The victim should have kept quiet


That’s all the good news for now. Here’s more bad news. In Pakistan, a girl of 13 was gang-raped by four men, and now she and her family are being persecuted because her family refused to kill her. That’s what they were supposed to do, you see, because the gang rape was her crime, not the crime of the men who did it to her. It’s a “tradition.” (Funny how the story never mentions the word “Islam.” No, “funny” isn’t the right word…)

The Soomros have faced isolation, fear and intimidation from the four men Kainat accused of raping her, and from the members of the small village who were afraid of challenging moral laws which have been in existence for centuries.

Moral laws? Not religious laws? Nothing to do with the majority religion?

The film, which was selected for screening in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, retells the story of the young girl’s attack while walking home from school down a narrow village street by a shop where Kainat says the owner, Shaban Saikh, and three other men including a father and son held her down and sexually assaulted her.

The village declared her “kari”, or a black virgin, and ordered her family to carry out an honor killing to end the shame a rape victim brings to a family, according to Pakistani culture.

And religion. The culture is rooted in the religion. The god of that religion hates women.

The alleged rapists beat her father and one of her brothers. Her older brother went missing for three months and was found murdered.

But Kainat’s parents refused to kill their daughter, instead deciding to take up her cause in a legal system which places the burden of proof on the victim.

The rapists attacked relatives of the victim because they refuse to murder the victim. It’s so twisted it’s hard to read without squirming.

When Kainat attends court she undergoes a barrage of “nasty” questions, up to 300 at a time, including “what part of your clothing did you remove?” or “who raped you first?”.

The presiding judge is affronted that Kainat has brought the charges, and rules against her in part because she has accused a father and son of a gang rape.

“In his view,” the film’s narrator says, “he said that would never happen in Pakistan” and describes Kainat’s accusations “as a product of her own fantasy”.

The men are acquitted, and, in an interview with the film makers, appear bewildered at why their accuser didn’t just stay at home “and keep quiet”.

They see their acquittal as proof Kainat “does not have good character. If she was a decent woman, she would have sat at home, silent.”

A decent “woman” of 13 sits at home silent after four men in her town gang-rape her, murder her brother, and beat up her father and another brother. That makes a lot of sense. Victims of crimes are supposed to imprison themselves and shut up so that the criminals can have a pleasant life. It’s gruesome.

Comments

  1. R Johnston says

    Victims of crimes bullying are supposed to imprison themselves and shut up so that the criminals bullies can have a pleasant life.

    The skeptical movement needs bigger rifts.

  2. STH says

    The powerless are always supposed to keep quiet; the real crime is inconveniencing or bothering the powerful.

    Powerful people should consider reading stories like this before complaining about being “silenced.”

  3. says

    “a legal system which places the burden of proof on the victim.”

    In other words, the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

  4. aziraphale says

    I don’t think Islam is solely responsible for honor killings. On the one hand, they are rare in Indonesia and Malaysia which are predominantly Muslim. On the other hand they also occur among Hindus in the less developed regions of India. Neither religion, as far as I know, says that a rape victim should be killed. Though, of course, one way for a rapist to avoid punishment is to persuade his society that the victim was unchaste.

  5. Hamilton Jacobi says

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that Islam is solely responsible for honor killings. But when you have a religion that officially declares women to be inferior to men, it becomes much easier for a culture of honor killings to take root.

  6. Hamilton Jacobi says

    If she was a decent woman, she would have sat at home, silent.

    I wonder if it makes any of the Slymers squeamish to recognize how similar their worldview is to this. Probably not; cognitive dissonance must be suppressed.

  7. Mark Lee says

    ladies and gentlemen!
    YOUR! HUMAN! RACE!

    man, this “make the world a better place” gig seems really uphill sometimes . . .

  8. spike13 says

    Osama bin laden is found hiding in a military town and the Pak. govt. claims ignorance and umbrage.
    Abominations such as honor killings are enshrined as great cultural treasures.
    Would someone remind me why we send billions in aid to that shithole every year?

  9. Bernard Bumner says

    @Jff

    In other words, the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

    No. In other words, the system advocates on behalf of the accused and is adversarial towards the accuser.

