. . . Guess why these practises came into vogue?
In my research three points in particular stuck out to me as they were discussed by Indian historians.
Firstly, the wearing of the charming Sari. This head covering was in fact forced upon Hindu women under Islamic oppression in order that they not be considered "immoral". It seems it started its life not as a lovely feminine cultural symbol but as a symbol of subjugation and fear. We see exactly the same thing happening in suburbs of Paris and in other European areas where Islam takes hold, like Malmo.
Secondly, widow burning or Sati. This practice was instituted because the now accompanied & unprotected woman was open to being degraded in terrible ways by Muslims. In fact I found that the women would rather throw themselves alive onto their husbands funeral pyre than live to be so violated. As such this was not perceived to be an insignificant threat.
Thirdly, child marriage. Again this arose because the Hindu girls would be kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted before they got to a normal marriageable age. We can understand this very well because see the same today in places like Pakistan and Egypt. Rather than risk this for their daughters the family married them off very young in order to protect them.
All 3 practices suddenly make a lot of sense don't they when we see how Islam has historically acted and is now acting in other parts of the world?
As I keep saying around here: Islam is Sharia and the leopard does not change its spots. Surroundings may ameliorate these religious imperatives and individual Muslims may become more or less Westernised by their contexts (we call them "moderate" Muslims - where we simply mean cultural or unobservant) and find such practices and beliefs as repellent as the rest of us. But nevertheless Islam teaches the second or third rate status of non-Muslims; the second class status of women and the absolute superiority of the Muslim and of Sharia over any other law. These aspects are unalterable.
It gives one a lot more respect for what the Hindus and other groups in India suffered over many centuries doesn't it? So much of what they themselves think of as their own authentic culture is nothing more than the result of Islamic imperialism. According to my research, the vast majority of modern Hindus do not even realise this. We have to wonder when the day will come when our descendants look back and assume women wearing head coverings in New Zealand has also always been the custom. We can see those days are coming in some areas of France where, 30 years from now, women will just be used to covering their heads and making sure they don't go out without a male.
Yes, we see the same pattern repeated in various contexts. I wonder when we'll be ready to discuss the real issues here like grown-ups without being accused of "Islamophobia". Quite apart from the incalculable suffering of their victims and the resultant destruction of their culture - the very thing everyone seems so keen to safeguard these days, among non-European peoples at least - at what point do we declare that we love Muslims enough to challenge them with the whole truth of their Faith and ask them to take responsibility for its teachings in a way that any other adult would?
Or are we likely to remain too polite?
How did that work out in India?