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As sexual violence against American women grabs the headlines, it’s important to remember what much of the rest of the world looks like.

[Mona] Eltahawy … attributes [violent hatred of women in the Muslim world] to “a toxic mix of religion and culture”. And to this I would add the political oppression and stasis that enabled these structures to become de facto governance, where entrenched tribal allegiances, pre-Islamic mores and social tradition trumped weak political culture. A general retardation that extends not just to women but to every aspect of personal freedom and civic rights.

That benighted world is watching, which makes it all the more important that women here shed light on what happened to them when they became a focus of male hatred.

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