    Effective legal systems begin with a presumption of innocence, but it is usually the prosecutor who advocates on behalf of the state to attempt to satisfy the burden of proof – the prosecutor having already decided whether they think the evidence will be sufficient to secure conviction, and the state remaining impartial.

    There is some variation in the details of how prosecutions work in the most effective, fair, and just legal systems, but justice is certainly never done by prosecuting the alleged victims.

    For anyone to claim that this particular case is merely a scenario of innocent until proven guilty would require that they be exceedingly callous or blind to the facts.

    @spike13

    Would someone remind me why we send billions in aid to that shithole every year?

    To feed, clothe, educate, and medicate the poor, hungry, and disadvantaged. Next question?

  10. Tyrant says

    Jff, you have got to be kidding me

    In other words, the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

    Yes, that’s exactly the same thing. Were can I donate shovels to the deep rifts foundation again?

  11. says

    What a brave family they are to take on a legal system that is so thoroughly against them from the outset. Kainat is very fortunate to have a family that passionately care about her existence. Thank goodness the family have fled their rural village for the bigger city. The audacity of the villagers to call Kainat IMPURE and CHARACTERLESS, when it is the perpetrators who are the spineless barbarians. Indeed, “The god of that religion” evidently “hates women”.

  12. says

    The idea that 4 people could rape a minor (or anyone, obviously) and then complain that the raped minor doesn’t have good character is so completely ridiculous and infuriating that it takes literally all of my will power to restrain an extreme version of blood lust. I’m going to go ahead and assume that the villagers think that those 4 have a ‘good’ character because why in the literal fuck would anyone side with them over a raped child?…Jesus fucking christ, the literal horrors that people can inflict on one another is beyond belief…

  13. Jessie says

    We regard ourselves as SO much better. In our culture, families aren’t pushed into killing a raped daughter. Instead, people in their community just bully them into killing themselves. Even if they stayed quiet about what happened.
    So much more civilised, don’t you think?

  14. says

    This type of behavior just seems so counter-intuitive. It would make more sense if the family of the 13 year old girl went out and tried to kill their daughter’s attackers. The desire for revenge seems like it should be a very primal, natural thing that somehow gets suppressed through religious and cultural indoctrination.

  15. kevinalexander says

    That’s it. I’m moving to Pakistan. In my more than sixty years living in the west, not once has a thirteen year old girl sent invisible irresistable secks rays forcing me and three of my friends to prove our manhood. I mean, what’s wrong with the girls here?

  16. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I’m with Jessie (13) on this one. As horrible as this shit is (and it’s EXTREMELY horrible), “We” (by which I mean non-Islamite westerners) really are not much better, “we” are just more cowardly and covert about this shit.

    The question I have on this specific case is: if the law of the country took its course and led to such a travesty such as this, what can the international community do about it? *Can* (and maybe more importantly, taking into account state sovereignty etc. should) anything be done? How? Through which agency/legal body?

  17. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    That’s it. I’m moving to Pakistan. In my more than sixty years living in the west, not once has a thirteen year old girl sent invisible irresistable secks rays forcing me and three of my friends to prove our manhood. I mean, what’s wrong with the girls here?

    I know you mean this as a joke, but I’m sure not everyone will see that and this makes me really uncomfortable.

  18. kevinalexander says

    Gen, I apologize. This whole story makes me so angry that I can’t see straight.
    It was a joke but ,you’re right . It was in poor taste.

  19. says

    I disagree, I don’t think it was in bad taste. I think this kind of thing needs – cries out for – strong reactions. It’s obvious what was meant, and discomfort is appropriate.

  20. deepak shetty says

    That’s what they were supposed to do,

    I believe in order
    a. If the rapist agrees, marry him (but if there are multiple rapists then its a problem)
    b. Otherwise have the victim commit suicide
    c. Otherwise have family murder victim
    d. Otherwise the responsibility is the communities to restore their honor by murdering the victim

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    spike13 @ # 8: Would someone remind me why we send billions in aid to that shithole every year?

    To buy a supply line for our criminal war in Afghanistan, so we can maintain a major military presence adjoining Iran and China, and near to the major Central Asian oil/gas fields.

    Duping well-meaning optimists like Bernard Bumner @ # 9 is a bonus.

