[Today’s guest post by Roger McCormack is part of our paid blogging program.]
I wrote recently on this blog regarding the connection between religious chauvinism and
sex-selective abortion, using reactionary Hinduism as an example. Sadly, this phenomenon extends to the
Muslim world as well. Extremist Islamic subcultures devalue women, and sometimes this devaluation is accomplished under the guise of policies that would ostensibly appear benign to a Western feminist.
This phenomenon is illustrated well in Great Britain, which has both significant immigration and few abortion restrictions. National Review reports:
Though a government investigation in 2013 determined that girls were not being targeted for
abortions, the Independent‘s investigation found that some ethnic communities in Britain did not have
the natural balance between males and females, and that the abortion of somewhere between 1,400
and 4,700 female fetuses best accounts for that imbalance.
The Independent reviewed the census statistics — particularly statistics of immigrant families, such
as those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan — finding that in two-child families, having a girl
as the first child significantly increased the chances of having a male as the second child. When these
immigrant couples already have a daughter as their first child, in other words, they sometimes abort
girls to ensure the second will be a boy.
This feeds into the chauvinistic and deeply misogynistic views held by adherents of radical Islam,
views that create a degrading environment in which women struggle to survive, let alone thrive. Criticism of this is often
blunted due to fears of being deemed a racist or Islamaphobe. The latter term, while
accurately applied to those who indiscriminately foment hate against peaceful Muslim groups, is unfortunately also used to quell legitimate criticism of undesirable aspects of a religion, even when those aspects produce deplorable outcomes.
In his book “Why I am Not a Muslim” (which is a play on Bertrand Russell’s famous “Why I
Am Not a Christian”), Pakistani atheist Ibn Warraq says the following:
Indeed a large part of the blame lies with the attitudes inculcated by Islam,
which has always seen woman as inferior to man. The birth of a baby
girl is the occasion for mourning. Hundreds of baby girls are abandoned every
year in the gutters and dust bins and on the pavements. An organization working
in Karachi to save these children has calculated that more than five hundred
children are abandoned a year in Karachi alone, and that 99 percent of them
Sex-selection abortions in the West, the Muslim world, and elsewhere of course take place for a multiplicity
of reasons. But we discount the enormous clout of patriarchal norms, and their success in
generating hatred towards females, at our own peril. These questions should be debated
forthrightly, without the obscurantist cliché of pro-lifers being invariably god-fearing. If the previous
examples have showed anything, it is that abortion is far more than merely a hedonistic example of supposedly
decadent Western culture.