Written by Theresa Corbin
In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a 23-year-old woman was “awarded” a one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing “adultery” and trying to abort the resultant fetus after being abducted and gang raped – Saudi Gazzette.
We live in a world where men in charge conflate rape with sex. We live in a world where women living in “Muslim” countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and many more, are charged with zina (adultery) when, in fact, they have been victims of rape.
This is a dangerous game men play with the lives and well-being of women.
Rape is not sex. Rape is not zina (adultery). Rape is ightisab (taking something by force). The history of Islamic scholarship bares this out. It is well-known that in “Fiqh-us-Sunnah” (an Islamic legal book) rape is included in a definition of hiraba (terrorism or crimes of violence), which states: “A single person or group of people causing public disruption, killing, forcibly taking property or money, attacking or raping women, killing cattle, or disrupting agriculture.”
But by conflating adultery with rape, the “Islamic” courts insist that a victim of rape should produce four witnesses.
However, the four witnesses demanded in the Quran does not even apply to rape. The four witnesses are only required when accusing a woman of adultery (zina).
“Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women – bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way.” (4:15)
It is absolutely absurd to claim that a rape victim is accusing herself of being unchaste and committing adultery and then demand she produce witnesses!
In reality–which seems to not exists when it comes to rape in these Muslim countries–Islam as a crime despicable rape where the rapist is put to death or given 100 lashes. And the victim is not to be put under societal or legal pressure, but should be offered state sanctioned support.
But I guess these lawmakers in “Islamic” countries didn’t see the verse after the four witness verse that says both involved in sin of adultery should be punished.
“Punish both of those among you who are guilty of this sin, then if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone. For Allah is always ready to accept repentance. He is All-Compassionate.” (4:16)
The fact that these “men” in charge call rape adultery and do not even punish the other party (rapists get off Scott free or even get to marry their victims) in the act is blatant evidence of their extreme misogyny and lack of understanding of the religion of Islam.
Because of this severely skewed sense of “justice” rape has sky-rocketed in the offending countries.
According to the Archives of Women’s Health study Violence Against Women in South Asian Countries:
“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) found a sharp rise in cases of rape over the decade with estimates suggesting that for every two hours, one woman was raped somewhere in the country. Other reports suggested the ﬁgure could be far higher, given that many instances of rape are never reported [understandably], as a result of social [and legal] pressures. Incidents of abusive incest and rape within marriage are also said to be common although most occur in a hidden form in the society.”
These governments and “scholars” twist and distort Islam till it is unrecognizable. But the question is why? What do they gain?
They step on the rights of women to gain political power, using rape and humiliation as a tool. One notable example is General Zia of Pakistan who gained his political power through systematic oppression of women, as can be seen in his introduction of the 1979 Hudood ruling.
Rahat Imran writes in an essay, Islamic Laws, Gender Discrimination, and Legal Injustices, that:
“Zia used the ‘women card’ as the first and most obvious symbol for his Islamization plan, knowing that a large majority of the male population of the country would have little problem in digesting its implementation […] because the law not only serves the purpose of terrorizing and subjugating women, but also resolves critical and controversial issues like proving rape in the court of law in men’s favor”
This and other grabs for power at the expense of women’s rights, like the Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Islamic” revolution, paved the way for future oppression of women under the guise of Islam.
Today the torch of violence against and subjugation of women in “Islamic” countries has been handed down to the likes of the Taliban who burn the flame brightly to the detriment of all.
What can we do?
It is time we pull the rug out from underneath these “men” who rule on false claims of Islam.
The first thing we need to do is understand the truth. Learn the reality of Islam and not the version that has been bought and sold by governments and/or people seeking power.
Then we MUST educate those around you.
And call these corrupt rulers and law makers out on their heinous crimes against humanity and God. Where ever you see oppression done in the name of Islam, speak up. It is your duty.
31 thoughts on “Take Back Islam: Rape is NOT Zina”
This is amazingly, beautifully written. I don’t do Twitter, but I am posting on my FB to get it out there. This is so important to share. I want so badly to do something to make a difference in this situation………not just by forwarding an article. But how?
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Thank you so much, inshaAllah your share will reach a broader audience, and that is super important (hashtags work on FB too 😉 I feel you. I so badly want to go and make a physical and noticeable change for these women. But we have to start somewhere. Reeducating ourselves and others and making these regimes aware that they do not have the support of the ummah. It’s a small step, but maybe inshaAllah Allah may open a door for us to take a bigger step. Never stop demanding women’s rights ❤
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I took a (highly discriminatory and, thus, well-quantifiable) Facebook quiz: Are you a feminist? It had one question: Do you think men and women are absolutely equal in all things?