  22. Gordon Willis says

    What I don’t understand is how the rapists justify their crime. They must have expected the girl to be killed as a result of their act, because this is the custom, apparently, so is this not a case of attempted murder? Then there is the murdered brother. Presumably this was not “murder” because he failed in his duty to murder his own sister. What kind of society decrees that a man who refuses to commit murder should be murdered? It certainly gives a nuanced meaning to the word “morality”. Oh, sorry, it’s not “murder”, it’s “honour killing”. Forgot. That makes it alright then. Quite alright for the men who planned to put a child in a position of being honour-killed, obviously.

  23. deepak shetty says

    To buy a supply line for our criminal war in Afghanistan, so we can maintain a major military presence adjoining Iran and China, and near to the major Central Asian oil/gas fields.
    Also to indirectly fund some terrorism in India.

  24. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    @Jessie, Gen, Uppity Ingrate and the like-minded

    There is something truly nauseating seeing you self-absorbed prats come here and denigrate the suffering of women in Pakistan by trying to peddle some rubbish about how the situation in the West is even remotely comparable. You can sputter and protest about how that is not your intent but even a basic knowledge of the situation in Pakistan should make you ashamed to spew your narrative.

    In Pakistan honour-murders are a frequent and culturally-accepted practice. Police-officers and other authority figures openly tell rape victims to marry their assailants. Until 2006 under the Hudood Ordinaces, reporting a rape to authorities with fewer than four witnesses was grounds to be jailed for ‘fornication’, an unfathomable perversity which led to thousands of women being incarcerated. Tribal sharia councils have actually sentenced girls to be raped as form of punishment. Adultery remains punishable under national law, although it was demoted from death-penalty status in 2006 as well.

    Of course the West has many on-going issues with rape both on a legal and social front, but any one of those examples from Pakistan should smother any arrogant “we are just as bad” mantra. Ironically leftist denigrating the West at every opportunity exemplify Western narcissism.

  25. deepak shetty says

    @Rebekah, the Wily Jew
    If you are Richard Dawkins in disguise then you should preface your comment with Dear Muslimah

  26. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    Let me add that Pakistani public support for a death penalty by stoning for adultery was recently (2013) polled by Pew at 89%. Yes, 89%.

    Thus the Hudood Ordinaces were repealed due to international pressure, not internal public opinion, i.e. what certain pseudo-feminists and leftwingers otherwise decry as ‘cultural imperialism’.

    @aziraphale

    In Moderate Malaysia™ 60% in 2013 Pew polling data support stoning as a punishment for adultery/fornication
    with 62% support for a death penalty for leaving Islam. Indonesia to its credit was only 48% and 18% respectively on those issues.

    If any of the Islam-is-no-worse-than-any-other-religion sort wants to present data on what percentage of non-Muslims support a death penalty for adultery and/or apostasy, then please do so.

  27. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    @deepak

    You are trying to troll this thread very hardas comment No. 20 shows.

    This is an article about Pakistan and Islam. Dawkins got (rightly) taken to task for disrupting a commentary on the problem of sexual harassment in the West with a deflection to the problems of the Muslim world. Jessie and Gen are disrupting commentary on the problems of the Muslim world by deflecting back to the West. They and Dawkins are obverse and reverse of the same dishonest/self-absorbed tactic.

  28. Gordon Willis says

    I don’t think you quite got the message, deepak shetty. To Jessie I would point out that many of us are just as outraged when such events happen in our own back yards as we are when they happen elsewhere. When you next decide to stifle protest, or merely throw out accusations of hypocrisy, this is something you should bear in mind, especially on blogs like this one.

  29. deepak shetty says

    @Gordon
    Or perhaps you havent read Rebekah’s comments on various other threads.

    Events like the one in this post happen in India , both in the Hindu and Sikh communities. If you’d point it out to someone like Rebekah your only motivation in doing that would be to tone down the criticism of Islam. Even though a good number of us who point that out do it because we believe that ALL religion is bad , and some may be worse at any given point of time (Im not sure how people measure this ) but all can be twisted easily.

    To Jessie I would point out that many of us are just as outraged when such events happen in our own back yards
    And you think everyone in Pakistan supports what happened above?If not , whats your point?
    I dont see a problem with #13 – Its stating that some incidents happen in the west (no dispute) and some westerners are hypocrites (no dispute).

