I was reading a book the other day about women in Afghanistan. So much of what happened, many Muslims would argue is not true Islam. Among other things, these women were denied inheritance, made to marry men they didn't meet until their wedding ceremonies, traded for gambling debts or because their fathers wanted second wives, beaten and so forth. Often I read blogs about things happening in Saudi Arabia with the disclaimer that those are tribal practices, not Islam. Female circumcision, again, cultural. Even Christians do such things, I've heard.
I understand in pre-Islamic Arabia that little girls were often killed, and Islam put a stop to that. Additionally men and women were able to practice polygamy, and Islam did away with women marrying multiple men while limiting Muslim men (except Muhammad) to only four at a time. So some good stuff, some bad (if you were a woman wanting more than one husband anyway.)
I was wondering how good is it for religion to influence and change native cultures. Where is the balance? Do we seek to bring "correct" scriptural teachings to these people so their cultures will value girls, honor women and just be nicer? Or do we live and let live, and allow people to do what is traditionally best for them and stop caring what they do to each other as long as it doesn't hurt us?