If you answer Yes, you are Feminist. If you answer No, you are not. It said I am not a feminist.
Why mention this? Because I consider myself a feminist. I believe men, too, can be feminists. Men and women are not created equal in all things. For instance, I don’t think my husband would be very good at being pregnant. He has no uterus or cervix (forget the other part, as I didn’t have natural birth, either). And I, personally, believe women should not fight on the front lines in war (I know, I know….the Prophet’s (SAW) wife did).
But I think being a feminist is more than fighting AGAINST male perception. It is fighting for equal treatment of women in aspects of life (beyond work) AND defending a woman’s right to BE a woman. (Who the hell are YOU to make decisions about my body???)
So, while I’m not a man-hating card member, or a women’s-superiority card member, I do believe I am feminist.
Um…..is a call for an Islamic Feminist Movement a good post topic????
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Lol you need no get off of buzz feed. In response, read my post entitled Women, claim your rights. I would paste a link to it but my dumb phone is making it impossible. Search it or look under the category: Women in Islam.
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Okey dokey….seems I don’t have to write that after all. Very lovely article…as usual. Masha’Allah. I really want to give up teaching and work with you. 🙂
That would be awesome! If I could pay you or even myself. Maybe one day 🙂
Airing out dirty laundry are we Sister Corbin ? Dayum Right! Hell time to clean out the entire building.
As a man I am very proud to be a man. I don’t have any “penis” castration anxiety nor any “inferior” weekends in juxtaposition to the female sex. But to think that because of my “genitalia” I have moral and social superiority over sex in pure satanic rubbish.
The absurdity of having the victim marry her assailant is beyond any logical foundation, but yes bastard men get away with under the guise if Islam. What a world where a “religion” that liberated women out from the shackles if jaylia, is now routinely touted to oppress them.
NO women do not need a feminine version of the Quran, men need to stop using the chuvansotic interpretation of their egos version of the sharia.
There are no two sides to this issue, one is right the other is evil.
BUT I will say this perhaps due out of disrespect for political correctness which this article actually rightly addresses.
* Both Ayotalla Khomeni (r) and Zia Ul Haq should not be painted with a broad paint so easily.
* The disease of Western Feminism has done nothing to alleviate the violence perpetuated against women. It has only sought to calcify the man as enemy combatant.
* Some do have a ill reputation AND I am NOT condoning that they receive their dues, but a woman who has a waggy tongue can ruin a goods mans reputation over the allegation of rape. In today’s society a man must equally prove his innocence (reputation and status not withstanding) against the allegation.
* Adam (p) may have sinned (before Eve) but we live in a transitory world in which at the end we will suffer for our injustices.
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Yes, but it is more like I am trying to get people to stop denying that there is dirt in the laundry so that we can actually clean it. It is refreshing to talk to a man who is not burdened by inferiority or threatened by women. I was beginning to think my husband was the only one. I am not sure what the fear of women is? And I do think gynophobia is what these injustices stems from at least in part. Is it because men realize that we could get rid of every man on the earth and have enough stored sperm in sperm banks to start over? OR are misogynists just afraid that they will have to make their own sandwiches if they stop subjugating and oppressing women (Subway makes a good sandwich)? But seriously I have never understood how having power over someone or oppressing someone makes the powerful or the oppressor feel better about themselves. How does it work? What is the malfunction? Not that you would know.
Feminism is built into the faith. No new version required just the original version.
BUT I will say
*That I do not have the room to write biographies of Zia and Khomeni (The post was long as it is) so broad strokes is all have to work with. AND if policies such the ones that were implemented in respect to treatment of women under their control I am not sure that they deserve much more than broad strokes. The best of you are those who are the best to _______ fill in the blank.
*I am in no way saying that we should adopt a Western brand of feminist- that often recommends women to adopt immorality as a way to some how liberate themselves (and never said that in the article). I feel that men make some pretty good women’s rights activists (as I know you are). There is only us v. them in respects to oppressor v. oppressed and criminal v. victim not women v. men.
*I agree. Innocent men do need to have protection from damning allegations. Like I said oppressor v. oppressed. Thankfully we live in a time where DNA evidence, rape kits etc exist. And not implementing these technological advances is kind of insane.
(Sister again I will categorically deny painting broad strokes against Khomeini and Zia. Their principles were hacked to pieces and molded into nonsensical ludicrous principles that the fanatics often hijacked).
