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I would like to retract some of my last post. I admit, I jumped to an incorrect conclusion on the root causes of extremely high numbers of males to females in certain Muslim countries. I had forgotten about an immigrant population boom in places like the UAE over the past three years.

My incorrect assumption was brought to my attention by an anonymous blogger JDsg who wrote a scathing review of my post at, Dunner’s. If you have clicked on the link you will see he does not think too highly of me. Not a problem, but I do have a few comments to make about his post.

Mr. JDsg alluded that female infanticide is not a Muslim practice at all, but is exclusive to India and China. While those two nations compose the bulk of cases where female infants are murdered for nothing more than being unlucky enough to have been born a female, they are not the only places where this barbaric practice is occurring. I am mindful of the fact female infanticide is most common in overpopulated regions with high poverty. Such as China, North Korea, South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan), the Middle East (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey) and parts of Africa (Cameroon, Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Nigeria).

Note, I had already concluded based on the World Factbook data, female infanticide was a low probability for the disparity because at birth the ratio was nearly 1/1. The jump in the male population occurs after age 15. This led me to suspect two other possible causes. 1) Honor killings and 2) low counts.

Surprisingly I noticed Mr. JDsg did not refute or even mention anything about honor killings. Like female infanticide, honor killings are not exclusive to Islam, but are very much being carried out by Muslims all over the world, not just in the Middle East.

There is nothing in the Koran, the book of basic Islamic teachings, that permits or sanctions honor killings. However, the view of women as property with no rights of their own is deeply rooted in Islamic culture, Tahira Shahid Khan, a professor specializing in women’s issues at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, wrote in Chained to Custom, a review of honor killings published in 1999.

“Women are considered the property of the males in their family irrespective of their class, ethnic, or religious group. The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate. The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.”

Honor killings are perpetrated for a wide range of offenses. Marital infidelity, pre-marital sex, flirting, or even failing to serve a meal on time can all be perceived as impugning the family honor.

Amnesty International has reported on one case in which a husband murdered his wife based on a dream that she had betrayed him. In Turkey, a young woman’s throat was slit in the town square because a love ballad had been dedicated to her over the radio.

In a society where most marriages are arranged by fathers and money is often exchanged, a woman’s desire to choose her own husband—or to seek a divorce—can be viewed as a major act of defiance that damages the honor of the man who negotiated the deal.

Even victims of rape are vulnerable. In a widely reported case in March of 1999, a 16-year-old mentally retarded girl who was raped in the Northwest Frontier province of Pakistan was turned over to her tribe’s judicial council. Even though the crime was reported to the police and the perpetrator was arrested, the Pathan tribesmen decided that she had brought shame to her tribe and she was killed in front of a tribal gathering. Source

I will admit, I was wrong in my assumptions that the Muslim practice of honor killings and a disregard for women as people, accounted for the extraordinarily higher numbers of men to women in certain Muslim countries. What I did not take into account is the high percentage of immigrants who are predominantly men. For example in 2005, more than 72% of the UAE population was composed of immigrant males.

Population, initial results 2005

Total number of UAE population as counted in the census is 3,769,080*
Total number of males is 2,547,043, which is 67.6 % of the total population that were counted in the reference period.
Total number of females is 1,222,037, which is 32.4 % of the total population that were counted in the reference period.
Total number of nationals is 824,921, which is 21.9 % of the total population that were counted in the reference period, and it is 20.1% of the total UAE population.
Total number of national males is 418,057, which is 50.7 % of the total nationals.
Total number of national females is 406,864, which is 49.3 % of the total nationals.
Total number of non-nationals is 2,944,159, which is 78.1% of the total population that were counted in the reference period, and it is 79.9% (3,279,774)of the total UAE population.
Total number of non-national males is 2,128,986, which is 72.3%.
Total number of non-national females is 815,173, which is 27.7%. Source

I would like to apologize to my readership for giving you an incorrect analysis and I would like to thank Mr. JDsg for pointing out my erroneous information. While population data is a poor example for Islam’s War on Women, the war does continue.