There was a brief flurry of outrage at the report that the “Caliph” of the Islamic state had repeatedly raped American aid worker Kayla Mueller before she finally died in an attack against IS targets. The New York Times devoted a lot of space to what it called the “theology of rape” that is an integral part of the doctrine and practice of the “Caliphate.” The Times story suggested that the systematic use of rape was of relatively recent vintage for IS, but the violent treatment of women by radical Islamists is nothing new. It ranges from rape and honor killings to beating, to formal, legal definition of women as inferior beings. In Iran, for example, the legal code treats a woman as “worth” half a man, and this is reflected in penalties for crimes against them. If a man kills a pregnant woman with a male fetus, for example, he is likely to be ordered to pay a full charge for the fetus but half as much for the mother.
Some years ago, I worked on a story abou a Palestinian member of the Abu Nidal terrorist organization. He had a daughter who was dating a black man in St. Louis, and her father didn’t like it. He accordingly established a rigid curfew for the girl, and one night she arrived late. A nasty fight ensued, and he stabbed her to death. The only witness was his wife, who refused to testify against him. But the FBI was on his case, had bugged the house, and thus had an audio recording of the bloody event.
Had it not been for the FBI’s investigation of the terrorist group, this honor killing would have never been exposed. This suggests, with considerable evidence, that the phenomenon is quite substantial.
Needless to say, rape, honor killings and the oppression of women are not limited to radical Islamist men. But the systematic use of rape certainly seems more common to them than to any other contemporary group. This should not surprise us; the environment in which radical Islam is transmitted to the young men seems almost deliberately designed to produce sexual repression. The madrasas in which Koranic ideology is taught are sexually segregated and physically unpleasant. The students typically sit cross-legged on the ground for hours on end, memorizing the sacred text. There are no females in their lives, and the hormones of the faithful are every bit as powerful as those of the infidels. Ergo, they emerge with wild sexual fantasies that are fueled by promises of a sexual paradise in which the faithful will be rewarded by the total submission of 72 beautiful virgins.
No wonder IS uses rape as a recruiting tool!
Christopher Hitchens saw this clearly and he called attention to it in an introduction, appropriately enough, to Freud:
I…recently finished writing an article about the latest wave of “home-grown” Islamic suicide-murderers. It was impossible not to notice one thing that their profiles and Web sites had in common. All of them complained about the impossibility of finding a woman, or sometimes a woman of sufficient piety. Meanwhile their public propaganda was hot with disgust and indignation at the phenomenon of female inchastity. The connection between repression and orgasmically violent action appeared woefully evident.
How are we supposed to deal with this? There are not enough psychiatric couches in Iraq and Syria to treat these people, and we are certainly not going to convince their religious leaders that they have to change their views. For better or for worse, we are going to have to defeat them, because defeat on the battlefield produces devastating results on the losers’ world-view.
For that to happen, however, we are going to have to change our own view of the modern world. It will not do to continue to pretend, as the advocates of political correctness and multiculturalism preach, that all cultures are morally equivalent and we are not entitled to criticize anybody else’s beliefs. This false doctrine encourages our enemies’ depredations–sexual and otherwise–and weakens our resolve in fighting back against them. What the Caliph did to an American aid worker is what the jihadis have in mind for all of us.