The documentary told the story of a 19-year-old prisoner called Gulnaz.
After she was raped, she was charged with adultery. Her baby girl, born following the rape, is serving her sentence with her.
“At first my sentence was two years,” Gulnaz said, as her baby coughed in her arms. “When I appealed it became 12 years. I didn’t do anything. Why should I be sentenced for so long?” Once she gets out she most likely would be killed by her family for dishonoring them. She can get out if she marries her attacker. That would mean he would rape her for the rest of her life. She said she would so that her child would continue to have a mother.
Stories like hers are tragically typical, according to Heather Barr, of Human Rights Watch, who is carrying out research among Afghan female prisoners.
Although I would rather the Muslim community had been a bit more cautious before rushing to judge the Alawadi case as a hate crime, the reason so many Muslims and non-Muslims hastily attributed the murder to Islamophobia is that we all recognize that anti-Islamic rhetoric in America today is vociferous enough to lead to this kind of tragedy. Alawaidy’s murder followed at the heels of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, and we began to question whether racial and religious stereotyping had gone too far.
Fear, suspicion and hatred are not the American values that I, nor anybody else I know, was brought up with. These sorts of irrational and poisonous emotions have no place in a country that was pieced together by immigrants—each one adding yet another ethnicity, religion and color to the mix. In fact, our diversity both sets us apart from the largely homogenous nations of world and gives us an edge—more innovative ideas, more creativity, more tolerance. Yet, we seem to have forgotten that; many even call into question the religion of our President, implying allegiance to Islam would compromise his loyalty to the United States. This slipping away of our core values is why I believe so many Americans—Muslims and non-Muslims– rallied first around the death of Traven Martin and then Shaima Alawaidy.
If the facts do prove that Shaima Alawaidy was the victim of family violence, then this is a problem that reaches far beyond the Muslim community. Statistically speaking, family violence is affecting an American you personally know. Guaranteed. It does not matter if you’re in the top socio-economic percentile, or the bottom. It does not matter if you identify yourself as a Muslim or a Christian. It does not matter if you’re Iraqi-American or Irish-American.
DOWRY IN ISLAM?
PERGERAKAN BELlA INDIAMUSLIM MALAYSIA (GEPIMA)
*MOHD BIN KATHER AL call him l012-3136250 / 03-40417445
DOWRY TORTURE TAINT MOHD BIN KATHER ALL (GEPIMA)
24-YEAR OLD SITI NAZRIN HAD FILED A COMPLAINT AGAINST HER IN-LAW
DOWRY IN ISLAM?!PERGERAKAN BELLA INDIAMUSLIM MALAYSIA (GEPIMA)* MOHD BIN KATHER ALL012-3136250 / 03-40417445DOWRY TORTURE TAINT MOHD BIN KATHER ALL (GEPIMA)24-YEAR OLD SITI NAZRIN HAD FILED A COMPLAINT AGAINST HER IN-LAW
MOHD BIN KATIR SULTAN is the one who ended the relationship.He always remind me if i complain to my parents he will end our relationship me one day to announce, “It’s over.”ask his son , I got a piece of mail, which my husband had signed with the three words “Talaq, talaq, talaq,” meaning “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.” According to traditional interpretation, a Muslim man has to simply utter this word three times to divorce his wifeWhile these situations are becoming in Malaysia among INDIANMUSLIMS, they still occur often enough to warrant some discussion on them. There are those families who will use the bride’s dowry as their own. Often in these situations, the bride’s dowry will be recycled for the groom’s sisters’ dowry. Sometimes, the groom’s family uses the bride’s dowry entirely for their own means and the bride does not benefit from it all. There have been horrible, true stories of the groom’s family agreeing to one dowry and after the bride is married (and I might add, no longer a virgin) demanding more from the bride’s parents. Threats of divorce are often used to entice the bride’s parents to give more dowry. In a country where shame is brought down on the divorcee, parents of the bride will do whatever they can to save their daughters this shame. Occasionally, the threat of physical violence is used. There really is no way these type situations can end happily. Even if the bride’s parents are able to scrape together more dowry, they will not be able to continue doing so and in the end the bride is either sent home in shame or sometimes killed in an “accident”.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.Many American Muslim women endorse the same public-private distinction found in the Muslim world, but where can these women turn to develop and explore their sexuality here in America? Given the growing trend to abolish personal boundaries with ever-invasive social media and the holistic integration of the sexes, there is an essential lack of established women-only spaces for American Muslim women. To qualify, I am not condoning or celebrating forced gender segregation. In fact, the idea of Muslim women’s sexuality thriving in private is not a phenomenon exclusive to countries that impose strict gender segregation. Both Naomi Wolf and Fatima Mernissi have written about the vibrant, private sexuality of the women of Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco – all countries where women enjoy relative freedom of mobility. From their accounts, I deduce that this sexuality exists away from the public eye at least in part because these women choose to keep sexuality alive and healthy where it is considered most appropriate – in private.
