Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rape Victim to be Punished under Islamic Law

Fox News is reporting that a rape victim in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man that wasn’t related to her. MSNBC and a few other sites have also run this article. The 19 year old girl is referred to as “G” in most of the articles to protect her identity. According to her story, she was seeing a man without her parent’s knowledge. The man threatened to reveal this to her parents unless she met him somewhere. Once she agreed to meet him, he convinced her to ride in his car with him where they were forced to the side of the road by another car with additional men.

Over the next several hours, she was abducted and raped 14 times by multiple people. One of the rapists took pictures of her naked and used that to keep her quiet. She stayed quiet, and even tried to commit suicide. At some point, the police found out, and quickly arrested the guys involved. The rapists were sentenced to between 10 months and 5 years of jail time, while the victim and her original companion were each sentenced to 90 lashes. The rape victim has appealed to the King of Saudi Arabia to intervene.

The Saudi ministry said the rape could not be proven under Islamic law. In order for rape to be proven, there must be two male witnesses who testify that they saw the actual rape. Because the victim had also broken Islamic law, she was sentenced to 90 lashes that will most likely be administered over two days.

This is not the first story I have seen like this. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it is the last I will see either. I have taken some criticism on this site and others for being critical of Islam. This story is an example as to why I am so critical. I have trouble believing a “Religion of Peace” would allow a young girl who was raped 14 times to be punished for it. If Islam is as progressive as its defenders say it is, why does a rape have to be witnessed by two men before it can be called a rape? In today’s world, rape can be proven without eye witnesses. According to Islamic law, not even the testimony of a woman who may have witnessed the event is suitable for a conviction. Why would any civilized society punish the victim of a terrible crime like this? The answer is simple: Islam, as practiced by many people all over the world, is not the religion of peace it claims to be. I challenge anyone who believes differently to justify the punishment “G” will be forced to endure after already being raped 14 times.


familyman said...

Hey Andy,

I heard a segment on NPR that talked about "honor killings" in Iraq. They told a couple stories about teenage girls that were killed by their own families after being raped, because it was such a disgrace to the family. And how this is very common and it is rarely even investigated by police much less prosecuted.

What I got from the NPR segment was that it was more of a tribal tradition thing than an Islam thing.

One Iraqi man, a traffic policeman, is quoted as saying "It's part of the tradition and the tribes. "How can it change? It's a matter of generations. It's in our blood. It's custom and tradition. It can't change."

It's just so sad. And whether it grows out of tribal customs or Islamic teaching, it really makes me wonder what hope we have of fostering a just and democratic society over there when we are dealing with attitudes like that.

Here is the url for the story if you want to listen to it. It's about 8 minutes long.


Brandon said...

Unfortunately for the woman, the Saud family has chosen to make concessions to Islamic hardliners to maintain their grip on power. Their corruption and greed has doomed their people to an unjust set of laws and they will have to answer for that one day to their God.

If our country wasn't so dependent on foreign oil, maybe we could force the Saud family to recognize that this isn't the 16th century anymore and that their laws shouldn't be either, but I'm pessimistic about that happening.

Andy D said...

The Honor Killings and the punishment I wrote about are both based on Islamic teachings. There are other punishments and practices that are common today that are based on Islamic teachings. While the honor killings may very by tribe, they are too common throughout the Islamic world for it to be a strictly tribal decision. Europe has even seen its fair share of honor killings. In order for Islam to find a place that allows its faithful to worship without fighting non-believers, Muslims will need to face these internal problems and resolve them.

familyman said...

And so, what chance does real democracy have in a place where there is no seperation of church and state, and Islamic law has to be a part of the government?

Andy D said...

Once again, we find ourselves on the same side. I don’t believe a strict compliance with Islam as it is worshiped today is compatible with a democracy. However, I do believe that all people want to be free. I also believe that in order for Islam to survive, Muslims will need to reform the religion from within. If Islam can be reformed, then it has a chance to survive within a democracy.

familyman said...

And in the short term that puts us in a hell of a spot.

Andy D said...

More than you think. Israel shows that a democracy can work in the Middle East. Lebanon has periods of its past that also give us hope. However, in the end, people in the Middle East will need to make their own decisions. Most of the “on the ground” reports I have seen from the Middle East seem to indicate that people want to be free. We will just have to hope and pray things work out.