Thursday, November 6, 2008

Evils of Religion: Sexual Violence

Be it child brides in West Texas, rural Afghanistan, to our new moral crusaders in Somalia, this is yet one more reason why people who take commands from on high have no business being a part of the global polity. Introducing this week's installment of the evils of religion, our believing brethren in Somalia who, in between fighting fellow Somalians and Ethiopians for their angry man upstairs, are trying to maintain the moral purity of girls. After all, they may be raped someday, so to protect them they have a special way of handling such cases. They murder the victim.

Somali Stoned to Death Was 13-Year-Old Rape Victim, Group Says

By Hamsa Omar

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A 13-year-old rape victim in Somalia was stoned to death last week after being accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, Amnesty International said, citing her father and other unidentified people.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed by a group of 50 men in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayo on Oct. 27 in front of 1,000 spectators, the London-based human rights group said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 31. Yusuf Abdi Mohamed, who witnessed the execution, told Bloomberg News on Oct. 28 that Duhulow was a 23-year-old woman who had confessed to adultery.

``She had in fact been raped by three men and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabaab militia, which controls Kismayo,'' Amnesty said. ``It was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of the men she accused of rape was arrested.''

Somalia is in its 18th year of civil war and hasn't had a functioning central administration since the ouster of former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. Violence has escalated since Ethiopian troops helped Somalia's United Nations-backed government oust the Islamic Courts Union militia from southern and central parts of the country in January 2007.

Last week's stoning was the first such execution in Kismayo since the Islamist al-Shabaab movement captured the city in August and established Shariah courts. Shariah law operates under a code of Islamic principles first established in the Arab world by the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century.

Amnesty said that some of the Somali journalists who earlier reported Duhulow was 23 had said this age was an estimate based on her physical appearance.

Sheikh Hayakalah, the Sharia court judge, said in remarks broadcast on Radio Shabelle, a Mogadishu-based broadcaster, that Duhulow had officially confirmed her guilt and was ``happy with the punishment under Islamic law.''

``In contradiction to this claim, a number of eyewitnesses have told Amnesty International she struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium,'' Amnesty said.

The organization said al-Shabaab has created a climate of ``extreme fear'' within the areas the militia controls in Somalia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hamsa Omar in Mogadishu via Johannesburg at

So, if you are a female and a man or group of men choose to rape you in southern Somalia, you are committing adultery and deserve to die. Ponder that for a moment. Fellow human beings with 99.9% of anyone else's DNA on this planet think it is acceptable to murder in cold blood a 13 year old rape victim, and to rationalize their crime they claim the act of sexual violation was adultery, on her part (not the male rapists, naturally). And to think, people complained when Hoxha sent the clerics into an early grave. What a pity he did not rule over southern Somalia (or for that matter rural Afghanistan and West Texas). Get raped and die as punishment. Seriously, if our believing brothers from the Sharia Courts in southern Somalia are right (and non-rapist heathen like myself destined for the toasty in the afterlife), let me be the first to say, may your phony reactionary skygod die and send me straight to hell, which I would gladly prefer over the likes of anyone who could do something like this to a 13 year old girl.


fwengebola said...

Albania, as I recall, was the world's first officially atheist state (and is my face red if I've confused Hoxha with some other unpronouncable ex-leader). Frankly, I prefer the idea of choice, although if anything good could be said of those former pinko countries, they had no truck with religion. They just shot all the priests. More salient is the idea that they saw religion as a threat to power.

Of course, your post highlights an extreme; a barbaric, 7th century, virulently pro-male and neanderthal extreme at that, but then these are the scum who would have the whole world run their way, with them in charge, naturally. It is so abhorrent on every level that it is almost laughable, if it wasn't so fucking evil. What's even worse, if that is possible, is that they consider themselves beyond reproach, almost saintly.

I read this at work today, and was greatly amused. It's about a Yemenite father who is debating the wisdom of selling for marriage his 9-year-old daughter to a complete stranger for a $150 downpayment. My amusement stems from the fact that he's having second thoughts and has allowed her to divorce her violent 'husband'.

Religion to me is fascinating. It is the very real worldview of our forefathers, their take on life, and its meaning. By now it should've been consigned to the dustbin/ trashcan of history, along with Phrenology and slavery as an acceptable way to make a living, but the fact that religion remains today like a stubborn stain is, to me, mindboggling.

TA said...

The saddest part is that as awful as Hoxha was (and his regime was the closest to Europe's version of North Korea), as terrible as Communism is (although the Communist countries I've been to are not as totalitarian as the Soviet Union or even Albania was), the very notion of murdering 13 year old girls for being raped would be considered, even to them, beyond the pale. You have to be pretty bad to make regimes like this seem mild by comparison. What angers me more is how any adult could think to himself that this is acceptable. The sincere use of religion just confirms the stupidity of the idea that is being used to justify the behavior. I remember reading Diderot about how with the age of reason and modernity, the days of religious fanaticism would end. I guess he was off by a couple of centuries.