In an important lead New York Times article entitled "Flawed Justice After a Mob Killed an Afghan Woman" (avoid watching the video at the top of the article unless you have a cast-iron stomach), Alissa J. Rubin writes of the horrific murder of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old woman falsely accused of burning a Quran, and of the lenient legal proceedings against the men who were responsible for her death. Rubin writes:
"Farkhunda’s death and the legal system’s response call into question more than a decade of Western efforts in Afghanistan to instill a rule of law and improve the status of women. The United States alone has spent more than $1 billion to train lawyers and judges and to improve legal protections for women; European countries have provided tens of millions more.
But like so many other Western attempts to remake Afghanistan, the efforts have foundered, according to Afghan and Western lawyers and officials. Afghan society has resisted more than 150 years of such endeavors by outsiders, from the British to the Russians to the Americans. This remains a country where ties of kinship and clan trump justice, and where the money brought by the West has made corruption into a way of life. The rule-of-law programs were often designed in ignorance of Afghan legal norms, international and Afghan lawyers say. And Western efforts to lift women’s legal status provoked fierce resentment from powerful religious figures and many ordinary Afghans.
Yet Afghan women most need the legal system to defend them: They are largely powerless without the support of male family members, and it is usually family members who abuse them."
However, Afghanistan is not the only country where women are subjected to such horrors which go virtually unpunished by the legal system. Although never captured on video and never disseminated on the Internet, as was the slaying of Farkhunda, "Honor killings" are endemic throughout the Muslim Middle East.
Let's also not forget that stoning to death for alleged adultery, a punishment usually reserved for Muslim women, is legal in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Yemen.
And then there's also that "minor matter" involving the lashing and imprisonment of Saudi women who have been gang-raped.
Saudi Arabia? Yes, that's the country that has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation. (Qatar has given the Clinton Foundation somewhere between $1 million and $5 million in the past, and Kuwait and the UAE have also made hefty contributions.) But let's just ignore all that cash. After all, Hillary has placed women's rights at the center of her agenda, and we all know that she never lies.