Before the recent and most satisfying news of the death of Osama Bin Laden last week, a friend of mine and I were having a discussion on how the faith of Islam even though seemingly growing in numbers globally is setting itself up for a disappointing future. The main thing we were discussing was that Islam seems to be ignoring the fact that it really has been treating a majority of it’s members with an unequal amount of respect as the other half, namely the women. This being a long standing tradition, and even though it has gotten along all of these years seemingly without it having a detrimental effect on the growth of the faith, I don’t really believe this. Both me and my friend, along with a growing number of people in the world these days seem to foresee a potential problem for the members of the Islamic faith arising from this. First off, these are the mothers of their children, whom without they will be no longer be able to multiply and breed as it were, and secondly, amount to, more than half of the makeup of their existing population.
Currently there is, one could say, a revolution happening in the Middle East regarding changing values of leadership and political systems. These new ideas along with the views expressed by the people of these countries are changing the ways people are thinking faster than it has in some time, or even perhaps ever in recorded history. This may have to do with the globalization of ideas, social networking, the end of certain dictatorships, or all of these things and more coming to an intersection point in history. Whatever the reasons, it may be about time for some of the more antiquated ideas to be brought kicking and screaming into the modern age.
The first reports of the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s compound said that he had used his youngest wife as a human shield against he gunfire of of our troops, but since there has been many conflicting stories saying that this woman was in fact standing by her man in a Tammy Wynette kind of way, even taking a bullet in her leg for the old man. Whatever the true story, I find it hard to believe that this is going to be the tenet of all good Muslim wives in the future, that they will stand in front of a bullet defending their hubby while one of the many others from his harem will just step up and take her place in good time after her heroic demise. It could be about time for the women of the faith to start to realize that this kind of devotion does have to it a bit of the law of diminishing returns in the way that they might start to think to themselves, “what do I get out of this?” Now I do know that most of the horrifying abuses on women that you hear about these days are perpetrated by men and so called religious leaders perverting the actual traditions of the faith, but nonetheless it does happen, and quite it bit it seems. I just have a sneaking suspicion that as we will be interrogating Osama’s wives about his comings and goings, I would assume that part of this procedure will be to offer them a taste of the finer things in life as long as they co-operate with the procedures in order to get to the simple truth. This truth may well be in sync with the goals of the people struggling to gain freedom and a voice and shed the despotic rule of the previous and soon to be vestiges of the past regimes of the region. Perhaps the global attention that Bin Laden’s four wives will get now that he is dead may be an inspiration to Muslim women, and they might demand to be treated better in the not too distant future. Now may be the time that we put a spotlight on the women of Islam and let their opinions and voices be heard. Otherwise I can see the men of Islam of the future truly suffering from the law of diminishing returns.
Here’s an article detailing the known lives of Bin Laden’s wives:
And in celebration of the demise of OBL here’s another great animated account of the life and death of Bin Laden by our friends in Taiwan: