In Which I Invite Even More Controversy

April 18, 2009

So I suppose now is as good a time as any to admit that the controversy generated in the comments from my last post, “8 Year Olds, Dude”, was no accident. The words and the subject were both carefully chosen to elicit the specific responses that it recieved. For the record, at no point in that post was I at all disingenuous. Every opinion I expressed was an opinion I actually hold. I am disgusted with how women are treated in the middle east, and I think that any part of Sharia law which allows an 8 year-old to marry a 47 year-old is shameful, and that’s being kind. That wasn’t the point of the post though. I wanted to demonstrate a fascinating a bewildering phenomenon where people who would not stand for anything like this in America or in any other first-world country will suddenly rush to the defense of the Saudis because of cultural differences.

At the risk of echoing some of the comments in the post, would these same people defend all other cultural differences? Should we be forced to accept a Chinese couple murdering their newborn daughter because she wasn’t fortunate enough to come out of the womb with a penis? Should we have shrugged off the Nazis becuase their culture was built around eugenics and genocide? Do we not punish those who bomb abortion clinics becuase their religious views say it’s ok? The answer to all of those questions is no. Regardless of culture, there are basic human rights which should be upheld around the world. We do not tolerate slavery in any part of the globe because human beings are not property. So why would we rush to the defense of a Saudi Arabian law which allows an 8 year-old girl to be used to pay off a debt?

I believe that my comments would not have raised a single eyebrow if the people I was talking about were not Muslim. In a post 9/11 world, with the exception of the jingoist crowd calling for bombs that turn a desert into glass, many people refuse to approach Islamic issues the same way they would approach anything else. So why is that? Have we now become afraid of Islam, choosing to cower behind cultural tolerance rather than risk being on the wrong side of a fatwa? Has the collapse of the World Trade Center earned them carte blanche? Or is institutionalized mysogeny not a violation of basic human rights all if a sudden?

It us my belief that defending these more barbaric, outdated and detestable parts of any culture, not just Islamic culture, is either dishonest or despicable. So I ask those that would defend the father’s right of property over his daughter and defend the right of a 47 year-old man to marry an 8 year-old girl to defend themselves against my allegation that they are either cowards or something worse. Is there a third option that I’m missing? I just ask that you please not call me close-minded for thinking that in 2009 nobody has any business forcing an young girl to marry in order to pay a debt.

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5 Responses to “In Which I Invite Even More Controversy”

  1. Notelrac said

    Careful, your ethos is showing…

  2. guswinn said

    I absolutely don’t think that all persons of different cultures would defend our own cultural differences, but tolerance and understanding of where people are coming from and why they behave in a certain manner is something that needs to be practiced around the world. This is an age old thing.

    • thebeerphilosopher said

      “…but tolerance and understanding of where people are coming from and why they behave in a certain manner is something that needs to be practiced around the world.”

      So by your logic, we need to practice tolerance and understanding for Saudis who use their children as currency? Sorry, but I cannot understand, nor will I tolerate any such culture.

  3. thebeerphilosopher said

    Hear, hear! Couldn’t have said it better myself, Rookie.

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