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The world is still reeling over the latest horrific terrorist attack that took place Monday in Manchester England. The setting was the same as many prior ISIS-related attacks: people at a concert having a good time, enjoying life, living life. The cowardly act was carried out during a concert given by pop singer Arianna Grande. As of this writing, evidence is pointing to a suicide bomb. Several other persons of interest have also been taken into custody.

There is, however, something more darkly different about this latest attack for which the Islamic State took credit, something that was one of the first speculations made right after the attack: the majority of Arianna Grande’s fan base are girls, pre-teen all the way up to early twenty-somethings. Did this attack specifically target a venue that was largely filled with females?

The view and the treatment of girls and women in Islam is certainly no secret. At best, they are treated as second-class citizens; at worst, they’re regarded as being nothing more than property. Muslim countries are filled with Islamic based laws regarding the dress, behavior, and moral code for women. Part of this code involves not being permitted to drive, being covered from head to toe when leaving the house, being accompanied by a male relative, needing permission from said relatives to attend school or work, much less leave the house. Then there are the minor details concerning such things as rape. Rape is most often considered to be the women’s fault. She somehow brought it on herself and has now dishonored her family.

If women are so insignificant, how can something as important as family honor rest entirely on their shoulders?

Termed sharia law, this code is dictated in the Koran and the several Hadiths. It also permits public stonings for perceived adultery. Said “adultery,” according to sharia, can even mean shaking the hand of a man not related to them. Let’s not forget other popular punishments such as acid being thrown on women. Any simple search on the internet will provide quite a few photos of horribly disfigured women who have suffered acid attacks. There are so many in fact one has to wonder, can acid be purchased at your local Middle Eastern equivalent of 7-11?

With all of these well documented incidents, would it really be such a stretch to surmise that a point was being made? While liberals and others who spend so much time telling the rest of us that we have to just get along and stop being so Islamophobic, they just don’t acknowledge that these are the views of those they want to give a free pass. If we don’t talk about it, it will go away.

This mentality has existed in the Middle East for thousands of years. It is a basic teaching of Islam. But among the many questions that are not asked of radical Islamic terrorists is what about not just strong women, but women in general are they so afraid of?

Is it as simple as not wanting to be beaten in a game of tic tac toe by a girl that is at the heart of this fear, or is it deeper, more psychological? If sharia law adherents truly believe that men are superior to women why would just the mere sight of a woman not wearing a head scarf, or behind the wheel or, God forbid being educated disturb them? Perhaps it is because, while they might believe it, they just do not want to be confronted with a woman who is better educated, more intelligent, and maybe even a better driver. It is much easier to just forbid her do those things. Problem solved.

Many of Arianna Grande’s lyrics talk about strong empowered women. The title of her tour is “Dangerous Woman.” It is exactly how Islamists view empowered educated women, but it is a vital and important message for the girls and young women who call themselves fans of Arianna Grande. The response to those who adhere to these views and beliefs should be, not only are we not going away, we are becoming more powerful and our numbers will continue to grow. Despite your best efforts, we will continue to dress, behave, and live the way we choose. You will not oppress us and you will not beat us into submission. Make no mistake, we will fight back, and we will fight back in all of the ways you despise. You will not destroy us, our children, or our way of life.

Former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said it best when speaking of Malala Yousafzai, international Activist for female education and a victim herself of the Taliban’s view on educating girls, “When the Taliban shot Malala they showed what they feared most: a girl with a book”.

It is what radical Islamic terrorists everywhere fear the most. The message for women everywhere should be, do your very best to compound their fear.

Hudson Reed Showers