Michigan Case Adds U.S. Dimension to Debate on Genital Mutilation

NYT Op ED:

The arrest of 3 doctors in Michigan for performing female genital mutilation prompted Tasneem Raja, 34, a journalist, to write about being cut in New Jersey. She said she had received “an outpouring of emails from people saying thank you.”

“This Michigan case made me think I want to speak out,” said Nazia Mirza, 34, who was cut at age 6 in her hometown, Houston. “To me it’s very much like a rape survivor. If you don’t say anything, then how are you going to expose it and bring awareness?”

But Ms. Raja said the case was exposing a spectrum of feelings. Even among Bohra women who oppose cutting, she said, views range from “women who say this has greatly impacted their sex life and their ability to enjoy sex, to people like me who walked away with lifelong emotional trauma, to people who say, ‘I don’t see what the big deal is.’”

Idaho Prosecutor Denies Syrian Refugees Gang-Raped Girl

SALMON, Idaho — An Idaho prosecutor said on Wednesday that internet outlets devoted to carrying anti-Muslim sentiments were to blame for fomenting widely spread, false rumors that three Syrian refugee boys had gang-raped a young girl at knife-point.
“There was no gang rape, there were no Syrians involved and there was no knife. None of it is true,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said of the reports, which originated on blogs and social media postings and have since gone viral.
He told Reuters those reports stemmed from an incident on June 2 in which three boys – aged 7, 10 and 14 – were accused of assaulting a 5-year-old girl in an apartment house laundry room in the southern Idaho city of Twin Falls.

Tory candidate for Brentwood South resigns after tweeting that Islam was the “religion of rape”

A Conservative local election candidate who tweeted that it was good to be anti-Islam and that the Islam was the “religion of rape”, has had to resign just weeks after being chosen to represent the party in the Brentwood local elections.

David Bishop, who was due to stand as the Conservative candidate for the ward of Brentwood South, Essex, later this month, resigned yesterday after local press discovered anti-Islamic and homophobic tweets on his twitter account.

 

In a tweet posted just two days after being selected Bishop posted that Islam was the “religion of peace’ & rape”, after it was announced that four Muslim men had been arrested for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

 

Initially, when questioned by The Brentwood Gazette about the tweets, Bishop has said that they had been posted to make such views look stupid.

 

He stated the following after handing in his resignation: “I recognise that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them. I hope the residents of Brentwood South can forgive my lack of judgement in time.”

 

This was followed by a statement from Louise McKinlay, group leader of Brentwood Conservatives, which said that the views of Bishop had “no place in our team”.

 

Bishop’s inflammatory comments are on the same day when UKIP announced that they would be suspending one of their election candidates after he made similar comments on twitter. Harry Perry, who was seeking election in the Offerton ward in Stockport, was suspended by the party after tweeting that Islam was “evil” and homosexuality was an “abomination before god.”.

The Oxford sex ring shows how the sexual manners of a new place can be tragically misinterpreted

The case of child abuse in Oxford has been much covered, and from a number of angles. A gang of individuals abducted young girls and raped them repeatedly. Some of the girls were introduced to crack cocaine and heroin to make their dependency on the men stronger. Others were branded to show that they belonged to one of their abusers, or given home-devised abortions. The police were slow to take action, despite being very regularly approached by victims and those who knew what was going on. A guest in a hotel was so disturbed by the noise he heard from the room next door that he phoned the police. That is one way of putting it. Another is to draw attention to the fact that here, and in a case in Rochdale last year, the abusers were mostly of Pakistani origin and all Muslims. The victims were all young white girls. There are cases pending for more gang-related grooming and rape offences where the same is true. The police and some media outlets, including the BBC, declined to draw any attention to this fact. You might point out, too, that there are plenty of white abusers and rapists, and conclude that the race of these abusers is of no significance. Or you might go down the BNP route and imply that there is something rotten at the heart of Islam itself. Between the well-meaning liberal account and the ugly BNP version, the truth lies. Race was clearly an important factor for the rapists themselves, who targeted white girls. But it is ridiculous to suggest that there is anything fundamental in the culture prizing the rape of children. Manners of sexual exchange are notoriously changeable from one society to another, and notoriously difficult to interpret. When a gay cardinal forces himself on a junior, we may guess that a shadowy and unsocialised life may not have trained him in the manners of request and acceptance. All he has to go on is what he wants. We have to talk about race in the Oxford and Rochdale cases – we mustn’t pretend it wasn’t an important feature. But race was not the defining feature. What drove these men was deracination: a detachment from one culture, and a failure to attach or understand another. At some level, they believed that they could get away with this because nobody cared about these girls, abandoned in care homes. At another, they no doubt believed, or said to each other that they believed, that white girls were all whores, that anyone who dressed and behaved like that would be happy to be given heroin and have sex with half a dozen men before she was 13 years old.

