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Sunday, April 13, 2008

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What about Muslims? What do you think about them? Maybe the United States should go blazing in with guns and bombs to liberate the women in those communities.

Dr X responds: It seems that one person in every thread on this subject tries to recast this as a Waco/Ruby Ridge narrative. This has nothing to do with my question about responsiblity, but I'll respond anyway.

Your analogy presumes that the U.S. government bombed the Texas compound and entered with guns blazing to hault the practice of polygamy. That is false on all counts.

a) The U.S. government did not raid this Texas compound. It was raided by local police enforcing the laws within their own jurisdiction. b) The police did not bomb the Texas compound. The police don't use bombs. c) Presumably, the police were armed, just as they are armed when they pull you over to issue a traffic citation. Their guns were not "blazing" as your hyperbolic analogy falsely suggests. Not a single shot was fired when the police entered the compound with a search warrant signed by a judge. (d) Your Muslim analogy falsely presmes that the legal basis for the raid was either religion, polygamy or both. Both of those assumptions are false.

The Mormon fundamentalists in Texas practiced "spiritual" polygamy, which is not illegal. Adult fundamentalist Mormons who practice spiritual polygamy with other consenting adults are not arrested for the practice. The Texas compound was raided because adult men in the compound were believed to be systematically raping minor girls inside the compound.

The police received a call for help from someone inside the compound. That was the legal basis for the police raid. When the police receive a call from a person who complains that they've been raped, beaten and they are being held against there will, the police have an obligation to respond.

So, specifically, in answer to your question, if a group of Muslims set up a compound within one of the fifty United States where institutionalized rape of underage girls was occurring, I would expect the local or state police to raid the place and rescue the girls if they received a call from a victim. I would likewise expect the police to do exactly what they did in Texas if the Texas compound had been filled with Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Budhists, Wiccans or atheists who were raping teenage girls.

As for rape committed by Muslims beyond U.S. borders, it is not the business of American state or local police departments. It has never been their business. Not that I don't wish that local authorities in Muslim countries would take a much more aggressive stance against the practice of raping children within their own jurisidictions.

If you find that position objectionable, perhaps you should write a letter of complaint to Yemeni authorities to protest the injustice perpetrated against this 30-year-old man who was forced to give up his 8-year-old wife.

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