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Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of
Terrorism Research for
BasicsProject.org a non-profit,
non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His
writing has been recognized by the US House International
Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict
Prevention. His organization partnered in producing the original
national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical
Islamist terrorism. He serves as the managing editor for The New
Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor
on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio
including on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent
Radio Network and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering
to the US Armed Forces around the world. His opinion-editorials
have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The
Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally.
He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is
available for public speaking engagements.
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Frank Salvato, Managing Editor
Women in Islam: Suffering the Barbary of an
April 4, 2008
News spread quickly that anti-Islamofascism
Dr. Wafa Sultan has
gone into hiding, along with her family. They are in hiding
because of her participation in a recent debate on Al-Jazeera in
which she challenged Egyptian Islamist Talat Rheim over Dutch
cartoons of Mohammed and the ideology of Islam in general. For her
truthful criticisms of Islam Dr. Sultan earned a fatwa, a
"religiously” decried death sentence, from an Islamic scholar. That
she criticizes Islam is enough justification in the eyes of the
radical Islamist to kill her. That she is a woman infuses into the
fatwa an unbridled viciousness and a need for expediency.
In the al-Jazeera interview, Dr. Sultan
"...any belief that chops
off the heads of its critics is doomed to turn into terrorism and
tyranny. This has been the condition of Islam, from its inception to
this day. Islam has sentenced [its critics] to prison, and whoever
crosses the threshold of that prison meets his death... If you want
to change the course of events, you must re-examine your terrorist
teachings, you must recognize and respect the right of the other to
live, you must teach your children love, peace, coexistence and
productive work. When you do that, the world will respect you...”
Not long after Dr. Sultan’s
remarks, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of Islam’s most respected
scholars, presented his religious edict and denounced Dr. Sultan,
calling for her death. Qaradawi, it should be noted, has also
declared the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and suicide
bombings against Israel as a religious obligation for all Muslims.
Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy,
describes Qaradawi as, "one of the world’s pre-eminent
To date, Dr. Sultan and her
family are living clandestinely, in a world of anxiety and
inconvenience. She can’t work; her family cannot have contact with
their friends; and they are all constantly looking over their
shoulders for the jihadi threat. That we would ever know sacrifice
as this brave woman does.
Incredulously, but for her notoriety, the
dangers and treatment of Dr. Sultan would be unremarkable in
fundamentalist Islamic culture.
A traditional Islamic saying is that, "A
woman's heaven is beneath her husband's feet." In the Islamic
culture, to show someone the bottom of ones shoes, to figuratively
place them beneath ones feet, is an insult of the highest order.
The fact of the matter is that women in the
fundamentalist Islamic world are relegated to the status of
possessions. They are subjected to incredibly harsh and degrading
cultural edicts where transgressions are punished – justified under
Sharia Law – by whippings, beatings, stoning and death.
The penalty of death is imposed quite
frequently on women in the fundamentalist Islamic culture. Offenses
that warrant a death sentence under Sharia Law range from un-Islamic
dress to being in the presence of an unrelated male.
The revered Islamic scholar,
Abu Hamed Mohammad al-Ghazzali, who has been called 'the
greatest Muslim after Muhammad,' writes that the role of a Muslim
woman is to:
"...stay at home and get on with her sewing.
She should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must
she be communicative with her neighbors. She should only visit them
when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband...and
seek to satisfy him in everything...Her sole worry should be her
virtue...She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband's
sexual needs at any moment."
This totalitarian screed, we will soon learn,
would be the least of a woman’s concerns where life in
fundamentalist Islamic culture is concerned. In fact, the litany of
transgressions against female humanity at the hand of fundamentalist
Islam is countless.
