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Feminists' real enemy isn't the White House

THERE WERE two must-read stories on Page 1 of the April 26 New York Times. One, "Abortion-rights marchers vow to fight another Bush term," reported on the massive prochoice rally that flooded the nation's capital one day earlier. The other, "Militants in Europe openly call for jihad and the rule of Islam," described the rise of Muslim supremacists who make no secret of their goal: the conversion of Europe to Islam, by force if necessary.

The abortion rally was called the March for Women's Lives -- a creepy Orwellian inversion if there ever was one. And yet countless marchers really did seem to believe that the foremost threat to women's lives today is George W. Bush and his benighted opinion that killing babies in the womb is wrong. To be sure, killing babies in the womb is legal -- and has been for 30-plus years. Roughly 1.3 million abortions are performed each year, which suggests that what the prochoicers euphemistically call "reproductive freedom" is alive and well in modern American life.

But 750,000 people don't descend on Washington to hear that things are OK. The mood on the National Mall was acrid with fear and loathing. Protesters bore signs reading "Stop the war on women." And speaker after speaker warned that no female will be safe until the Republicans are driven from the White House.

"Keep your laws off my body!" yelled Ashley Judd. "Can you hear me, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?" Hillary Clinton issued a plea to "stand up for our Constitution" by electing John Kerry in November. "We will not be gagged!" roared Susan Sarandon. "We reject, Mr. Bush, your hypocrisy, your greed, your disrespect for women's bodies, for women everywhere." Gloria Steinem intoned: "This government is the greatest danger on earth."

But there is a vastly greater danger -- especially to women -- than the president of the United States: the global jihad by militant Islamists, like those described in the other New York Times story.

"Young Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan . . . have turned against their families' new home," the paper reported. "They say they would like to see Prime Minister Tony Blair dead or deposed and an Islamic flag hanging outside No. 10 Downing Street. They swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden and his goal of toppling Western democracies to establish an Islamic superstate under Shariah law, like Afghanistan under the Taliban."

The abortion marchers haven't forgotten what "Afghanistan under the Taliban" was like, have they? Women could not leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. In public they had to be shrouded from head to toe and could be flogged for allowing a glimpse of ankle or wrist. Barred from working outside the home, many Afghan women sank into poverty. They couldn't wear brightly colored clothes, high heels, or makeup. They were forbidden to play sports. They weren't even permitted to laugh out loud.   Continued...

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