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Tuesday, June 19 2018 @ 10:18 pm PDT

Protection

Report: Chechen Women Forced to Wear Headscarves

The title of that story doesn't do it justice. "Forced to wear headscarves" invokes images of the headscarves being forcibly put on the women. The reality is that they are subject to physical abuse if they dare to go out in public without a scarf.

I've paid a moderate amount of attention to the Chechen situation over the years, and this appears as a dangerous escalation of radical Islam. For many years this was a territorial issue, but the recent report seems more akin to Al Qaeda or Iran than the Chechnya of the past. New leadership? Or simply the old guard going over the edge?

A few days back I saw that BBC was doing a series on the conditions women live in around the world. I haven't watched it, but according to the previews they were exploring the question of whether it was better to be emancipated or protected. Having dealt with all kinds of **** from various men around the world, I can say that it's not always an easy question. But these women have neither emancipation nor protection. It strikes me that the standard line of "do X so that you won't get hurt" echoes the controlling refrain of most of the abusers out there.

True protection must be given and received voluntarily. If I let someone protect me it is a very different thing from someone imposing their will upon me for my "own good." Few people in the Muslim world seem to understand this. But sometimes that understanding is lacking on our shores as well.

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