Between Slave And Free: The Plight Of Muslim Women And An Impotent United Nations

Is the price of honor the blood of innocent women? This is the one question that you ask repeatedly as you read through of Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World.

In the acknowledgements for Jan Goodwin’s book is this poem written by Atiya Dawood, Sindhi poet, Pakistan:

The journey of my life begins from home,

ends at the graveyard.

My life is spent like a corpse,

carried on the shoulders of my father and brother,

husband and son. 

Bathed in religion,

attired in customs

and buried in a grave of ignorance.

Bathed in religion,

attired in customs

and buried in a grave of ignorance.

Let those words really sink in a moment.  Who deserves to live a life devoid of freedom and what sin must one commit that would require being buried in an unmarked grave never to be mourned or remembered?

Goodwin’s book gives readers an idea of what the militant face of Islam means for millions of Muslim women.

In Pakistan, the Hudood Ordinance sets the value of a woman’s life as half of a man’s and charges rape victims with adultery.  A repressive regime in Afghanistan encourages men to kill disobedient women and victims of rape in cold blood to save the family “honor”. In Iran, showing a few strands of hair from under her head scarf can cost a woman eighty whip lashes, while Saudi Arabia enforces strict restrictions on driving, employment, veiling and travel of women—all this in the name of religion.

That feminists in the West remain silent about this deeply ingrained and institutionalized mistreatment of women is one of the unconscionable scandals of our time.

Buried 2,000 words deep in a United Nations press release on the filling of “vacancies in subsidiary bodies,” was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from ten other nations, was “elected by acclamation,” meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states—including the United States.

The U.S. currently holds one of the forty-five seats on the body, a position set to expire in 2012. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations did not return requests for comment on whether it actively opposed elevating Iran to the women’s commission.

Iran’s election comes just a week after one of its senior clerics declared that women who wear revealing clothing are to blame for earthquakes, a statement that created an international uproar—but little affected their bid to become an international arbiter of women’s rights.

This is an outrage.

Read more at No Sheeples Here.