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Musharraf Faces Bitter Clash Over Rape Law Reforms
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-25-2006 | Isambard Wilkinson

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

(Filed: 25/08/2006)

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.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bitter; clash; faces; law; musharraf; over; rape; reforms; religionofpieces; trop

1 posted on 08/24/2006 7:27:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
not even the country's first female leader, Benazir Bhutto, dared reform it.

Not only is islam primitive, it's regressing.
2 posted on 08/24/2006 7:30:14 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: blam

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.


3 posted on 08/24/2006 7:31:14 PM PDT by Ronin (Ut iusta esse, lex noblis severus necesse est.)
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To: blam
I believe this is what the war on terror is all about.

Cowardly Muslim men cannot stand the idea of not being the owner, judge, jury and executioner over females.

We need to start arming these poor women.
4 posted on 08/24/2006 7:32:14 PM PDT by msnimje (What part of-- "DEATH TO AMERICA" --do the Democrats not understand?)
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To: blam

Bush's fault!


5 posted on 08/24/2006 7:33:33 PM PDT by Mr. Peabody
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To: blam

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.


6 posted on 08/24/2006 7:34:08 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: blam
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.

Yeah, Mohammad wasn't a pedophile, right!!
7 posted on 08/24/2006 7:36:23 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: blam

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.


8 posted on 08/24/2006 7:39:41 PM PDT by Soul Seeker (Kobach: Amnesty is going from an illegal to a legal position, without imposing the original penalty.)
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To: blam

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.


9 posted on 08/24/2006 7:41:34 PM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: blam

But of course Islamic fascism is not a problem, it's only that evil George Bush, according to our liberals and the Europeans...


10 posted on 08/24/2006 7:45:31 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: blam

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.


11 posted on 08/24/2006 7:49:24 PM PDT by Northern Alliance
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To: lesser_satan
Not as a complete comparison but how many people today would consider the American republic established in 1789 a 'democracy.' We had slavery and women could not vote. Ending both (mainly slavery) caused enormous bloodshed. Big changes do not occur non-violently. They are fought over. At some point even Islam will be compelled to make changes to survive in the real world, but it will be bloody and vicious.
12 posted on 08/24/2006 8:17:02 PM PDT by DHerion
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To: Soul Seeker
"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. "

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.

13 posted on 08/24/2006 8:22:46 PM PDT by blam
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To: DHerion

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.


14 posted on 08/24/2006 8:28:05 PM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: blam

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.


15 posted on 08/24/2006 8:31:57 PM PDT by Popocatapetl
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To: Soul Seeker

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.


16 posted on 08/24/2006 8:42:19 PM PDT by ping jockey (radical islam; the great evil of all times.)
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To: Popocatapetl
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.

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.

17 posted on 08/24/2006 9:01:57 PM PDT by cooldog (Islam is a criminal conspiracy to commit mass murder ... deal with it!)
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To: Popocatapetl

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.


18 posted on 08/24/2006 9:02:58 PM PDT by mockingbyrd
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To: Popocatapetl
"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."

I agree with all that you say but animals don't deserve abuse either.

19 posted on 08/24/2006 9:08:41 PM PDT by blam
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To: lesser_satan

Good point. Whatever his shortcomings, who the hell would want the insane mullahs to replace him?


20 posted on 08/24/2006 9:12:24 PM PDT by Larry Lucido ("There's no problem so big that government intervention can't make it worse.")
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To: Popocatapetl

THen the men will kill more women, and go after younger girls. It might even give the perverts more reason to conquer other countries.


21 posted on 08/24/2006 9:17:53 PM PDT by hocndoc (http://www.lifeethics.org/www.lifeethics.org/index.html)
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To: Popocatapetl
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. And NOW will be silent The four witness must see the act of rape from start to finish. Just a peep will not do.
22 posted on 08/24/2006 9:21:04 PM PDT by tessalu
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To: msnimje

Islam is a rapist protection program. The most predatory pedophiliac pervert could ask for nothing more than Islam would provide him.


23 posted on 08/24/2006 9:54:40 PM PDT by thoughtomator (There is no "Islamofascism" - there is only Islam)
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To: blam

Read it and weep, les françaises.


24 posted on 08/24/2006 10:28:19 PM PDT by Savage Beast (9/11 was never repeated--thanks to President George Bush.)
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To: mockingbyrd
A mother's love is very powerful, and rooted deeply in nature.

Unless you're a mooslime. Then you encourage your children to become suicide bombers.

Islam is a cult and it's adherents need to be deprogrammed for our own good.

25 posted on 08/25/2006 4:58:08 AM PDT by metalurgist (Believe in my God or I will kill you! The cry of all religious extremists.)
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To: cooldog

I spoke in terms of what Musharraf would say. And though the Koran clearly and succinctly states what the Mullahs are saying, Musharraf should imply that it doesn't, anyway.

Hell, he should even come out and say that the Koran says just the opposite of what it says, even demanding horrible punishments for men who rape and molest, and those who abuse and kill their wives and daughters.

How many women would disagree with him that rapists should be castrated, molestors beheaded and "honor killers" hung?

The idea is to strip away any female support, overt or tacit, from the Mullahs, and to hold them up for scorn and hatred as rapists and pedophiles. Make those that advocate for rape, molestation and murder the enemies of the state, despised by its people.


26 posted on 08/25/2006 7:31:45 AM PDT by Popocatapetl
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To: blam

What happens when the currently West-friendly gov't of NUCLEAR Pakistan is overthrown by radical Islamic thugs? Holy Crap!


27 posted on 08/25/2006 7:35:24 AM PDT by Thom Pain (8/14/2006 Israel made a HUGH mistake!)
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To: Thom Pain
"What happens when the currently West-friendly gov't of NUCLEAR Pakistan is overthrown by radical Islamic thugs? Holy Crap!"

You may want to have some potassium iodide on hand.

28 posted on 08/25/2006 8:40:02 AM PDT by blam
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To: lesser_satan

I used the term 'democracy' loosely of course. And yes, it works quite well, today. But I don't think slaves or women felt they were part of a 'federally organized, constitutional republic' a couple hundred years ago.


29 posted on 08/25/2006 9:58:52 AM PDT by DHerion
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