Will the West Please Stop Siding with Criminals?
The growth in systematic abuse of women, especially by Islamists in the West, requires democratic governments to introduce strong measures to stop this abuse, before abusive mullahs start harassing women of all faiths, to force them to submit to their wishes.
The recent threats and harassment of a British "Hijabi girl" by Islamists in Birmingham, England, merely for a video showing her dance, have re-exposed the ugly face of this autocratic mindset that owes its existence to extremist states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Enslaving women in general and inflicting repressive agendas -- such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, segregation, allowing no say in choosing a partner, education or profession, with abysmal living standards often part of the abuse -- is just a small measure of the jihad that the Islamists have managed to unleash across the globe.
The video of "Hijabi girl" (her name is not known), happily dancing in public, was recorded and uploaded to the internet by bystanders.
The video led to aggressive shaming and harassment of the girl by the local Islamist "morality police": men who ranted against her "impious" act and reportedly made her apologize publicly online.
Sobbing, she admitted how supposedly evil and shameless she was to have brought such dishonor to her family and religion.
It is important for as many people as possible, both in Great Britain and world-wide, to say how much they love her beautiful spirit and that they totally standby her right to dance, sing, play or have fun. These are very normal human activities.
Have things come to such a pass that now. even in Britain, only the most courageous can spontaneously express feelings of fun?
What is agonizing is that people either enjoyed or criticized the joyful act of a teenager, but no one seems to be noticing that this public trial and her forced apologies only mean further isolation for the young Muslim women.
To accept this coercion would be just a call on young Muslim girls to be quiet and submit, rather than ever even to think about showing their normal, lighter side. Most horrifying is that it seems that even the West has started to buy into the version of "modesty" that for centuries these extremists in the Middle East have been forcing on women.
The human rights groups seem to have become so apologetic towards the extremist abusers that they now turn their backs on the victims of these abuses -- the people who need human rights groups the most. Perhaps they believe that supporting the poor girl would mean offending Muslims or the "symbol of Islam" (hijab) -- which means they endorse the extremist version of Islam and the abuses that come with it.
The poor girl was shown no solidarity by any supposed champions of liberal causes. Instead, she was thrown to the hounds and left to face her torment alone.
It is also sad that the girl's family has probably also given up, possibly due to the threats, and possibly out of fear of these extremists.
The massively destructive, wrong-headed political policies of Western governments -- such as keeping silent on the abuses of women by Muslim extremists involving, for example, underage and forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM), sharia courts in the UK and accepting the existence of no-go zones where the extremists enjoy impunity and thrive -- are also to be blamed for the increase in violations of women's rights. Politicians and the policy-makers are apparently too scared of being accused of committing some fabricated "Islamophobia" or "infringing on the rights of Muslim citizens", so they choose to keep their eyes shut to the plight of these women.
This is not an isolated incident in which a young Muslim girl was victimized by the extremists just for innocently being herself. In Canada, famous video blogger named Froggy, of Pakistani origin, suffered similar harassment. She was also vilified by puritanical extremists for wearing a hijab but living a Western lifestyle by hanging out with young men and uploading videos of teenage fun.
In Darmstadt, Germany, 19-year-old Lareeb Khan was killed in 2015 by her parents when she decided to take off her hijab and pursue a normal life. Her father, Asadullah Khan, claimed that he had killed his daughter to save the honour of his family. He alleged -- whether it is true or not we do not know -- that the girl was having sexual relations with a boy of whom her family disapproved.
Her mother admitted to being present at the time of Lareeb's murder, but claimed she could not rescue her due to both fear and illness. Lareeb's sister, Nida, however, stated that her mother was an accomplice to the crime, and used to thrash her.
In a pathetic attempt at exculpation, Lareeb's parents claimed that they were victims of the extremist Pakistani state and society. However, they chose, when they were given refuge and protection by a Western state, to impose similar abuses.
Extremists use shaming and harassment as punishment and deterrence for any woman in their communities who tries to break a barrier to regain her life.
This double edged-sword not only silences the victims of the abuse but also sends a message to the other women also not to try to escape their imprisonment.
Why has no one -- especially politicized, self-absorbed women's groups -- come to help? Instead, as in the recent Women's March, they have been advocating for more women's imprisonment.
The notion that a hijab or a conservative lifestyle is a matter of choice for Muslim women might sound sympathetic to Westerners. It is not. In reality, there is no choice. The supposed choice is, in fact, a one-way street from which trying to exit can cost a woman her life.
These extremist Muslims need to be taught by society itself that they must respect individual freedoms and equality -- by law.
Many liberal women, doubtlessly well-intended, seem love to wearing hijabs supposedly "in solidarity"; what they do not understand is that for millions and millions of Muslim women, who dare not say so, it is not a symbol of freedom and "protection" -- like a slave-owner "protecting" his property -- but of repression and imprisonment. It is forced upon women, now even in the West, and, worse, with the wholehearted complicity of the West.
It is also a time for governments purportedly in favour of human rights no longer to sweep these mafia tactics under the carpet.
It is time for politicians, governments, policy-makers, clerics, human rights groups and "liberals" to stop siding with criminals who commit assault, battery, and even murder, and to start protecting their citizens.
Khadija Khan is a Pakistan-based journalist and commentator.