The Price of Honor
Jan Goodwin

 afghan woman voting       afghan boys    afghan girls in school

Chpt. 1 Fundementally Different?

Harrowing account of Maria

Her inspiration in writing the book


began working at age 6 as caregiver to her father’s employer (nanny)

had never attended school

keen mind

Goodwin enrolled her in first grade with her father’s permission

Bought her uniform, supplies

“adopted her” birthday cakes, bedtime stories


Advanced to 3rd grade, learned to read and write Urdu and English

Education a “bad thing” makes them argumentative


Took her for ice cream at a hotel; Her father’s friends were outraged

Exposing her to a foreign life; immodest; a prostitute;

Even though she was covered head to toe


Not yet 12, married off to old man (who gave his daughter to her father in exchange)

pregnant, suffering daily beatings, isolation of purdah


“Man has right to beat his wife” (5)


Father beat her more and more because he wanted to remarry and new wife didn’t want her


She thought of buying her as colleague suggested; adoption took at least 2 years and would have to prove she’s an orphan or had been abandoned.


Incest – case quashed because “it doesn’t’ happen in Muslim families” (6)

Peshawar, Pakistan

Afghan refugee camps

Very conservative




Growing Islamic extremism in Mid East/N Africa

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, W Bank and Gaza, Egypt


**Educated in US, radicalized during their time in the

She gives examples of Osama bin Laden, Sayyid Qutb (Egypt; founder of Muslim Brotherhood) (11)


Why?  What is the connection between education, life abroad, and political consciousness?

She points to networks, isolation, bigotry from US students (13)

Bankruptcy of secular movements (13)

Experience of colonialism

Third generation trained bureaucrats in home societies’ failure to deliver prosperity, political freedom (13)

Corrupt, repressive, in collusion with W

Discontent, growing (relative deprivation***)


Leads to “Islamic awakening”  “Islam Is the Solution” (14)


[sponsored not just by bin Laden, but by Saudi government – see mp. 15 on sponsorship of Hamas in Gaza, Shiek Omar, Jamaat-i-Islam in Pakistan))


“a neo-conservative wave of self-styled religious literalists had begun attaching Islam from within, and by doing so, were changing the world in which they live, especially for women, and were frequently reaching outside it.”


“Islam is a total way of life that affects all aspects of being:  public, private, and spiritual.  And because of the blurring of religion and governance, the increasingly militant Islamic revivalist movement is dictating how people should think, behave, dress, and live; it is also increasingly influencing how nations are governed” (7)


Compares it to other “isms” like totalitarianism, Marxist-Leninism, fascism (8)


Don’t’ have to be fundamentalist to be a Muslim leader, strong politician

e.g. George Habash (PLO), Tariq Aziz (Iraq) Christian


**Machiavelli, Plato:  religion can be used to legitimate political power


[Is there a W equivalent/American corollary to this movement?]


Women’s role

Symbolic, key

“Women have become symbols of men’s Islamic commitment, “ Barnett Rubin, NYU (9).



Oil factor

­­wealthy oil states, small populations:  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait


vs. unemployment, weak infrastructure in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine


divide far more pronounced than Central America, sub-Saharan Africa (Paul Kennedy, Yale, Preparing for the 21st Century)


US, Soviet Union poured billions in weapons, aircraft, missiles into region


We are dependent upon them; 5% of world population, consumers 25% of world’s oil (19)


Distribution of wealth in Gulf Oil states

Largely in private hands

Ruling families “piggy banks”

“flight capital” invested “abroad,” e.g., US Treasury Bills, stockmarket not invested in own society

Also in own bank accounts


Own Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s, Carvel Ice Cream, Gucci, Color Tile,


Oil investment in US companies, Santa Fe International

AT&T, Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Atlantic Richfield


Citibank, UPI, Compaq, JP Morgan, AOL


Chpt. 2 Muslims:  The First Feminists

Recounts the basic tenets and history of Islam, Mohammad’s life

The influences of Mohammad’s wives on his teachings and “revelations”


Irony that we, in the West, associate Islam with the poor treatment of women


Because it was very progressive

Improved women’s status

States that men and women both have rights, responsibilities

        Agree to marriage, partner


        Property ownership


        Support in case of abandonment

        Responsibility to be modest

men: lower their gaze;

women – cover breasts and be free from adornments


Men may take up to 4 wives provided:

        They can afford them

        They can treat them equally


Originated to protect widows

        **link here with the infanticide readings



How did it go from these requirements to become a justification for violence against women? 


The taking of many wives (trading up?)


Man’s influence, interpretations


Sources of Religious Authority”

The Koran

        The direct revelations of Mohammad from Gabriel


The Haditha

        The sayings, teachings of Mohammad



        Interpretations of Islamic law

        Vary from place to place

        Evolve over time


Reliance in day-to-day matters on

        Ulema (legal scholars)

        Mullahs (religious teachers)


Mohammad’s bio


The Five Pillars

There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his Prophet.

Prayer 5 times per day.

Hadj once in lifetime (if you can afford it).

Alms to poor.


Chpt. 3 One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Describes the horrific status of women in contemporary Pakistan