Thursday, October 26, 2006

Muslim cleric blames women for rape

I think the title of this article should sufficiently explain my outrage. This cleric compared uncovered women to uncovered meat, ripe for predators. Since he was in Australia, which is not an Islam theocracy like Iran, he felt compelled to apologize in the face of public outcry.
One cleric aside, this is a common belief among the more devout Muslims. In Pakistan, a woman must present "witnesses" to her rape to bring charges, to assure the (male) law enforcers that the rape wasn't somehow her fault. In Iran a while back, a murderer of prostitutes was briefly considered a national hero, "cleaning up the filth" of "loose" women. It was only after the murderer revealed that he had had sex with his victims that his unofficial "hero" status was revoked. The comparison to "uncovered meat" says a lot about how fundamentalist Islam views women (please note that I do not include all Muslims here), not as people, but as pieces of meat, dangerous and open to predators if left to their own devices.
This ideology of women being covered so men can control themselves is not only offensive to women, but should be offensive to men too. It implies that men are unable to control their lust. Yes, the rape statistics in the US are staggering, but every single woman walking down the street, no matter how "revealing" her clothes, is not raped. Men, no matter how annoying they can be at times, are able to control themselves. The ones who can't are still a minority. Ascribing such an animalistic view to humanity (comparing women to meat and men to cats instinctively drawn to prey on the vulnerable meat) is ironic for a fundamentalist religion, as it almost guarantees the theory of evolution. I'm not aware of the Muslim creation myth, but I'm sure evolution would run counter to it. But, even with evolution, humans are more evolved than cats, and should be treated as such. Humans can reason, think critically, and are bound by laws, not only instinct, as those who blame women for their own rapes insist on using to defend rapists and villify victims. This kind of thinking leads rape victims to hide their identities, when they should be able to stand up and accuse their attackers without fear. The rapists are the ones who should be hiding in the shadows ashamed (This is paraphrased from Elizabeth Wurtzel's book Bitch:In Praise of Difficult Women). False rape accusations also lead to the skepticism of real rape accusations. Women who make these false accusations do a severe disservice to real victims, discrediting their claims. Because although the false rape claims are still less common than real rapes, they generate press and are used by defense attorneys, accused rapists and the general public to further villify the victim instead of the rapist.

Now, my ranting aside, I am looking forward to this weekend. I'm meeting up with a friend tonight after work to jump start the Halloween weekend. And, thanks to another friend, I just might make it back to Bound for the first time in over a month tomorrow night. Halloween is a great time of year.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nicely stated.

salomedesade said...

Thank you. This is some scary stuff.