If a great and powerful ruler is riding his horse, and he comes upon a woman crossing the road, should he continue riding, or should he stop? If he continues riding, his horse may knock her over. If he stops, he will be acknowledging that she has rights that he is obliged to respect, despite his power.
The answer to this question in European societies is that the powerful ruler should stop. The answer in traditional Muslim societies appears to have been that he should continue riding. (more…)