But I can write a very long essay fully promulgating my perspectives, but it may come off as someone who is making pity excuses. Men do have a violent nature and that is needed. Wars, defense, protection. I’m sorry but it is what it is. In Arabia, mothers often used to tell their daughters to see if their future husband had spears and knew how to use it before getting married. I understand that this comment not fully flushed may come out as neglectful and pensive, but I am glad I have a ‘natural accruement’ of violence in me.
That violence that will protect my wife, my mother, my daughters, my sisters. What can you say to a man who kills another man if he had raped or hurt his [fill in the blank]?
A sword can be used to maim, but also protect. Please do not forget that thousands of Muslim men throughout history, men’s whose names are forgotten, whose dreams are gone, who gave up their lives in past 1400 years so you and I can say “There is No God, But God” today.
Of course you readily agree with me, that men are often small in pride (& maybe other things) can only gain some sort of delusion ‘haq’ by attacking women or belittling the opposite gender. In today’s society men have been reduced to pathetic, pitiful, sexually confused, degenerate monkeys. And when that warrior masculinity kicks in once in a blue moon, it most often is directed to the same “object” that it would have been defended of in the past. I AM NOT accusing women to be blamed for violence perpetuated against women, but we do all share a conscientious guilt of destroying the classical world we were all part of once.
Just one reason of many, is to stop raising these bastard men who do what they do.I could write much more, but it would not be appropriate for this blog post.
Again masculinity is not entirely defined in juxtaposition to femininity, but there is a need to define what it is to be a man. Look at the young six, seven year old girls we see all around. Statistics can be latched on what they will suffer and “how likely will they be ___”. Both also look to see the six, seven year old boys as well. What are the statistics they will be rapists and violent offenders of women? Does anyone GIVE A SHIT ABOUT boys anymore?
*Churning out sexually confused, lilies as men will not be good idea when the time comes, and you best believe it will come, to defend the Ummah.
*Christopher Mills wrote this back in the ‘60’s that modern society has disenfranchised men from their normal roles and farther this escalation has been usually been confronted by women.
*NOT CONDONING RAPE, but rape is a social issue. Everybody is a victim.
*Read Nahraf’s comments on
http://liftingtheveilinfo.wordpress.com/ (very one sided and ex-Muslim based)
http://thesultansjester.com/2013/04/08/mass-media-memes/ (read my comments)
“You’re not a man, you will never understand. Sweetheart you’re not a man, You will never understand”
You are right, I concede that it is not up to me to judge these men, Zia and Khomeini. It is not up to me to set them up as evil when a person should never be judged on one action or a small part of their life esp. when they are no longer here to defend themselves. May Allah forgive me. I do not know enough about how it all went down to do any of this.
And you are right again (on a roll?). And I agree with all of your points regarding men’s nature. On a side note the fact that aggression is a pat of men’s nature and a useful part of their nature is precisely why I don’t ascribe to the view of Buddhism where inhalation (nirvana) of the self is sought. All parts of our nature– mercy, aggression, passion, jealousy– are vital if they are used the correct way and not allowed to get out of control. This is why I love Islam because it teaches us to find the middle path.
I will never argue that men should be taught to act as if they are castrated. Culture and media demand boys to refuse their emotions and behave like barbarians, while extreme Western feminists demands them to be spineless cowards. Neither one is the answer. I care about boys. What comes of them and how they are taught to be men. How can we ignore that? Their education or miseducation will affect the future of society just like that of girls. Because rape and violence is a problem of society not just a women’s issue.
I was recently talking to a sister about where to start in thinking about change and I suggested (and was my husband’s idea) that since men are largely perpetrators of these crimes that we should start by reeducation men on how they think of women and how they view themselves. Any thoughts on this?
Re-education of men will begin with re-education of the women who are mothers that raise them. I’m actually so glad and shocked in a way that you agree with me! If your and the points are what is needed, then sign me up 🙂
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You are already signed up. lol. Yes I do agree and wondering why that is shocking to you. Oppressing men or teaching little boys to be spineless is not the answer, but I fear it will be the backlash. I also think you are right about re-educating mothers about how to raise men. I have seen some pretty terrible parenting techniques form Pakistani and Arab mothers that enable and encourage their sons to be tyrants, while they treat their daughters like servants. Tell me what you see as problems with parenting in these areas as regards to raising the wrong kind of men.
