Still true - Arab men treat their farm animals better than their women

by Arlene Peck

28 May 2007

Several years ago, I wrote a column entitled: "Arab Men and Farm Animals." In it, I explained how many Arab women are treated with far less respect and care than a beast of burden. Not surprisingly, Arab women regarded my words with much appreciation. As for their male counterparts, let's just say that many now hate me. So, in my continuing efforts to be "fair and unbiased," I decided to revisit my comments of six years ago and see if somehow the situation of women has improved in the Muslim world.

Let's start with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Despite the fact that this is a country that is the most oppressive to women and a hotbed of terrorist funding and training, they continue to be good buddies with President George W . Bush. Who can forget those photos of him holding hands with "Uncle Bandi" seemingly walking into the sunset? Or, was that one of those "insightfull" conferences they had concerning World Peace?



Women suffocating in the black burkas that they are forced to wear, has convinced me that their humiliating circumstances has yet to change. As 'special' as the Saudis are in their primitive attitude towards women, they really are not unique. Women in most Arab countries and in the greater Muslim world in general are all mistreated.

In the Islamic World, teaching is barbaric as we know it. But remember that the way women are treated is the result of a philosophy of male superiority and domination. In the modern world, what woman in her right mind would trudge, like a lamb, behind some jerk that couldn't get a date for the prom anywhere else? Yet, in their world, he is "lord and master" and is entitled to force his misguided will on some poor woman, be it his wife, daughter or some other female relative.

Along with this same line of reasoning, they expect their women to live a life of subservience, walk three steps behind them, and as occasion arises, kiss the ground they walk on. The women, they think, do this with a smile but they wouldn't know because of the burkas covering their faces. I wrote then that the entire religion of Islam is based on the word "submission". That might just be the reason these men don't have a sense of self-worth or an appreciation of their own identity. Might this be one of the reasons they treat their animals better?

I wrote years ago that, "The animals and woman do, however, have one thing in common: both are used for breeding. In the case of Islamic fundamentalists, women are used as breeding stock for future terrorists, or now, often, as suicide bombers. Come to think of it, goats and camels are treated better. They're not forced to wear those hot and repressive burkas."

The bottom line, folks, is that the situation these many years later hasn't changed one iota. I'm surprised that Arab men, with their primitive and violent attitude towards women, allow them to even have eye slits in those heavy coverings. Think about eating spaghetti in one of those schmatas! I have been told by experts in the field that even "perceived" innocent flirting quite often results in the death of the innocent accused. These are the so-called "honor killings."

Women begin their lives under the control of a dysfunctional mind which demands that they submit to them in every way. But, hey, this group is also fair and balanced. To them, it's not just women who are targeted for a lifetime of torment. They demand that non-Muslims submit to them as well. In fact, the Qur'an even states that if you are not one of them but a Jew, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist, then you must be made to convert; or be subjugated as a dhimmi or "D*E*A*D."

Hey, if a woman in that garden spot of the world, Saudi Arabia, isn't allowed to vote, drive a car, or go out of her house without a man to control her movements, why should it be different for a tourist? Imagine not being able to even swim in the pool of an international hotel if you actually believed the hype of their Minister of Tourism and traveled there. I heard about one woman who was there to attend a conference and actually was allowed to swim in the large hotel pool; however, it had to be at six in the morning. She was by herself in the swimming pool, but nevertheless had to be covered in the....... burka.

In the rest of the world, we laugh and talk about living a "dog's life." Women complain that they can't get their husbands to carry out the garbage. I think the majority of Arab women would trade places in a heartbeat with an American poodle. Over there, they are the garbage.

Even animals are allowed sexual pleasure. Women? Arab men can't stand the thought that their women might be allowed sexual enjoyment. After all, they are only good for breeding. So, with this in mind, female children are subjected to genital mutilation, often performed without sterile needles, anaesthesia or pharmaceuticals to ease the excruciating pain and discomfort. And, to these stupid and evil men, "uncircumcised" women are considered "unclean" and "unsuitable" as brides.

