Cheap Seats 2016
Reality Check - Part 3 - 07/20
By Rich Trzupek
Last week Pakistani model and social media star Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death as she slept. Her killer had put sedatives in her food in order to make the job easier. Her killer was her brother. Qandeel was twenty six years old.
Baloch brother, Waseem Azeem, said he found the provocative pictures Baloch posted embarrassing and that he was constantly be taunted by his friends over them. After saying “of course I killed her”, Azeem expounded on his feelings: “I was determined either to kill myself or kill her,” Azeem told The Associated Press.
He will be tried for murder, but if convicted Baloch’s family can pardon him if they choose. Baloch thus joins the hundreds of Pakistani women who are the victims of so-called “honor killings” under Sharia law. And that’s just Pakistan. Experts estimate that there are about 5,000 “honor killings” every year throughout the world.
Not all Muslims support the idea that a father or close male relative can and should kill a woman whose behavior “dishonors” the family, but many do. The numbers vary by nation, but they are always disturbing. According to Pew, 43 percent of Pakistanis believe that honor killings are OK. Even in a civilized nation like the United Kingdom, one in ten Muslims are comfortable with the practice.
The majority of Muslims living in Asia, the Middle East and Africa believe that religious judges should solve family and property disputes. The majority of Muslims in many of those same nations believe that stoning is an appropriate punishment for adultery. Majorities in some countries and substantial minorities in others believe that the Muslims who leave the faith should be executed. That and many other things that westerners find objectionable are the reality of Sharia Law.
It is irresponsible and un-American not to condemn those aspects of Sharia Law that we find barbaric. Imagine if modern Christians or Jews were throwing homosexuals off the roofs of tall buildings and towers in the name of administering divine justice. Imagine if a woman accusing a man of raping her was instead jailed for adultery because: a) she admitted to having sex with someone to whom she was not married, and b) she could not produce the four witnesses that God says are necessary to prove the crime of rape.
Associate those sorts of behavior with Christianity or Judaism and activists would be protesting churches and synagogues in droves, the press would have a field day and politicians of both parties would express their shock and outrage. And they’d all be right. Now I’m not saying that we could or should try to change Sharia law in the countries where it is practiced, but I do believe we have an duty to acknowledge its barbaric aspects and to condemn them.
Former Muslim extremist Maajid Nawaz, a liberal living in Britain, is a critic of the double standard by which so many in the west, including the President of the United States, refuse to connect and condemn radical, violent behavior that occurs in the name of a religion with that religion in one case only: Islam.
Nawaz, who remains a practicing Muslim, calls it “the bigotry of low expectations”, explaining that he finds the assumption that there has to be a lower standard for Muslims and brown-skinned people insulting. And indeed, that is what so many on the left do when they refuse to acknowledge the religious element of terrorism only when the violence involves Islam.
If a Christian bombs an abortion clinic, his religious motivation has to be part of the story. As a practicing Catholic I would be insulted if it were not, if only because I want the people I know and talk to who may not be familiar with my faith and how the great majority of people who practice it condemn that sort of behavior, no matter how wrong we believe abortion to be.
The assumption that attempting to parse out Radical Islam necessarily inflames all Muslims ignores the fact that there a millions of secular democrats among Muslims who don’t believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran but do believe in separation of church in state, ignores the fact that homosexuals live in fear of their lives in nations governed by Sharia law, ignores the fact that millions of women live in fear of what their husbands and fathers can legally do to them in those nations. All of these Muslims and many more want the world to understand that Radical Islam does not reflect their beliefs. By stubbornly clinging to the idea that westerners and non-violent Muslims are too stupid to grasp the differences is insulting to the first group and does the second no earthly good.