Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What The Handmaid's Tale describes is certainly not Donald Trump's America or the condition of women in any predominantly Christian nation. It does, however, describe the conditions faced by many women today in the Islamic world.

...In the book and TV series, women are forbidden from receiving an education or controlling their own money. Lesbians are executed, and the government surveils homes to discern who's been obedient to the repressive regime. People who oppose the government are hung in the town square or sent to concentration camps.

This fiction is hauntingly similar to the reality faced by many women living under the thumb of the most radical Islamic regimes, especially those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Yemen.

Consider that, according to a 2013 survey released by the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

In Saudi Arabia, rape within marriage is not recognized and rape victims are often charged with adultery. Women there aren't allowed to drive and need a male guardian's permission to travel, go to school, marry or make a hospital visit.

In Bahrain, a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man's in an Islamic court. In, Morocco, it is against the law to harbor a woman who has left her husband.

And in the Palestinian territories, just 17 percent of women are employed even though the literacy rate is 93 percent. Thirteen-year-old girls have been stoned to death for adultery and close to 100 percent of women and girls undergo female genital mutilation.

American liberals are in the habit of thinking the worst of Christians in the United States and the best of Muslims all over the world. That habit explains why most Democrats feel American Muslims are treated worse than Middle East Christians, as a recent poll found. This even though some Christians in the Middle East have become the victims of genocide, and most others live in their ancient homelands as second-class citizens. For the second year in a row in 2016, an Italian study found, Christians were the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Orwell once said, "To see what's in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."...