Gen. Musharraf claims to champion a "moderate Islam" that respects the rights of women. But when Mukhtar Mai, a victim of a gang rape whose attackers have not been punished, tried to visit the United States earlier this year, the president barred her from leaving the country. In an interview with The Post last month, he claimed that he had relented. But then he said this: "You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped." This statement was, as Pakistani activists and the Canadian government soon pointed out, an outrageous lie. There is only one known case of a rape victim moving to Canada, a doctor who was assaulted by a military officer. A far more common outcome for rape victims is to be ostracized by their communities or jailed.
When Gen. Musharraf's statement provoked an uproar, he responded with another lie: He claimed that he had never made it. In fact, a recording of him speaking is available on The Post's Web site, washingtonpost.com. His words are quite clear. "These are not my words, and I would go to the extent of saying I am not so silly and stupid to make comments of this sort," the general said. Well, yes, he is.
Wish I saw this type of thing more often about the Arab world.
P.S. I think there is little doubt that if there was a contest for the world's greatest insensitive jerk, Musharraf would be the insensitive jerk to rule them all.