These private spaces are distinct from what many American Muslim women often think of when they hear the words “female-only spaces;” I am not talking about women’s sections in mosques. In fact, I believe that the full partitioning off of the sexes in religious centers promotes unhealthy gender relations and prevents women from becoming functioning members of our religious community. The private spaces referred to in this article are instead institutionalized social spaces in which women are free to explore all aspects of their identity – defining their sexuality as part and parcel of their vulnerability and even spirituality. And, as a further note of clarification, these private spaces are not the over-sexualized harems that often show up in Hollywood movies; they are places where women can form an identity, embrace the beauty of being a woman without feeling pressured to starve their way to a size zero, learn from and support one another, and flourish among other women.
Without the appropriate private spaces to develop their sexuality, women are notably at risk because female sexuality can easily transform from a source of a woman’s power to a source of emotional weakness. Here in America, the pervasiveness of blatant, public sexuality has resulted in female sexuality becoming incredibly accessible and attainable. With no shortage of supply, American men are now able to dictate the terms of their access to female sexuality. One such example is the rise of casual sex – an incredibly male-centric view of sex and pleasure, especially given that women are predisposed to suffer more emotionally from casual sex because of the higher amounts of oxytocin, a bonding hormone, that they release during physical intimacy. “Women are still more vulnerable than men, and while many women have embraced a casual sex ethic, they often express regret after engaging in casual sex.” Yet more and more American women have accepted casual sex as an appropriate channeling of their sexuality because, with the mystery and allure of female sexuality severely muted by the public nature of American sex, women have lost the sexual advantage and men’s sexual ideals now dominate sexual practices. While in the Muslim world, men are so aware of the power of female sexuality that they, according to Mernissi, possess a palpable fear of being abandoned by their women, it seems that women in America are taught to tiptoe around the idea of commitment out of fear that their men will leave them for greener, less constricting pastures.
The male-centric sexual mores that dominate American society have particularly negative consequences for American Muslim women, for whom casual sex and casual relationships with men are usually not an option. For these women – both those with and without hijab – the choice not to expose their sexuality in public spaces can have painful consequences as they are easily overlooked by American Muslim men as being too cold and rigid to be approached. If the Muslim world understands the absence of public female sexuality as testimony to its vibrant presence in private spaces, in American Muslim communities this absence is often seen as testament to the fact that American Muslim women’s sexuality does not exist at all. Furthermore, without easy access to female sexuality, men of the Muslim world are motivated to pursue what lies hidden behind the public-private divide according to the terms dictated by the women they pursue. But here in America, American Muslim men no longer have to jump through hoops for women’s affection and can afford to be distracted by the sexiness abound.
Even when an American Muslim woman is able to find a mate, the gnawing feeling of once being sexually undesired and the accompanying unfamiliarity with being a sexual being in private spaces can lead to difficulties in marriage. When a woman is not familiar with the power of her sexuality, being thrust into the murky waters of marriage, commitment and family can leave her desperately trying to stay afloat. While women in the Muslim world seem to be considerably attuned to the art of using their sexuality to keep a marriage healthy, here in America, Muslim women lack access to the same collective knowledge bases and seem naïve as to the secrets of womanhood and intimate relationships. Growing up in the west, it is hard not to internalize the Orientalist notion that we are the ones who export progress to the Muslim world, but I wonder if in this instance, when it comes to learning about the power of female sexuality and the importance of developing and harnessing it in private spaces, we Americans might this time take our cue from the other side of the world
Re-reading Islamic textual sources is not the simple answer to patriarchal interpretations and practices among Muslims. The answer is beyond that of gender and linguistics. It is more fundamentally about broadening our concepts of religion and revelation. Muslim women should take the lead challenging narrow ideas about who has “religious” authority.
