Turkish Women May Not Laugh in Public

A minister from Turkey’s conservative Muslim government outlined in some detail what he thought Turkish women must do in order to be chaste and honorable Muslims. Or, more specifically, he outlined what Turkish women must not do. According to this minister, chastity involves not showing off your beauty (i.e., wearing a head-to-toe black sack) and not laughing in public.

That’s right. Good Turkish women don’t laugh in public. After hearing things like this, I can’t imagine this advice will be all that difficult to live by. Seriously—what do Turkish women have to laugh about? Or any women in the Islamic world.

While Barack Obama and his not-very-chaste wife (I’ve seen her laughing on television numerous times) mark the end of the month of Ramadan by praising Muslim Americans—who according to him have built “the very fabric of our nation”—the rest of civilized and rational humanity seems to see Islam for what it actually is—a false religion destructive to human dignity on nearly every level.

And let’s talk for a second about Ramadan—this much-vaunted month of fasting. During the month of Ramadan, a good Muslim must fast from food and sex—technically from “putting anything in his bodily cavities.” Sounds very religious and pious. Except for the loophole. It’s from dawn to sunset. So families wake up early and eat, and then eat at sundown. You skip lunch. And aside from afternoon delights, you’re not really giving up much on the sex front either, since sex is typically a night-time activity. I imagine Muslim women probably wish the month of Ramadan were much stricter—and lasted all year.

But I’m not sure that avoiding “putting anything into your bodily cavities” really helps you to be holier. It seems rather lacking in nuance to think that what you literally put into your bodily cavities is what “defiles” you. Jesus had a different idea: “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man” (Matthew 15:17–20). Right on.

But as we all know, a man who preached peace, died for the sins of the world, rose from the dead, and whose teaching laid the groundwork for all of Western civilization has much less credibility than a bloodthirsty pedophile who gained converts at the edge of the sword and left his followers destitute in a desert wasteland they have only managed to make even more miserable over the years.

The institutionalized bitterness and systemic self-aggrandizement of the Islamic society is mind-boggling.  I hope the innocent women and children of the Muslim world will find peace and a safe escape from that world.