25-Oct-11 World View — Polygamy In Libya Becomes An Issue In The West

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

* U.S. withdraws ambassador to Syria after regime-sponsored threats

* Bomb blasts in Nairobi, Kenya, kill one person, injure dozens

* Britain’s David Cameron defeats call for referendum on EU membership

* Polygamy in Libya becomes an issue in the West

* Greece’s government runs out of ink for tax bills

U.S. withdraws ambassador to Syria after regime-sponsored threats


U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford infuriated the Syrian regime in June by visiting Jisr al-Shughur, the site of protests (AFP)
U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford infuriated the Syrian regime in June by visiting Jisr al-Shughur, the site of protests (AFP)

Robert Ford, the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, has returned to Washington due to “direct threats against his personal safety” that included “false and malicious articles” in government-controlled and affiliated media in Syria. Chargé d’affaires Haynes Mahoney has been put in charge of the embassy in Damascus. According to Mahoney, “For example, there was one [article] stating that he was attempting to implement a civil war in Syria. And then there was another that claims that he was in charge of death squads in Iraq, and he was trying to apply his experience here in Syria. Our assessment was that these articles were trying to incite violence against him, and the attack that happened on September 29 by pro-regime thugs was another example of threats against his security.” Syria immediately recalled its own top diplomat, Imad Moustapha, for consultations. VOA

Bomb blasts in Nairobi, Kenya, kill one person, injure dozens

Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda linked terrorist group is Somalia, is fulfilling its promise to retaliate for Kenya’s incursion into Somalia to clear out al-Shabaab. (See “23-Oct-11 World View — U.S. warns American citizens in Kenya of imminent terrorist threat”) Two deadly explosions in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, on Monday evening, one at a bar and another at a bus stop, killed one person and injured 32 others. Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said, “These people [Al-Shabaab] appear they have declared a war on Kenyans and we are mobilising all resources at our disposal to ensure we keep Kenyans safe.” Standard Media (Nairobi)

Britain’s David Cameron defeats call for referendum on EU membership

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has comfortably defeated attempts in parliament to bring about a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union. Despite a rebellion by 80 “eurosceptic” MPs in Cameron’s own Conservative party, a large majority defeated the motion. The motion was prompted after a petition was signed by more than 100,000 people. BBC

Polygamy in Libya becomes an issue in the West

Sunday’s announcement by Libya’s National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil Islamic Sharia law would be the main source of legislation, and that polygamy would be legalized, has created a fair amount of controversy in the West. AP

Polygamy actually plays a very important social role in many societies, especially where war has resulted in a large number of unattached females. Polygamy isn’t about sex; it’s about security and support for women. Mohammed’s polygamy, for example, has been explained by the fact that he married the widows of his own fallen soldiers for their protection. So I thought it was interesting that the BBC interviewed a female Tripoli Post journalist, Khadija Ali, on the subject. Here’s my transcription:

“Jalil was saying that we’re going to stick with our religion, even the parts that the West doesn’t approve of. I think he brought the subject up because of the raped women in the country, because of the divorced women, because of the women who are widowed right now. And I think that he understands right now that the chance for them to get married [is small], and polygamy will give them the dignity and security from social stigma against rape. In parallel, at the same time, we need to cure the whole rape issue, and I think right now polygamy will go side by side in curing it. And I think polygamy is a worthy option right now for Libyan women who are widowed.”

The BBC interviewer, James Menendez, actually sputtered in confusion over hearing this, and asked her what she meant.

“Women who have been raped or widowed – polygamy will give them a bigger chance for them to be taken in by somebody who’s already married – a husband that already has another wife. Rape isn’t something that’s easy, and I think [polygamy will] get more accepted, and I think also there are many men out there who are married who are honored to have women who gave up so much for the revolution and are willing to take in these women.”

I’ve always thought that it was man-bashing by feminists who extol the virtues of one woman marrying another woman, but then recoil in horror when one woman wants to marry another woman AND a man. Just one more area of misunderstanding between the Arabs and the West. (BBC World Service)

Greece’s government runs out of ink for tax bills

The government department in Greece that sends out tax bills and statements to citizens has run out of ink because the supplier hasn’t been paid. The Finance Ministry is asking taxpayers to print out their own tax bills via the online system, and then pay them. The ministry hopes to sign a deal for more ink by the end of the year. Kathimerini

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