From the viewpoint of many Muslims a moderate and balanced alim [a learned one] is one who, defined by a minimum criteria, denounces harmful wife beating. While most of our traditional ulama and fuqaha [scholars] would principally agree on the un-Islamic nature of beating up women, many of the same clerics are however engaged in very peculiar debates on the ’Islamic’ legitimacy of gently nudging their wife(s) with a miswak [small wooden stick used to clean teeth]. Within this discourse the most moderate position acknowledges the material developments of time, and argue for the permissibility of a plastic toothbrush instead of the woody miswak. We have to realize that the image of male physical domination is not only created and upheld by islamophobes. It reflects a way of approaching ‘the sources to divine guidance’ that exists right in the midst of ‘mainstream‘ Islam.
The statements and fatawa on dealing with “a rebellious” woman are primarily based on a particular interpretation of the Quranic verse (4:34) and some other textual sources found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Daud, Nasai and Ibn Majah. This approach has cemented itself historically through e.g. Ibn Kathir, al-Tabari, Razi, al-Shafi or al-Nawawi. Many traditionalist scholars – it should rightfully be added – argue that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided, and they are justifying this opinion by ahadith [tradition or saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him] on the Prophet’s personal feelings with regard to this problem. And some again stress that beating, nudging or tapping should be a symbolic act, if resorted to at all.
When topics like wife beating comes up I hear many lay Muslims explain away their adherence to this discourse. Many are evidently uncomfortable with the toothbrush-tapping “but we have to remember that it is only allowed as a last resort”, the apology goes. We know this line of reasoning from other debates too, such as the discussions on the hudud punishments. Here the argument is that the procedural criteria for enforcing the punishments are so strict and demanding that they are almost impossible to implement. However those who have pushed for making stoning a part of legal sharia [Islamic jurisprudence] and implemented it as a punishment in our time have no history of taking such procedural criteria seriously.
Despite this, the reason why many Muslim still “principally” defend such ideas is that they don’t want to sell out from Islamic authenticity and are afraid of the consequences of taking the critical debate that is much needed today.
The apologetic reasoning is actually implying that part of Islam or ‘sharia’ is not really universally applicable or functional in its ideal form. The fear of being a “sell out” displays the tragic irony of the matter: It’s a matter of loyalty towards religion, faithfulness and the fear for not being a good Muslim. This fear, and the idea that scrutinizing the way we approach our sources of guidance is a sign of giving into the demands of ‘the west’ is highly problematic. Sticking to patriarchic interpretations and practices work in contradiction to what is commonly known as the purposes/maqasid of sharia: to be good Muslims; ethical human beings.
This is not about satisfying “western’ discourse on Islam as many Muslims would too quickly and hackneyedargue, when avoiding taking the critical and complicated debates among ourselves. On the contrary it is about becoming aware about who we acknowledge as authorities and why we do so. I continuously experience Muslims displaying an awkward discomfort with what they insist is ‘sharia,’ and still explain their dilemma away as a ‘very very’ rare rule to be implemented, an exception, or an almost impossible rule to implement. In terms of being good Muslims, what do we really gain of sticking to interpretations which are only “theoretical possible” or only applicable in an “ideal” utopia.
Several contemporary Muslim intellectuals have already challenged the traditional reading. These scholars often engage in philological or linguistic debate on the reading of Q 4:34 to denounce the “beating” translation of the Quranic verb idribu. The arguments are that Arabic is such rich a language that many meanings can be read out of the Quran. The weakness in these kinds of arguments is that they are based on an argument of ‘ambiguity’ and that every ‘reading is an interpretation’, which by the logic of the argument allows equal legitimacy for those interpretations that they do not agree with.
Ultimately the debate that should be taken is not only a linguistic one. It is not only to look at the Quran and approaching the ambivalence of the word, even though I recognize the discursive advantage in doing so. But our fundamental dilemmas would not be solved by such approaches alone. It is not either about counting the amount of “strong” ahadith on how to make a statement to a rebellious wife, nor to count the ones where the Prophet displayed his concern for gender equity. Nor is it about facilitating more female or feminist interpretations of the places in the Quran and the ahadith where, the practices related to Muslim women are deduced from. Unfortunately the problems of patriarchy in Muslim interpretation and practices are not solved if we alone focus on educating more females in the traditions of jurisprudence that is dominating the discourses about what constitute the Islamic.
The challenge for us today is more foundational and requires courage to question the premises of the knowledge that the middle-aged male ‘alim’ is shouting out from the minbar [pulpit] or writing in his bogus fatawa [religious ruling] on “women in Islam”. It is here that Muslim women should take the lead: changing the even discourse about what constitute the “Islamic” and who represents it.