▪ The testimony of a woman in courts of law
that use Sharia as their basis for justice recognizes the testimony
of women as only half that of a man. This presents an almost
impossible scenario for equity and fairness in matters of marriage
termination. In fact, in countries that practice strict Sharia Law –
such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt – all a man has to do is recite
the verse "I divorce you” three times and under Sharia Law he is
▪ A husband has the right to beat his wife for
perceived disobedience or misconduct. According to Islamic law, a
husband may strike, a husband
may beat his
wife for any one of the following four reasons:
- If she does not attempt to make herself
beautiful for him
- If she refuses to meet his sexual demands
- If she leaves the house without his permission or a "legitimate
- Or if she neglects her religious duties
Any of these are also sufficient grounds for
The president of Cairo's Al-Azhar University
described the proper method of wife-beating in a television
interview: "It's not really beating," Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb
explained, "It's more like punching.”
as young as nine years old are routinely sold into marriage,
often to men many decades their senior. A father receives a monetary
dowry in return. These young girls, prepubescent children, are
treated as slaves during the day and as unwilling sexual conquests
▪ Women are routinely subjected to the Islamic
cultural malady known as honor killing, where a woman may be killed
at the hand of a male relative for even the intimation of dishonor.
These honor killings take place with no consequence for the
murderer, no justice for the murdered.
▪ A disrespectful – or perhaps even an unlucky
– wife can be sequesters into what are known as "wife rooms.” These
are rooms within the family home in which women are confined with no
food or water for a length of time determined completely by the
level of tyranny possessed by her captor husband. In many cases,
these rooms serve as chambers of horror where women wait between
severe beatings from their husbands, their captors, to die. Many do.
Interestingly, delinquently, appallingly,
women’s groups around the world, especially the progressive,
pro-feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women, pay
little more than lip-service to an issue that should illicit outrage
of the highest order.
Columnist Jeff Jacoby, in a December 2007
article for the Boston Globe titled,
The Islamist War on Muslim Women, lists an enumeration of
outrages perpetrated against women at the hand of fundamentalist
In Pakistan, a tribal council ordered a
woman to be gang-raped as punishment for her brother's supposed
liaison with a woman from another tribe.
In San Francisco, a young Muslim woman was
shot dead after she uncovered her hair and put on makeup in order to
be a maid of honor at a friend's wedding.
In Tehran, a father beheaded his 7-year-old
daughter because he suspected that she had been raped; he said he
acted to defend his honor, fame, and dignity.
In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic police
prevented schoolgirls from leaving a burning building because they
were not wearing headscarves and
abayas; 15 of the girls died in the inferno.
In May of 2006 in the Punjab Province of
Pakistan, Ayesha, an 18 year old girl, accused of adultery by her
husband of only one and a half months left the marital home to stay
with her brother for fear of her life. Her husband, accompanied by
his brother and under the guise of reconciliation met with her and
persuaded Ayesha to return to the marital home. She agreed. Ayesha
recounted from her hospital bed how when they were traveling back to
the marital home the husband and his brother stopped the car in a
semi-remote area and started to beat and torture her. They cut off
her nose and her lips. They then left her in a field unconcerned
with whether she would live or die.
Again in May of 2006, another Pakistani woman,
Shamin Mai, who committed the "crime” of marrying a man of her own
choosing rather than acquiescing to a pre-arranged marriage by her
family, had her legs chopped off; this atrocity taking place at the
hands of her brother and uncle.
Mutilations, the barbaric Islamic tradition
associated with Muslim honor killings is the act of permanently
scarring a woman as punishment for a transgression against the man –
be it the father or the husband and whether actual or perceived. The
act is acceptable behavior in fundamentalist Islam.
It has been established that when the Taliban
came to power in Afghanistan in 1996 that a decree was issued
forbidding women to leave their homes. Prior to the Taliban’s
seizing of power, women in Afghanistan held jobs in hospitals,
schools and in the civil service sector. Women were doctors and
teachers. They were professionals. With the Taliban’s decree
employment and education for women came to a screeching halt. In
fact, many would become beggars.
This tyrannical dogma extended to men who tried
to help women. In 2006, years after the "liberation” of Afghanistan,
a 46-year-old Afghan schoolteacher, was dragged from his family, his
home, and horribly murdered – disemboweled and then dismembered –
for defying orders to stop educating girls.
