Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Proposed Malaysian Law Would Limit Women's Travel

The BBC has reported that the Malaysian government is proposing to require women to get permission from their families or employers before they could travel abroad. Supposedly this is to keep them from falling into the hands of predatory gangs who will use them for drug trafficking or worse purposes, but it seems to me more to placate the rising Islamist movement in that country. If they're really worried about criminal gangs, how about launching a crackdown on criminals?

Many Muslims are objecting to what is obviously an unIslamic proposal. I've read the Qur'an (twice, in fact) and there is nothing in it about limiting a woman's human right to free movement. In fact, Muhammad's boss, first convert, and later wife was a woman named Khadijah who ran her own trading business. Muhammad was her caravan leader. As a rich businesswoman, Khadijah probably moved around a lot, although by the time Muhammad worked for her she was a middle-aged widow with several kids, an independent working mother in other words, so she probably didn't get around as much as she used to.

Hopefully the uproar will make the government back off. This law would hurt their country's economy because it will hamper the free movement of some of their best scientists and educators. It will also lead to far, far worse. If the government thinks that the Islamists will be satisfied with this little scrap, they'll soon find out otherwise.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

Ack. It reminds of the year I spent doing a 'bachelor-status' job in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. When my wife and (then 5-year-old) son came for a visit, she was only able to leave the apartment because our son was considered her chaperone.

I was not allowed to leave the city without an authorisation letter from my employer, and could not leave the country without an exit visa.

Sad, mad, bad.