    Its not particularly directed to anyone that i can tell – if so , then Id have to re-evaluate.

  30. deepak shetty says

    @Rebekah
    very hardas comment No. 20 shows.
    No that’s a genuine observation of some cases that were reported in India – women being asked to marry their rapists, women being shamed to commit suicide etc

    #25 is the tongue in cheek comment.

  31. Gordon Willis says

    deepak, Rebekah knows these things happen; that’s what she’s talking about. And my comment has nothing to say about what I think about support or lack of support for crime in Pakistan, nor is it even implied. I repeat, you are not reading properly.

    Sorry you don’t see a problem with Jessie’s comment. I do. In the context of this blog it says clearly that we commenters are hypocritical, and that does indeed effect to stifle protest. Also, it is entirely without evidence. And how is anyone to be able to protest against any particular injustice if they have to be belaboured by complaints that they’re not protesting about something else?

  32. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    If you’d point it out to someone like Rebekah your only motivation in doing that would be to tone down the criticism of Islam. Even though a good number of us who point that out do it because we believe that ALL religion is bad , and some may be worse at any given point of time (Im not sure how people measure this ) but all can be twisted easily.

    And there you have it, the openly paternalistic agenda of shielding Islam from criticism, combined with petty anger at me for voicing a point with which they do not ultimately disagree.

    This pattern became very clear to me last week.

    Im not sure how people measure this

    You “measure” it by the constant, conspicuous inability of people like you to come up with equivalent examples of non-Muslim human rights abuses to those routinely found in Islamic societies.

  33. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    Again to be clear, many times non-Muslim and Muslim misogyny and violence are identical, but Islam delivers some abuses that simply have no equivalent. Further the Pew polling I cited should be a sobering reality check for the Islam apologists that haunt FTB.

  34. Gordon Willis says

    For further enlightenment: Jessie’s comment implies some vague and (I suspect) incoherent assumption that culture is the basis on which we stand, and that cultural warfare is the basis of anyone’s criticism of the actions of individuals who happen to live elsewhere. But enlightened souls, like those who own no true citizenship except that of Planet Earth (whatever the taxation bureaux may think), prefer to stand on their belief in the moral equality of all rational beings and make their comments and their protests and their actions on that basis. Not different ways of knowing, but different ways of looking. Much more cogent.

  35. Adam says

    Events like the one in this post happen in India , both in the Hindu and Sikh communities. If you’d point it out to someone like Rebekah your only motivation in doing that would be to tone down the criticism of Islam. Even though a good number of us who point that out do it because we believe that ALL religion is bad , and some may be worse at any given point of time (Im not sure how people measure this ) but all can be twisted easily.

    I think most of us would agree with the last point about all religions being bad.

    However, even if some do point to certain religions being worse than others in (certain historical/geographic contexts) and others would say they are all equal, when criticizing certain events and situations we need to use the relevant terminology.

    The article and the following discussion is referring to a specific incident in a specific part of the world. The root of this incident is that a certain religion is providing a ideological and institutional framework to justify a culture of misogynistic violence and oppression. In the context of this discussion that religion is Islam, and we need to be clear in addressing our protests and our anger.

    To do otherwise would be to either: only ever criticize a ridiculous and amorphous “religion” in a discussion completely divorced from real world contexts and consequences, or to require a list of “disclaimers” and “qualifiers” in every discussion.

    If we were talking about creationist threats to science education in the US, we would not hesitate to attack various denominations or forms of Christianity. That does not say that all creationists everywhere are Christian, but simply acknowledges the reality that the dominant threat to US science education comes from Christian groups.

    Likewise, if we are talking about religiously-motivated violence we are usually talking about Islam. Not always and in the case of Anders Breivik and the Norwegian shootings, we should address our rage squarely at various interpretations and beliefs in Christianity. However, if we are talking about recent events in Boston or Woolwich we should be talking about Islam. And, unfortunately, the larger number of such incidents associated with Islam means that a more general discussion will be dominated by talking about Islam (though it should not exclude the other religions).

