March 25, 2009 | Attack on girls’ school in Iraq

Women and girls have suffered horribly over the centuries on account of their gender: Islamist terrorist groups are particularly misogynous.

MOSUL, IRAQ — To a lot of people Islam has ‘issues’ with the female sex. Whether it is the singular lack of women in leadership, the fact that men can have four wives (but women cannot have four husbands), or a draconian clothing impositions, these perceptions are hard to shake. Maybe they reflect reality, maybe they don’t: entrenched beliefs are tenacious.

One thing is for certain: Islamist terrorists REALLY hate the fairer sex. Wherever terrorists have established some level of authority women and girls have suffered. ISIS (Islamic State) took great pleasure in raping women (especially Yazidis) and even girls. They closed schools and in a sense tried to make women and girls invisible by denying them the freedom to move about. The Taliban were no better in Afghanistan.

Why do terrorist groups exhibit such hateful behaviour? Some would point to underlying Islamic principles; others say they are just hate-filled people. The latter argument is supported by the fact that these violent extremists dole cruelty across the board, regardless of who is on the receiving end.

Paradoxically, these same terrorists claim that they keep women isolated for two primary reasons:
  1. It is because women are precious and need special protection;
  2. Women running around create distractions for men who should be thinking about jihad.

In light of this paternal ‘advice’ those who do not heed ISIS’ or the Taliban’s words suffer, sometimes catastrophically. Think Malala Yousafzai, the young Afghan girl who was shot for being an ‘activist’ for girls’ education. She survived, won a Nobel Prize and is seen as a beacon of hope for millions.

Others were not so lucky.

On this day in 2009, four female school children were killed and seven others injured in a bomb explosion in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul.

On this day in 2009 four female school children were killed and seven others injured in a bomb explosion in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul. An explosive-charge hidden in a garbage container went off in the afternoon near a primary school. Iraqi authorities believed that a passing US military patrol may have been the real target: I doubt if those behind the attack cared that innocent children died and were wounded.

This attack is a small example of how women and girls suffer from terrorism. Terrorism is bad enough: targeting the most vulnerable is disgusting beyond description.

Phil Gurski
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