Lara Logan: “They raped me with their hands.”

April 29, 2011

CBS reporter Lara Logan was gang-raped by hundreds of Muslim men while covering the mass demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square last February. Today she recounted her experience in an article in the New York Times:

“There was a moment that everything went wrong,” she recalled.

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”

Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,” Mr. Fager said, “because the mob was just so powerful.” A bodyguard who had been hired to accompany the team was able to stay with Ms. Logan for a brief period of time. “For Max to see the bodyguard come out of the pile without her, that was one of the worst parts,” Mr. Fager said. He said Ms. Logan “described how her hand was sore for days after — and the she realized it was from holding on so tight” to the bodyguard’s hand.

They estimated that they were separated from her for about 25 minutes.

“My clothes were torn to pieces,” Ms. Logan said.

She declined to go into more detail about the assault but said: “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”

A weakness of the article is its failure to address the role of Islam and Islamic law(1) in fostering attitudes and beliefs that reduce women to the status of chattels under the control of men, subject to punishment –including sexual assault– for acting in an un-Islamic manner. And, based on the example of Muhammad, who, we are told in the Qur’an, gives us a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for all time, women taken prisoner may be enjoyed and used as one would one’s property. The interview dances around the topic, hinting at it by mentioning countries and regions, but never gets to the heart of the problem. For example:

While Ms. Logan, CBS’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, said she would definitely return to Afghanistan and other conflict zones, she said she had decided — for the moment — not to report from the Middle Eastern countries where protests were widespread.

And yet Afghanistan is Islamic and a place where women are treated brutally. To say one would return to Afghanistan, but not “the Middle East” is to draw a distinction without a difference; it ignores the common thread, Islam, and its codification and sacralization of millennia-old tribal attitudes toward women.

When Logan says this shows “the oppressive role of men” in the society, she’s right, but leaving it at that is to turn a blind eye to the elephant in the room.

Another part of the article bears mentioning:

Before the assault, Ms. Logan said, she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced. “I would have paid more attention to it if I had had any sense of it,” she said.

Before we go any further, understand this is not a criticism of Lara Logan, but an observation regarding the parochial naiveté of the journalistic profession overall, which seems to think it can parachute into any troubled part of the world and play the role of “untouchable outside observer.” Not only do these MSM reporters seem to have only the most superficial understanding of the areas they cover, but it’s as if they think the fact that they’re journalists gives them some sort of protection against the anti-American (anti-Western, anti-Jewish, anti-women, &c., &c.) prejudices and rages rife there. While Logan’s example is by far the most horrific, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was also attacked in Tahrir Square, and the NYT’s own Lynsey Addario was sexually assaulted while covering the rebellion in Libya.

There are no “safe passes,” and women especially need to understand the situation they are walking into.

Meanwhile, it’s good to see that Logan is recovering.

LINKS: Earlier posts about Lara Logan. My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah posted about this.

TANGENT:

(1) And before someone says “religion had nothing to do with this” or “Islam respects women,” you’re wrong.


Poor Obama. Presidents of China have it so easy by comparison…

March 11, 2011

One reason Chinese presidents have it so easy.

Jeez, what a whiner. I seem to recall he wanted the job, real bad. In fact, he wanted it so much that he started running for it after only two years as a United States senator.

But now he finds it too tough and envies the Chinese President:

How Mr. Obama manages to do that while also balancing American interests is a question that officials acknowledge will plague this historic president for months to come. Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”

(Emphasis added)

Gee, I wonder why that is? Could it be because the Chinese government has an almost unbroken history of tyranny against its own people? That Hu’s predecessors are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions? That it doesn’t give a damn about individual liberty and, indeed, as the photo shows above, sends tanks against unarmed protesters demanding their unalienable rights? That is conducting a slow-motion ethnic cleansing in Tibet? Could it be because Hu isn’t accountable to his people, nor even to the legislature, but just to an elite oligarchy of Communist Party hierarchs?

No wonder he has such an easy time of it, and no wonder no one seeking his or her liberty cares a rat’s hind end what Hu Jin Tao has to say.

Okay, Mr. President. It’s time for a basic lesson in why people in Tahrir Square (or Tiananmen Square) might care about what you have to say. Not you as Barack Obama from Hawaii by way of Chicago, but you, Barack Obama, as President of the United States.

You are the Chief of State of a nation that, over the course of the last 235 years, has:

  • Fought for its own freedom
  • Fought a civil war to end slavery
  • Sent an army to Europe to defeat the German Empire in World War 1
  • Sent armies and navies around the globe to defeat Germany (again) when Europe was nearly crushed and at the same time to crush Japan in World War 2, saving the lives and liberties of hundreds of millions
  • Fought North Korea and China to preserve South Korea as a free country (Turned out pretty good)
  • Fought to preserve South Vietnam (Okay, that one didn’t turn out so good)
  • Fought to save Bosnians and Kosovars and give Iraqis and Afghans a chance at a better life

And on and on…

But if the military angle doesn’t get though to you, how about the moral? The nation that gives you such a hard time as president also gave the world the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the radical concept that sovereignty derives from the people and not their rulers, and that Mankind’s liberty is best preserved when his government is limited. (That last one bugs you a lot, doesn’t it?)

And we didn’t just keep it to ourselves; we proclaimed it the right of all humans everywhere and acted as a shield for those wanting those rights and as a loud voice for those whose voices were silenced by the guns of the dictators. Not perfectly, not always consistently, sometimes screwing up badly, but often enough and strongly enough that oppressed people around the world look to the American president for words of encouragement and aid, not the Chinese president. It wasn’t some jumped-up autocrat from Beijing who stood in front of one of the bleakest symbols of tyranny the world has seen, the Berlin Wall, and demanded that the barbarians who built it tear it down.

No, it was an American president, one you like to compare yourself to.

And that’s why people in the Tahrir Squares of the world care what you say.

Instead of whining that dictators have it easier than you, maybe you should stop and think about the role your predecessors have played and why the world would look to them for leadership in the cause of liberty. Maybe you’ll learn something.

Maybe you’ll even grow up a bit.

via Ed Morrissey

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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