Muslims and especially Muslim women suffering from silent acceptance of a narrow approach to religion should reconsider what is taken to be “religious knowledge” in the first place. As the Iranian scholar Abdol Karim Souroush has argued, keeping an issue within the five point scale from wajib [compulsory acts] (over mandub [recommended acts], mubah [neutral act neither seen as good nor bad], makruh [disliked] to haram [forbidden]) and moderating positions according to this scale is not sufficient to deal with the challenges that face Muslims today. An intellectual change is needed to broaden our understanding of what constitutes ‘Islamic knowledge,’ and thus what are legitimate sources – where to find our guidelines to ethical behavior.
Exclusively to rely on textual sources and their related sciences is based on a limited concept of revelation. As the European scholar Tariq Ramadan has argued in his recent book on Islamic ethics and liberation (Radical Reform) by basing our discourses and opinions on the reading of the Quran and the ahadith literature only, we are disregarding half of the revelation: the universe. Sciences that make us understand the universe, history, society and human relations are just as Islamic as sciences approaching the Quran and the ahadith. However these are often dismissed as being secular, thus creating an unnatural hierarchy between sciences and knowledge that ultimately are all human.
I know many would object to my argument, by saying that the Quran is the complete guidance from God. I am not challenging the right to maintain this belief, but pointing at the fact that our reading and knowledge about the Quran is ultimately human. And the way we decide to apply what is ‘in there’ is ultimately human. The authority we have given the ahadith literature is human. The way we have chosen to understand its function, as a practical guidance is human and historically contingent. Creating hierarchy between ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ sciences is to create hierarchy between people and knowledge that again is based on a narrow understanding of who is dealing with the sacred. And in real world practices, I am tempted to say that the reverse hierarchy ought to be the case. Those we count as ‘our great’ ulama, the textual scholars are oftentimes the slumdogs of society who enjoy the reputation of being great scholars because they can readily (at least in some instances) quote our great ancestors.
In order to behave as ethical and spiritual human beings in accordance to universal principles of justice and equity, there is an important task ahead of us if we want to remain loyal, faithful and good Muslims. We should honestly ask ourselves what improves our sense of ethical behavior and our sense of gender equity. Look at the quotations and videos below: Are we really bearing the witness? Are we aware that many of our traditions and practices, exclusivist ideas of Muslim identity, have been institutionalized in a very narrow concept of the sacred and revelation. The conceptual history of religion within Islamic tradition is in desperate need to take a new route that does not reconstruct artificial divisions between religious and secular knowledge.
Some examples of the “miswak”-discourse:
In his book Gender equity in Islam, Jamal Badawi, member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Fiqh Council has written “In the event of a family dispute, the Qur’an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects. If the problem relates to the wife’s behavior, her husband may exhort her and appeal for reason. In most cases, this measure is likely to be sufficient. In cases where the problem continues, the husband may express his displeasure in another peaceful manner by sleeping in a separate bed from hers. There are cases, however where a wife persists in deliberate mistreatment of her husband and disregard for her marital obligations. Instead of divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage, at least in some cases. Such a measure is more accurately described as a gentle tap on the body…”
On the Arab Islamweb.net and several other fatwa banks, it is not unusual to find statements like the following: “The husband has the right to beat his wife (lightly) if she shows signs of ill-conduct.
The same trend is also normal in Europe. Some would remember the Spanish Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, who was sentenced for his book “Women in Islam” that instructs how a man should discipline his wife. It “recommends verbal correction followed by a period of sexual abstinence as the best punishment for a wife, but does not rule out a beating as long as it is kept within strict guidelines… to avoid serious damage, a husband should never hit his wife in a state of extreme or blind anger. He should never hit sensitive parts of the body such as the face, head, breasts or stomach. He should only hit the hands or feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body.” The husband’s aim, the writer said, should be to cause psychological suffering and not to humiliate or physically abuse his wife. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3396597.stm
Some have suggested the add may be empowering (and, according to this one, especially empowering for “women in certain desert nations.” I’m not even going to go there.) As Dodai of Jezebel writes, with some reservations, “You could view the woman in the commercial as confident and self-assured.” True. Furthermore, unlike the major impression given in adifferent discussion about Muslim women’s lingerie, the confidence and “sexiness” that this woman displays are seemingly for her alone; she is not wearing this clothing simply to be attractive to a man. We can perhaps even take from this an empowering message for everyone, the idea that we can all feel sexy, if we so choose, without anyone else having to see us or to think of us as sexy.
