I know the title will cause offence to some, but perhaps it’s time that they learn to swallow their own medicine of ‘free’ speech, that is frequently used to insult Islam and Muslims; and in the spirit of free speech, I am going to elaborate on the title, rather than throw crass insults at an entire group of people. Thus, based on the example of some or even many, I won’t be tempted to class all white males as rapists or serial killers and make the tenuous link to their religious or racial identity. Those who are committed to free speech would be expected to persevere and remain, whereas the bigots and the nasty foulmouthed Islamophobes have probably already exited the room. Anyway, without further ado, let us proceed.
Everyone knows the bifurcation of, the Muslim terrorists versus the West; just the choice of words implies the latter is the ‘innocent victim’ fighting terrorism. Similarly another division exists, the Muslims as oppressors of women, and the West as the flag bearer of women’s rights. Remember, this women issue was one of the pretexts for the Afghan invasion. However, ironically, the US armed forces are filled with rapists, as their statistics and conduct shows. Who in their right mind would even trust the sick soldiers of Abu-Ghraib to guard their daughters and mothers for a few hours? When you see the behavior and the mindset of these soldiers in the numerous YouTube videos, it makes you cringe with disgust!
Therefore, consider, how many rapists have been found in Al-Qaeda or in any major Islamic movement, against the numerous rapists that fills the US armed forces? Yet, paradoxically the former stands accused of being oppressors of women, and the latter as liberators. The thought is amusing, because no matter how much you verbally demonise or promote, a group or an individual, the deeds will speak louder and expose the paradox. Who remembers the ‘fanatical’ Osama Bin Laden of the media, whose speeches and interviews shows a very calm and a rational person?
One would expect rape to be almost non-existent in societies that claims to be the leaders in upholding and promoting women’s rights, but the reality shows otherwise. There is a huge gap between the political rhetoric of women rights and the actual values that determines the actions of rapists. Noble values like women’s rights mean nothing to hot blooded males who are in a situation to commit the offence. Thus, rape is pervasive in all spheres of society, from the date-rape of teenagers to the brutal serial rapists stalking the streets at night. Even men in position of power and influence, stand accused. The Italian Prime Minister is going through the trial for having sex with an underage Muslim girl, committing statutory rape. Now, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of International Monetary Fund (IMF) is up for trial on charges of rape and numerous sexual assaults.
Given the statistics, can we use Jack Straw’s line of argument and pose the question: is there is a problem with white European men, who prey on women, see them as easy meat? No, because rapists come in various colours; the common factor is the mindset and values that drives them.
In terms of contributing factor, people fiercely debate the provocative dress worn by women. Of course, no matter how she dresses that does not mean she deserves to be raped, but the rapists do not see it that way. Similarly if I leave valuables in my car that does not mean my car should be broken into, however, the thief would not be persuaded by such arguments. Indeed, the empirical evidence shows, women in modest clothing like Hijab or Niqab, rarely gets targeted for rape. By bowing to feminist pressure, the society at large continues to ignore the role of women in agitating the male instincts; remember only in an ideal world, one could be act freely without facing any repercussion.
With so many rapists and potential rapists (past surveys have revealed many men would carry out the act if the opportunity prevailed), there is never going to be a shortage of support to ban clothing like the Niqab and the Hijab. Wasn’t it the men in France who led the campaign to ban the Niqab? I am pretty sure Mr Dominic Strauss-Kahn is a supporter of the ban.
After the furore caused by Ken Clarke’s remark about “serious rape” (implying some rapes not so serious), politicians of all persuasion coming forward to profess that they view rape as a serious crime, yet, they are almost oblivious to the light punishment prescribed for such crimes.
If rape is a serious crime, it should carry a serious level of punishment as a minimum. On the contrary, the minimum level of punishment prescribed is five years, with early plea that gets reduced to half or a third, and the offender is likely to serve half of that, just over a year. Such light punishment implies there is tacit permit to tolerate such things; it seems rape is treated more like minor offence, almost legal. What happened to being the flag bearer of women’s rights?
In contrast, under Sharia laws, rape is classed as one of the worst crimes, Hiraba (waging war against society), and accordingly serious punishment is prescribed, a slow execution that can involve an agonizing death. Going back to Jack Straw, the answer for those Muslim rapists is to apply the Sharia Laws on them, and see how fast they vanish. You will then have to work hard to convert the rest of society to see the merit in ‘Muslamic’ (Shariah) law! Remember, proper legal enforcement is only one side of the equation, modification of our (men and women) behaviour, is the other side of the equation.
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published 19th May 2011