Oh, did I mention that Muhammed took a bride who was only six years old? With that as a model to strive for, what would you expect? Of course, their answer is to "circumcise" all little girls so as to deprive them of sexual enjoyment. But, they are also "fair and balanced." Their Qur'an glorifies little boys, too. Indeed, I remember when I traveled to many Muslim countries that I would see young boys walking and holding hands with older men.

Ah, but if an animal gets hurt, you can be guaranteed they will be taken to the local vet or a lay expert-type healer. If the women who seek medical treatment in Muslim countries are actually able to get help, the best they can often hope for is a distant mystical questioning and no hands-on attention. They are required to have intermediaries to explain things to the doctor, and then the doctor replies back through the intermediary. How sick is that?

But, wait, there's more! Heaven forbid that an Arab woman ever has a relationship with another man or has been raped by her father, brother, cousin, etc. It would be the innocent girl's fault and she would probably be killed for the sexual conduct forced upon her. It's always the fault of the female victim. When the family avenges its honor, it's never their fault.

Even the goats have it better. No one kills the goat to avenge anyone's honor. Because these pitiful men in Muslim lands, near and far, even in the US, are so insecure about maintaining control over their women, over 100 million of them have been circumcised; tens of thousands more have been murdered in honor killings.

Ironically, Islam allegedly prohibits violence and discrimination against women except for occasional beatings. More than 1,400 years ago, Islam honored women. The Qur'an repeatedly emphasizes equality between the sexes, stating: "and for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women." Islam gave women equal rights to engage in commerce, to earn an income and to own property. Women also have the right to divorce their husbands. They can ask for divorce if physically, mentally or emotionally abused. They can even divorce husbands who cannot fulfill their sexual needs. That said; don't try that today or you might well be stoned to death in a heartbeat. Wow, I wonder where the United Nation is when it comes to that! So much for human rights.

These people don't give a diddlysquat for democracy. They laugh at our efforts and look upon those efforts as a sign of weakness. To them, power is strength. Basic to the issue, the bottom line for the Arab male is power. They completely understand the concept t hat "my gun is bigger than your gun, and I'll not hesitate to use it." That always gets your attention. You can't hug a roach. And, that, folks is what we are fighting.

Negotiating and treating them like partners only earns their contempt. Any concession made to them is simply a call for more aggression. Israel has long been aware of this. However, our President & Co. continues to push Israel to give more, more and still more. There is strong bias against women. Sadly, parts of the Middle East have regressed to pre-Islamic times. Hell, I think pre-caveman? Cultural practices and overly patriarchal societies - which vary from one country to another - are what dictate a woman's place in this region. Abuse and discrimination are rampant.

Ten years ago I said, "Some governments are beginning to pay attention to the plight of women. Jordan's Queen Rania has led the cause, holding Arab women's conferences and meeting with the media to promote discussion of women's issues. In Morocco, King Mohammed VI has encouraged reform of family laws, to make them more favorable toward women. Recently, Egyptian women won the right to ask for a divorce."

While these are positive steps toward equality, Muslim society must continue to strive to restore the respect and dignity that Islam awarded women so long ago.

First, the Qur'an and the Hadith must be re-examined to address today's needs. Muslim academics and imams at mosques must take the lead in condemning un-Islamic acts; acts that have been allowed to go unpunished for too long.

Second, neutral organizations must be created to provide women in need a place to turn. Women must be empowered financially, politically, and legally to organize battered women's shelters, emergency hot lines, and free legal representation for those confronted with an abusive spouse.

Third, Arab women must cooperate with their male counterparts to help achieve freedom and equality.

The entire society needs to change, not just half of it. Negative stereotypes must be ended and laws improved. If not, the restrictions against one-half of the adult population will condemn these countries to third world status forever! It does not have to be that way, if they really listen to their Prophet and not their dysfunctional male egos.

Unfortunately, nothing much has happened during the decade since I wrote that article and I don't think it's going to. Maybe this primitive and savage culture will change and leave the 8th century. However, it's not going to be in my lifetime.