The bien-pensant West is shocked, shocked, that a 14-year-old Pakistani “prominent women’s rights advocate” is shot by the Taliban

(Note, October 11: I am sorry if this entry made it look as though I am unsympathetic with the horrible plight of people in Muslim societies; that was not my intention. The intention was to criticize the naivite of liberals about Islam. See comment exchange below.)

Sage McLaughlin writes:

At NRO there’s a link to what I consider to be a very strangely-written BBC article about an attack on a 14-year old Muslim schoolgirl in Pakistan who, in Patrick Brennan’s words, “had become a prominent advocate for women’s rights.”

Is anybody surprised that a 14-year old who has become a “prominent advocate for women’s rights” in Pakistan—Pakistan—has become a target of Muslim violence? Who permits a 14-year-old girl to become “prominent” in such a way as to invite murder? Look, I suppose you can admire her pluck, but being an advocate for feminism in Pakistan is an extremely dangerous hobby, and one that is probably best left to grown-ups. It’s silly for the adults around her to express shock that the savages would target a helpless 14-year-old, when it is perfectly obvious that that is what they are going to do. Again, how does a 14-year-old become a “prominent activist” in any political arena, anywhere? It’s frankly weird, and in a million years I wouldn’t permit my young daughter to become a “prominent” anti-sharia advocate anywhere, much less in Pakistan.

The whole “Can you believe they’ve sunk this low” thing is just getting tired. Any person with a conservative bone in his body would know this is exactly what will happen to a barely-grown girl who takes up agitating for women’s rights in Pakistan. This is not unconnected to the affectations of horror and distress that we hear every time we re-discover that women are not safe walking home drunk out of their minds, alone, in the dark, without a weapon, in a bad part of town.

Am I too insensitive? Should I be less annoyed by this? The truth is, I’m no more shocked by this than I was when Steve Irwin (of Crocodile Hunter fame) got killed by a wild animal.

LA replies:

It is we who cause these Muslim females to be killed when we fill them with Western liberal ideals and desires which spell their death. We mass-import Muslim families to the West where their daughters adopt Western sexual morés, and the daughters get honor-killed by their parents. We export Western feminism to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan so that 14-year-old Pakistani girls become feminist advocates, which gets them attacked or killed.

But let’s face it. there is no cure for this disaster. We cannot help being liberals, just as the Muslims cannot help being Muslims.

- end of initial entry -

October 11

Joe S. writes:

Are you familiar with the facts of this case? You are correct to criticize the liberals for acting shocked that a schoolgirl activist agitating against the Taliban’s takeover of areas of her country and their banning of school for girls would be targeted.

However, criticism of the girl herself, or her parents, should not discount the possibility that, aware of the dangers, they bravely went ahead out of conviction that it was the right thing to do. Bravery and effective martyrdom in service of the Good are not to be casually dismissed, there is a reason we honor such people. If she had been a Christian girl targeted for publicly refusing to convert to Islam, would you also criticize her and her parents?

LA replies:

You’re right. They live in a horrible, cruel society that denies basic humanity. I feel for them. If the way the original entry was posted made it seem I was unsympathetic with the girl, I did not mean that and I regret it.

But what can we do about it?

The two things to do would be: bring all Muslims here so as to liberate them, especially the girls, from Islam (that’s basically what people like Pamela Geller and Ayaan Hirsi Ali would like to do); or occupy the entire Muslim world in perpetuity so as to liberate the Muslims from Islam (which is basically what the neoconservatives would like to do).

Since both of those are out of the question for reasons I don’t need to go into here, the conclusion is that there is nothing that we can do about it.

I do believe however that if the West followed the separationist policy I’ve proposed, of isolating and quarantining all Muslims in the Muslim lands, the shock of being cut off from the world might lead Muslim societies to reform themselves.

I also support and admire the Christian missionaries who are working in Muslim lands.

October 13

JS writes:

I agree with everything you said, but we can at least lend rhetorical support to people like the Pakistani schoolgirl without committing ourselves to intervention.

Of course, you can’t separate the process from the substance, and rhetorical support for her should be based on the actual worth of her cause and not simply her personal bravery. If she were martyring herself over abortion rights then harsh criticism of both her and her parents would be required, but the right to go to school is something I can support despite liberals being on the same side.

LA replies:

I agree, and repeat my regret that I sounded as if I was dismissing her cause and the evil of the society in which she lives.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 10, 2012 04:36 PM | Send

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