Skip to comments.Musharraf Faces Bitter Clash Over Rape Law Reforms
Posted on 08/24/2006 7:27:17 PM PDT by blam
Musharraf faces bitter clash over rape law reforms
By Isambard Wilkinson in Peshawar
President Pervez Musharraf has opened a new and especially bitter confrontation with radical Islam by trying to rewrite Pakistan's controversial rape laws.
These place an almost impossible burden of proof on women by compelling them to produce four "pious" male witnesses to prove rape or risk being convicted of adultery and face 100 lashes or death by stoning.
This law, known as the Hudood Ordinance, has been regarded as untouchable since its passage 27 years ago.
It also sets no minimum age for sex with girls, saying only that they should have reached puberty. A powerful militant Muslim lobby regards this code as sacred and based on Koranic texts and sharia law. No previous Pakistani leader, not even the country's first female leader, Benazir Bhutto, dared reform it.
But Gen Musharraf's allies in parliament sparked the fury of the militant opposition by introducing a Women Protection Bill. This would remove the requirement for four male witnesses to prove rape and set 16 as the age of consent for sex with girls.
When this measure came before parliament, Islamic radicals responded by tearing up copies of the bill and storming out. "This bill is against the Holy Koran," said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the militant opposition. "We reject it and will try to block it in any possible manner." Other MPs chanted "death to Musharraf" and "Allah is great."
Liaqat Baluch, the deputy leader of an alliance of six Islamic parties, pledged to mount a public campaign to show that "under the garb of this bill and women's rights, the government is deviating from the Koran". The prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, countered that the militants had committed "an act of desecration" by tearing up the bill.
Gen Musharraf, who claims to favour "enlightened moderation", has waited until his seventh year in power before venturing into this uniquely sensitive political territory. But western diplomats, who have repeatedly demanded the repeal or reform of the Hudood Ordinance, believe he will succeed. The general's allies have a comfortable majority in parliament. The bill will go before a parliamentary committee, where Islamic radicals could introduce wrecking amendments. Last month Gen Musharraf, a key US ally in the war on terrorism, changed Pakistani law to allow women detained on charges of adultery and other minor crimes to be released on bail. Hundreds of women were later freed.
Until now the general, who has survived three assassination attempts by radical Islamic groups, has preferred to avoid confrontation over an issue that has not, despite an unprecedented publicity drive by the government, caught the popular imagination.
"How can a dictator propped up by the West introduce democratic reforms?" asked Hazat Aman, an official of a social welfare group run by the hardline Islamic Jamaat-i-Islami party. "It is an attack on Islam," he said.
The fact that the I-slimeists are against this reasonable protection for women and children is all you need to know to understand how vile they are.
Hazat Aman, an official of a social welfare group run by the hardline Islamic Jamaat-i-Islami party. "It is an attack on Islam," he said.
EVERYTHING is an attack on Islam, because Islam attacks everything.
I got to give him credit.
Musharraf has guts.
Unlike the so called "moderates" like CAIR, Musharraf is not enabling the fascists. His life is in danger every day, his political situation perilous in best of times, yet he's doing what CAIR would never dream of doing. Standing up for the innocent.
Not all at once, but step by step.
I realize Musharref is more-or-less a dictator, but maybe that's the best option in Islamic societies. Democracy, in and of itself, isn't a cure-all solution, as evidenced by the election of Hamas in the PA and the unwillingness of the elected Leb govt. to contain the Hezzies. Churchill once suggested that WWII might have been averted had a strong constitutional monarchy been established in Germany after WWI. Something of that nature might serve better in the ME, IMHO.
But of course Islamic fascism is not a problem, it's only that evil George Bush, according to our liberals and the Europeans...
This just shows how far these Islamic societies have to go. I can only shake my head at the pass they continue to get from liberals, feminists, and the MSM.
Yup. A little different view of him. I believed he was just 'acting-out' to keep the 'aid' money coming. This looks like something completely different.
We're not a democracy, and never have been. We're a federally organized, constitutional republic with democratically elected legislatures and executives. It's worked quite well, IMHO.
Musharraf should use the tried and true method of holding up his adversaries to public scrutiny and honestly say what they are supporting.
Speaking directly to the women of Pakistan, he should ask rhetorically how many of them had been raped, and was there any doubt in their minds that the rapist should have been punished? Then ask if they had been molested when they were young, and should their molesters have been punished?
Then point out that these mullahs are defending the ability of rapists to rape and molesters to molest. That they justify male cruelty to women by interpreting the Koran to say that women are less than men, and therefore can be abused like animals.
Conclude by saying that women who support such men should live in shame for supporting such men. That women who think themselves human should refuse to honor such brutes.
That when women look upon such men, they should see only criminals who want to rape women and molest children, because they are not honorable men. Men who distort the Koran for their perverted pleasures.
It is not lost on me that Musharaff is not just another power hungry dictator but truly cares for the well being of the people of Pakistan and not lining his pockets. Do not forget that the majority of Pakistanis are not the radical,slit your throat types.
Here's the problem: that's not how they are *interpreting* the Koran, that's what the Koran *SAYS*.
And since in their hideous theology, the Koran is the revealed word of their god, it's not subject to interpretation. That's why there really cannot be a "reformation" of islam.
I still hope that a reform of Islam will come from women. Women who tolerate the abuse they suffer, but want a better life for their children. Perhaps they will tolerate being raped, but not their daughters. A mother's love is very powerful, and rooted deeply in nature.
I agree with all that you say but animals don't deserve abuse either.
Good point. Whatever his shortcomings, who the hell would want the insane mullahs to replace him?