But, all of that said, the empowerment message doesn’t really hold up. There is a whole lot of irony that these images are made so explicit in a public advertisement, given that they are supposedly valuing a sexuality that isn’t overtly expressed on the outside. The public spectacle of an apparent private moment of expressing confidence in one’s own body obviously negates the privacy of that moment.
All the other arguments aside, it seems therefore pretty hard to argue that this ad is something positive or empowering, if it would probably be rather offensive and disrespectful to most of those who would presumably be the ones it attempts to empower.
And, although the message seems to be about personal sexuality, there’s definitely still a strong male gaze and sense of objectification (and exoticization) at play, and it’s pretty unlikely that this was irrelevant in the construction of the video. One online response to the advertisement referred to its protagonist as an “exotic hottie” that the audience (and I’m guessing this is referring specifically to the heterosexual male component of the audience) is “treated to.” Another says:
So yeah, sexiness is “everywhere” and “for everyone,” ready to be served up as your pre-weekend porn appetizer. Great.
More important is the bigger context in which this ad appears – the fascination about Muslim women’s bodies, and the curiosity about what’s “behind the veil.” In fact, this isn’t even the first time that Muslim women’s lingerie has been discussed on MMW; apparently, it’s a hot topic. Why? As I’ve said previously:
Sadly, this isn’t even remotely new; see, for example, the kind of work that’s been done on the behind-the-veil/into-the-harem writing of colonial times. Meyda Yegenoglu’s Colonial Fantasiesor Malek Alloula’s work (summarised fairly well here) are interesting places to start. The obsession with the veil (and with what’s under it) has a long history, and one that is intricately connected to colonization, racism, and sexism. This advertisement does nothing to disrupt that history, leaving us with a character who is still being objectified, as a Muslim and as a woman, even when this is under the guise of female empowerment.
|Some of the victims of honor killings are shown below. These are some of the pictures Pamela Gellar compiled on her web page. For information about these victims click here.|
|Muslims in Saudi Arabia abused their hired help from foreign countries such as the Philippines. This is a picture of Sumiati a maid from the Philippines. She had burns all over her body as well as broken bones.|
|Evidence indicates that Shafilea Ahmed was murdered by her parents because she didn’t want to be forced into an arranged marriage.|
Islam Means Women Are Not Human
|Muslim Woman Speaks about what life is like being property of Muslim men.
|Western Muslim’s Racist Race Spree (frontpagemag.com 12/27/05)Pat Condell on rape in Sweden|
Saira Liaqat, 26, at her home in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 9, 2008 holds a portrait of herself before being burned with acid. When she was fifteen, Saira was married to a relative who would later attack her with acid after insistently demanding her to live with him. From Under the Islamic Veil, Faces Disfigured by Acid by Phyllis Chesler
|Which is more monstrous the lady disfigured with acid above or the Darth Vader woman with the sign for Shariah? From Inviting Shariah to the UK|
Woman stoned for being seen with a man. To see the stoning click here.
|Hole where Medine Memi, a 16 year old girl, was buried alive for talking to boys.|
Almaleki had crashed his jeep into his daughter Noor and her boyfriend’s mother in a lot of a state Department of Economic in Peoria, a Phoenix suburb. The mother survived, but Noor went into a coma for two weeks and then died from her .
After killing his daughter, Almaleki himself boasted that he had to take Noor’s life because she had dishonored his family by her “Western” behavior. Evidence reveals that Almaleki had tried to impose strict Islamic codes on Noor and that he had attempted to force her into an arranged marriage when she was 17. These efforts at enslavement failed, as Noor fought to be a free human being and to establish her own personal sovereignty; she ended up moving into her own apartment, finding a boyfriend and working in a fast-food restaurant.
|Muslim Women on A Leash in Egypt
A common precaution to keep women from mixing with men during protests. As the radical Muslims take over this is what happens to women’s rights
“Women in our (Islamic) culture are nothing. They are equal to the goat or the rug. Her purpose is to be married to her husband to give him pleasure. When a husband marries a wife, he purchases her sexual organs,”
Kamal Saleem, When Allah Doesn’t Answer
I could not remain a Muslim because Islam hates women. I think I always knew this, but as I got older that knowledge became more acute, Islam wants women to cover themselves, to stay indoors, to obey men, however stupid those men are. Islam says that women are inferior in every way. Islam distorted my father’s feelings. He did not want us, his own daughters, to be happy or fulfilled. He only wanted us to be good Muslims and for daughters this means to be suffering Muslims. What sort of religion forces fathers to make their daughters suffer? What sort of father thinks that his daughter’s hair is shameful? What sort of father tells her she cannot sing and dance when she is happy? A Muslim father.
