I recently submitted the following article to be published on an American and an Israeli website. I've had several articles over the last few years published on both sites. This time, however, my article was rejected. The American editor's reason - because he felt that the article was an unnecessary attack on the students at Duke University. The Israeli editor's reasoning - because the article went against their policy of inciting violence and hatred.
To the American editor, I quickly pointed out that my article was hardly an attack. But after pondering his comment for a few days, maybe he's right. It is an attack. An attack on the political correctness that has replaced logic and common sense across college campuses. An attack on narratives and agendas that have replaced truth. And an attack on the gullibility that has washed over campuses to the point that students believe Israel is an apartheid state and is the roadblock to peace in the Middle East.
After the rejection from the Israeli editor, I just wanted to cry. While the intellectual elites worry about whose feelings are hurt, men, women, and children around the world are being murdered. Never mind about the feelings of those who have been murdered since I first wrote this article a week ago. Never mind how it felt for the gay man to be thrown from the top of a high building. Never mind how it felt for the 13 boys, whose crime was watching soccer, to be executed. So much for the victims feelings. Instead, the messenger who reports to naive college students the hatred and violence happening under sharia law, is accused of hatred and violence. Go figure.
The article I submitted was based on the events at Duke University last week. Duke is a bastion of multiculturalism just like most other universities across America. You probably heard that Duke thought it would be a good idea to have the Islamic Friday call to prayer played from its bell tower. Although they've reversed their decision for now, if Duke had its way, "There is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah," would ring from its tower. Hello, is this mic on? You just can’t make this stuff up.
I’m assuming Duke is a school that teaches history. But here’s a little history lesson that I’m also going to assume the liberal students at Duke have never heard.
My "attack" and "incitement to violence" goes a little something like this – A Day in the Life of Dukistan:
Duke students, if you lived under sharia law, you would hear the call to prayer reminding you that there is no God but Allah and that Allah is great. You know, the same words that are said by terrorists before they kill people or blow up things. Five times a day you would be required to stop whatever you were doing and pray.
Simple enough, right?
This next part – not so simple. Especially for all the sorority babes and liberal feminists on campus.
Forget shopping for that cute outfit to wear to Duke football games or to Duke men’s basketball games. Just like the women in Iran, under strict sharia law, you would be banned from attending sporting events to watch men play.
But whether you could go to the sporting events or not, you still wouldn't need any cute outfits. Under the most stringent, i.e. most religious, sharia law, you would be required to be covered from head to toe. But chin up buttercup. You can still have your Michael Kors purse hanging from your burqa-covered shoulder. Oops, I take that back. Michael Kors is gay. Sharia law bans homosexuality, hence no MK products.
Oh, and here’s a biggie. You probably wouldn’t mind too much being banned from Duke sporting events, because well, I’ll try to break this to you gently – you would be banned from Duke period. Women under the most religious sharia law aren’t allowed to get an education. Remember that sweet girl from Pakistan who tried to get an education? Her name is Malala Yousafzai. For trying to get an education she got a bullet in her head by the enforcers of sharia law. And even this week, women in Mosel who were described as "educated, professional women" were killed by enforcers of sharia law.
And forget about owning a sporty BMW or an environmentally friendly Prius. What’s the point of having a car when you’re not allowed to drive. In the many religious Islamic states, women are banned from driving.
Hungry and want to run out for pizza or a burger? Or want to go get a pedi or mani? Okay. As long as you are accompanied by a male relative. But let’s say you did manage to go out by yourself, and God forbid, you got raped. Your account of the story doesn’t matter. Under the most religious sharia law, the witness account of a woman doesn’t count for much.
The vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke, Michael Schoenfeld, gave a really good liberal sound bite when he said, “Our Muslim community enriches the university in countless ways. We welcome the active expression of their faith tradition, and all others, in ways that are meaningful and visible.” The only problem with this heart-warming sound bite is that it marginalizes all the other active expressions of the Muslim faith tradition that are visible around the world that include the diminishment of women, and the murder of people who do not live up to the standards of sharia law.
Back to your history lesson. What does your iTunes playlist look like on your phone? Anyone like J Lo, Katy Perry, Beyonce, or Carrie Underwood on your list? Sorry, under the strictest sharia law, women are not allowed to sing in public.
There is a band in Iran called Mah Banoo. Females are in the band, but they are banned from performing in public. The leader of the band is a man named Majid Derakhshani. When asked when women were banned from singing in public he said, “It started during the initial stages of the revolution, when they gradually started to change most aspects of our daily life. It began with issue of hijab. Then the issue of women’s singing was raised.”
Do you know what Derakhshani is referring to when he speaks of “the revolution” in Iran? Of course you don’t. You weren’t even born when the revolution happened. So here’s a crash course. In 1979 sharia law began to be enforced in Iran. See, that’s the opposite of the revolution that happened in American. The American revolution brought freedom. The Iranian revolution brought sharia law. I know, it's pretty iffy to assume you understand the difference.
On April 1, 1979 in Iran after a national referendum in which only one choice was offered (Islamic Republic: Yes or No), Ayatollah Khomeini declared an Islamic republic (there’s an oxy-moron for you) with a new constitution, i.e. sharia law, reflecting his ideals of Islamic government.
There was a woman who was a little younger than you are now who lived in Iran when this “revolution” happened. She was a lot like you. She went to school. She wore what she wanted to. She listened to music. She danced. All that came to an abrupt end, though. She wrote a book about her experiences if you are interested in learning about real life. Her name is Marina Nemat and her book is Prisoner of Tehran.
Ms. Nemat was raised as a Christian in Iran. Her normal, peaceful childhood in Tehran was shattered when the Iranian Revolution of 1979 ushered in a new era of Islamic rule. After complaining to her teachers about her math lessons being replaced by religious studies, Marina was arrested. She was taken to the notorious prison, Evin, where interrogation and torture were part of the daily routine. She was a teenager.
I think that’s enough education for one day. One last thing to remember, though. If Duke does keep pushing for the Friday call to prayer to be played from it’s bell tower, and you hear it, please keep in mind all of the people, especially the women, around the world who hear this call to prayer in their country and the lack of freedom that it represents.