The despicable failure of feminism 173

Read all of the article by Robert Fulford in the National Post from which we quote this:

Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, an angry Khartoum journalist who works for the UN in Sudan, has started a campaign against shariah law by elevating a local police matter into an international embarrassment: She’s invited the world to witness her judicial flogging, thus making her case part of the struggle between religious traditionalists and independent women … 

In Khartoum, the General Discipline Police Authority patrols the streets, charged with maintaining shariah standards of public decency. Recently it raided a restaurant and arrested 13 women, including al-Hussein, for the crime of … wearing trousers.

Since 1991, that’s been a violation of the Sudanese criminal code. More precisely, it is classified as a violation of public morality. While erratically enforced, the rule is serious enough to carry a penalty of 40 lashes. Ten of the women arrested with al-Hussein pleaded guilty and received a reduced sentence of 10 lashes. But al-Hussein and two others demanded their day in court and al-Hussein decided to provoke a scandal by distributing 500 personal invitations to her trial. She expects to be found guilty (she won’t be allowed a lawyer or a chance to speak), so she informed her guests that they’ll also be expected at her flogging.

The French government has condemned the law, and in Cairo the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has launched a campaign to defend al-Hussein and the others. ANHRI also protested a suit brought by the police against another journalist, Amal Habbani, for an article praising al-Hussein ( “A Case of-Subduing a Woman’s Body”). The police claim that the mere act of defending female pants-wearing also violates General Discipline.

When stories such as al-Hussein’s flash around the world, there’s usually a missing element: The feminist movement rarely [never – JB] becomes part of the narrative. The rise of shariah law constitutes the major global change in women’s status during this era, yet Western feminists remain pathetically silent.

Feminist journalists like to speculate about the future of activism among women today, but you can leaf through a fat sheaf of their articles without encountering a mention of Muslim women. Feminist professors, for their part, show even less interest. Trolling through the 40-page program of the European Conference on Politics and Gender, held in Belfast last winter, I found feminist scholars (from Europe, the United States and Canada) dealing with women’s political opportunities, the implications for women of new medical technology, the politics of fashion and even women’s response to climate change. What I couldn’t find was even one lecture or discussion devoted to so-called “honour killing.” Nor was there any mention of the thousands upon thousands of women routinely flogged, raped, imprisoned or stoned to death, often with the tacit or explicit agreement of Islamic governments.