Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rape in the Arab World

+ Saudi rape victim gets 90 lashes: "The court heard that the victim and her friend were followed by the assailants to their car, kidnapped and taken to a remote farm, where the raping occurred..." More.

+ "While African women in Darfur were being raped by the Janjaweed militiamen, Arab women stood nearby and sang for joy, according to an Amnesty International report published on Monday. The songs of the Hakama, or the "Janjaweed women" as the refugees call them, encouraged the atrocities which the militiamen committed. The women singers stirred up racial hatred against black civilians during attacks on villages in Darfur and celebrated the humiliation of their enemies, the human-rights group said.

+ Maintaining Family Honor by Al Skudsi bin Hookah: "...why are we Arabs telling the Western press that honor killing is cultural, that it is not really part of Islam? Our way of life is based on maintaining our honor. And make no mistake about it: a woman does tarnish her family's honor by engaging in pre-marital sex, or by getting herself raped, when she seeks divorce and when she marries against her family's wishes. Why are we pussyfooting? Are we ashamed of what we do? Why are some of us trying to play it down...

"...there's no point saying honor killing isn't really part of our religion. Our religion isn't just what's in the Koran. Honor killings fit into the cultural context of today's Islamic teachings. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor."

"...the men who act vigorously to maintain honor. They are the real victims. Their honor was violated, so killing the offending woman is self-defense."

"Kifaya Husayn, a 16-year-old Jordanian girl, was lashed to a chair by her 32-year-old brother. He gave her a drink of water and told her to recite an Islamic prayer. Then he slashed her throat. "

+ Rape in Muslim Neighbourhoods in France: "The darkest shadows of the city of light. Muslim women in the housing projects of Paris rebel against oppression and sexual assault. The rest of France seems a far way off...

"...these projects, high-rises which are being built far away from the city center to house African and Arab immigrants.Just saying you live in this neighborhood is enough to get your job application thrown in the garbage, and the unemployment amongst young people is four-times the national average.

"(voice-over): With little hope of making it outside the projects, many of these young men try to dominate their own neighborhood, resulting to violence, especially against young women.They rule gangland style, combined with the male-dominated traditions of the Arab countries they came from. It's gotten so bad that today most of the young women only feel safe if they're covered up or if they stay at home. Girls who want to look just like other French girls are considered provocative, asking for trouble.Samira Bellil wasn't asking for trouble, but trouble came to her. She's the granddaughter of Algerian immigrants and she's written a book about surviving the hell of the Parish ghettos.

"SAMIRA BELLIL, AUTHOR (through translator): I was gang raped by three people I knew and I couldn't say anything because in my culture your family is dishonored if you lose your virginity, so I kept quiet and the rapes continued. The next time I was pulled off the commuter train and no one lifted a finger to help me."

+ Iranian woman sentenced to death for killing a police official who tried to rape her has been pardoned by the victim's family: "The family of Behzad Moghaddam agreed to accept compensation instead of seeking Afsaneh Norouzi's execution...Norouzi's freedom will give new breath to women to find the courage to stand up for their rights and defend themselves..." More.

+ Women's Non-Existence in the Arab World: "I made one of the biggest mistakes I will forever regret until the day I die. I met Arab men. They are the biggest mistake God ever created on the face of the Earth. Little did I know that in Arab culture, women had no place in humanity. Not only was I not allowed to think, speak or work for myself. I was only able to talk when I was told to, was largely humiliated and ignored when I did speak, was forced to submit to Arab sexual demands and was told not to work nor be sexually autonomous in deciding how many or how little partners I could or could not have. I was not allowed to so much as change my mind on issues, converse intellectually, watch television, read, write, go outside when I chose to, alter my physical appearance when I chose to, speak on issues of history, religion, or politics."

+ Janjaweed Arab militia accused of using systematic rape, as well as killing and destroying the villages of black Africans (in the conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region).: "The women are most at risk when they fetch water. Behind the closed door of a classroom, in the school compound where she has been living for the last two months, 35 year-old rape-victim Khadija, spoke of her ordeal..."


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