Sunday, August 31, 2008

Islam, Rape, and Punishment

Commenter Nazir offers an observation that deserves the attention of people interested in human rights and human civilization:

whether rape alleged woman desreve jailing in islamic society/GOVERNANCE? SINCE; NEITHER AFGAN gOVERNMENT NOR any warring gropu has islamic governance as such replying the question does not arise. yet; in any civilised society where rape is termed as crime irrrespective of gender punishments are also prescribed.
I understand Nazir's native language is probably not English (and there's nothing wrong with that), so I apologize in advance if I have this wrong, but I take this statement as suggesting that punishing women for being raped has no basis in Islam.

This basic argument arises frequently: a skeptic points to an injustice perpetrated in the name of a particular religion, and a believer responds by saying the injustice cannot be blamed on the religion.

Well, in the present case, the blaming of Islam did not originate with the skeptic. It originated with Muslims -- not only Muslims, but Muslim clerics.

As I write this, people claiming to know and represent the traditions and teachings of Islam are punishing women for being raped. It is happening in Afghanistan, and it is also alarmingly widespread in Pakistan, where
the white-bearded judge who convicted [a victim of rape], Anwar Ali Khan, said he had simply followed the letter of the Koran-based law, known as hudood, that mandates punishments.

"The illegitimate child is not disowned by her and therefore is proof of zina," he said, referring to laws that forbid any sexual contact outside marriage. [emphasis mine]
Under really-existing Islamic law, under the purview of recognized authorities in Islam's legal standards, women are being raped and then jailed for it.

Speaking as a skeptic of Islam but more fundamentally as a human being, I say this is a despicable injustice whether "real" or "authentic" or "true" Islam sanctions it or not. If Islam sanctions this barbarity, then Islam is, ipso facto, fundamentally incompatible with human civilization.

If Muslims see this injustice for what it is, and honestly believe the Afghan and Pakistani clerics are abusing their faith, they would be well-served to direct their ire toward those who perpetuate the injustice. To the extent they do not do so, they tend to confirm Islam's complicity in this filthy, inexcusable barbarism.

(H/T Ophelia Benson)

3 comments: said...

Dear Benson; thanks for the have of your own assumed the meaning of my comment that " punishing woman for being raped has no basis in islamic laws"although; i have stated it in second level English lunguage yet before interpreting it to your taste and desire; it was further requirable to take its explainination from me. yet; i may humbly remind you that you have absolutely misunderstood me.I may repeat my position that neither afgan government nor the "gul camp" you quoted does fall within islamic governance as such any act including jialing the women {as per your rep[ort} can;t be linked acts within islamic laws. your second point whether rape alleged woman in afgan government/camp gul derserve jailing?i replied that since; both are not falling within islamic laws as such replying the question within islamic laws so for afdgan government/ camp gul is concerned can;t be answered.i never generalised it a woman alleged of crime "zina"is immune from punishment. may be my second level English had prompted you to understand have tried to delinerately mix the acts of individuals with their faith irrespective of the teachings of can;t do it with whatever; your intentions purposes.may i remind you that if it is so then the entire christainity has to answer for the misdeeds of hitler who killed more than six million people just on the basis of belonging to particular sect. if answer is that hitler although being christain; yet; individuallky did misdeeds away from the theology teachings; which; looks also reasonable answer; then why not the samestandard is being applied in other cases?i hope i have cleared by stand better. thanks

Dale said...

Nazir, I am blaming this barbarism on Islam because the authorities involved in the situation justify themselves in exactly that way. *They* are the ones claiming that Islamic law justifies punishing women for being raped. If you have a disagreement with them over the correct interpretations of Islamic law, I suggest you take it up with them. If the "true meaning" of Islam does not seek to punish women for being raped, then Muslims should be concerned on two levels here: first, that women are in fact being punished for being raped in predominantly-Muslim societies (Afghanistan and Pakistan, perhaps beyond); and second that Islam is being used to justify this savagery by people who claim to be Muslims and claim to interpret Islam properly.

As for Christianity, you shouldn't need to read very far or widely in this blog to find my views of Christianity are roughly as favorable as my views of Islam. I am not a Christian any more than I am a Muslim. said...

thanks for accuracy and coming to specific point.more revelanyly; you are debating the social evils of particular soceties with your individual attitude and for Islam is concrned rape is serious offence and the male offender has no less punishment than death after fulfilling the required standards of true islamic jurisprudence.the rate of rape in the world and more so in western societies have gone up to highest alarming figure which is the result of many evil consequences with certain laxities which; the rapist enjoys under different laws operating in different for offence which could punish woman in islam is the prostitution; ; the present advanced society has termed it sex worker which is not permitted in islam.with this brief introduction you may appreciate difference between"rape and "prostitution"quoting Islam barbaric is somewhat excessive comment which by and large also applies to other religions like christainity and Judiasim as all such religions have prescribed the certain moral codes to be followed by women and men equally.yes; yu have every liberty to comment on any wrong doing prevailing in any society includingin muslim societies; yet; prioir to mixing it with particular religion; i understand teachings of religion are to be taken into consideration before one can put its comment on it.out of context it may interest you that Mr. VS NAIPUAL is so called noble prize winner who had written extensively on muslims and Islam with distortion and prejudice.incidentaly; he forgot that he himself admitted that he hates muslims{refer an area of darkness}you can now understand that a person who hates particular class just because of their existence;/religion; how fair he could be while commenting on them?let me assume you belong to athiest class and Islam right from inception had always entered into dailouge process with athiests of all times without any corecion; presure or indecency.let me quote you quran sura kafroon:"there is no corecion in din{religion} and in case of disagreement; let you follow your way and we our way"1400 hundered years back; you could find in the barbaric religion {as quoted by you}a decent method of behaviour and dailouge should not atleast miss your attention if not appreciation.Mr. Bertrand Russel the valued athiest of preceeding century never agreed with religions including islam; yet; he found many aspects of islam praiseworthy.thanks