After she was raped, she was charged with adultery

The EU commissioned a documentary film on women in Afghanistan who get shoved into prison for doing outrageous things like leaving abusive “husbands” they never wanted to marry in the first place. The documentary was duly made, at which point the EU got cold feet and said on second thought let’s put this documentary in a locked drawer and never think about it again.

The documentary told the story of a 19-year-old prisoner called Gulnaz.

After she was raped, she was charged with adultery. Her baby girl, born
following the rape, is serving her sentence with her.

“At first my sentence was two years,” Gulnaz said, as her baby coughed in her
arms. “When I appealed it became 12 years. I didn’t do anything. Why should I be sentenced for so long?” [Read more...]

She rebelled herself to death

There’s a terrifying piece at No Longer Quivering, by a former believer in the child-rearing methods of Michael Pearl. She followed the plan; it didn’t work; she did what Pearl said to do, and followed it harder. Hit harder, was what you were supposed to do when it didn’t work. Hit harder, and blame the child. She had a hard time with that, but her ex-husband didn’t.

My ex-husband got angry with the kids for thwarting the Pearl method, but he remained coldly self-controlled. He also left bruises. A lot of bruises.

Why didn’t I stop him? I finally did, but early in my marriage I was paralyzed by fear and brainwashed by bad teaching. We both feared raising ungodly kids. We were looking for confirmation that some part of this system worked, and my ex-husband began to get results. The children flinched when he even moved. Cowered when he reached for a spanking implement. Had semi-seizures on the carpet following “biblical correction.” We got compliance with our wishes. Eventually, there was immediate and unquestioning compliance. My ex-husband had quelled the rebellion in three kids. He had created unfocused, freaked-out little robots who obeyed. [Read more...]

In which the rights of God are assured

The “soft-spoken Islamic scholar” Rachid Ghannouchi has nice plans for Tunisia, he tells us.

“We will continue this revolution to realize its aims of a Tunisia that is free, independent, developing and prosperous in which the rights of God, the Prophet, women, men, the religious and the non-religious are assured because Tunisia is for everyone,” Ghannouchi told a crowd of cheering supporters.

He might as well say “We will continue this revolution to realize its aims of a Tunisia that will square the circle.” If the rights of God and the Prophet as understood by clerics and “Islamic scholars” are assured then the rights of women and the non-religious can’t be assured; it’s an impossibility. [Read more...]

It could turn out like Iran

Middle-class women in Tunisia are not thrilled about the win of the “moderate” Islamist party.

In Sunday’s election Tunisia, birthplace of the “Arab Spring” uprisings,
handed the biggest share of the vote to Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party that was banned under decades of autocratic, secularist rule.

“We’re afraid that they’ll limit our freedoms,” said Rym, a 25-year-old
medical intern sitting in “Gringo’s”, a fast-food outlet in Ennasr. [Read more...]

Individual apologies to everyone who complained

Jesus is a strange guy. I’m always noticing it. On the one hand he’s God – the God, you know, the one who is omnipotent and omniscient and has a mind without a body – and on the other hand he’s so fragile that an ad for a cell phone hurts his feelings.

Wouldn’t you think he could handle it? Wouldn’t you think he would see the bigger picture and just not worry all that much about jokey cell phone ads? [Read more...]

A pox on compassion

Eric has a post on Christian interference and coercion with respect to assisted suicide. One aspect in particular hooked my attention.

Christians who are anti-choice-in-dying have been complaining for some time now that it’s not just about pain. In fact, they point out that of those in Oregon who choose assisted suicide very few are in intense pain. It is, they say, because of loss of independence, loss of dignity, loss of control that people choose to end their lives, not just because the pain is unrelenting and uncontrollable. And that is true. Choice in dying is not just about pain. It is about choice. It is to provide choice for people who do not want to go on living with the kinds of disabilities and distresses that make their lives no longer worth living — for them, not for others. It’s about individual life choices. And they are choosing only for themselves, not for others. It is about their sense of the worth and value of theirown lives, not about the lives of others. And Christians don’t want people to have that choice. They are determined, along with many of their Muslim and Jewish partners in crime, to make their will felt somewhere and by someone. Let it not be said that their influence does not stretch to some suffering person. They are still a vital force in society. Indeed, they say, they should be given a greater part to play in decisions regarding social policy, for religion is, after all, as the fatuous Karen Armstrong keeps repeating like a dripping faucet, about love and compassion, and about compassion and care for the sick and the dying especially. And they want someone left to have compassion on. [Read more...]