In Iran, two girls, identified only as Zohreh
and Azar – sisters, were
sentenced to death by stoning, having been convicted of
adultery. Under Sharia Law death is the punishment for women who
The "crime” for which these two women were
convicted and sentenced to death was caught on video tape. This
"adultery” consisted of the two women being in the presence of other
men when their husbands were absent. Let me repeat that and expound;
their crime – caught on videotape – was to be in the presence of
other men when their husbands were absent. There was no sexual
activity, no touching. It’s hard to tell from the tape if they were
even conversing. But under Sharia Law they committed "adultery” and
have been sentenced to death by stoning. They also received 99
lashes for "illegal relations.”
stoning death, the woman's hands are tied behind her back and
her body is placed in a cloth sack. Then, when she is securely
"packaged" she is brought to a hole located in the center of a
circle, predetermined in size, and buried up to her shoulders. After
she has been affixed in the hole people start chanting "Allah hu
Akbar" – or god is great – and proceed to throw palm sized stones at
her head from a designated distance. The stones are thrown until she
dies or until she escapes from the hole and crosses out of the
These true atrocities continue around
the world and even take place right here in the United States at the
hands of radical Islamists, Islamic fundamentalists.
It needs to be noted here that in Wahhabist
ideology – radical Islamist ideology – it is forbidden for Muslims
to imitate, befriend or assist those who do not practice Islam, in
any way. By Wahhabi edict, it is forbidden for fundamentalist
Islamists to assimilate from the Islamic culture into any
other. Further, fundamentalist Islamism instills a natural hatred
for the United States because our nation is governed by legislated
constitutional law rather than by tyrannical Sharia law. It is
because of both, the radical Islamists’ refusal to assimilate and
his contempt for our form of government, that events such as the
murders of Amina and Sarah Said have taken place right here on
In Dallas, Texas,
Yaser Said is said to have killed his two daughters, Sarah, 17,
and Amina, 18, because he felt Western culture was corrupting the
chastity of his daughters. He is currently at large. Law enforcement
believes he is being harbored by the Islamic fundamentalist
community in North Texas.
Similar stories have been reported in areas
with large Islamic populations around the country, including in
Dearborn, Michigan and the greater Herndon, Virginia area.
In addition to physical abuses that women face
in the fundamentalist Islamic society the social dogma and familial
hierarchy present an equally oppressive and inequitable existence.
In Islamic law – Sharia Law – those who commit
adultery are to be put to death, most often by hanging, beheading or
stoning. In the matter of adultery a gross inequity exists in the
instances of sexual abuse and rape.
In fundamentalist Islam, the burden of avoiding
non-marital sexual encounters, of any sort, is placed on the woman.
Under Sharia Law, sexual assault, or rape, can only be proven if the
rapist confesses or if no less than four male witnesses come forward
to testify to the rape having occurred. Because women are worth less
than men in fundamentalist Islamic society there are seldom, if
ever, four men willing to testify against another man in support of
Women who allege they have been sexually
assaulted by a man who is not their husband, women who allege they
have been raped, are actually confessing to having had sex outside
of their marriage. Without the benefit of four male witnesses to the
attack – mind you, four men who are willing to testify to have
witnessed the act – the attack itself is considered to be adultery
and, as has been established, punishable by death.
Since women in fundamentalist Islam bear the
burden of sexual responsibility, inequitable as it may be, the
reality of the matter is that only women are executed for adultery,
even if they have been the victims of what we in the West would
consider a sexual assault.
There are thousands, if not millions, of
stories like Zohreh & Azar’s, Sarah & Aminas and Ayesha & Shamin’s
and they come from every corner of the world, some from right here
in the United States. Yet the feminist community does nothing. The
Progressive-Left humanitarian organizations do nothing. The United
Nations does nothing. And women – girls – daughters, mothers and
To be born female into the world of
fundamentalist Islam is to be inferior by Quranic edict. To be born
a female into the world of fundamentalist Islam, it would appear, is
to understand death while one is alive.
As I continue to
study Islam, its radical tenets and the threat that it poses to
Western Civilization, I become more convinced everyday that it will
be the women of our society that end up being the motivating factor
for our definitive action. I only pray that it happens soon because
today we are losing the battle.