Friday, August 27, 2010

Sex and religion, religion and sex, how they are intertwined and how they create fear or loathing, or both. I have been sent two videos, how should I describe them? Would distressing be the right word? The first, ‘The Canvas Prison’ is an article complete with photos on the Bhurka, its history and tradition and my reaction to it is one of complete horror. How in this day and age women can be treated with such diabolical cruelty is almost beyond belief. Thanks mainly to the Taliban and the Pashtun tribes, for women it is a life of nothing but pain and sadness. No sports, no employment no schooling. Any sign of joy such as singing, laughing, playing music, showing the face, wearing make-up, can result in stoning, flogging, torture, amputation or public execution.
Women are not allowed to travel in taxis but have to ride in the trunk. As most physicians in Afghanistan are male they are not allowed to treat or operate on women and women must give birth at home. It is estimated forty percent die of complications. Others in total despair die by suicide or starvation. The war has robbed many of their husbands and, as they are not allowed to work, they are left to beg in order to try and feed their children.
With the advent of the Taliban, Afghanistan, a country that was just beginning to enter the modern age, was thrust at a stroke right back into the middle ages. Good God, it’s even worse. What can be done to end this horrifying nightmare?
Let’s consider the second video. This is in two parts, half of which I had received before and written about before so forgive my repeating myself. This is a photograph of peace loving Muslims demonstrating in London with placards reading ‘Slay those who insult Islam’, and the same sentiment expressed using behead, butcher, exterminate, in place of slay.
There is one which reads ‘Islam will dominate the world’, another ‘Be prepared for the real holocaust’, and yet another ‘To hell with freedom.’ As I think I mentioned before it is this very freedom that allows this woman to demonstrate in this manner with this banner.
The second part is headed ‘Mass Muslim Marriage in Gaza.’ Sponsored by Hamas, four hundred and fifty proud bridegrooms lined up for photographs with their new brides not one of whom was over the age of ten. The youngest was six. It was a gala event attended by Hamas dignitaries. The grooms, all in their twenties, were each given 500 dollars; the girls were given a bouquet. Sentiments expressed were ‘We are saying to the world and America you cannot deny us joy and happiness.’ Are they really so blind, so brain-washed that they don’t realise the rest of world looks on this with absolute revulsion? Did the little girls have any say in the matter? Are they over the moon with joy and happiness? Somehow I very much doubt it. And so what does the future hold for them? The Bhurka no doubt. Anywhere else and it would be considered child abuse.
We keep on being told that there are millions of peace loving, moderate, civilised, educated Muslims. Why oh why don’t they start to take the fanatics to task and put their house in order? Somehow, pessimist that I am, I doubt it will happen.

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