The Ground Rules For Wifebeating, Brought To You By The Yemen Times

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"This title may sound strange, but it's actually not just a way to attract readers to the topic," writes one Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy in the Yemen Times, which we totally read all the time even if Maged hadn't decided to call his piece "There Must Be Violence Against Women." Because he's not kidding! Maged, who writes a column called "Through The Mind's Eye" thinks it's pretty preposterous for human rights organizations to urge battered wives and abuse victims to go to the police. What's his rationale?

According to them, women should complain to the courts about any type of violence against them. Likewise, should fathers and brothers complain to police if their daughters or sisters violate moral, Islamic or social norms?


Um, probably not — though it could make for a pretty humorous 911 dispatcher exchange? Anyway, Maged's column is pretty unbelievable all the way through until you do some Googling and try to put it in context. See, the Yemen Times appears to be on some sort of crusade to "humanize" men who find themselves imprisoned for assault. And why do I get the sense that Maged is one of the paper's more, uh, enlightened contributors?

Well we found this in a "counterpoint" to a column he wrote last fall about whether men and women have equal "right" to be jealous:

One day, I argued with a Christian friend about jealousy. He told me that in their Bible there is nothing called jealousy, because it is regarded as a bad feature, bringing many problems. He justified that if there was confidence between husbands and wives, there would be no need for jealousy at all. I think, that dear friend, has a difficulty to differentiate between jealousy and suspicion.
Hence, we can say, a little of 'soft' jealousy isn't a danger. Instead, as it is known, jealousy is related with love. I mean, wherever love exists, jealousy also exists. In my opinion, moreover, it is an evidence of love.

Yeah, and that future defense attorney to Drew Petersons the world over would be Lamis Abdulkarim Shuga, a woman. Both she and Maged are, incidentally, English language academics. Is it bigoted to wonder what gets written in the Arabic newspapers? Because Ayan Hirsi Ali is starting to sound like she's got a pretty good point.

Op-Ed Columnist: Domestic Violence Is Necessary [Mediabistro]



So many intelligent things have been said already, so here is my two cents.

One thing I didn't see nearly as much as I thought I would is "Don't blame the religion! Blame the people who misinterpret it!" Well, you know what, there aren't too many ways you can defend "If a man lie with another man, they shall both be put to death" and other such anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-child, pro-establishment bullshit pervasive throughout MOST religion, but CERTAINLY throughout the three semitic religions, as not being hateful and barbaric. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are ALL inherently anti-woman, or at the very least, inherently capable of being so. FORTUNATELY, good people have made good decisions to re-think the words on the page (semantically and philosophically) or just flat-out defy them and say "Yeah, we're not going to do that anymore" or "Yeah, we don't know how that got started, but we were never supposed to do that to begin with. So we're gonna stop."

... ... end rant.