Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rape Culture in the Muslim Community

How does rape culture manifest within the Muslim community? What are things you have heard said (by leaders or otherwise) to dismiss or justify rape and sexual crimes, or blame victims?
Personally, the line "If she just wore hijab/niqab" enrages me beyond belief.
Hijab is NOT a force field.
Yes, it is an obligation. Yes, there is a wisdom behind it. Yes, in some cases it does deter a certain type of attention. It does NOT physically prevent a rapist from raping his victim.
Also: "Women should always have a mahram with them."
No, you idiot, we only need a mahram for traveling, not for going to the grocery store.
Also, newsflash, a large number of sexual assault victims are attacked BY mahrams.
"She was too seductive."
Many victims of sexual assault are CHILDREN. And boys, not just girls.
"This is what happens when our kids are exposed to Western kaafir culture."
Rape and sexual assault are just as much of an issue in the Muslim world. It is NOT "a Western problem."
"This is why women are supposed to stay indoors."
We are not prisoners. It is not haraam for us to leave our homes. We are ALLOWED to exist in the public sphere. It is halaal for us to go to school, to work, to go to a park, to walk the streets for perfectly normal reasons.
"A woman's honour is in her virginity."
No. It does not. Her honour lies in her mere existence as a human being, a believing woman. Her 'izzah is not stripped away just because someone violated the sanctity of her body. (Nor does a boy or another man who has been raped or sexually attacked lose their "honour.")
Dishonour belongs solely to the abusers and predators.
"Rape only happens to bad girls who are in bad places."
There have been boys who are raped in masaajid. Girls raped by family members in their own homes. Men and women sexually assaulted by strangers in public places such as the store, the bus, the park.
Indeed, women experience sexual assault IN the Haram itself, during Hajj and Umrah!
"There's no such thing as marital rape."
Okay, don't call it that then.
But if you are physically forcing an unwilling individual into a sexual encounter, such that you are causing them physical, emotional, and psychological harm...
Then it is wrong. Full stop. And no, the "angels cursing" hadith is not a defense or justification - rather, it is evidence against such behaviour to begin with.
It is prohibited to harm a fellow Muslim, in word or in deed, whether or not you are married to them.
"Someone who was raped is the same as someone who committed zina."
Absolutely hell no.
Zina is consensual. Rape is not. The one who has been raped is the victim of a crime; they are not considered equal to the one who willingly engaged in zina.
The Hadd punishment does NOT apply to the victim of rape. The ONLY person to be punished is the rapist themselves.
Anyone who claims otherwise is horrifically, disgustingly ignorant - or flat out evil if they do know the truth but insist otherwise.
"Boys and men cannot be raped or sexually assaulted."
They can be, and sadly, they are. Sometimes by other boys and men, and sometimes even by women. Girls and women can also sexually assaulted by other women.
It is NEVER okay and the victim is never to blame, regardless of gender.
There is, unfortunately, a great deal of ignorance and even wilfull denial over the reality of rape and sexual assault - how it is perceived within the Shar'iah, how common it is in our communities, and how we should deal with it.
As Muslims, we *must* be concerned with justice. We MUST be dedicated to upholding the rights of the vulnerable, eradicating these types of crimes, and dealing with the perpetrators severely. We cannot afford to enable or protect these criminals - our Aakhirah is at stake.
Allah has commanded us to enjoin the good and forbid the evil; we are an Ummah sent to uphold His laws, to hold transgressors accountable, and to fight against oppression wherever it may be - whether it is political or social.
{Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding evil. And it is they who are the successful.} (Qur'an 3:104)
{You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.} (Qur'an 3:110)

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