Monday, April 03, 2006

Broadcasting to the wrong audience

In an attempt to appeal to the Arab masses our country, the United States has started up a satellite television channel called Al-Hurrah. In addition to the rebel Iranian channels we are trying to show how well life can be under a free society. The problem is that the target audience of all television shows in the Middle East is the Men.

Reading through an interview with a woman who has escaped from Iran, and recalling many other similar stories of oppression, battery and abuse, as well as knowing about traditions within the Arab and Muslim world I can state that we are focusing on the wrong group.

I believe that if we persuade women in the Middle East to escape and seek asylum by the millions, we can make a real difference. We can provoke a genuine self reflection and reform. Even after “freeing” Iraq and Afghanistan women, 51 percent of the population, are oppressed, beaten and forced into silence. The male dominance and family structures imprisons human beings as nothing more than servants and incubators.

In Israel, I have witnessed Arab women dressed up in mini skirts and cleavage shirts. I witnessed Arab women dancing in night clubs. This is not the case in the United States, and of course it is not the case in the rest of the Middle East. The only chance for such remarkable transformation is when you let the women know that there is a place to seek shelter. That there are global powers assisting the women to set themselves free.

The conservative approach to dealing with the Arab culture was to leave it un-criticize. The approach would allow them to fulfill their barbaric approach to women in the form of family violence, murder and so forth. Instead of teaching women of the Middle East love, they are indoctrinated into sending their children to die while murdering, and murdering their own daughters for the sake of family pride. The local Middle East TV stations broadcast hate, where love should be reinforced.

The approach has to change, starting with the rights of women. Only after women are given true voice, after allowing a mass escape of oppressed women from their culture and preferably from their countries, can things change.

To win the cultural war, the so called war on terrorism, Arab women must be the first to be set free.

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