TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — August 25, 2021 — If there was any evidence needed to turf out Justin Trudeau and his dimwit cabinet members, his Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef has provided one.
During a press briefing Wednesday, Monsef referred to the Taliban as “our brothers” as she appealed to them for safe passage of evacuees from Afghanistan.
Her wording reveals the inner loyalties of the minister, who previously has been less than truthful about her birthplace — she claimed it was Afghanistan, when in reality she was born in Iran.
The Indian jurist and social reformer B.R. Ambedkar made an observation about my Muslim community that still resounds 50 years after I read it. Babasahib, as he is lovingly known, had this to say: “Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction.
“The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity,” Ambedkar said.
Monsef proved his theory correct. We are all “brothers” of each other. That is what Shariah demands from us and that is what we claim even though we regularly slaughter each other as we do in Iran, Yemen, Syria, Darfur, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And if the Taliban are Monsef’s “brothers,” I am sure she would merely shrug her shoulders as 400 of her brothers in Pakistan stripped naked a woman and tossed her body in the air while sexually assaulting her.
On August 14th, while the world focused its attention on the plight of women and girls in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, next door in Pakistan the impending fall of Kabul to the Taliban was a day of joy and celebrations that witnessed a horrific incident in the historic city of Lahore.
August 14th is also the day Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947 by the departing British and is celebrated as Independence Day in the world’s first-ever Islamic state, based solely on the dogma that Islam is a superior faith, and that Muslims are not permitted to live in a country where they are not the majority.
It was just such a celebration at a park known as Minar-e-Pakistan (the tower of Pakistan) in Lahore that hundreds of young men gathered to party.
Also at the park was a group of six young women who came to film the celebrations and post them on TikTok. But this was not to happen.
Seeing women with video cameras, about 400 men surged towards these women and, what started as taking selfies, ended up with the sexually starved mob ripping the clothes of one of the women named only as Ayesha, while the others ran for their lives.
The crowd tossed her naked body in the air while groping her in a sexual manner. Had this been an isolated incident, one would address the crime and fight for the conviction of the guilty. But that is not the case.
Violence against women in Islamic Pakistan is endemic. Pakistan is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, yet the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested the rise in rape and assault cases was to be blamed on how women dressed and behaved.
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes it will have an impact on the men unless they are robots,” Khan said in an interview in June. “If you raise temptation in society to a point — and all these young guys have nowhere to go — it has a consequence in the society.” That attitude is prevalent among many Pakistanis, even those who choose to leave an Islamic Republic and live in Canada, the U.S. or Europe.
No wonder the Karachi-based organization War Against Rape estimates that less than 3% of rape cases lead to convictions.
I suggest these acts of sexual assaults and murder of women stem from the early education of Muslim boys who are made to memorize verses of the Quran which are explicit in declaring women as inferior to men.
Verse 4:34 says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other …. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).”
Verse 2:223 says: “Your wives are as a tilth (farmland) unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.”
Perhaps Monsef should take the lead and, in the spirit of those Muslim women and men who are fleeing Afghanistan as she did, she should shut down all religious centres that teach and preach such medieval misogyny.
This brother of yours will be beside you, but not with the Taliban. An apology is due, Minister Monsef, but your resignation is preferred.
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Tarek Fatah is a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, and is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Originally published under the title “FATAH: Terrorist Taliban Are Not ‘Our Brothers’” by the Toronto Sun.