    The OP discussed the violent gang-rape of a minor, followed by the shaming and abuse of both her and her family, with apparent support from local authorities. This is in a region where such actions are usually justified if not actively encouraged by the beliefs and leadership of the local religion: Islam.

    The original article appears to go to mind-bending effort to ignore this fact, the stupidity of which, I believe, was part of Ophelia’s main point in the OP.

  36. Gordon Willis says

    I think that in such a case as this it is not entirely accurate to place the whole blame on Islam. The kind of non-thinking that we are seeing in this appalling case seems to be prevalent in other religions (I mean Hinduism) in the same regions too, and so it is, in my view, safe to suppose that it is a cultural pattern which predates Islam or has latterly imposed itself upon it.
    .
    That being said, it is an appalling fact that Islam has not only done nothing to ameliorate this kind of behaviour but has even absorbed it into its worldview, despite all the protests of literalists who can find no basis in scripture, etc. etc. Personally, I think that it shows how religion is not only a former of culture but also a creation of it. Despite the dictates of scripture and doctrine, society will impose its own traditions and customs, and where the religion cannot remove or ameliorate them they will in time become part of the religion, at least in some particular part of the world.
    .
    Much of the blame still rests with Islam, however, because it is the product of an initially misogynist and patriarchal outlook which compromises its defences against certain unorthodox practices. Ill-thought, muddled, confused, everlastingly subduing plain humanity to inflexible doctrine, established by a morally devious and opportunistic founder, it is no coherent way to order the efforts of humanity towards any goal, least of all the goal of “transcendence”, whatever that means.

  37. Jessie says

    How nice to have Rebekah and Gordon Willis ‘explain’ what I mean rather than allow me to speak for myself. And using so much straw as well.

    How arrogant can you be?

  38. says

    Be it noted that I haven’t placed the whole blame on Islam. I do however think it’s craven of the article not to mention it at all. It’s not the whole story, but it’s not none of the story, either.

  39. Gordon Willis says

    @Jessie #37

    I am talking about the implications of what you have said. In other words, how they impinge on me and, I believe, other commenters. You can speak any time you like. No one is stopping you.

  40. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    @Adam, Gordon. Thank you both for some excellent, well-argued comments.

  41. says

    Jessie, well you didn’t do a very good job of speaking for yourself. Your comment @ 13 was short and ridiculous. No, as a matter of fact, that’s not what happens in “our culture.” That’s not to say it never happens but it’s certainly not the norm.

  42. Gordon Willis says

    #40
    That’s kind of you, Rebekah, thanks. May I return the compliment.

  43. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    @Jessie

    How nice to have Rebekah and Gordon Willis ‘explain’ what I mean rather than allow me to speak for myself. And using so much straw as well.

    How arrogant can you be

    I note how you take such a posture of umbrage, but neither move to clarify what you meant, nor offer an actual rebuttal to anything Gordon or I wrote.

    By the way Gen, who signaled explicit agreement with you, also interpreted your post in the exact same ‘blame the West’ fashion. So if you meant something completely different, then you should for the sake of consistency be angry with her as well. The fact you are not speaks volumes.

  44. Adam says

    …in my view, safe to suppose that it is a cultural pattern which predates Islam or has latterly imposed itself upon it.

    I would agree, Islam is more the “chicken” than the “egg”. However, the problem is with the ideas, regardless of their absolute origin. If there is an outbreak of food poisoning, whether it started in the chickens or the eggs seems beside the point, the problem is with the poultry.

    Even if the culture came first, the religion has been instrumental in preventing its’ change by giving these vile ideas divine authority and validation. The religion and the culture have been feeding and strengthening each other in a perverse form of symbiosis for so long it’s hard to say where one begins and the other ends. By absorbing these ideas into it’s worldview, it becomes fair game to criticize those ideas as part of Islam (at least some versions) .

  45. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Yes, I did agree with Jessie, and I stand by that agreement. Not because Islam should be free from criticism or because ISLAMOPHOBIA!!eleventyone!! or anything like that at all, but because I think it’s clear that while religion provides the vehicle and excuse for doing shit like this so very OVERT with no fear of repurcussions, the underlying problem (misogyny) would not disappear if the religion was taken out of it.

