Friday, February 10, 2006

Where Are All the Muslim Women In the Middle East?

Where are all the Muslim women in the Middle East? What do they have to say about Intefada, terrorism, jihad and insurgents? How do they feel about their husbands, brothers, fathers and sons who have been dying by the thousands at the hands of American Troops, Muslim terrorists and as volunteer "mujahadeen" and suicide bombers?

Televsion pictures show hundreds and thousands of Muslim men demonstrating every day . . . especially on the holy day of Friday. In Palestine these men wave AK-47s, cover their faces with their head scarves and dip their hands into the blood of their terrorist leaders when they have been blown to pieces by an Israeli missile.

How do the women feel about all of this?

How do they feel about their second-class status? Are they glad that they do not have to run around in a mob, shouting angry and hateful slogans against Jews, Americans and the degenerate West? Do they feel shut out and cut off from wielding influence in the midst of the unrest and death? Are they being abused by the angry men who seem to surround them? Have the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine lowered the number of men to the point where there are large numbers of widows and orphans left behind and alone?

Do the women want peace? Or are they as fanatical about Islam as the Islamist radicals seem to be? What are their hopes and dreams for the world? Do they want every other woman in the world to be as they are? What do they think about honor killings of wives and daughters? Is this part of their culture and faith that they accept without complaint?

Recently we have seen how the women in Palestine seem to feel. In a pre-election poll (see 2-18, 19), more than half of the women supported the continuation of suicide bombings against Israel. Indeed, the women were more supportive of this than the men! ( Here is a post-election poll with similar results--but not specifically by women--here. A completely opposite poll result can be found here. Which are we to believe?)

Beyond the taking of polls is there no way to discover the thoughts and opinions of Muslim women in the Middle East? Are there any who blog?

If there is a way, why has no one asked them? Is it because no one in the West cares? Are there no women journalists who could investigate and report on what over half the Muslim population feels about faith, conflict, jihad, hopes, dreams, children, husbands, America, freedom and all the rest?

If there is no way to discover the thoughts and opinions of Muslim women in the Middle East then what does that say about the culture and religion that imposes this mass silence, isolation and invisibility upon them?

Personally, I am tired of watching the Muslim men shout and scream and chant bloody murder day after day after day. Just for once, I'd like to hear from the women. I am confident that they have something important to say. After all, in more than a symbolic way, they represent the "home front" for the Islamist war against the world. History has shown that it is often on the home front that wars are won or lost. Why the silence?

Note: An interesting story about a "feminist play" in Gaza provides some insight and can be found here. Note the story appears in an Israeli newspaper!