Jonah Goldberg
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In Turkey, long the crown jewel of secular, modern and moderate Islam, the murder rate of women has gone up 1,400 percent since the country lurched toward Islamism, notes my American Enterprise Institute colleague Michael Rubin. In Egypt, those who hoped for a secular and democratic revolution are dismayed by the army's burgeoning partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood and reports that the military forced "virginity tests" on female protesters taken from Tahrir Square.

After being admitted to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, Iran shepherded to passage the only resolution this session aimed at a specific country. Apparently Israel holds back Palestinian women somehow.

Meanwhile, as Omni Ceren of Commentary has noted, "Iranian prison guards rape female dissidents before executing them, lest their victims go to heaven as virgins. Iranian men get to avail themselves of temporary marriages, de facto legalizing the institutionalized slavery and rape of prepubescent girls. Iranian women are consigned to the backs of buses, have to shroud their bodies from head to toe."

But there are signs of hope as well. In a widely circulating video, Veena Malik, a Pakistani model and actress, tears apart a smug Islamist mullah berating her for being "un-Islamic." Not only does she stand up for a modern humane Islam that can tolerate women and "fun," she tells the cleric, "I am more angry with you people than you are with me." Malik offers heroic moral clarity that should cheer anyone who has lamented the lack of moderate Muslims willing to condemn the extremists.

And she offers a reminder for us all that the real war for women's equality is now a battle to be fought in foreign lands.

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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