Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Traditional family values: not all they're cracked up to be

From the same source as the Sexual Assault Prevention poster comes this:

Next time some dork starts ranting about how Muslims punish rape victims and not rapists (usually including the lie that rape victims are stoned to death in Islam*), I'm going to remind them of this. Being sold to your rapist, forced to marry him, and forbidden a divorce? Sounds great.

*The death penalty is a valid Islamic punishment only for murder, for ex-Muslims taking up arms against Islam, and for adultery where the person is in a valid consummated marriage and there are two male witnesses to the sex act. (Which seems unlikely unless the couple had their illicit sex in the process of making a porn flick.) Other folk get executed in Muslim countries, of course, but their punishments are no more "Islamic" than US executions are. (Indeed since in the USA people are only executed for murder, less so.)

And yes, I am aware that while Jesus did not, on the whole, make a point of contradicting the old Jewish laws, he did have something to say about the execution of adulterers. Which can be generalised somewhat.


At 10 June, 2011 21:50, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

What of the 'honor killings' that we hear of? And yes, they do happen - recently had one here in the US from a recently immigrated family.

At 10 June, 2011 23:19, Blogger Rob said...

Oh, they happen, though they're not (despite what the Islamophobes would love you to believe) confined to Muslim families. I was about to say that the non-Islamic ones tend not to be labelled as "honour killings", but in fact they used to be very common and are still not unheard of in parts of Italy, where that is what they call them. Among Hindus in India and elsewhere there are "dowry murders" (aka "Whoops, my kitchen has accidentally burned down with my wife in it") where the female end of an arranged marriage has not come with the agreed financial package. The motivation is slightly different, the familial nature of the killing the same (and as they typically try to make them look like accidents they can be even more gruesome). This happens a lot: when I was one India the Indian papers had one a week or so (OK, given the population of India maybe not that surprising, but still a lot of dead brides).

But to come back to your question, they're definitely not permitted in the Quran, which as I said lists only three reasons for the death penalty, and in the case of adultery is stringent about evidence. I don't suppose it's any consolation to the victims to know that their husbands/brothers/etc are bad Muslims (or bad Hindus), any more than it is for murdered Ugandan gays to know that their murderers are going against Christ's teachings. But they are.

Thinking of Italian honour killings reminds me that in "Romeo and Juliet" Romeo says something about how Juliet's family will kill HER if they find out about the relationship.

At 12 June, 2011 04:01, Blogger Rob said...

Not sure if the programme will play for you in the USA, but here's a short documentary about honour killings in Turkey, where it seems to be a Kurdish tribal thing.

At 12 June, 2011 04:43, Blogger Rob said...

I was just watching another programme in the same series, on the growing influence of ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel. While there are no reports of them carrying out honour killings, there is an interview with a woman who was badly beaten up for seeing another man after becoming divorced: she was told the next time would be worse, so maybe the difference isn't too great. Normal Israelis despise these guys because they refuse either to work or to do military service, but as their numbers continue to rocket their influence grows. At least as far as the sex-segregated buses are concerned the Supreme Court ruled that any segregation had to be voluntary. But I dare say there is a lot of, er, persuasion applied to women on these buses to make sure they volunteer. I did love the feisty secular Jewish woman whacking the Haredi guy with a rolled-up newspaper.

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