Online protest over Maldives’ rape sentence

The Maldives is a highly popular destination for British tourists. But its reputation is being questioned after a teenage rape victim was sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex. Justice campaigners are targeting the country’s lucrative tourism industry unless it improves women’s’ rights. The charges against the girl were brought by police who said she confessed to engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. A confession was made during an investigation by officials into separate accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. The girl is thought to have been abused by local men for some time and her mother is also alleged to have concealed the crime. The flogging sentence prompted outrage from human rights groups which condemned the punishment as “cruel, degrading and inhumane”.  Around 35 per cent of the Maldives’ economy is directly linked to tourism with around 100,000 Britons traveling to the Maldives each year, making the UK its third-largest market for tourism.

 

Religious Groups’ Official Positions on Abortion

JANUARY 16, 2013
Millennials Far Less Aware of Historic Ruling Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision

As the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision approaches, the public remains opposed to completely overturning the historic ruling on abortion. More than six-in-ten (63%) say they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Only about three-in-ten (29%) would like to see the ruling overturned. These opinions are little changed from surveys conducted 10 and 20 years ago.

Decades after the Supreme Court rendered its decision, on Jan. 22, 1973, most Americans (62%) know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion rather than school desegregation or some other issue. But the rest either guess incorrectly (17%) or do not know what the case was about (20%). And there are substantial age differences in awareness: Among those ages 50
to 64, 74% know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion, the highest percentage of any age group. Among those younger than 30, just 44% know this.

Wide Religious, Partisan Differences over Roe

There continue to be substantial religious and partisan differences over whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, and over the broader question of whether abortion should be legal or illegal on all or most cases.

Islam

Although there are different opinions among Islamic scholars about when life begins and when abortion is permissible, most agree that the termination of a pregnancy after four months – the point at which, in Islam, a fetus is thought to become a living soul – is not permissible. Many Islamic thinkers contend that in cases prior to four months of gestation, abortion should be permissible only in instances in which a mother’s life is in danger or in cases of rape.

Canadian Supreme Court to decide if woman can testify wearing niqab

News Agencies – December 8, 2011

The Supreme Court of Canada will attempt to balance Islamic beliefs against the bedrock elements of a fair trial in a decision of constitutional rights. At the centre of the case is a sexual assault complainant known as N.S., who does not want to testify against two men accused of raping her unless her face is obscured by a religious veil, or niqab.

The defendants assert that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees them the right to confront their accuser and observe her facial nuances as she testifies. However, lawyers for N.S. say facial expressions are frequently misleading and that Islamic rape victims will be reluctant to go to police if they may later be ritually “stripped” in a courtroom. The court case will be decided by just seven of the court’s nine judges because Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver sat on an Ontario Court of Appeal panel that heard the N.S. case earlier this year. (To prevent a tie vote, the court has to drop a second judge from the panel.)

Judge sides with Virginia prison system in lawsuit by Muslim inmate who wanted 1/8-inch beard

Court sides with Va. in not allowing Muslim inmate’s beard. Virginia’s prison system did not violate a Muslim inmate’s religious rights when it refused to allow him to grow a 1/8-inch beard, which he believes is required by his religion, a federal judge has ruled.

William Couch, a 50-year-old Sunni Muslim, is a medium-security prisoner serving multiple life sentences for rape and other convictions. He challenged the Virginia Department of Corrections’ grooming policy, which bans long hair and beards.

Virginia is among only about a dozen states that limit the length of inmates’ hair and beards, according to the American Correctional Chaplains Association. A handful of those allow religious accommodations for Rastafarians, Muslims, Sikhs, native Americans and others whose religious beliefs prohibit shaving or cutting their hair.

There is no hair policy for federal prisoners.

MP of Danish People’s Party convicted of violation of the so-called ”Paragraph of racism”

December 3, 2010

MP for Danish People’s Party, Jesper Langballe, has been convicted of libel. In January 2010 a heated debate took place in Denmark in continuation of controversial statements on Muslim fathers and rape made by president of the Danish Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard. Jesper Langballe, in a feature in a nationwide paper wrote: “of course Hedegaard shouldn’t say that Muslim fathers rape their daughters when the truth is that they kill them (the so called honour killings) – and in addition don’t pay notice to uncles’ rape of their daughters”. The statements led to condemnation of Langballe from all parts of the political spectrum – including the Danish Prime Minister who said: “Langballe’s words are stupid and generalizing”.
December 3 2010 Langballe was sentenced a fine of 5000 Danish Kroner.

Islam Channel breaks British broadcast rules, regulator says

8 November 2010

Britain’s Islam Channel broke broadcasting regulations by condoning marital rape, encouraging violence against women, and promoting an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas line, the country’s broadcast regulator Ofcom ruled Monday.
One violation came during an advice program in which a female caller asked if a woman could hit her husband back if he was beating her. The host, as part of his answer, said the most a husband could do was hit her with a stick the size of a pen “just to make her feel that you are not happy with her.”
The same host said in another program that for a woman to wear perfume when praying in a mosque made her a prostitute in the eyes of the Prophet Mohammed. Another violation took place in a discussion about an Afghan law that, critics say, allows men to rape their wives. “To refuse relations would harm a marriage,” a guest on the program said.
The Islam Channel “does not condone or encourage violence toward women under any circumstances,” the broadcaster told Ofcom during the investigation.