Friday, 13 January 2006

Calling All Feminists

From Iran Focus :
An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

From Middle East Times(Egypt) :
The European Union and international human rights groups have been pressuring Iran to stop executing those under age 18, and the UN General Assembly has adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing the practice of executing minors in Iran.

Iran's ultraconservative judiciary has responded to critics by saying that minors are not executed in the Islamic republic. It has also proposed a law that would prohibit the death penalty or flagellation for those who were minors at the time of the crimes.

According to Iranian law, a boy can be executed from the age of 15, and a girl from the age of nine. However, the execution is carried out when the offender is over 18 years old.

From the admittedly highly partisan and definitely not objective National Committee for Resistance in Iran:
The state-run daily Etemad reported that the clerical regime’s judiciary has condemned an 18-year-old girl for killing a man who attempted to rape her.

The victim, identified as Nazanin, was attacked when only 17 by three men who attempted to rape her and her niece. In the scuffle that followed, Nazanin acted in self-defense which resulted in the death of one of the attackers. She testified in court: “I only committed homicide while trying to defend myself and my niece. I had no intention of killing that man. At that moment I didn’t know what to do because nobody came to help us.”

The murderous judges ignored Nazanin’s testimony, the facts in the case and the testimony of eye-witnesses that corroborated her version of the incident, and condemned her to death. The assailants were reportedly members of the suppressive paramilitary Bassij force in the city of Karaj (west of Tehran).

Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chair of the Women’s Committee of the National Resistance Council of Iran, condemned the death sentence for this young girl who had acted in legitimate defense of herself and her niece. Ms. Chitsaz said: “The regime’s own penal code states that an individual, who ‘commits an act that would constitute an offence while defending the life or dignity of her/himself or of another person… is not liable for prosecution or punishment.’”

Ms. Chitsaz added: “The tragic plight of Nazanin is only one instance of the thousands of transgressions against the rights of Iranian women under the mullahs' misogynous rule in Iran.” She called on all women’s rights and human rights organizations to condemn the criminal sentence and act to prevent the execution of the young Iranian girl.

Women’s Committee of National Council of Resistance of Iran

Who are the Bassij / Basij / Baseej ? They're the Morality Police, charged with upholding Islamic Law. A lot like the men of "Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance" who have been calling women "whores" and threatening them with rape in Sydney recently. Or assaulting them with baseball bats.

More on the Islamic Law they're upholding, this time in Pakistan, from the BBC :
"Hudood laws are a tool in the hands of men - with these laws they can rape women and be totally unaccountable.

Under Hudood if a woman makes a rape allegation she must provide four pious male witnesses or face a charge of adultery herself.

So a woman is in the ridiculous position of having to produce four Muslim adult male eyewitnesses, men who just stood there and watched.

If sex by force is not proved, this woman can be charged with "zina" - sex outside of marriage.

About 60% of women in our jails have been imprisoned as a result of Hudood laws."
Of course in Iran, they'd be stoned to death instead.

I eagerly await various Feminist groups, and even the Women's Electoral Lobby (if it still exists - that's the trouble with people whose shrill posturings are so vapid, no-one except the insiders really cares) - to do something. Issue a statement. Lobby parlimentarians. Even form a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy, Id join. Maybe even a magazine article or ten.

But I'm not holding my breath.

I refuse to tar Islam and all Muslims with the same brush. But anyone who doesn't immediately and in the strongest possible terms, without equivocation, condemn these actions and all who partake in them, anyone who ums and ahs and makes excuses, they are as barbaric and uncivilised as the thugs who commit them. They have made themselves my enemy, me, and my children, and my grandchildren. They cannot be allowed to continue to exist.

The only question is how long will it take us, and how high will be the cost in innocents slaughtered. And how many of the majority, the decent ordinary Muslims, will stand with us, how many will fence-sit, and how many will regretfully side with the thugs and barbarians in the name of "Muslim Solidarity".

They're stuck between a Rock and a Hard Place : Morality and Religious Conviction.

Judaism and it's prodigal offspring, Christianity, have both quietly pushed into dark corners the bits of their sacred texts that conflict with common decency and humanity. The Levitican laws about stoning people to death for violating the Sabbath, or the bits about hating your parents and only loving God. Or the bits about the world being created in 6 days. They've been "misinterpreted", being only the work of fallible humans, or are "allegorical", "days" being not days as we know them, but some eons instead.

Yeah, right. Whatever works.

But the Koran is the literal word of Allah : it says so on the label, not subject to interpretation or cavill. The Islamofascists are right there, the purity of Islam has been corrupted by common decency and Humanity, more like a "Religion of Peace" than a world-dominating movement to force Goodness on the world through slavery and conquest. Muslims must choose: believe in the Koran in its entirety, or close their eyes to the pieces of inherent inhumanity in it, and live according to the many very humane principles of decency throughout that work, ignoring the bits that don't fit, just as ordinary Jews and Christians do all the time. The trouble is that, as it says on the label, it's supposed to be the Literal word of God. No getting around that.

For those of other religions that do take things literally - well, the Fundamentalist Christians rarely go further than opening up Anti-Evolution Theme Parks. Fundamentalist Jews usually just try to lead a quiet life so as not to get Pogrommed (again) and condemn the premature creation of Israel as the Messiah still hasn't shown up.

Fundamentalist Muslims hang girls for defending themselves against rape, and work on Nuclear Weapons so they can render Jews extinct as a people.

Slight difference, isn't there? They've gotta go. The world truly isn't big enough for both of us. The only question is how long, and how. And that's a much more intricate problem, for which I have no easy answer. But causing regime-change in Iran is looking good.

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