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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Islamic Rape Culture

Sharon Lapkin: Muslim Gang Rapes and the Aussie Riots.

In Australia this week amidst anger over an Islamic man’s rape conviction and the bashing of two Aussie life savers, working-class locals erupted in a rampage of anger and brawling in some of the worst racial riots in decades. But there is more to the story than is being repeated in the American mainstream media....

Four days after he set foot in Australia, the rape spree began. And during his sexual assault trial in a New South Wales courtroom, the Pakistani man began to berate one of his tearful 14-year-old victims because she had the temerity to shake her head at his testimony.

But she had every reason to express her disgust. After taking an oath on the Qur’an, the man – known only as MSK – told the court he had committed four attacks on girls as young as 13 because they had no right to say “no.” They were not covering their face or wearing a headscarf, and therefore, the rapist proclaimed: “I’m not doing anything wrong.”

MSK is already serving a 22-year jail term for leading his three younger brothers in a gang rape of two other young Sydney girls in 2002. In his own defence, he argued that his cultural background, was responsible for his crimes.

And he is right.

In some parts of Pakistan, sexual assault – including gang rape – is officially sanctified as a legitimate form of enforcing the social value system.

One village council recently ordered that five young girls should be “abducted, raped or murdered” for refusing to be treated as chattel. The girls were aged between six and thirteen when they were married without their knowledge, to pay a family debt.

And when Mukhtar Mai’s 12-year-old brother was alleged to have committed an offence in a small Pakistani farming village, the village council ordered that his sister be gang-raped. So, she was taken to a hut where four men repeatedly assaulted her.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan there were 804 cases of such officially orchestrated sexual assault in 2000, and 434 of these were gang rapes. And if that isn’t bad enough, the victims of these atrocities are then expected to commit suicide because rape victims bring irreparable shame upon their family.

So as MSK committed his acts of rape while visiting Australia, he was simply perpetuating his own cultural heritage. He hails from a society where officially sanctioned sexual violence is commonly employed as a means to enforce the subservience of women.

And this is where two fundamental tenets of the modern Left clash: the irresistible force of cultural relativism collides with the immovable object of gender equality. But in the 21st century it is the latter that must prevail.

The laissez faire attitudes of cultural relativism are unacceptable in modern society. Female genital mutilation is not some quaint tribal custom that we are bound to respect: it is barbarism, pure and simple.

Yet many Western leftists habitually excuse these crimes against women in order to maintain political solidarity with their allies in the Islamic world. After all, it would be tough to make common cause with Muslim groups in the antiwar movement if Progressives began to criticize the practice of polygamy.

But along with Islamic immigration to the West have come Third World value systems regarding the treatment of women. We must not be seduced by the false tenets of cultural relativism into a toleration of forced marriages, officially sanctioned rape, and honour killings.

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