|Panel Discussion on Rape (Summary)|
Radio Islam has taken the proverbial bull by the horns over the last few weeks providing our community with robust analysis, awareness and workable activism to fight and prevent the scourge of rape facing South Africa. One such installment was The Friday Forum (22.02.13) hosted by Mufti Yusuf Moosagie (available in 3 podcasts on our website) which hosted Islamic scholars, Ml Zakariya Philander, Ml Muhammad Asvat, Mufti Siraaj Desai and well as social worker Aneesa Moosa from the Islamic Careline and psychologist Fazila Asvat, unpacking causes, prevention methodologies, treatment for victims, punishment for perpetrators, and answers to arguments put forward by those who victim blame.
Beginning with socioeconomic conditions in pre-Islamic times that provided and encouraged the discrepant treatment of classes of women, Ml Philander highlighted that the challenge we face today is not the translation of ahadith about humane and just treatment of women into English, but into practise. He explained how interpretations of such ahadith are slanted and skewed by our respective societies, the media, outdated cultures and other trappings. He was emphatic in calling for the micro and macro growth of our Ieman to fulfill the mandate of our Nabi (pbuh) in this regard culling those trappings.
Moulana Philander also came down strongly on those who use the argument of East v West and Muslim and non-Muslim lifestyles to score brownie points. He explained how this fight is not one of race or religion, but across the board as highlighted in current cases in Libya. Further, by blaming the ‘western lifestyle’ or ‘western nudity in women’ etc we’re becoming part of the problem and not the solution aiding those who wish to politicize such issues. Women are not political pawns but victims of heinous crime here. While they need constantly work on moulding their muru’ah or femininity to a religious ideal, they cannot be violated if they don’t. Further, it is not about how women dress, but how men behave.
With regards causes: secularism, consumerism, the culture of instant gratification, entitlement and lawlessness were highlighted. Going forward, vociferous education campaigns that openly discuss Islamic gender relations, sexuality are needed in our madaris, from our mimbars and within our homes.
Mufti Siraj explained that in addition to the punishment of stoning or lashing of a rapist, an Islamic court (to provide political expediency) and as a stronger deterrent had the precedent of crucifixion or life imprisonment.
Guests also discussed the psychological and biological trauma of rape on the victims and their families as well as steps to follow after being raped and social stigma.
Conclusions were drawn regarding the importance of character development, maintaining functional homes as opposed to non-functional homes, holistic parenting skills that avoid demoralizing children all in the interests of family preservation.
~ By Umm Abdillah - Radio islam Programming ~
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