Senator Barack Obama’s Admonition to
Parents Should Also Apply to the Italian Government

 The Los Angeles Times today (15 July 2008) quotes from Senator Barack Obama’s address last night to the NAACP. According to the Times, Senator Obama said our parents need to teach “our sons to treat women with respect and to realize responsibility does not end at conception. That what makes a man a man is not the ability to have a child but to raise one.”

 In a separate story, the paper describes Italy’s appalling failure to protect women from victimization by polygamous Muslim men.

 The message is similar in both stories. But it goes beyond women and children, and is not limited to Italy and the United States either.  Any social system that deprives a group of opportunity or condones physical or psychological mistreatment threatens Western civilization.

 Populations that are less wealthy or educated through systemic social deprivation create a membership pool for groups like Al Qaeda. We need to continue efforts to eliminate institutionalized deprivation, of course. But until that is accomplished, we also need victims to be reporting on possible new terrorist cells instead of joining them.

 There is no incentive to support representative government if someone does not feel a part of it. Furthermore, if Muslim women in Italy are forced into polygamy and government does little to help them – then their plight (like that of non-combatant detainees at Guantanamo) will become marketing material for terrorists.