WASHINGTON -- This Sunday we Americans celebrate Mother's Day. It's been that way since May 8, 1914, when the second Sunday in May was designated as a day to honor our maternal parents. For those who are still fortunate to have their mothers with them, they will shower her with cards, flowers, love and affection. Wise husbands among us will do our best to give the mothers of our children a day of peace and relaxation.
But no culture can truly celebrate mothers unless first they respect women. In the United States women hold top positions in government, law, academia, business and even the military. Democrats claim to be the favorite of America's women. Indeed, polling data shows that upwards of 55 percent of American women vote Democrat in national elections. And Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker of the House, insists that Democrats care about women's rights. Unfortunately, if Pelosi and her Democrat Party allies have their way -- 650 million women around the globe may well be abandoned to the most misogynistic abuse imaginable at the hands of radical Islamists.
The masters of the mainstream media routinely report on Islam's violent Sunni vs. Shiite sectarian divide -- most evident in Iraq. But scant attention has been devoted to the No. 1 target of radical Islam: Muslim women. Nor do the potentates of the press bother to identify the principal protectors of Muslim women today: the Armed Forces of the United States.
In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Al Qaeda strongholds in Iraq and other countries and regions ruled by radical Islamists, boys become men at 15, but girls are considered women at age 9 -- meaning they can be tried as adults in a criminal court, are liable for the death penalty and can be stoned to death for adultery. Though the legal age of marriage for a girl is 13, a father can make a daughter marry earlier and order her to endure female genital mutilation.
Radical Islamic courts ascribe a woman's testimony to be worth half of a man's and mothers may not act as financial guardians or make decisions regarding their children's residence, foreign travel or medical care. Women must have permission from a father, husband or male relative to travel.
Men have uncontested rights to divorce their wives, and may practice polygamy. Women are not allowed to vote or participate in political debate. They receive half the inheritance of men and if a man dies childless, his entire inheritance goes to his parents, not his wife.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.