Friday, September 13, 2013

Walk Free

Mike L.

Today I received the following.

Dear Michael, 

The story is all over the news – days ago, Rawan, an 8-year-old Yemeni girl was sold by her parents, forced to marry a man five times her age and on her “wedding night”, her fragile young body sustained fatal injuries. 

Right now, the collective horror of the world is focused on the devastating death of an 8-year-old girl. We’ve seen thousands of emails, Facebook posts and tweets from our community calling for action. We know that ending Forced Child Marriage everywhere poses big obstacles and yet, this may be one of few fleeting moments when millions of at-risk girls are counting on the support of a global movement of activists. We’re not going to let them down.

Forced Child Marriage is a form of modern slavery, and in Yemen there is no law that makes it illegal. It’s common for girls as young as 8 to be forced to marry to settle debts. In fact, 50% of girls in Yemen are married before they reach the age of 18.1

The Yemeni Government has the power to bring an end to Forced Child Marriage forever; the first step is to ban the marriage of anyone under the age of 18, protecting children from a life of domestic and sexual slavery. The Yemeni government needs to know that the eyes of the world are watching and expect their swift response. Will you help?  

Rawan’s story has struck a chord with people everywhere.
As well as depriving girls of their right to a childhood, Forced Child Marriage leaves victims vulnerable to sexual, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of their so-called husbands and extended families.
Now is the time to act. The Walk Free community is over 3.7 million strong and growing rapidly. Our collective voice is powerful – we can urge the government of Yemen to pass crucial legislation protecting children and young girls from the brutalities of forced marriage.

The idea of being sold into a life of domestic and sexual slavery seems unbelievable, and it’s sad that only extreme cases like Rawan’s gain attention. How amazing would it be if these cases never made the media  not because they were unreported, but because Forced Child Marriage no longer existed?

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have a moment, please forward this email to 3 of your friends so we can become one step closer to building a world free of this form of modern slavery. 
In solidarity,

Debra, Nick, Mich, Kate, Ryan, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free Team

P.S. On Twitter? Follow us 

My main disagreement with our friend Pat Condell, above (which, it should be noted, was not a part of the email) is that he tends to speak out against Islam which he sees as a political movement as much as a religion, whereas my complaint is with the politicization of the religion, itself.

Political Islam is the largest growing political movement in the Middle East today, in part because Barack Obama helped it along and legitimized it to a western audience, with his affirmation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Islam is very, very big and the Jewish population is very, very small and wherever Islam represents the form of government, such as we see in Iran and such as we now see in Libya and Morocco and Turkey and such as we saw in Egypt until Morsi was deposed of, a violent form of Jew hatred tends to take center stage.

This is unquestionably the case and it needs to be acknowledged, studied, and confronted.

For those of us who think that standing up to political Islam is "racist" or bigoted or just unfair to the Muslim community, I would suggest that you reconsider the fact that the Jews in the Middle East are a tiny minority surrounded by a much larger and much more hostile Arab-Muslim majority.

Until you can honestly incorporate that particular truth into your understanding of the conflict than you have very little to say that can be helpful.

Ultimately, however, it's about moving beyond the the assumptions of Oslo.  When Bill Clinton came into office in 1992 we all hoped that the genial man from Arkansas could perhaps - maybe - arrange for a negotiated conclusion of hostilities.

He failed to do so, of course, but that failure was not his fault. The failure of Oslo was due to the fact that Yassir Arafat, and much of his constituency, simply did not want an end of hostilities.

And this is why it is important to stand up against political Islam.

Political Islam is at the center of the conflict and if we fail to stand up to it, then we fail to stand up for the well-being of the Jewish people.

One cannot claim to be a supporter of Israel without also standing up against radical Islam because radical Islam is a tremendous political movement and it is a political movement that seeks the demise of the Jewish State, if not the genocide of the Jewish people.

In fact, the so-called "Arab Spring" was the rise of political Islam and until liberal and progressive Jews, both diaspora and Israeli, get over their squeamishness in confronting a much larger enemy then we cannot really stand up for the Jewish people.

1 comment:

  1. If you have any ideas how to beat back a fanatical Medieval death cult that's always been THE preeminent colonialist force across the region by dint of its own raw force and oppression, I'm all ears. I'm afraid we have to take them at their word and cut off the diseased limb that is that part of the world. There has never been any outside agent that viewed itself as a modernizing or 'civilizing' (albeit that's a patronizing and racist use of it) agent that has ever been successful with that in the Arab Muslim world. Where is one going to come from now? I mean even if it were ever possible do you see hundreds of thousands of ex Maghrebi Jews 'returning' from their forced expulsion from the Arab world? Why would they? It's going back, socially, economically, politically, medically, etc a hundred years.

    It's possible that we may have to let them plunge all the way down to rock bottom and let them sort it out on their own from scratch. Or not.