    The religion allows it to be this blatant, and because it is this blatant, it’s easy to condemn as absolutely wrong and horrible (which it most certainly IS!). But if you remove the religion, that doesn’t change the underlying problem and this shit just moves more underground, becomes more covert, and you get more “yes but” reactions to atrocities such as this. That was the point I was trying to make. It would be an improvement in terms of the immediate safety of people like the Soomros, but would it actually be a long term improvement? Because this is the bit in the OP that I… I don’t even disagree with it, I just want to take it slightly further:

    The culture is rooted in the religion.

    Yes, the misogynistic culture MAY have originated from religion, but if you take the religion out, I’m fairly confident that any improvement will be slight and only serve to drive these things underground and enable thinking like this from Ophelia, that I DO disagree with:

    That’s not to say it never happens but it’s certainly not the norm.

    Because I’m going to argue that for rape victims, the shaming from the community, from family, from random people who find out about it, and the bullying from the community if the details of the rape do get out IS pretty much the norm, at least here in South Africa where I live and from what I can see, pretty much everywhere else “more civilized” (which is NOT a term Ophelia used or even implied, I want to be clear to say) or less poisoned by fundamentalist religion as well. Yes, death is not assured like fundamentalist Islamic law requires, but it certainly becomes more likely, and then the handwaving and “yes but” begins so that it feels like there’s no actual way to FIGHT it.

    Which is why I asked the questions that I did. They were not to re-direct or anything like that, they are actual questions that I actually wonder about. Is it time to look at something like a world-government? (Oh, how I can hear the Christian Apocolyptiphiles screaming). Who would decide on this government? Who would enforce it? Should “State sovereignty” be such a huge deal-breaker in international law as it currently is? or should someone be able to step in when a country’s legal system fails so completely abysmally? And then that raises the question: WHO? And HOW?

    How do we FIX atrocities like this so that it addresses not only the religious and cultural aspects, but the fundamental misogyny and human rights violations that underlies something like this?

    I ask not because I demand answers or explanations, but because I’m so fucking tired of this fight and feeling that we’re getting nowhere and that the world is not actually a safer place for my girls than what it was 50 years ago, and I really don’t know what we can do to “win”.

    So I apologize to Ophelia and everyone, I meant no attack.

  46. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I also, in hindsight, see how #13 and my support of it could be interpreted as an accusation of hypocricy (or however you spell it), and would just like to note that that wasn’t my thought at all, so I apologize unreservedly. I also take Rebekah’s point about appropriation and can only once again apologize and hope that from my explanation above it’s clear that I feel frustrated and powerless and angry that there’s no one who can just step in and say (and enforce) “you messed this up, fix this shit” to the governments that allow such abuses.

  47. Bernard Bumner says

    @ Pierce, #21

    No, not duped. I’m not so green as to believe that aid isn’t exploited and subverted to some degree or another, but there a couple of things to note:

    1) The misuse of aid only demands better controls on the provision and distribution of those resources.

    2) UK aid goes directly to support charities educating women and helping victims of violence, rape and acid attacks. It helps women to find a voice to demand more from life than their mothers were allowed.

    The picture is not as bleak or as rosy as either extreme view.

  48. says

    Honor killings, death of a brother and battery aside, I’m not so sure it’s much better here in the US for the average victim of rape. FFS, our own military has been doing similar victim silencing shit. I know people who can’t get cases even brought to court because the local DA doesn’t have time to touch anything that isn’t practically a slam dunk. Oh, how about making victims pay for their own rape kits. I’m not saying that Pakistan isn’t worse, but it’s not L&O SVU open and shut by the end of the hour, look at those savages were so much better than, utopia in the US. [endminirant]

  49. Rebekah, the Wily Jew says

    First of all not being murdered or jailed for being a victim of rape is “much better” ipso facto. I really wonder at the mentality of people who can say otherwise with a straight face.

    Your military situation with rape, whilst disgusting and shameful, reflects a voluntary institution which less than 1% of the women in the U.S. have joined, not society as a whole.

    Rape will always be a problematic crime to prosecute because the only evidence in many cases is the accusation. All violent crimes are subject to analysis about likelihood of prosecutorial success, not just rape.

