NO MENTION OF ISLAM IN AP PROFILE OF DISFRANCHISED PAKISTANI WOMEN
by Mary Chastain
The Associated Press published an article Sunday about the men of the Pakistani village Mateela, who have kept women from voting for decades. However, the article makes no mention of Islam or Islamic fundamentalists such as the Taliban suppression female voters, instead citing "tradition" as the cause.
For comparison, Agence-France Press comprehensively covered the causes of female disfranchisement in a late-April preview of Pakistan's elections:
In many areas ruled under Islam, women are seen as inferior to men, mentally and physically. According to the Islamic practice of purdah, a woman's place is the home, and women are often not allowed to leave the house without a male relative. "They do not go shopping, they do not work outside the house and they only go to the hospital in a dire emergency," AFP's report reveals.
The Christian Science Monitor quotes Sidra Ali, an activist encouraging voting in remote Pakistani areas, who laments, "The men do not allow the women to step out of the house... They treat the women here like livestock."
A woman running for an assembly seat in northwestern Pakistan conceded her race in mid-April after threats from the Taliban, the fundamentalist Muslim political group that sprang to international attention after it was revealed to have harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Pakistani Taliban operatives shot a teenage girl in the head last year because she promoted education for women.
The AP's political correctness on Islamic extremism is not without precedent. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month thanked AP for its decision to change the definition of "Islamist" in their stylebook. Reporters are prohibited from using the word "Islamist" while talking about militants or extremists.
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