There is no excuse for this

22 02 2007

Zilla Huma Usman was assassinated by an Islamic extremist for not wearing the “appropriate” veil just prior to a speech in Pakistan. Why was this atrocity committed? Said the gunman

I have no regrets. I just obeyed Allah’s commandment

adding

I will kill all those women who do not follow the right path, if I am freed again

It is hard for me to believe that in the 21st century women are still being treated as property and are murdered is they do not obey certain people’s religious convictions. The kind of dominating paternalism that stems from Western religion is not all-benign, many people still believing that the chain of authority goes God-Man-Woman-Everything else. On this topic, Carl Sagan contemplates in the book The Varieties of Scientific Experience (essentially a transcript of his 1986 Glasgow lectures) if the paternally-based Western religions owe their structure to submission to a powerful alpha male, the appropriate hierarchy and body language of religion (we can’t look right at God and bow our heads in reverence) corresponding to how many submissive animals react to a much more powerful animal. Regardless of whether this is the case, the superstition that men are somehow superior to women and that women cannot hold office, be leaders in politics or the church, or even uncover their heads must be done away with; these beliefs have caused far too much pain and abuse over countless centuries to be considered as something good or valuable.


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