Sunday, April 19, 2009

Out of the Marital Rape Fat, Into the Marital Rape Fire

In the face of domestic and international condemnation of a new law legalizing marital rape, Afghan President Karzai seems to want to be seen as upholding human rights. Quoth Karzai:

"Now I have instructed, in consultation with clergy of the country, that the law be revised and any article that is not in keeping with the Afghan constitution and Islamic Sharia must be removed from this law."
This would represent a step toward human rights and away from marital rape if it were true that the Afghan constitution and Sharia actually did proscribe marital rape; but no, the Afghan constitution explicitly proclaims the supremacy of Islam -- there is nothing like a wall of separation of Mosque and state -- and the supporters of the pro-marital-rape law are quite insistent that Islam grants husbands the right to rape their wives (even though they realize the expediency of deploying euphemism to cloud this):
Those in favour of the new law chanted “Down with the Christians. Down with the apostates.” At one stage both sides chanted “We want honour and dignity for women” — reflecting their starkly different interpretations of the new law.

We think those who oppose this law in fact oppose the Koran,” said Nesa Naseri, a female student of Sharia Studies who took part in the women’s counter-demonstration.

“This law does not approve rape, it is rather about loyalty of wife to husband and husband to wife. Rape is what you can see in the West, where men don’t feel responsibility for their wives and leave them to go with several men.”
Stopping marital rape by invoking Sharia is a bit like stopping gluttony by invoking the rules of a cruise ship.

This is the sort of miserable mischief that gets smuggled in with the labeling of Islam as a "religion of peace" that we ought to "respect." No it is not, and therefore no we should not. Karzai can play to this delusional cant by claiming to outlaw marital rape by following Sharia, knowing the "Islam is a religion of peace" crowd will nod blithely along and divert their attention elsewhere. Meanwhile, he signals to the Islamist fanatics that their barbaric nostrums won't be challenged. It's a brilliant piece of realpolitik in its disgusting way.


larryniven said...

"Rape is what you can see in the West, where men don’t feel responsibility for their wives and leave them to go with several men."

Buh?! That's one of the most incredible misapprehensions of a term that I've ever come across. You don't just get to pick any random sexual thing you don't like and call it "rape."

Anonymous said...

And we are wasting lives and treasure in this shithole of a nation for what?

What no US administration has ever understood is that state religion and democracy are like oil and water.

There will be no democracy in an Islamic nation (i.e., a nation which declares Islam as the state religion). Ditto Christianity.