Imran Khan , the Oxford graduate cum fanatic, having sowed his wild oats in younger years as a playboy, has rejected feminism as a “Western concept.” He thinks that women’s place is solely in the home raising children, and the feminist movement has degraded the role of a mother.
Feminism started with the suffragette movement with women in the early 20th century demanding the right to vote. How can one possibly call it a so-called “Western” movement when its impact has been worldwide? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights incorporates the feminist-humanist principle of equal pay for equal work. The Western societies most impacted by feminism have all enacted long periods of paid maternity leave for both mothers and fathers. This is the accomplishment of 20th century feminism. It is not anti-motherhood at all.
Next women demanded the right to birth control, because no one can lead a full life having a dozen or more kids, with the likelihood of dying during childbirth. Then in the 1960s after the birth control pill became available, the West underwent the sexual Revolution (hence Imran Khan hypocritically enjoyed carnal intercourse with Sita White and countless others to satisfy his lust, being a bachelor while playing International Cricket, because these women were products of emancipated societies, and now he has the gall to denigrate them in his dotage) and women burnt their bras as symbols of sexual liberation. I fundamentally disagree with religio-social controls on women implemented by the State in sexual matters as a violation of individual liberty. This is totalitarianism. I believe in sexual freedom. Then came the struggle for abortion rights because women wanted control over their own bodies. Not an entirely unreasonable demand. However I am opposed to it in the Pakistani context as sex selective abortions would result in female infanticide. Of course there are exceptions which I have discussed in the past in this column.
Co-education socializes men and women being able to interact normally with each other. I hope that Imran Khan does not make its eradication in Pakistan a priority should he win the elections and become either PM or President of Pakistan. Nor I hope will he promote obscurantism in the workplace, denying women the right to work outside the home with men. In the early days of Islam men and women prayed together. This socialized men and women to be able to treat each other as equals as the mosque was the social, political, and cultural nerve center of the community and the exclusion of women from praying together with men has led directly to their political marginalization in society.
I am completely opposed to the Islamic law which treats the testimony of two women in court as being equal to one man in this day and age. We need to enter The Age of Reason instead of practicing obscurantism dating back 1400 plus years. Also whipping for imbibing alcohol or engaging in fornication should also be abolished as should the law on the statute books mandating stoning to death for adultery, which encourages so-called ‘honor’ killings. Men are allowed to beat their wives and the State does not punish them because the Koran encourages wife beating. Prohibition needs to be repealed. Billions of US$ could be collected as customs duties, excise and sales taxes on alcohol by the bankrupt state, instead of being collected by bootleggers.
Pakistan is not a moderate Islamic country. There is nothing ‘moderate’ about the Islamic penal code. Pakistan is an extremist Islamic country which produces fanatics as its contribution to humanity. We should no longer look to the Quran and Hadith as sources of law or legislation, as they are only relevant for a 12th century society, and not modernity. Pakistan needs a secular Constitution. Also it should no longer be known as “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” Pakistan alone as a name would be a distinct improvement.
USA, June 22.