Monday, February 18, 2008


I was just watching news coverage of the election in Pakistan. Some thoughts have struck me as I have tried to understand this culture. I use the word culture quite loosely. The first thought is that a very promising candidate to run that country was assassinated. That was Benazir Bhutto. She was a bright, educated, and probably caring individual who could have made a major difference in that extremely backward country. By the same token she no doubt carried with her some serious baggage. Her first and apparent biggest sin was that she was a woman. Some have said that she was taken out because of just that fact. The rallying cry was that no Muslim country could be run by a woman. There is also the possibility that her presence was a problem for the opposition. She was very popular. So let us consider these facts.

If one examines the entire Middle East, one comes away with some interesting observations. One of the most notable is the lack of value they all seem to place on women. You have seen the requirement that women be covered from head to foot. Just recently a woman was arrested in Saudi Arabia for sitting at the same table with a male co-worker discussing business matters. Women and young girls are beaten and murdered, often by their own male family members, for all sorts of real or imagined crimes. The crime most often charged is rape. The female is of course punished even though she was the victim of the rape. These are called “honor killings”. We have all seen women being beaten with whips and belts just because it pleases some men to do so. This appears to occur with impunity. Here’s my question. How would you feel if someone walked up to your wife, daughter, or even your mother and started beating them just because it pleased them to do so? Would you just allow that to happen? Would you join in on the punishment? Or would you take out the perpetrators of this abuse?

This seems to be common in the entire backward Middle East not just Pakistan. The explanation most often offered is that this behavior is a requirement of their religion.

Well ladies and gentlemen this is 2008. Women are not cattle, not here and not in Pakistan. They are not owned property. For any government to condone this ridiculous behavior is criminal. For them to avert their eyes to what is going on is also criminal. For our government to have a relationship with any such country is worse than criminal. This crap has to stop.

The Middle East has a lot of problems and they are not going to be solved until they first deal with this most basic issue.

Technology is changing the world. Great strides are happening and will continue to happen. Challenges of global warming and reduced fuel supplies are maybe just one computer click away from solution. All persons on the earth have value. Consider that any one of the young girls murdered by their brother could have held the secret to cancer cures. The arrogance of any religion or government that allows this egregious behavior is just unacceptable.

The western world has to stand up and be counted. Don’t tell me it is not our problem because it just may be soon. In Canada just recently, a father murdered his own daughter because of the way she wanted to dress.

His lame excuse was religion. Nonsense. It is time for the intelligent in the world to end this.

Ron Scarbro February 18, 2008

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