Mr. Obama Goes To Cairo | Main | Bleg: What Rules Make it Harder for Muslims to Meet Zakat in the U.S.?
June 04, 2009

Obama NOT for Women: "We Defend the Use of the Hijab"

My initial thoughts on the President's Cairo trip are that it's just more empty words. If there has ever been a right person to tell the Islamic nations to get their shit together, it is this President. Unfortunately, he failed utterly to call them on their treatment of women.

This in particular set me off:

Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That's why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it. ...

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which people protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation.

That's why I'm committed to work with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat. Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit, for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear.

I know, and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal. But I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.

And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well- educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

Now let me be clear, issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, we've seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead.

Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life and in countries around the world.

So he'll defend the right of women to wear the hijab and he wants women to be educated. Good. So do I.

What about the right of women to not be stoned to death for going on a date? Or the right of women to object to being raped without having to have three witnesses? Or the right of women to drive cars or simply be in a public space without the escort of a male relative? Or the right of women not to be brutally mutilated, usually by a relative?

Back during the campaign I saw a lot of bumper stickers and signs around here that said "Obama for Women." Not really. The Islamic nations largely treat their women like property. Other than one sentence on "equality" he didn't mention it. Oh, but he repeated defended the hijab. And when he champions the hijab, he champions the horrifying conditions that come with it.

Obama is NOT for women.

Oh, Another Thing: Alexthechick reminds me of something I missed:

You know what else I would love since Obama declared it GLBT month? How about asking that teh gheys don't get killed? That would be lovely.

The Islamic nations have a nasty practice of hanging, stoning, and imprisoning gays. But actually calling them on it? That's above the President's pay grade.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:00 AM

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