A Genuine Heroine in the War on Women

Barb Wire

I recently interviewed Paula Kweskin, the writer and producer of the film, “Honor Diaries”. I am hoping to host a screening of the film later this year as it gives women a voice suffering abuse in Muslim countries opportunities to expose their plight first hand. That is if their efforts are not sabotaged by militants aided and abetted by bastions of political correctness. Such was the case when Brandeis University recently canceled an honorary degree that was to be awarded to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the women who created the film.

Ali grew up in a Muslim culture and was abused as a result. She subsequently moved to the Netherlands and was elected to Parliament. Thereafter, she wrote a screenplay highlighting the abuse of women in Muslim countries. The director of the film, Theo van Gogh, was brutally murdered by a Muslim extremist who pinned a note on his body threatening to kill Ali as well.

Believe it or not, Brandeis withheld the honorary degree due to a conflict Ali presents to the University’s “core values” primarily stemming from concerns and complaints depicting Ali as an Islamophobe. I guess she gets no pass for her opinions after having grown up in a Muslim home, having suffered genital mutilation, a forced marriage and vicious beatings?

This film is more than a movie; it represents a movement aimed to address the myriad of issues facing women in Muslim-majority countries who are denied basic rights we take for granted. Women in these societies are denied the right to drive a car, have a job, to travel, to study and seek medical treatment, and the right to determine whether or not they will marry and whom. Further, they are subject to incredible levels of abuse. This includes female genital mutilation, and the unimaginable horrors arising from some girls being married off when they are but eight years of age. At best, women are treated as perpetual minors. At worse, they are treated as property, akin to animals.

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Kweskin raises issues lost on American feminists and politicians having to do with the plight of women throughout the world. For instance, in response to the twitter campaign having to do with the fate of the Nigerian school girls kidnapped by fundamentalist Muslim terrorists, Kweskin urges us to not only demand the release of these school girls, but all girls trapped by Sharia law.

The brutal truth about this real war on women is that millions of women and girls are being sold or forced into marriage, stoned for having been the victim of rape, solely punished in cases of adultery, denied a basic education, and sexually and physically abused on a daily basis. Yet, the American feminist movement, for all intents and purposes, remains silent.

Why is it politically correct to challenge American customs relating to traditional marriage and sexuality, which go a long way towards recognizing and respecting equality, but it violates our “core values” to challenge outright cases of abuse and even murder in Islamic cultures?

First Published in the Santa Barbara News Press

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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