    No one is saying the U.S. or any other Non-Muslim nation is a “utopia”. This is another example of polarised debate where some people can only see a savage-utopian dichotomy. Since the West is clearly not utopian, then clearly we must be more like the savagery of Pakistan than not in the minds of some people.

  50. deepak shetty says

    @Rebekah
    First of all not being murdered or jailed for being a victim of rape is “much better” ipso facto.
    A long while ago , some white south african had complained to a comic book writer , about how south africans were always portrayed badly because of apartheid , and how the black people in neighboring countries had it worse , even despite the apartheid in south Africa (which was also bad)
    to which the comic book writer simply responded as “Aids is worse than herpes but neither is acceptable as status quo”. This comparison that you seem to do where Islam is the worst of the worst seems to be a pointless thing – what benefit do you get by this comparison? It only leads you to make mind numbingly bad statements like
    Your military situation with rape, whilst disgusting and shameful, reflects a voluntary institution which less than 1% of the women in the U.S. have joined, not society as a whole.
    Well I guess we can excuse catholic priests for rape as well, because you know, voluntary institutions and all that or like Bill Donohue compare numbers and say ONLY 1% or some other stupid excuse. You are in fact making #13’s case when you reply like the above.

  51. deepak shetty says

    Sorry you don’t see a problem with Jessie’s comment. I do. In the context of this blog it says clearly that we commenters are hypocritical, and that does indeed effect to stifle protest.
    I didnt read it the way you did , I still don’t – unless you know some history behind Jessie’s comment that i dont. Im assuming he was referring to the couple of cases where women committed suicide after photos were posted on FB – i didnt see it as a condemnation of Ophelia or the commenters here. I dont know if Im right , but I dont see why I should default to your conclusion.

  52. Gordon Willis says

    deepak, one of my problems is an all but ineradicable feeling that I am talking to the wall. Not literally, you understand. You are not helping. Why should you default to my position? (1) I do not claim that any opinion of mine is the default position; (2) you don’t have to believe anything I say; (3) you don’t have to agree with me. If the wall disagreed, it would be a revelation. You are not disagreeing: you are just trying to disagree. For a wall, this would be commendable.
    .
    By the way, a further point about reading: Jessie, not Jesse. One iota, and all that?

  53. deepak shetty says

    @Gordon
    You have told me that I am reading #13 incorrectly and that I didnt get “the message” – i didnt pick the disagreemen.

  54. says

    Rebekah, I’m assuming at least some of this is directed at my rant.

    First of all not being murdered or jailed for being a victim of rape is “much better” ipso facto.

    Agreed, when I first heard about the idea of “honor” killings, it was so foreign that I couldn’t believe it.

    I really wonder at the mentality of people who can say otherwise with a straight face.

    Me too! But, that still doesn’t make it a zero sum game to make sure we aren’t the worst at treating rape victims. Non-Muslim societies (generalization, if its not obvious) may not default to killing rape victims, and we can pretty safely call them better, but it doesn’t automatically make the alternative “good” for the victim. It’s anything but black and white and I used the savage/utopia in my rant to illustrate this very point.

    Some disclaimers: My wife is from a Muslim country, was raped by a family member in the US, only a select few family members know, the only justice we got was the rapist being interviewed by police after interrogation that left my wife in near hysteria. So, I’m sure I’m biased, I’m just not sure how…

  55. Gordon Willis says

    deepak, re #28, the message I said you weren’t getting was Rebekah’s, and that you knew what I meant at the time is acknowledged in your first sentence at #29. You have now conflated this with my comment to Jessie. You made criticisms of Rebekah’s points arising from your inattentive reading of what she initially wrote, and I explained (31 & 34) what I thought was wrong with Jessie’s comment. Rebekah has kindly expressed appreciation of my comments, so I don’t think I have misunderstood her.
    .
    You picked the disagreement right at the beginning with your Muslima remark, which struck me by its inappropriateness (it is a situation in Pakistan that is the subject of the post) as irrational (I suppose the motive is related to that first remark at #29); and my impression is that your choice was connected with what struck me as the very complete way in which you misunderstood the intent of Rebekah’s indignant counter-thrust at Jessie and Gen. It is that misunderstanding, not your opinion of Jessie’s comment, nor whether you would agree with Rebekah if you read her words sympathetically, that concerned me.

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