International Women's Day should be "Save Nazanin Day"
by Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review

Today, March 8, marks what the United Nations designates "International Women's Day." I'm thinking about an 18-year-old Iranian girl named Nazanin. Instead of letting activists waste the day denouncing George W. Bush and other protecters of human rights and freedom, the United Nations ought to use its bullhorn to insist that Nazanin become a household name.

Nazanin and her 16-year-old niece were about to be raped last year when the older girl stabbed two of their three attackers, killing one.

You go, girl!

Nazanin reportedly told a criminal court that "I wanted to defend myself and my niece. I did not want to kill that boy. At the heat of the moment I did not know what to do because no one came to our help." But she was sentenced to death earlier this year for her crime. Her (insane) sentence is subject to higher court review.

International Women's Day this year should be Save Nazanin Day. It's not only this one young woman's life who might be saved, but countless unknowns in similar situations. . . .

At a time when the world is on fire — literally when you look at, say, the Danish embassy in Syria burned down by protesters, for instance, over lame cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper and now around the world — rallying to Nazanin's cause represents more than saving one woman's life. Shedding a much-needed light on inhumane sharia punishments and so-called honor killings would be an important step in calling Islamic regimes to account for their wrongdoing and encourage moderate Muslims the world over to reclaim their religion.

This should be a top priority for Western feminists (some, to their credit, have raised the topic and their outrage). On International Women's Day, they should stand with moderate Muslim women and women like Amina Lawal and call for an end to the terrorizing of women like her and Nazanin. And all those women whose names we'll never know.

Instead of naive hysterics about wage gaps and Gitmo, someone ought to break out the smelling salts and get an army of feminists and human-rights groups occupying a room at the United Nations to use their public voices to fight for those who can't. I'll never see eye to eye with some of these folks on the whole of their agendas (so long as feminists insist protecting the right to destroy an unborn life is sacred, their bill of goods is fatally tainted), but where we can stand together — basic human rights for even women — we should. I'd like Nazanin to one day be thankful that we rallied to save her life.
Posted by: Mike 2006-03-08