After repeated refusals of her family to allow her to marry the man she loved, Zeenat Rafiq, 18, eloped with Hassan Khan, a classmate. She was surprised therefore when her mother found her to say that all was forgiven and that she should return home for a belated celebration of the marriage. When she showed up, her mother and brother proceeded to beat and strangle her . . . and then burned her. Her mother, Perveen Bibi, has proudly claimed to have upheld the honor of the family by killing her own daughter. She told the police “I have no regrets.”
The Democratic establishment has been pushing hard on a new narrative that Hillary Clinton lost not because of her record negatives polling going back years on truthfulness or the desire of the voters for an non-establishment candidate or the baggage carried by Clinton into the election. Rather, it was the hacking by the Russians with a bit of help from FBI Director James Comey, according to this universal spin. The media has assisted to a degree by referring to the “Russian hacking of the election,” which is obviously not true. The election was not hacked. No voting machines or tallies were hacked. Emails were hacked and none of those emails appear to have been altered. They were real emails showing highly dishonest conduct by key players. Despite the virtual mantra from Washington, voters are clearly not buying it. A new CNN/ORC poll shows roughly 8 out of 10 voters followed the controversy but 58 percent doubt that the hacking influenced the outcome of the election. [This posting was updated]
The Saudi Kingdom is back this week reminding people of the inherent extreme lunacy of theocratic legal systems. Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh has proclaimed that cinemas and singing concerts are unIslamic and morally harmful. The Kingdom follows a medieval system of Sharia law and denies basic civil liberties to women, non-Muslims, political dissidents, and journalists. Cinemas and public concerts are already banned in the name of Islam in the Kingdom.
I have long been a critic of politician interfering with curricular issues in our schools. Most of us do not look to politicians as paragons of knowledge. Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez personifies the perils of politicians dictating course choices. Gomez is pushing for a course on to teach students who to avoid fake news. It is part of a new trend around the world to rally people against the scourge of “fake news” — a trend that is already been used as a rationale for censorship and the criminalization of speech. Fake news is now the rallying cry for people who disagree with coverage and is used as a way to avoid answering questions. What one person consider fake news and other considers real news can be highly subjective. The most recent controversy reveals the difficult lines to draw. President-elect Donald Trump made headlines yesterday by denounced CNN as “fake news” and refusing to take a question from its reporter. Yet, the report was “news” that was reported by most major outlets. I agree with the Trump staff about the need for BuzzFeed to have looked more closely at specific allegations and I do find the contractions raised by the Trump staff to be very problematic. Indeed, James Clapper appears to have supported Trump in his outrage over the leaks and further distanced the U.S. intelligence community from the merits of the allegations. [Here is Clapper’s statement] Yet, the legitimacy of these stories comes down to the details published in the stories. A former MI6 agent made the allegation and those allegations were forwarded to the FBI by a U.S. Senator. That is news. The specific “dirt” alleged to be in the possession of the Russians is a far more difficult question for editors and most declined to run those details while reporting the lack of independent confirmation.
We have previously discussed the plight of women and girls subject to Sharia law and extreme Muslim traditions of marriage. The nightmare faced by many women was captured in a horrific guide being distributed by in Turkey by former religious affairs department employee Hasan Caliskan. The guide supports the beating of women who do not “beautify” themselves, supports the marriage of 10-year-old girls, and advances absurd notions like the danger of having a stuttering child if a woman talks during sex.