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« on: Jan 03, 2013 12:55 PM »

The Islam women were promised

By Musa Furber

Indian women offer prayers for a gang rape victim at Mahatma Gandhi memorial in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (Dar Yasin - AP)

The horrific and heartbreaking news from India is tragic enough on its own: two alleged victims of gang rape have died, one a 23-year-old woman who succumbed to her wounds and a 17-year-old girl who took her own life after being pressured to marry one of her alleged attackers.

These stories are awful enough on their own, but sadly they also bring to mind other similar cases we saw during 2012.

These cases include the 16-year-old Moroccan girl who took her life after being ordered by the court to marry the man who allegedly raped her, and similar cases in Jordan involving 14 and 15 year-old-girls. In these and other cases, the societies involved – and their legal systems – advocated pardoning rapists if a deal could be struck for them to marry their victim. Morocco has its clause 457 (the origins of which go back to French law and is said to be intended only for cases of consensual premarital sex), and Jordan has its article 308. Similar laws exist in other countries where, apparently, the honor of a woman reflects on her family in a perverse way where, where the stigma of rape outweighs the sanctity of that woman’s life and dignity.

When I read of these cases I am always left baffled at how Muslims can support allowing a rapist to obtain a pardon by marrying his victim, often by pressuring their victims and their families to cooperate. As a specialist in Islamic law, I know that these cases are egregious violations of what Islam teaches on the rights of victims, the definition of justice and the meaning of marriage.

The Islamic worldview is clear concerning the rights and obligations of self-defense and defending others from attacks against person and dignity. This is especially the case for sexual assault, where a woman is obligated to fend off her attacker and bystanders are obligated to come to her assistance. Some scholars advocate that a woman’s self-defense extends even to the after-effects of an attack, including restoring their feeling of security, treating the emotional trauma, and aborting a pregnancy resulting from rape. Advocates of this position argue that this is consistent with the noble purposes of the sacred law that place protection of the life and the intellect of the woman above protection of lineage, property, and reputation. The sacred law is also clear that marriage is a relationship based on affection, mutual respect, intimacy, trust, kindness, and a refuge from uncontrolled carnal lust.

Compelling a rape victim to marry her rapist (alleged or convicted) denies her the opportunity to defend herself and exposes her to additional attacks against her person, intellect and dignity. It also forces her to live in a relationship that is based upon hatred, alienation, violation and abuse, and it rewards her attacker for his violence.

Exhortations to mercy are ingrained in Islam. Pardoning rapists who agree to marry their victim and compelling their victims to do so are mercy’s antithesis.

We have already seen that compelling victims to marry their rapists has the potential to lead to suicide. Forcing victims to marry in such a way places family dignity above her own life, intellect, and dignity – which is opposite the order of priorities assigned by the sacred law. How can one reconcile this inversion of priorities with the Islamic worldview which views spreading corruption and the wrongful taking of a single life each as akin to slaying mankind in its entirety, and the saving of a single life akin to saving mankind in its entirety (Q5:32 )?

Some advocates do so on the grounds that it is cultural and falls within Islam’s flexibility towards local culture and custom, and that local culture places such a great shame on rape (whether alleged or proven) that the victim is better off married to her rapist (alleged or convicted). While it is true that the sacred law does include a degree of flexibility regarding local culture and custom, it is limited to those that do not contradict the sacred law or subvert its noble purposes. In short, the sacred law affirms practices that agree but rejects practices that contract or subvert it.

Other advocates suggest that the laws are intended to apply only in cases of consensual sex, such as when couples do so in hopes of forcing their families to allow them to marry, and that when reported, the act is recorded as rape. Using this term to somehow protect society from the shame of admitting that women engage in consensual premarital sex opens a life-destroying door of forcing women who were already wronged to an even greater wrong, sometimes leading them to take their own life out of anguish and desperation.

There is something deeply wrong when a Muslim society views the shame of a single rape to outweigh facilitating the spread of corruption and the wrongful taking of life.

The earliest generation of Muslims took pride in their compliance to the Koran’s injunction to abandon female infanticide, an act that was often done to prevent shame to the family. Thus for centuries, Muslims have taken pride in their contributions to the rising status of women. But what pride is there in abandoning burying one’s young daughters in the sand only for them to grow to adulthood wishing that they had been? These tragically frequent stories of women violated over and over again can only be described as the perversion of Islam, unfortunately, by Muslims themselves.

Sheikh Musa Furber is a research fellow at the Tabah Foundation and a qualified issuer of legal edicts (fatwas). He received his license to deliver legal edicts from senior scholars at the Egyptian House of Edicts including the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Follow him on Twitter: @musafurber
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2013 05:33 PM »

This is really sad. I can't believe rapists are pardoned on condition that they marry their victims. Oh my God that's torture. My cousin was raped and it took her years to get over the idea and I doubt if she is over it. Sorry for too much info here but how you do you sleep with a man whom the first memory of him is rape. Please that putting you in a prison.

I feel for these women. Sad to even hear some of them are as young as 12 or 15yrs old. That's an innocent soul. This is really bad.
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2013 06:33 PM »

I've heard of this happen in India before, a guy raped a girl and they ended up being married, the mans family were not happy with the match and killed her, they burnt her to death. Poor kid, she was pregnant at the time.

This 'legal loophole' created by men for men is insanity, it's practicall encouraging men to go out and rape women they know would not touch them with someone elses barge pole in order to end up with a beautiful, wealthy wives they would not stand a chance marrying.

In medieval ages in the West, wealthy women were often kidnapped and raped, the families were then given no choice but to agree to the rapist to marry the girl he had raped in order to preserve family honour. The rapist and thieves in this way came into welath as in those days a women was not allowed to own her own money, her father did or her husband did, she was merely a chattel.

So 'muslims' are now right where the medeival west was...are we digressing in terms of intellect, law, rights and just plain humanity? 

What the hell is wrong with these law makers?

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2013 01:53 AM »

I am deviating from the topic slightly....its about a blood boiling comment about hijab and islam on FB. I replied and back came a more blood boiling reply. Then more and then more.
The crux of the matter is that he called hijab a symbol of everything wrong with Islam and the act of observing hijab a stupidity. 
He is not my friend. He is the friend of a non-muslim friend. The non muslim friend went somewhere and wore a black abaya just for the fun of it, had a pic clicked and posted on FB. The pic generated the episode last night.
Logically its pointless to argue with this person so for now i have stopped the debate but my heart won't rest.
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Dont be sad...

« Reply #4 on: Jan 09, 2013 07:00 AM »

Salam sister peace.
For long I had found use of facebook by some bigots to spread anti-Islamic  and obnoxious posts becoming rampant. Some people can't help but comment with intention of doing daawah or disputing the jibe forgetting that by commenting they are making their friends to see same on their timeline hence helping the bigot spread his hate message even more. And you know what, they are never ready to understand your clarification. When they comment back, it will even be more tormenting.

What I usually do is reporting the post to the admin and ask to be removed from my wall. That is the highest they will do as to them everyone has right to express anything he wants (and I'm not surprised as The Antichrist's network is large).

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 09, 2013 09:19 AM »

br sadah i agree that by responding i gave him the power to spread his message furthur and i gave him power over myself too. For two entire nights I did not have a peaceful sleep. InshaAllah I will try not to respond to such things in future. This is the first time I had to face such a person directly. Thats the reason I posted it here to get ideas as to how to respond in such situation.
jazakAllah br sadah
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