–¦what seems to be a nasty little secret within a certain segment of the community; women are treated as second-class citizens.” — from this news article
The phrase “second class citizens” — a phrase also used about non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries — does not convey the full scope of the mistreatment of such people. This mistreatment, in the cases of both women and non-Muslims, does not change or steadily diminish over time (as it did in the case of blacks in the American South after segregation in schools was ended “with all deliberate speed” and other forms of legalized discrimination declared unconstitutional, from lunch-counters to municipal swimming pools). The word “citizens,” too, misleadingly implies a Muslim polity of the kind we have in the West, of which those women and non-Muslims can be “citizens.” But the very word “citizen” implies people with political autonomy in advanced democracies, their rights enshrined in the law, their governments dependent on the expression of the will of those “citizens” in regular elections, in opinion polls, in all the activities that “citizens” of advanced democracies engage in.
Can one use the word “citizen” about Saudi Arabia? Are the people in the Sudan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or Pakistan in any sense “citizens” of their respective states? Or are they more akin to subjects, pushed about, and above all, self-subjugated to the dictates of Islam, “slaves of Allah” ideally? If they begin to act up, if they begin to act as if they wish to considered akin to Western “citizens,” they are overwhelmed by the vast primitive masses of Muslims, led by clerics, who have on their side the texts of Islam. And those “citizens” cannot confront, deny, or wish away those texts. Therefore, the small groups of the enlightened, in Pakistan or elsewhere, will continue to fail, until one or more of three things happens.
The first is that the people in this or that Muslim state willingly submit, for a while, to an enlightened despot of the Ataturk school, someone who is strong enough to systematically constrain Islam as a political and social force, and over time to create a secular class. That class must be large enough to permanently expand on the original despot’s plans, and to defend secularism from the Rasputin-like reappearance of the True Believers. Apparently, as the example of Turkey teaches, not even Ataturk, whose cult of personality lived on, and whose Kemalism did so much to limit the power of Islam over Turkish minds, did not do enough, or his successors did not do enough, to ensure that the erbakans and erdogans — who want Islam back, back in all the places from which the Kemalists had banned it — would not reappear and succeed, as they have been doing.
The second is that an outside power forces changes upon them, as the Soviet Union did, when it, in many places successfully, managed to smash Islam (as it smashed other religions) in Central Asia. It raised up several generations of people who were not inclined to return to Islam, even if they shared the general resentment at Soviet power. The Islamic movements in several of the five stans have so far been crushed, in some cases using methods no Western state would dare to use.
The third is that the Western powers, unable to put pressure of the kind the European powers did on the Ottomans so that they would change the legal mistreatment of the rayas, or communities of non-Muslims, under Ottoman rule, will do something else: show, again and again, that Islam is the cause of the failures of Islamic states and societies. Instead of trying to rescue or aid Muslim peoples with huge infusions of Infidel money, aid that quickly becomes impossible to end (for fear of “offending” the donors) and that the Muslim recipients quickly regard as theirs by right, which is pocketed, and pocketed, but for which no real or lasting gratitude is felt (in other words, the aid becomes Jizyah), the West should insist that the aid for poor Muslims should come from the fabulously rich Muslim oil states. Those states have tiny populations and trillions of dollars, with which they are now buying up large stakes all over the Western world, not least in media companies.
Any one or more than one of these might help create, as in Turkey, “citizens” rather than subjects. But for now, the phrase “second-class citizens” misleads in two ways. The word “citizen” does not describe the reality of the Muslim in a Muslim nation-state, but conveys a false idea of the Muslim polity. And the phrase “second-class citizen” does not adequately convey the mistreatment, deep, systematic and permanent, of women and, especially, of non-Muslims in a state where Islam dominates and Muslims rule.
And in what sense can a woman living in Mississisauga, Canada be a “second-class citizen” of the Canadian state? She is not. But she is subject to a state within the state, one that inflicts, even if it is not the law of the land, all of the cruelties of the Shari’a. It inflicts all the cruelties of the texts, and the tenets, and the attitudes, and the atmospherics of Islam, that are carried about by Muslims who take their Islam seriously in their mental baggage wherever they go, whatever the particular passport they acquire. That “virtual state” exists wherever Believers exist. Sometimes they act on the dictates of that virtual state; sometimes, they prudently do not. But even if they do not, that may merely reflect their desire to stay deep within Infidel lands, to protect their own position, and to practice as much taqiyya-and-tu-quoque, to keep up a steady fog-machine of distraction and confusion, and not for a month but for years and years, until their numbers swell, and their power grows, until it is too late, or so it may seem, for Infidels to protect themselves and their legal and political institutions adequately.
It is an amazing feat, one would have said an impossible feat, save for the willingness, as we have seen, of so many in the Western world to remain willfully ignorant and to participate in their own long-term bamboozlement and, alas, destruction.