This is why I am not a Muslim. My children, boys and girls, will be able to feel the wind in their hair. They will not be ashamed. They can sing and dance as much as they like. Nothing they do will shame me, as long as it is done with life and joy. Islam has no joy. Islam is a cult of tears and death.
Testimony submitted to the web site of the Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society
A man is never alone with a woman without Satan also being present.
Hadith Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 1, p. 234.]
A woman’s rape is frequently the last act that precedes her execution.
This is explained by the rule in Iranian political prisons that the
sentence of execution cannot be carried out if the woman is a virgin.
Since there is a theological belief that if a woman dies a virgin she will go to heaven,
the politically active virgin is forced to “marry” before her execution
and thus to insure she will go to hell.
She is forced to “marry” the hangman who will carry out her execution.
Le Nouvel Homme Islamiste: La Prison Politique en Iran
(The New Islamist Man: The Political Prison in Iran)
By Chahla Chafiq
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property,
either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery
until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Sir Winston Churchill, The River War, Vol. II, pp. 248-50, London: Longman, Green & Co., 1899)
A woman is nothing but a shame
Her husband will cover up 1/10th of her shame and her grave will cover up the rest of it.
A woman’s paradise is under her husband’s foot.
A Muslim state must [first] attack a Christian state—sorry, I mean any non-Muslim state—and they [the women, the future sex-slaves] must be captives of the raid. Is this forbidden? Not at all; according to Islam, sex slaves are not at all forbidden. Quite the contrary, the rules regulating sex-slaves differ from those for free women [i.e., Muslim women]: the latter’s body must be covered entirely, except for her face and hands, whereas the sex-slave is kept naked from the bellybutton on up—she is different from the free woman; the free woman has to be married properly to her husband, but the sex-slave—he just buys her and that’s that.
Human Rights Watch, onducted more than 160 interviews with Somali refugees for the report, No Place for Children. They were toldthat:
A 16-year-old girl who refused to marry an al-Shabaab commander who was three times her age was killed by his men and beheaded. Her head was brought back to the school as a warning to others.
“They assembled all of the girls and said ‘this is an example of what will happen if you misbehave’,” a teacher at the school told Human Rights Watch.A 19-year-old student from the Bakara district of the capital Mogadishu described how girls were taken from his school.
“Girls were taken at gunpoint. One girl said she could not go and al-Shabaab shot her in the forehead in front of my class. They said that she was a spy for the government. She was 19 years old,” he said.
On Dec 28, 2011 the New York Times published an article on the plight of women in Somalia. It began with:
MOGADISHU, Somalia — The girl’s voice dropped to a hush as she remembered the bright, sunny afternoon when she stepped out of her hut and saw her best friend buried in the sand, up to her neck.Her friend had made the mistake of refusing to marry a Shabab commander. Now she was about to get her head bashed in, rock by rock.“You’re next,” the Shabab warned the girl, a frail 17-year-old who was living with her brother in a squalid refugee camp.
Several months later, the men came back. Five militants burst into her hut, pinned her down and gang-raped her, she said. They claimed to be on a jihad, or holy war, and any resistance was considered a crime against Islam, punishable by death.
Were the militants right? Does Islam permit them to rape? Muhammad’s followers actually asked him that question. Muhammad told them that captive women are “lawful” to them (see Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3432 and 3433) and that they shouldn’t worry about getting the women pregnant even if they want to ransom them because:
“for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.” (Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 459)
I began this web page with the faces of young women killed in Islamic honor killings. An apologist for Islam who I mentioned this to told me that honor killings are forbidden by Islam and that those who commit them do so for tribal reasons. Perhaps tribal reasons play a role but Islam does as well. Most honor killings are committed against young women who either don’t wear the Hijab and socialize with young men or against women who are raped and are therefore considered either guilty of sex before marriage or adultery. Those women who adopt western ways and socialize with boys are considered apostates by fundamentalist Muslims and Islam commands death for apostates. Islam teaches that most of the inhabitants of hell are women and that a woman who is raped has to have the testimony of 4 male witnesses to prove her innocence (Koran 24:4). A woman is therefore considered guilty of adultery until proven innocent and since very few rapes have 4 male witnesses willing to testify that it was a rape it is very unlikely that she will be able to prove her innocence. The Islamic punishment for adultery is death.