Friday, September 5, 2008

When Patriarchy Makes the Rules I - UPDATE

Pakistani police have disinterred two bodies of murdered women, whose plight is detailed here.

The two murdered women are:
Izzat Khatoon and Mai Siyani.

Four men have been arrested, two of whom pointed police to the shallow graves.

Investigators have conflicting reports in regard to the number of women killed. The Asian Human Rights Commission originally stated that five women were killed, but it is now suspected that either the two whose bodies have been found were the only victims, or that one more woman was murdered, or that the two were murdered while a third escaped.

Investigations confirm that the women were kidnapped using a government vehicle, which adds to the suspicion that Pakistani People's Party Minister Sadiq Umrani's brother, Abdul Sattar Umrani was involved. Abdul Sattar Umrani is suspected by some to have been involved in another murder in January, 2006, under similar circumstances in that the three murdered were a couple on their way to be married in civil court and their taxi-driver.

I can only say that at least this is being investigated, though I have little faith that justice will prevail. I am also disgusted as usual, but never surprised that things of this nature are not followed in the international, and especially the US, press. I would love to be proven wrong.

Who's Making the Decisions Now?

August 1, 2007: Obama says we need to go into Pakistan with or without local permission to find bin Laden and shut down al Qaeda.

September 4, 2008: US confirms incursion into Pakistan without local permission to shut down al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Troops entered an area suspected to be a bin Laden hideout.

I don't know if this was already in the works last August, when Senator Obama made his statement. Perhaps that was why the administration didn't slam him too hard. Instead, it was his fellow Democrats, Sen. Chris Dodd and Gov. Bill Richardson, who were running against him in the primaries at the time, among others, who chastised him.

If not, could it be a case of "that's not a bad idea, let's do it and take credit?"

The current administration has been very vocal in its support of Pakistani President Musharraf, and surely knew this would piss him off. But since his resignation last week and in light of today's election to replace him, in which the favorite is a Pakistani People's Party member and the widower of murdered former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, it may be that Bush's people decided the worst we would get would be a frown and slap on the hand.

It is disturbing to note that, while the PPP's stated goals include the "establishment of an egalitarian democracy and the application of socialistic ideas to realize economic and social justice," (source), this party is also home to Minister Sadiq Umrani, whose brother is currently NOT under investigation for possibly having a leading role in the murders of at least two, and possibly five, Balochi women.

If Minister Umrani is serious about his party's platform, he needs to at the very least, support this investigation and work to bring his constituency under the rule of law. Any representative who supports egalitarian democracy and social justice will most emphatically NOT turn a blind eye to murders of women who simply wanted to exercise their legal right to marry where they chose.

But I digress.

I find it interesting that, as Ed Brayton writes, Bush decided to do just what Senator Obama suggested after the very idea was criticized roundly as bad form.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Women: Don't Be Fooled!

John McCain's pick of Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin for VP candidate may seem like a good thing for women, especially to those who are upset and angry at Senator Clinton's loss in the Democratic primaries.


Governor Palin is anti-choice.
She has been endorsed by paleo-christian James Dobson of Focus on the Family.
She has been a supporter of crazed right wing Pat Buchanan.
She is anti-homosexual.
She is pro-drill-the-ANWR.
She is a liar in regard to her statement about not supporting the "Bridge to Nowhere."
She is under investigation for possibly using her authority to force the firing of her former brother-in-law.
She is a creationist who belongs to a dominionist church*.

The fact that she is a woman does not make her a viable option for women! We need to be sure to vote for those who are pro-reproductive rights, pro-health care, pro-pay equity, and generally pro-family (not just white, christian, hetero, married families, but families of ALL STRIPES)!

For more information on Sarah Palin's lies and her staunchly conservative, anti-woman, anti-homosexual, and downright anti-American and anti-family views, see Tapped (type Palin into the search function).

*Previously, this said that "she MAY belong to a dominionist church". However, I have since found the link above and have changed this statement to reflect that. My original footnote is below:

Governor Palin's church is Church on the ROCK, and she has been identified as a Pentecostal-style charismatic Christian, whatever that means. I can't tell by the website if they are truly followers of Dominion Theology, and I am not willing to join their church to find out. If I am incorrect in this statement, I will freely remove it from this post. I will be following Governor Palin very closely as her history becomes better known. That said, I stand by my statement that she IS A CREATIONIST. She has publicly stated that creationism should be taught in public schools.

When Patriarchy Makes the Rules I

This appeal from the Asian Human Rights Commission describes a recent atrocity in Pakistan. In the province of Balochistan, five women were buried alive, allegedly by a relative of a provincial minister who is a prominent leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party and his accomplices.

The five women are:
Fatima, 45
Jannat Bibi, 38
Fauzia, 18
A young woman between 16 and 18
Another young woman between 16 and 18.
I will provide names as they become available.

When the possibility of a probe was broached in Pakistan's parliament
Senator Israrulla Zehri told a fellow Senator, Bibi Yasmin Shah, to keep quiet when she took up the issue. “This is part of our Baloch traditions. We will not let anyone interfere with this,” said Zehri on the floor of the house.

Another Senator, Jamal Khan Leghari, protested, saying
I am also a Baloch but would not link the Baloch traditions to such kind of act against humanity. No Baloch can dare to even think of taking such action."
(source for both quotes above)

Abdul Sattar Umrani is a brother of Minister Sadiq Umrani is the alleged murderer, along with six or more unknown accomplices, and apparently used a Balochistan government vehicle to transport the victims to a remote area, where they first shot the three teens and began to bury them, wounded but alive. When the other two women, one an aunt of one victim and the other the mother of another, protested, they, too, were thrown into the pit and buried alive.

The supposed reason for Abdul Sattar Umrani to have abducted and murdered these women is that the three teens had expressed a desire to marry men they had chosen rather than be married to men of their fathers' choosing, as required by Baloch tribal tradition.

These types of barbaric tragedies must be stopped! This is patriarchy in its ugliest and most abominable form! When women can't or won't be controlled by men, kill them. Unacceptable in any society! Unworthy of any tradition!

The site linked above, belonging to the Asian Human Rights Commission, has a button for sending an appeal letter to President Musharraf, Prime Minister Gillani, and others. Please go there and use it!


New Title For Bringing Barbaric Asshattery to Public Attention: When Patriarchy Makes the Rules

First of all, I am changing the name of When Religion Makes the Rules to the above name. This will be a series of blog posts regarding various incidences of asshattery, barbarism, or other disgusting behaviors perpetrated on individuals anywhere in the world by other individuals who use various patriarchal "traditions" as excuses for such behavior.

The first of such blog posts was this one written in regard to Rand Abdel-Qader's murder.

The second addressed the murder by god-mandated neglect of Madeline Neumann.

The third was a follow-up to the Rand Abdel-Qader tragedy in which I wrote about the murder of Rand's mother, Leila Hussein, who had been in hiding since Rand's murder.

My next post will be the FIRST of the series, though these previous posts are obvious precursors.