The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mind Numbing

The movie Mad Max presents a predictable post-apocalyptic story line—crazy and brutal gangs rape and pillage, murdering innocents and terrorizing the populace. Interestingly, the Mad Max gangs are not driven by any specific ideology and certainly are not proponents of any known religion. They kill and rape, terrorize and pillage because ... they can.

Now let's take a look at ISIS, an Islamist State the presents a pre-apocalytpic story line that is becoming more than a little predictable. Like the gangs of Mad Max, ISIS rapes and pillages, murdering innocents and terrorizing the populace. But unlike Mad Max, ISIS is driven solely by religious ideology—Islamist ideology to be precise. They kill and rape, terrorize and pillage because ... they argue ... the Koran and their interpretation of it interpretations say that they can.

The New York Times (certainly not what one might characterize as an Islamophobic publication) reports:
QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.
It's interesting that American feminists express outrage when a male speaker suggests that women might be somewhat weaker in mathematics than men. The speaker is condemned and is sometimes forced to retract his argument or worse, resign from his position of leadership. But when 12 year old girls (not to mention grown women) are brutally raped in instance after instance—all in the name of Islam—those same feminists are notably silent. The problem I think, is that blame falls on an entity that they are unable to blame. After all, it appears that progressives (and many, but not all, American feminists are progressives) fear the potential accusation of Islamophobia more than they fear brutality on such an extreme scale that it is difficult to watch.

As an example of this phenomenon, let's consider CNN's progressive heart-throb, Chris Quomo. When confronted with the NYT's reporting on ISIS's rape culture, he rightly condemns the barbarity, but them as an afterthought (or maybe it was just panic that he condemned something tied to Islam), Quomo directed the following statement at Dr. Qanta Ahmed, an author of a book on women's rights under Islam:
"This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages and their faith makes them that way. And it feeds an impression of what Islam is.
I think its fair to state that burning non-Muslims alive, slitting their throats, drowning them in cages, making them kneel on live explosives and then detonating those weapons, decimating entire Christian and Yahzisi communities, and raping little girls leaves a rather bad impression on any civilized human being. Thinking (justifiably) that these ISIS barbarians are animals does a disservice to animals, and PETA would be rightly outraged.

But making any attempt—as Chris Quomo does—to worry about the "impression" that ISIS might leave on Islam is a level of moral preening (or maybe a better phrase is "moral vacuity") that is literally mind numbing.