National Park Service produces videos praising Islam’s contributions to women’s rights

National Park Service produces videos praising Islam’s contributions to women’s rights

Muslim videoCome again? There are two elements in the title of this post that don’t compute. One is the phrase “Islam’s contributions to women’s rights.” We’ll return to this shortly. The second is the proposition “the National Park Service produces videos praising Islam’s contributions.” How exactly is it within the purview of the National Park Service to praise — or even condemn — a religion? At least you can rest easy in the knowledge that your tax dollars are paying for these videos.

But back to Islam’s contributions to the advancement of women’s rights. Which contributions do the makers of the videos emphasize, one might reasonably ask? Do they focus on the long-standing tradition of Muslim men in the Middle East entering into unholy matrimony with children who have not yet reached puberty? One of those child brides bled to death earlier this month after her “husband,” who was five times her senior, raped her so savagely that the tissues around her genitals hemorrhaged. She was 8 years old. In 2010, a 12-year-old Yemeni child bride died after struggling in labor for three days.

Or maybe the strides on behalf of the fairer sex include the special treatment accorded to women who lose their virginity prematurely. In February, a Saudi imam was found guilty of murdering his own 5-year-old daughter because he doubted that she was still a virgin. According to press reports, the child suffered a broken back, a crushed skull, a broken left arm, and multiple fractured ribs. To make sure the punishment took, the cleric raped his daughter multiple times.

Perhaps the videos highlight such acts of deference toward women as shooting them to death for going shopping without hubby’s permission. An example of that honor (honor killing, actually) occurred in Afghanistan in August.

The answer as it turns out is none of the above. That is because the National Park Service sent its videographers not to Yemen or Saudi Arabia but to Schenectady, N.Y., to the AnNur Islamic School, where the crew learned the “truth” about Islam and its high regard not only for women but for homosexuals.

The first of the three videos appears below. A transcript of the dialog at the 4:45 mark follows:

People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong – there’s equity… 7th century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home, Islam gave women the right to own property, Islam gave women the right to divorce, Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that Western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th centuries and we’ve had these rights since the 7th century A.D. and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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