Corruption has appeared in both land and sea because of what people’s own hands have brought about so that they may taste something of what they have done so that hopefully they will turn back. (Surat ar-Rum: 41)
It’s a sad sad world indeed…in the Muslim majority countries, women are oppressed in so many ways whereas in Western countries, immorality and absurdity are the standards of being a real feminist. Astaghferullah!
Sister, Islam is no longer being practice correctly. Verily the Prophet’s words have come true…Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: “The Prophet said, ‘Islam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.’ Someone asked, ‘Who are the strangers?’ He said, ‘The ones who break away from their people (literally, ‘tribes’) for the sake of Islam.’
Another factor that leads to authorities and the society not batting an eye on male oppressors is the mindless ‘boys will be boys’adage….
Absolutely, I was telling another sister that those Muslims who are sincere often feel like Salman Al-Farsi searching for the truth in a desert of falsehood and corruption.
And this “boys will be boys” junk is a source of these problems. Men grow up thinking that they can get away with doing whatever evil they want because society tells them (and worse are the mothers who encourage them) that its ok it is just their nature. This is complete B.S. and needs to stop. Men should not demean themselves like that, thinking they are incapable of controlling themselves. Allah will hold them just as accountable as women.
Great post, Sister!. as usual….
Woman will be very difficult to find justice in a rape case. Although in the majority of Muslim countries, many cases that I have seen, heard, the victim remains a victim, and that virginity was taken away will never return, while the perpetrators of the rape-free life, and there is no punishment for him. It is difficult to prove that a woman had been raped. Painful. It’s very alarming, when the victims are children. Sister Corbin,Maybe you could give an example which country in the world that has given appropriate punishment to the perpetrators of rape. We may be able to learn from the country, to give justice to all women who are victims of rape.
So well put. The rape victim will remain a victim her whole life having something taken from her that will never be returned.
Proving rape can be difficult if the victim is not treated immediately. It is crucial that we educate women in how to handle such tragedy and how important it is to catching their attacker.
In the West, there are so many campaigns teaching women how to handle the aftermath of rape. The first step is to not change your clothes (which may contain evidence that law enforcement will collect and examine) and call the authorities immediately. The victim will be taken to the hospital were a doctor will examine her, and in most rape cases there will be some kind of physical evidence that she was raped (tearing, bleeding, saliva, skin cells, and/or semen). This evidence will be collected in a rape kit. Evidence and DNA will be extracted and admitted in the court case that will follow.
This is a good way to go about catching rapist and holding them accountable with strong evidence. But even with all these procedures and education in place the rapist will generally not be put in prison for very long and will be back on the streets.
I don’t know of any country that prosecutes rape properly. If we can use the technologies, procedures and education programs that the Western world has in place and use it to prosecute rapist and punish them with the proper Islamic punishments, I think it is highly likely that we will start to see a decrease in rape cases. Men will know that it is difficult to get away with, and the price is very high.
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OoOoo…yes proper Islamic punishments. That will take care of them. One beheading, there would be o rape for a month.
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If rape is proven and punished regularly in this way, how many men will rape knowing their death may be a possible outcome? These government are currently encouraging rape by allowing men to get away with it. But laws that punish criminals severely can play a large role in deterring crimes of this nature. Do you disagree?
pss…if you need somebody that can do this, I know a guy….
The hudood punishments ideally would include rape but as you said these so called Muslims governments protect the animals that they produce.
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Mashallah, some great discourses are going on here. Aye to Brother Hyde, mashallah!
No aunty sister that is the wrong way of looking at it. That is the exact anachronistic dichotomy we must leave behind. One must not look at it as “here is this young BROTHER who is agreeing”. This automatically assumes the defacto that puts the young brother out of the norm. Hence “that what I agree with is not normal” and I’m a “special” person for agreeing. This methodology will always have then “they” vs “us” clause built in. We must tackle the root of the problem. We must foment these ideas from the get go. We must not separate. Men, me, you, women are all in together. This post should be written by men! And we must come to a point where one would deem it perfectly normal, and that he must not be viewed as someone guy going out on a limb, some “liberal” or some rights activist. The Muslim guy wearing hipsters clothing at a college campus and the 40 some year old uncle praying namaaz in the Masjid must both be included in the same thought process framework.
Just agreeing with your points up there somewhere, Hyde. And again, I agree with you, it should be a normal thought process shared by everyone.
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By the way, I am barely 30…not an aunty to you I am sure unless you’re a 13 year old child with an impressive vocabulary.
Ouch! I’m not 13, around 25 actually. I was just applying the laws set in stone that a Muslim lady over 25 with a kid is deemed (in high esteem no doubt) an aunty. 🙂