Years ago, I read a book about women in the ante-bellum South by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. She made the point that, in the pecking order of that culture, women were below men, but above slaves, and often this led to the women's frustration being taken out on those below them. Thus women were overly harsh to their slaves because society was harsh to them. Now these generalisations always have exceptions, based on the nature of a particular husband or wife, and yet it made sense in a violent world.
The parallels between slavery and abortion are obvious, meaning that a culture (the American South) which demeans the personhood of millions, and lives with "justified" injustice makes for a spiritual "bi-polarism." Thus those who pray, praise God, and speak of chivalry and manhood in the most flowery terms while crushing the defenseless are living a fundamental lack of integrity at the core of their being. It spills out all over, mostly in rages (masked or otherwise) at those below them in the food chain.
That said, I see that the same thing is happening in radical Islam -- a religion cloaked in peace and harmony, but dependent on violent attacks on those who don't "deserve" such peace.
When it came time to write up the premarital agreement between Zakaria Amara and Nada Farooq, Ms. Farooq briefly considered adding a clause that would allow her to ask for a divorce.
She said that Mr. Amara (now accused of being a leader of the alleged terror plot that led to the arrests of 17 Muslim men early this month) had to aspire to take part in jihad.
"[And] if he ever refuses a clear opportunity to leave for jihad, then i want the choice of divorce," she wrote in one of more than 6,000 Internet postings uncovered by The Globe and Mail.
Wives of four of the central figures arrested last month were among the most active on the website, sharing, among other things, their passion for holy war, disgust at virtually every aspect of non-Muslim society and a hatred of Canada. The posts were made on personal blogs belonging to both Mr. Amara and Ms. Farooq, as well as a semi-private forum founded by Ms. Farooq where dozens of teens in the Meadowvale Secondary School area chatted. The vast majority of the posts were made over a period of about 20 months, mostly in 2004, and the majority of those were made by the group's female members.
To be clear, the first woman mentioned insists that if her husband doesn't engage in jihad (and probably kill himself) then she'll divorce him. The same goes for the children, who will be bred to die for the Cause. At first glance, this seems sick, but as we consider the food chain, and where women are in Islam, they have two options: to sit idly by -- weeping -- and watch the ones they love fight and die, or they can take the lead (stepping out of the oppressed role of the female) and be more violent than even the men they know:
Like many students at Meadowvale Secondary School, Zakaria Amara is busy worrying about final exams and what, if any, university to go to. But Ms. Farooq -- the Karachi-born daughter of a pharmacist who now hands out prescription medicine to soldiers at the Canadian Forces Base in Wainwright, Alta. -- has already done a fair bit of daydreaming about what it would be like to have a child. She even has a name picked. If she has a boy, she wants to name him Khattab, after the commander of the mujahedeen in Chechnya who battled Moscow until he was assassinated in 2002.
"And i pray to Allah my sons follow his footsteps Ameeen [Amen]," she writes at the on-line forum she founded for Muslim teens in Mississauga's Meadowvale area. Her avatar -- an on-line symbol used to indicate personality -- is a picture of the Koran and a rifle.
(All postings in this story have been rendered as they appeared on-line.)
There is nothing casual about Ms. Farooq's interpretation of Islam. She reiterates the belief that jihad is the "sixth pillar" of the religion, and her on-line postings are decidedly interested in the violent kind. In the forum titled "Terrorism and killing civilians," she writes a detailed point-by-point explanation of why the Taliban is destined to emerge victorious in Afghanistan.
Virtually every other government on the planet, however, she only has disdain for.
If these women are to be ruled by Shari'a, then they will fight and scratch to be above the women who sit idly by, lamenting their fate. While they may know that they'll never be on a par with men (since the Koran limits a woman's worth to half that of a man) then they'll rejoice in the fact that they're infinitely better than infidels -- and hate them with all their might.
It also calls to mind the women who jumped to join the communists, believing that in that utopia, they would be freed from domesticity to be comparable with the men. The dream fizzled when they found that they were cooking and cleaning for the male comrades in the cells, and that freedom from domesticity in the mind of Marx meant basically that they would be sexually liberated -- i.e. no-strings-attached concubines for the men. Children in that world (who were not contracepted or killed) were collectivised and driven out of the home.
All godlessness is of the same stripe:
In a thread started by Mr. Fahim's wife, Mariya, marking the death of Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi after an Israeli missile strike, Ms. Farooq unleashes her fury: "May Allah crush these jews, bring them down to their knees, humuliate them. Ya Allah make their women widows and their children orphans."
And all strife begins by crushing women and children. Why can't women see this? Only by seeking the original unity of man and woman can we live in authentic peace.