In response to David Tucker let me first thank him for pointing to the ways in which what I said could be misunderstood and for posing these questions for our further consideration.
Question 1: Is Wahabbism the same thing as Islamo-fascism? I am no expert on the tenets of the Wahabbist version of Islam but, from what I understand of it, it may be possible to be Wahabbist and not also be an Islamo-fascist. So the answer is "no." The one does not necessarily embrace the other.
Question 2: What do you mean by Islamo-fascism? I mean it literally. I mean fascism that finds its inspiration in and believes itself justified because of the teachings it finds in the Koran. Is every Islamic person an Islamo-fascist? Of course not. It isn’t even true that every fascist who happens to be a Muslim is necessarily an Islamo-fascist. The fascism has to find its roots (or rather claim to find its roots)--rightly or wrongly--in the Koran and the teachings of its "scholars."
Question 3: Why is it wrong for someone to refuse medical services for religious reasons, even if doing so threatens their life? I actually did not say that--so I’m not sure how to respond to the question. I don’t think it is wrong--at least not in a legal sense. It can and often is my opinion that such refusals are foolish--but I would not impose that view on someone who disagreed with me. I probably wouldn’t even tell them my opinion unless I knew them well because I would think it rude to intrude. I don’t even think it is wrong (in a legal sense) to refuse medical treatment on the grounds that you just don’t prefer to do it. You may be foolish, but I don’t think you can be compelled to be smart in this instance. But what I do object to is a culture that seeks to suppress information that a grown woman can use to make her own choices about her own health care. I object to it here--where we have those who suppress information that suggests childbirth and nursing are important to a woman’s health because it’s not PC to say it and it might offend women who choose not to do these things--and I object to it in Saudi Arabia--where women are afraid of the social backlash that comes to them if they see a male doctor or have a mastectomy. I also have to say that I find it preposterous that any serious so-called "religious" person would rather see his wife or mother or daughter die than permit her to disrobe in front of a male doctor who might help her to prevent that. And it is despicable for a man to abandon a woman who must chose to have a mastectomy if she intends to keep living. If a woman is so foolish (or fearful) that she will not heed good sense when presented with all the (truthful) information, I suppose I have nothing to say to her about that in any legal sense. I would not force her to get a mammogram or have a mastectomy. But I see nothing wrong with telling her that she really ought to do otherwise. She may take it or leave it--as many (very free) women in our country do too.
You did not ask about, but I think you implied that you wondered why I suggested that it was "Islamo-fascism" at work in this case. I think it is fascist to actively suppress the truth in order to manipulate or limit people’s choices. I think it is fascist to take away a person’s liberty in this way. So that explains the fascist part. The "Islamo" part comes from the reasons why those who suppressed information or punished women with cancer did what they did. It comes from their ideas about gender inspired by their extreme version of Islam.
But I should be clear that there was no suggestion that the government of Saudi Arabia was itself responsible for this suppression or bad behavior. On the contrary, the story suggested that things were improving, women were speaking out and educating each other and, after all, Laura Bush was there to promote breast cancer awareness. She would not have been invited if they were all complicit with this kind of thing. She would not have been invited if they were all "Islamo-fascists."