Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Fundamentalism's War Vs. Women
FUNDAMENTALIST WARS AGAINST WOMEN
[Col. Writ. 12/25/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
As we look at the world today, at the expansion of Empire,
and the rapaciousness of capitalism, at the spreading
infection of what is fast becoming a tortuous, global,
religious war, we see the growth, and the hardening of
fundamentalism. And what is the first thing that
They wage war against women. As always, women
and children are the greatest casualties of war, because
wars are fought against civilian populations.
The firebombing of Dresden by the allies is but a
mirror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But, I don't mean that.
I refer to the instinct, both in the West as in the East,
for fundamentalist social forces to reach out and restrict
the rights of women.
In Iran, women were forced, by political agencies,
to wear the uniform of the veil, after the rise of the
In Sudan today, rape of indigenous women is a weapon
of war, as well as sexual and ethnic slavery.
In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car,
and the dreaded Mutawwa'in (secret and morality police)
intimidates, detains, and tortures both Saudi citizens and
foreigners with impunity.
Here in the U.S., women are relegated to the lowest
paying jobs, and among the poor, there is a war against
their very ability to exist and live decently. There is an
illusion here in the West, that if a woman can wear a
sexy dress she is free. But in a society where the
dollar rules everything, and the educational system (at
least at the elementary and secondary levels) is a sham,
sex is just another commodity. I don't know about you,
but when I see strip clubs, nudie bars, and Hooters on
every corner, the first thing I think about when I consider
the young women who work there ain't freedom.
That's like calling prostitution a kind of 'freedom.'
Is this the hidden vision that the U.S. and Britain
wants to export to the benighted natives of the Middle
East? Is this their idea of freedom and democracy?
Every empire that has ever existed has used sweet
words to justify their conquests and occupations of
Rome claimed to be bringing "civilization" to the"hardy race of savages" it found in Spain, Gaul (or
present-day France) and Britain (Edward Gibbon,
*The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire* (Abridged) (Penguin Classics, 2000),
Many of those same people, and other European
states claimed they brought "civilization" to colonies
in Africa and Asia, and yet, in a century, they brought
little more than disarray, confusion, oppression, and
Today, the U.S. Empire echoes its antecedents
of history, claiming to bring to the benighted natives
of Afghanistan and Iraq, "freedom" and "democracy",
while holding hands with allies like Saudi Arabia, and
the Emirates, where women are treated as perpetual
children, who need permission slips to leave their
The empires of yesteryear used sweet words to
cover up foul deeds of conquest, and exploitation.
Rome ransacked the known world to feed the greed,
and sate the appetites of its ruling families. The
historian Edward Gibbon writes:
But it is no easy task to confine luxury within the limits of an empire. The most remote
countries of the ancient world were ransacked to supply the pomp and delicacy of Rome.
The forest of Scythia afforded some valuable furs. Amber was brought overland from the
shores of the Baltic to the Danube; and the barbarians were astonished at the price which they received in exchange for so useless a commodity. [Gibbon, *The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire* (Abr'd) (London: Penguin Classics, 2000),
The U.S., and its corporate princes, thirst for
the oil of the Middle East. They could care less
about democracy, or the rights of women.
They care about the Rights of Capital.
Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.