SOME WOMEN MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
By DONNA BAVER ROVITO
ZILLA HUMMA Usman and Ayaan Hirsi Ali may be the bravest women on the planet.
Not brave like they might lose their jobs or be insulted for speaking out about workplace inequities, or they might get cold or wet demonstrating against "Bush's war."
I mean really brave, like they might be shot or stabbed or stoned or set on fire for having the courage to fight for the rights of Muslim women who are being oppressed, mutilated, abused, raped or even killed for the crime of being a woman.
Sadly, one of these brave women, Pakistani provincial minister Usman, IS dead - killed because she wasn't wearing a head scarf and held public office. "I just obeyed Allah's commandment," said gunman Mohammad Sarwar. "I will kill all those women who do not follow the right path." Many fundamentalist Muslims apparently feel the same way, if the number of "honor killings" in Pakistan - and in Germany, Canada and Australia- is any gauge.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born author of "Infidel," learned of a death threat against her when it was stabbed into the nine-times-shot-and-nearly-beheaded body of Theo Van Gogh. They had collaborated on a short film called "Submission" about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.
Forced out of her adopted home of Holland, where she was member of Parliament, Hirsi Ali now lives in the United States, where she was warmly welcomed by sister feminists from NOW, which offered her a weekly column about Muslim women's rights on its Web site and features her writings prominently in its Books section, as well as a link to download "Submission."
Oh, wait... no, they didn't.
There isn't a single entry about Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the NOW Web site. (But there IS a helpful video about "how advertising effects women's body image, health and self-esteem.")
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