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Posted in: Islamic Gender & Religious Apartheid, Honor Killings

Published on Jul 20, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Let's Rescue the Heroes: Free Asma'a al-Ghoul


Today, Britain granted political asylum to a married Saudi princess who had an out-of-wedlock child with a non-Muslim British man. The unnamed princess, married to a much older man, feared that she would be honor murdered, probably stoned to death, back home in the Kingdom.

I recall the 1978 fate of another Saudi Princess, Misha, who dared to fall in love with a commoner. They married secretly, she disguised herself as a man, and was about to flee the country when they were both apprehended; both husband and wife were publicly and gruesomely executed. Two thousands Saudi princesses were forced to watch this sickening spectacle.

Neither Saudi princess was a fighter for others. Each sought personal happiness which, as women, was utterly denied to them. They were—and are—desperate rebels, perhaps even tragic role models.

President Obama has recently promised to allow " battered" women from other countries to apply for political asylum here. If so, I previously wrote, we will soon find ourselves flooded with such applications.

One might ask: Why doesn't the fabled "international community" solve such problems where they exist? Why must Americans alone bear this burden? But more important: Aren't we forgetting something?

Here's my suggestion. Let's rescue the endangered heroes first. Why not grant political asylum to dissidents, secularists, humanists, feminists, journalists, and intellectuals, who have endangered themselves by telling the truth and by fighting for freedom and justice for others.

I have written about Asma'a al-Ghoul, the Palestinian feminist journalist who has written about honor killings in Gaza. She is the woman who was arrested by Hamas on the beach in Gaza for wearing "immodest clothing" and for "inappropriate laughter".

President Obama: With Asma'a's permission, I am hereby submitting her name for your consideration for political asylum. She has been "battered" by Hamas's religious police and by an Islamified society and culture which has hardened its position vis a vis women. As a feminist journalist, Asma'a has no future in Gaza. She is actually a member of an endangered species.

Dear Reader: What do you think about this proposal?


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