“The Arab World: Waking from its sleep.” This is the headline on the front of the most recent issue of Economist Magazine. The cover depicts an Arab man and his son (presumably), holding hands and walking toward a washed out landscape. http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14082930

This headline is interesting considering that this very magazine is published in a country (England) that didn’t grant women the right to vote on the same terms as men until 1928 with the Representation of the People Act. Women in the “Arab World”  were granted the human right of equality to men, rights to obtain an education, rights to own independent property, and the right to divorce and retain all independent income (among many others), 1400 years before that, under the religion of Islam, which the article cites several times in a paternalistic, condescending way. According to the article, “Islam complicates democracy.”

It is not my intention to excuse or gloss over the societal deficits of any country or people, but when the teachings of Islam, as set forth in the Qu’ran, are conflated with the unjust actions of people influthe cover of the magazine without the headline enced by patriarchal norms, I have to object.