I admit I have little knowledge about Muslims or their faith. At best, I brushed shoulders with a few while traveling in East Africa. My most memorable encounter was with my safari guide in Uganda. During one of our many chats, he mentioned a custom in his country that obliged a wife to walk several feet behind her husband. The only time this behavior had altered was during World War II, when women were required to walk several paces ahead of the men. When I asked about the temporary change, my guide’s eyebrows rose to the top of his skull. “You have to ask? Because of landmines, naturally.”
I was reminded of that experience while at a shopping mall, recently. A man who appeared to be an Arab was walking several paces ahead of a woman dressed in purdah. Now and again, he’d look back over his shoulder to make certain she was following, then, satisfied, he’d turn away and continue his stroll, his hand resting in his trouser pockets. I admit, I was uncomfortable to see this behavior in a U. S. mall. How could I understand or accept a culture that seemed to treat women like children? That was a river too wide for me to cross.
Still, as in other aspects of life, the Muslim attitude toward women as manifested in some cultures can have its humorous side. An article in the October electronic edition of the Daily Kos is a case in point. Apparently, a number of Kurdish women have taken up arms against Isis to defend their homes in Kobani, near the Turkish border. Women as soldiers seem to rattle the Muslim fighters. Confronted by the women, the men turn on their heels and run away. Why? As one Kurdish women explained, “Women fighters infringe on their [Isis’] psyche. They believe they won’t go to paradise if they are killed by women. That is why they flee… We monitor their radio calls. When they hear a woman’s voice on the air, they become hysterical.” Click here
The article should be brought to President Obama’s attention at once, as it may provide a winning strategy for defeating Isis. All we need do is fill our military ranks with women and watch as the terrorists run.