In today’s Independent, Joan Bakewell inveighs against the reluctance of feminists to protest against a horrific sentence recently meted out in
Shurely shome mistake? you ask. Not at all. Because, you see, this saucy lass had broken Saudi law by brazenly travelling in the same car with her boyfriend. They had the misfortune to be waylaid by a gang of seven men who proceeded to rape them both. And for their unIslamic immodesty they, as well as their attackers, are both being punished.
As Joan Bakewell says, “this is so totally at odds with the way we think and behave towards women that it’s hard to know how to get any purchase on the mind-set behind it”. But do we really need to? Must we be forever empathising with and seeking cultural excuses for barbaric brutality? This is sheer multicultural idiocy. Does it really matter whether Muslim susceptibilities are offended if we dare to say that such laws and such behaviour are primitive, disgusting, and utterly unacceptable to any 21st century person who considers themselves civilised?
It does, of course. Coincidentally with this verdict, HM the Queen was welcoming King Abdullah, the absolute ruler of
Predictably, the Bush Administration has refused to condemn this wicked sentence because it is “an internal Saudi decision” and the
It really is time that this mealymouthedness ceased, and that our elected rulers spoke out for decent human values. As Frank Furedi observes in his new book, Invitation to Terror, Western effectiveness in combatting our shadowy and imprecisely defined enemies is currently paralysed by a fear-induced unwillingness to speak obvious truths, and to call a spade a spade. For my part, enough is enough and until official British voices muster sufficient self-respect to speak out loudly and clearly against this atrocity I hang my head in shame for my country.