Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Meanwhile in Libya, ISIS Turns Its Attention To Women
I cannot confirm the authenticity of this picture from Sirte, Libya. It's supposed to tell women how they should dress.
But there's nothing suggesting that the picture wouldn't depict reality. The group in control in Sirte is the Libyan ISIS, and it takes its ideas from the most extremist form of Saudi Wahhabism.
What's fascinating about the way ISIS (of all types) invades new areas is that almost the first thing on its to-do-list (after killing people) is to get women and men segregated and to get women to stay at home. If they need to go out they must be utterly invisible, without a face or an identity (as in the above picture), and in many cases they must be accompanied by an adult male relative.
All this tells us how very central the re-subjugation of women (in a rather extreme sense) is to the basic ideology. Obviously the comparison point is not perfect gender equality in Libya (the code for that is to say that Libya is a "conservative" country)*. But ISIS' interpretation of the Koran, the Shariah and the hadiths are all based on trying to find the very least amount of freedoms women could possibly have.
As an aside, I'm willing to bet almost anything that prophet Muhammad would be aghast if he came back and saw what's being done in his name, how his statements have been interpreted.
As a second aside, I can never quite stop thinking how similar the treatment of women by religious extremists of this sort is to the legal rules about pet dogs in many countries. Dogs are not allowed in certain places, dogs cannot go out alone, dogs must be leashed and be under the supervision of their owners if they are not at home or inside a fenced yard and so on. ISIS differs from many other extremist groups only in the sense that it has been given the opportunity to actually make a world where women have almost no rights, and it has eagerly grasped it.
*And neither are the rivals of ISIS in Libya necessarily any better in terms of women's rights.