By Iqbal Ebrahim
07 October, 2019
There is a very important issue that this column has on many occasions touched upon and it needs to be prioritised, because it should be and must be of serious concern to each and every one of us regardless of our religious, cultural, political and ethnic background. This concerns our women, be it our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and other members of the female gender.
Over the past month there have been many meetings, discussions and fora wherein this issue was discussed and condemned. The focus was on was ‘Gender Based Violence’. Violence against women and children in recent times seems to be spiralling out of control and has reached alarming and unacceptable proportions so much so that it has become a serious social problem. There are various types of violence; mental, emotional, psychological, verbal, physical, and increasingly that of rape.
The bottom line is that women deserve our respect, love and attention and we need to stand together and fight this scourge. Therefore as society we should agitate and push for very heavy penalties for the rapists. What we need to do is to ensure that the punishment for this crime must be so strict that the perpetrators of these crimes will not only think twice but must also face and suffer the consequences of their dastardly deeds.
‘Among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may live in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts (Quran 30: 21)
and the Bible echoes a similar message,
"God created man in his own image ... male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27).
‘The Believers, men and women are protectors, one of the other; they enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil’ (Qur’an 9: 71). And; ‘…. (O Believers!) Live with them (i.e., the wives) on a footing of kindness and equity’ (Qur’an 4: 19). Readers may wonder why this subject is being tackled, but the unaffected person will never understand or know the gravity and depth of the physical, emotional, mental and psychological scars that will haunt the victims throughout their lives. These scars are not only limited to the victims but can stretch across their family, friends and acquaintances. Many a victim will be so emotionally devastated that they may even consider suicide.
Not a day goes by without us reading how the rights of women are being violated when they are beaten up, raped or even killed up by their spouses, live-in partners, boyfriends and some deviant elements of society. Frighteningly of late is that more and more do we hear that children as young as four years and even grandmothers in their 70’s are being abused and even the most heinous of crimes, that of rape.
Some two or so years ago, a report to the National Assembly contained the shocking information that between 2012 and 2014, there were 6167 reported rape cases against women and children – that translates to 2000 per annum – almost 5 people per day! What about the physical and mental abuse? Those figures would be more or even most shocking.
With these horrendous statistics each and every one of us should be expressing our serious concerns. This violence is against our women, be it our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and other members of the female gender - but lately even innocent children have been targeted and are no longer safe from it.
This violence against women and children seems to have spiralled out of control and has reached alarming and unacceptable proportions so much so that it has become a serious social problem. There are various types of violence; mental, emotional, psychological, verbal, physical, and increasingly that of rape.
Women are special to each and every one of us, because without a mother we would not have been on this earth or in existence. We all owe our existence to the Lord, but after all through His Mercy we were brought into being into this world through the intervention and process of birth by a woman, so how can we denigrate her in this manner?
Islam accords the woman with great honour and dignity, and requires that she be treated with respect; as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"the Believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behaviour, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives."
There are some countries that practice Shariah Law which prescribes capital punishment for a convicted rapist. Some non-Muslims may be horrified at such a stringent punishment in this day and age, they would say it is ruthless and barbaric. Here I run the risk of some who will not hesitate to jump onto the band wagon and accuse me of being a ‘religious fundamentalist‘; To those I say an emphatic NO, I am not suggesting ‘Shariah’ law, what I am saying is that we need stringent laws that preserve and protect the dignity, sanctity and honour of women, first and foremost.
The Bible also says in Deuteronomy 22: 25 -27
"But if in the field the man finds the girl who is betrothed, and the man forces her and lay with her, then the man who lay with her shall be put to death.”
Rape is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed against a woman, it is soul destroying, it carries with it deep emotional and psychological scars that will never heal. Therefore as society we should agitate and push for very heavy penalties for the rapists.
What we need to do is to ensure that the punishment for this crime must be so strict that the perpetrators of these crimes will not only think twice but must also face and suffer the consequences of their dastardly deeds. Some countries offenders can undergo a process of ‘chemical castration’, in other words the offender is rendered harmless through the use of chemicals injected into them, and this would ensure that his nefarious and despicable acts would be ‘halted’ forever– simply put even Viagra would not help.
We cannot allow women and children to be abused in this manner. Men should also stand up and be counted and show their support to the womenfolk – after all the vast majority of the violence and rapes are perpetrated by men, therefore we should not only be standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with women but should be leading the fight against these evil practices. – There must be an urgent meeting called to discuss this very pressing issue of the abuse of women in all its forms. We need to get out the message that society will never allow women to be treated in this vile manner by agitating for sterner measures against these perpetrators to be put into place.
We cannot dodge this critical issue that keeps reminding us of the horrors that our women folk face on a daily basis. We have to make it known that these evil perpetrators have no place in our society and we are willing to defend the chastity and dignity of our women and children. We all owe our being to the Lord, however our Lord brought us into this world through the intervention and process of birth by a woman, so how can we denigrate her in this manner?
Original Headline: The abhorrent violence against women
Source: Weekend Post