Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Sister's Keeper

Not to belabor the subject of religion.

I awoke this morning to a Newser story about the Syrian government escalating its brutality against its protesting citizens.

I condemn that, but this post isn't about government brutality. It is about Muslim thought. Muslim thought in Syria, at least, as portrayed by an ultra-liberal news aggregator. So maybe it's true, maybe it's not true, but it was put out there this morning as news.

The man interviewed (a "protester") says the brutes of the Syrian army have now escalated their brutality to a new high and are now raping women. (Women who don't support the Syrian government, one assumes.) I don't have any way to actually verify this is happening, but since the Washington Post is printing this unverified story, then why not me?

I have seen the news clip lately, over and over again, of Syrian troops beating an old man and kicking him repeatedly while he was on the ground, so it wouldn't take much to make me believe they would "escalate" their behavior from mere beating to death and cutting off of heads all the way up to rape. Of course, that's exactly what Saddam and his henchmen did for the last zillion years and nobody thought that was any of our business, so I am certainly not advocating we make the same mistake here by invading Syria in order to "liberate" their people.

The Muslim man (unidentified, of course) who was the source of this story, explains that the raping of the 4 sisters (also unidentified) was outrageous because it was an insult to the HONOR of the Muslim men in that community.

He goes on to explain that, normally, the villagers would now just kill the women since they were no longer fit for marriage, or, at least, mark them so no man would ever marry them by mistake. But here is the headline of this story:

"Syrian Men: We Will Marry Rape Victims!"

16 men have come forward in the village and agreed to marry the sisters. Now it is down to 4 men, but still it is hard to not admire these wonderful men. No? A tear wells up in Max's little doggie eye.

"The women are the victims of the revolution, and we will protect them," the man said. A bit late for that, I think (to myself, of course, so as not to seem to be attacking the Muslim religion's time-honored traditions.)

And the Syrian government? Do they admit their soldiers did this?

The Man: "At first they said it was sectarianism. Then they said it was criminal gangs. When that didn't work... they are attacking our honor!"

Excuse me while I go out back and throw up. Please don't think my feeling like throwing up has anything to do with commenting on ancient Muslim thought as to the definition of honor.

I'm just saying that if 4 women in my little town got brutally raped by the army or the police, I would be outraged against the army or the police because they raped the women. Not because it was an insult to my own honor because they disrespected ME.

Ok, I know I have been accused of being narrow-minded when it comes to these sort of things, so I've said my piece and now you can let me have it. Be sure you mention that this represents only a small small number of Muslims and that billions are peace-loving, and the modern Muslim men don't think like this.

People, we have got to stop fighting in the name of religion, no matter what the name of that religion is. Don't you see?


  1. "We have got to stop fighting in the name of religion, no matter what the name of that religion is."


    I also sympathize with your urge to barf.

    Unfortunately, treating women like property and subhumans is hardly just a Muslim thing (though they are the some of the last overt holdouts) or just a culture thing (you could legally beat your wife to death - as long as you didn't disturb the neighbors - in several states as late as the last century).

    But I maintain that societies that marginalize a segment of their population, in the end, do themselves a disservice. They'll either fail eventually or grow out of it. It's short-sighted stupid thinking that leaves much of their people potential untapped (sometimes the best part).

    I don't have to like it or agree with such practices. I hate them, even noting the cultural differences. I think they're wrong and I think history bears me out on this. Unfortunately, I don't have much historic precedence on anyone from the outside successfully using force or persuasion convince this kind of restrictive culture to grow out of it. The best method available, in my opinion, is example. And that can take a mighty long time.

  2. You make a slight error here. You keep saying 'Muslim,' when you ought to say, 'Culture.'

    The idea of 'Honour is found in the middle East and Asia also, and they are not all Muslims. This just happens to be a Secular nation kicking its own people around, and they claim to be Muslim.

    Islam grew in such cultures and much was adapted to fit.

  3. @Stephanie - Perhaps you are right. We need to try harder to set an example. We have much to correct in our own backyard. That much I'll admit. But it's been 1500 years now and I don't think they are going to grow out of it.

    @Adullamite - You are right, of course, and I stand corrected. The Middle East isn't largely made up of Muslim Theocracies that teach hate, and Syria in particular is a devoutly Southern Baptist culture where love and tolerance prevail. Thank you.

    I don't hate Muslims. That would be stupid. But the culture of hate seems to have an origin, and it doesn't seem to be coming from the teachings of Buddha.

  4. Stephanie is right when she says it isn't just a Muslim thing, this oppression of women. I was just reacting to a particular news story in this post. I thought it was outrageous, this "honor" thing.



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