Review of Jan Goodwin's The Price of Honor
It has been nearly three years since the attack of September 11th, 2001 shocked the world. Americans and our allies were forced to take a good look at the terrorist activity originating in the Middle East. Besides reports of terrorist training camps and the possible existence of weapons of mass destruction, we found an enemy who, for various reasons, despise the basic principles that America was founded upon. This enemy is not Islam nor is it all Muslims. It is a small percentage (10 to 15%) of Islamic Muslims who are extremists. They perpetuate a doctrine that, according to many Muslim leaders, is not supported by the Koran nor the majority of the Muslim population. These extreme militant believers support an ideology that, among other atrocities, advocates the extreme abuse of women, both physically and psychologically.
Jan Goodwin explored the Islamic Belt: a change of countries whose population is between 90 to 100% Muslim (Goodwin, xiii).
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Goodwin lived in the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirate states, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordon, Israeli-Occupied Territories, and Egypt. She interviewed thousands of women attempting to see behind the "Veil of Silence on the Islamic World" (Goodwin, cover). Goodwin is a journalist, not a religious studies scholar, who is reporting her findings from the perspective of a journalist with over twenty years experience in Middle Eastern politics. In 1995, she published The Price of Honor after living there for six years. In late 2001, she returned to document any changes in the status of women after the Taliban was removed from power. In 2003, she published a revised edition of her 1995 book with updates of her findings. Goodwin's basic argument is...