BY DIANE MEDVED
Why isn't the poison gassing of Afghan girls simply for attending school generating international outrage? Blood tests have verified that a main ingredient of chemical weapons was the cause of the severe sicknesses suffered by hundreds of girls in two schools in Kabul this last week--just the latest in a series of nine poisonings spanning the last two years. Many of the girls rushing to escape the scene fainted; some collapsed hours later. Scores were hospitalized, requiring oxygen and intravenous drugs.
And yet, the still-ailing girls resolutely resume their educations. "One 12th grader, 18-year-old Khalida Bashir Ahmed, said she was determined to return to school even though she still felt dizzy; she still had a medical tube dangling from her right wrist," reports the New York Times. "As she recounted her ordeal, she fainted and fell to the ground."
The attacks were more than a week ago, but only now, with blood tests revealing the nerve gas ingredient organophosphates, earn any attention: "Many local officials had dismissed the cases as episodes of mass hysteria provoked by acid and arson attacks on school girls by Taliban fighters and others who objected to their education," the article notes. Those pesky Taliban.
Where are the feminists? Where are those vocal for "women's rights" to abortions, who now seem painfully quiet about girls' rights to learn to read without biological attack? It's not enough that the custom of female genital mutilation continues, affecting 140 million women worldwide, most in Africa, though The London Observer reported a few weeks ago that in England this very summer, 500-2,000 girls have undergone the horrifying procedure designed to preclude any sexual pleasure.
Muslim women are regularly beaten by husbands, with little international protest--and complicit support by local authorities. "Wife beating in Islamic countries is more prevalent than one can imagine," writes Brigitte Gabriel in They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. Stories of "honor killings" abound internationally, and Muzzammil Hassan, the Muslim head of the "Bridges" TV outlet, formed to reconcile Muslim and American feeling, beheaded his wife last year in Orchard Park--a murder widely attributed to his religious bent.
And it seems things are getting worse. "In a world where education for females was generally accepted only a generation or two ago, women are again being infantilized, writes journalist Jan Goodwin in The Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World. "In the name of religion, they are being banned from traveling, working, studying, divorcing, voting, holding positions of power, in effect, from making their own decisions about major and minor aspects of their lives."
Full article here.