Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MIchelle Obama on Nigeria

In the most recent Weekly Address, Michelle Obama wished American's a happy mothers's day and used it as a segue to speak about the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria. 

The White House finally recognized a genuine war on women. 

What was not said, however, is as important as what was. 

First, she never acknowledged the opportunities women enjoy here in America. 

Second, she never acknowledged the motivation of the Boko Harem kidnappers.

The First Lady noted that a terrorist group claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and the threat to sell them into sexual slavery. She never mentioned, however, the name of the religion that inspires them: Islam.

"This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls."

Casting the terrorists as "grown men" who seek to destroy the aspirations of young girls, she makes them sound like some extremist "men's rights" group trying to elevate themselves at the expense of young women. Boko Haram does not seek male domination as an end in itself. They seek it as the social expression of their Islamic religion.

Of course, someone will say that the practice of raping female captives does not constitute part of Islam. 

Quran 4:24 says:

Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek them from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication. So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due, but if you agree mutually after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.

The phrase "those who your right hands possess" refers to slaves captured in war

A commentary on this verse in the Quran interprets it in the following way:

Abu Said al-Khudri said: "The apostle of Allah sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess". That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period." 

The Arabs who originated Islam probably pinched this practice from their fellow Semitic psychopaths--the ancient Hebrews. Readers less familiar with the Quran might remember this lecture given by Moses after the Hebrews returned from a successful raid on the Midianites:

"And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.  And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?  Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.  Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.  But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." Numbers 31:14-18 (KJV) 

Rape always has been a nasty complement of warfare. The ancient Hebrews and Muslims remain the most well known examples of people who actually gave it the sanction of religion.

And she reminds us that "what happened in Nigeria was not an isolated incident…it’s a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions."  The horrible plight that women and girls face in Third World countries--especially Islamic countries--is something that should be remembered when progressives start with their Republican "war on women" mantra. Of course, the apocalyptic language of some progressives suggests that they feel that an unwanted pregnancy is almost as bad as kidnapping and sexual slavery if it interferes with a girl's education or career. We'll see if this address turns into "dog whistle" for progressives to link Republican objections to abortion on demand to Boko Harem. The Obamas would never tarnish her address with that suggestion. But their supporters at MSNBC would.

And citing the Obama Administrations meme theme of the year,  she hoped that "the courage and hope" of girls all over the world will "serve as a call to action."

What kind of action?  Well, "so  today, let us all pray for their safe return... let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time…and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright."

Prayer . . .  remembering . . .  courage . . .  not exactly a "call to action" that will make much of a practical difference in the lives of women (especially if the Supreme Being is named Allah.) But that is not really the point of her address, is it? It was delivered to express the emotions of the Obamas--and to connect with the emotions of listeners. And that is part of what makes a skillful politician.

But this commentary really wasn't about the First Ladies speech either, now was it?


CW said...

Spot-on critique of Michelle Obama's plea, V.L. Kudos to you.

RightDetour said...

She apparently took no notice of the mockery to which she was subjected with her #bringbackourgirls tweet.