Friday, April 26, 2013

Another Country, Another Amina and Less Women's Rights !

Mohammad has blood on his hands!  More so those idiots who follow him and allow basic human rights and common sense to be flushed down the toilet. To complete the scene perhaps using the religious version of Mein Kampt, the Koren, as toilet paper would be apropos.

Oh god, another one! A girl of 16, named Amina, in Morocco was raped, and the judge ruled that she had to marry her rapist, which was nice for the rapist because it allowed him to stay out of jail, but it was horrendous for her. The rapist, to show his gratitude to Amina Filali, beat her severely. She was so terrified and depressed that she ate rat poison and died. This caused a national and an international uproar that this still goes on.

The girl's father said he ''did not want to accept this marriage,'' which some have said was pushed in order to protect the family's honor. But ''my wife, my family and the court of the city of Larache wanted the union to proceed", as it did. ''The judge decided he must marry her and I had no opportunity to refuse the judge's decision,'' the father said. ''I wanted to send the eventual husband to prison and have my daughter stay with me until she became an adult.''  As parents (photo left) they have to live with the circumstances but the mother remorsefully regrets allowing the family to agree to the decision.

Poison...even castration seems like a better arrangement than tying Amina for life to the Muslim scum who raped her, but then again, it's ''the family's honor.'' How anybody in their right mind can think it's ''honorable'' to force a girl of 16 to marry the man who raped her is beyond me. ''Through this law, the rape becomes legitimate,'' said Fouzia Assouli, president of the Moroccan advocacy group the Federation of the Democratic League of Women's Rights. "This law has its roots in the Dark Ages and was just changed in 2004.''  To its credit, Morocco changed its code of family law, shifting away from old Islamic principles by giving more rights to women regarding divorce and polygamy, and raising the minimum marriage age for women to 18 from 15. But conservative judges have been finding ways around the law.

Courts have granted special dispensation for minors to marry in 90% of the cases that have appeared before them, according to data reported by the Justice Ministry. And while human rights groups, like Femen which I reported a few weeks ago in a blog entitled, ''Feminists Launch 'Topless Jihad Day' to Protest Islamic Oppression,'' are urging Moroccan leaders to further reinforce women's rights, but amending the penal code further remains a sensitive issue. While the government has ratified international treaties on human rights, its own laws do not yet conform, a situation that has led to protests, with Amina as the focal point (photo left).

Najat Oulami, a member of the women's advocacy group Al Amane says, "We help women navigate the system and make sure that every woman that comes to our offices asking for our help is treated well by the authorities.''  To avoid more tragedies like Amina's suicide, rights groups say that Morocco must change Article 475 in its penal code, which allows for a charge to be dropped in cases of statutory rape if the two parties get married. "It is abominable that rapists are allowed to swap the charges against them for a wedding ring and a child bride,'' adds Oulami. ''The problem is, many judges are very conservative (read backward), and they believe that it is better to save the girl's honor by giving their permission to let minors get married to such scum!''

Al Amane is one of several groups throughout Morocco working with Global Rights, a nongovernmental organization that aims to help women get more access to a fairer justice system. They have created a Website called Marsadnissa (Women's Observatory), where judicial decisions are listed in a database to help Moroccan lawyers argue the law more effectively. ''This kind of tracking mechanism is crucial as judges don't know how cases are decided across the country with no publication of court decisions at the local level,'' says Stephanie Bordat, an American Global Rights director for the Maghreb region of North Africa, ''which will lead to greater consistency of verdicts and protection of women's rights.''

Three months ago, the Justice Ministry issued a statement saying it was in favor of abrogating Article 475 and human rights groups are confident it will be struck down by Parliament. The Islamist-led government, however, is not showing much impetus to act...only time will tell. ''The pressure of civil society has already created an impact: It has become impossible now, since Amina's death, to marry a girl at the age of 16,'' Kachane Belcaide, a lawyer from Khemisset, said last month. ''Still the current government seems to be divided,'' he added. ''There is even no sign that a special law on violence against women will be put forward.'' Observers say that any changes undertaken will not mean much as long as there is not strong and independent judiciary to apply the law. Last year, a 3,700 member judicial association protested with a week-long strike in May and a sit-in in October about judicial corruption and interference by the executive branch, which they say undermines their independence (photo right).

The Way I See It.....despite the various initiatives, the biggest obstacle to advancing protections for girls seems to be the prevailing mentality in Morocco, and the majority of Muslim countries, about women and their place in society. A recent online documentary about the rape law, ''475: Treve de Silence,'' in which Moroccans of all ages and from different parts of society were interviewed on pre-marital sex and rape, showed a clear consensus that a girl who had lost her virginity had lost her value. ''A woman should stay at home and only go out to run errands,'' one man said, suggesting that a rape victim was responsible because she put herself in danger. ''She shouldn't be wandering around the streets.'' As one teenager put it: The man is never guilty.''

, In Tunisia, the other Amina (Tyler) is definitely not wandering the streets presently after posting on Facebook her half naked body with the words ''My Body Belongs To Me!'' in Arabic in March (photo). Another photo had the message, ''Fuck your morals.'' She is in hiding after receiving death threats and is planning to, or already has, left the country after her own brand of the women's rights protest she initiated sparked such a controversy. Even some women feel she might have gone too far and perhaps set back their women's rights initiatives, but she got rousing support with women rights activists around the world.  In Morocco that fact wasn't overlooked and has stirred anger and action with a big demonstration in Rabat, the capital, which is about 170 kilometers from Amina's hometown. Protesters held up pictures of Amina, held up banners and chanted in Arabic, ''Let's end the marriage of minors and jail rapists!''  It seems Moroccan law defends ''family morals'' but does not take into account the right of women as a person. Let's change that. Everywhere in the World....hopefully soon!

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