Judy Bachrach’s latest article in the summer issue of World Affairs is a must read. For those entangled in the debate of cultural relativity and faith, Bachrach holds no punches:
“…ancient rites and practices like the circumcision of girls (85 percent of all Egyptian girls have endured this procedure), or the tradition of keeping women ignorant and housebound, can corrupt a religion that never intended for these things to happen.”
Bachrach continues with a grim litany of stories (at least those that make the news or we know about) of western women in the Middle East who endure their “own share of daily insults.” This, she explains, is because of their “double deficit as women and foreigners.”
But women who must submit to Sharia law find themselves in a bad place not just in the Middle East.
They are victims in France, where “only last year a court in Lille upheld the right of a Muslim man to hold fast to his faith and annul his marriage when he discovered his bride was not a virgin.”
And Germany, where “in Berlin in 2005 there were eight murders of young women of Turkish origin, executed by members of their own families.”
And Australia, where, “after a group of unveiled Muslim women were raped, the succinct Mufti Taj al-Din al-Hilali explained away the crime as an attack on ‘uncovered meat.'”
And the United Kingdom, where “Scotland Yard has probed 109 suspicious deaths of women, also likely slaughtered by relatives.”