Writing in my horrible-excellent newspaper this morning Allison Pearson makes what I think is a correct point. “Muslim women can change Islam for the better.” And yet, 22% of Muslim women in this country can’t speak English because their husbands won’t let them. But some women, like some men, are courageous and I wouldn’t mind betting that more than 22% of Muslim wives have learned to speak English despite being forbidden.
A couple of wispy memories from about ten years ago have come back to me. In Taliban-dominated Kabul, reading of mothers who were holding secret schools in their homes despite the death penalty. Seeing a video of a woman driving a car in Riyadh. Not a capital offence, but had she been found out by the Saudi religious police she’d have been given 50, or 100 lashes. And then, who is the bravest person in the world? Malala Yousafzai, of course. And then there’s Aung San Suu Kyi. And a great many more we never hear about. All strength to them all !