A Campaign to Stop Stoning Abroad, the Un-Liberation of Women and the De-Closeting of Gays at Home

| Wed Feb. 20, 2008 8:17 PM PST

It was inevitable that calls from western feminism to crack down on violence against women in other countries would both help and hurt women there. Take Iran, where a 2002 moratorium ordering a ban on the practice hasn't stopped the carnage. From The Nation:

In the most recent case, two sisters, Zohreh and Azar Kabiri, have been sentenced to stoning for "adultery." (This sentence came after the ninety-nine lashes meted out for "inappropriate relations," which came after a trial notable for its lack of due process.). Equality Now has the whole horrific story, with addresses of officials to address letters calling for a ban on stoning and the decriminalization of "adultery."

That a few men have also been stoned for adultery is no sign of (does this need saying?) either equality or progress. Now, according to Katha Pollitt and Equality Now, Iran is speeding up the process, and maybe efficiently cleaning up the decadent gene pool, with sibling pairs.

According to a comment, the petition included in the article has stopped accepting signatures, but try anyway.

Since we're discussing theocracies, The Nation also analyzes this message for Europe from US conservatives: "have more white babies" because the mongrel hordes of Islam are out-breeding lazy, selfish whites. But that's not really what they're saying, I think. What they're really saying, important as the white supremacy is to them, is: "Quick! Return women to barefoot pregnancy before it's too late and get the gays back in the closet". It's the kindler, gentler stoning and the lash, however infinitely preferable to the real kind, as in Iran:

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:...Europe is failing to produce enough babies -- the right babies -- to replace its old and dying. It's "the baby bust," "the birth dearth," "the graying of the continent": Modern euphemisms for old-fashioned race panic as low fertility among white "Western" couples coincides with an increasingly visible immigrant population across Europe. The real root of racial tensions in the Netherlands and France, America's culture warriors tell anxious Europeans, isn't ineffective methods of assimilating new citizens but, rather, decades of "anti-family" permissiveness -- contraception, abortion, divorce, population control, women's liberation and careers, "selfish" secularism and gay rights -- enabling "decadent" white couples to neglect their reproductive duties. Defying the biblical command to "be fruitful and multiply," Europeans have failed to produce the magic number of 2.1 children per couple, the estimated "replacement-level fertility" for developed nations (and a figure repeated so frequently it becomes a near incantation). The white Christian West, in this telling, is in danger of forfeiting itself through sheer lack of numbers to an onslaught of Muslim immigrants and their purportedly numerous offspring.

The piece is long but well worth the read because the battle between left and right here, encapsulated in the presidential election, has everything to do with this. These guys are trying to reinstate The Allies of WWII, united against a common enemy, good versus evil, right versus wrong. Secularism versus theocracy.

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