A few days ago, Ophelia Benson blogged about Gulnaz, the Afghan women jailed for 12 years after being raped in Afghanistan. On the day, I was asked to do an interview on it by SKY TV but couldn’t as I had to pick up my 6 year old from school. Since then, I have been meaning to blog about this as it is yet another heinous example of the EU’s siding with Sharia law and Islamism rather than women. Let me explain.
Gulnaz was one of two women jailed for ‘moral crimes’ and highlighted in the film In-justice, which was commissioned by the EU. She had been raped, made pregnant, sentenced to 12 years for adultery and gave birth to her child on the cold prison floor. She spoke to the film crew not because she believed that it would help her case but because she hoped it would save other women from the same fate. The other woman highlighted in the film was Farideh who eloped to escape an abusive husband and was convicted of adultery. (Jailed rape victim silenced as EU censors its own film of injustice, The Times, 11 November 2011)
Days before the film’s screening date, the EU blocked the broadcast of its own film.
One of the reasons it gave was concerns about the women’s safety. Clearly, though, this was not the real issue at hand. The women freely chose to speak out about their plight and they had every right to do so. Speaking out was in fact the only means they had at their disposal to gain attention.
I have heard this argument many times before – ‘it’s for your/their own good’. Most recently, all my interventions from an article on the situation of gays in Iran were censored by DNA magazine out of ‘concern’ for the safety of gay activists in Iran. I said then that the concern was more for the Islamic regime of Iran than for gay rights activists. And it’s exactly the same issue here.
If you carry on reading the EU’s statement on this, they go on to say that they ‘have to consider [their] relations with the justice institutions…’ And that is the real story behind this censorship.
The EU must defend Sharia law and its injustice system in Afghanistan over the lives and rights of Afghan women.
And as always, Ayatollah BBC (as they are known in Iran) blames corrupt judges and police for the plight of Gulnaz.
The truth is that it is Sharia law that is to blame…
Gulnaz was first sentenced to two years imprisonment; she was given 12 years when she appealed. Sharia law despises women who speak up and defend their rights and dare to appeal misogynist and discriminatory laws.
It seems the EU feels exactly the same.
This film has to be shown. There’s no two ways about it.