins in the Negev, too. I know someone in
    Tel Aviv, a transvestite, who fled her (she was then a he) Bedouin village as a teenager because the men there, picking up on his effeminate ways, had been raping
    him since age 6.