November 15, 2006
MODEST PROGRESS IN PAKISTAN: "Pakistan's national assembly has voted to amend the country's strict Sharia laws on rape and adultery. Until now rape cases were dealt with in Sharia courts. Victims had to have four male witnesses to the crime - if not they faced prosecution for adultery. Now civil courts will be able to try rape cases, assuming the upper house and the president ratify the move."
Of course, not everyone is happy: "Addressing parliament on Wednesday, the leader of the six-party MMA Islamic alliance, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, said the bill would 'turn Pakistan into a free-sex zone'."
Mr. Rahman is a barbarian. It's nice to see civilization trying to assert itself.
UPDATE: An interesting response to the barbarians:
The answer is taking gender-based oppression into account in refuge claims. We could "rescue" every oppressed Afghan woman who wants asylum by simply opening our doors to all female refugees from Afghanistan, and any other regime that doesn't afford full civil rights to women.
The message to patriarchal regimes: Keep this up, and we'll take all your women and children. Heck, if you don't knock off this tin-pot dictator shit, we'll take all your scientists, all your engineers, all your doctors, and all your journalists--regardless of gender! Our gain, your loss.
I'm not sure that would work, but it's worth a try. Maybe some private groups could help pick up travel expenses. I think they could live without the engineers, doctors, journalists, etc., but I'm pretty sure they'd miss the women.