A post on Andrew Breitbart's BigPeace.com claims that "previously unimagined assaults on women and girls are taking place almost exclusively from within Islamic communities." Not to minimize violence against women in these communities, but to even suggest that horrific violence against women occurs "almost exclusively" in "Islamic communities," is unbelievably ignorant. The problem of violence against women is widespread in our society and is certainly not exclusive to any community.
On BigPeace.com, Diane West writes of the brutal attack on an 18-year-old Afghani woman named Aisha. She then adds that it's not just women in Afghanistan, this is occurring to Muslim women in the West too:
Similar scenarios play out beyond the wilds of the Taliban zone wherever Sharia culture flowers, an expanding zone that now includes urban centers of the Western world -- from Berlin to London to Atlanta to Calgary -- where previously unimagined assaults on women and girls are taking place almost exclusively from within Islamic communities. This gruesome fact renders Time's cover line -- "What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan" -- absurdly provincial in scope. That is, it's not only in Afghanistan where Islamic men have dominion over Islamic women. It is wherever Islamic law, de facto or de jure, empowers them.
Again, I do not mean to minimize the horror of violence against women by Muslims. But violence against women and girls is by no means an Islam-specific phenomenon.
Just look at the statistics compiled by the American Bar Association on domestic violence, For instance, "[t]he U.S. Department of Justice reported that 37% of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend." Also, according to the ABA-compiled statistics, "The level of injury resulting from domestic violence is severe: of 218 women presenting at a metropolitan emergency department with injuries due to domestic violence, 28% required hospital admission, and 13% required major medical treatment. 40% had previously required medical care for abuse."
A couple of other things leap out from the ABA statistics:
- In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.
- Intimate partner violence made up 20% of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women in 2001.
And of course, one can point to specific, horrific examples of attacks against women and girls by non-Muslims too. Remember Joel Steinberg, the New York City attorney who abused and killed his young daughter Lisa as well as his live-in lover Hedda Nussbaum? Or the story of a teenage Oregon girl who allegedly was killed "in the course of, or as a result of intentional maiming and torture" by her mother and step-father?
The problem of violence against women is a societal and global problem. While we should fight such violence in Muslim communities, we shouldn't pretend that it is limited to them as BigPeace.com does.