A minister in Morocco’s Islamist government on Thursday called for a change to a law allowing a rapist to marry his victim after a 16-year-old teenager forced into such a union committed suicide.
Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister for Women and Families and the only woman in the cabinet, called for a debate to reform the law, in comments to state television channel 2M.
Her predecessor in the post Nouzha Skalli also declared herself shocked by the affair and called for the law to be changed.
Amina al-Filali, 16, drank rat poison last week in Larache, near Tangiers in the north, after being forced to marry the man who raped her.
He had sought to escape prison by invoking an article of the penal code that authorises the rapist to marry to escape prosecution.
This is something to which the families of such victims often agree because the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of marriage is considered a dishonour to her family.
Filali’s funeral took place Sunday in the northern town of Larache.
On Thursday, 300 protesters staged a sit-in outside the local court that had approved the marriage, a demonstration organised by Morocco’s Democratic League for Women’s Rights.
It was the League that publicised Filalai’s suicide as part of its campaign against the law.
On Wednesday the League’s president Fouzia Assouli condemned the relevant article of the law, saying that while it ostensibly defended family values it did not uphold the rights of women.
“The law treats the raped minor like a criminal even if she was the victim of violence,” Skalli told 2M television during an extended programme on the affair.
“We have to reform the criminal code to adapt to the new constitution, which forbids violence against women and ensures the equality of the sexes.”
The affair has also provoked an explosion of outrage in the news media and on the Internet. Activists have set up an online petition calling for the law to be changed, which within hours attracted hundreds of signatures.
Under Moroccan law, rape is punishable by five to 10 years in prison — or between 10 and 20 years if the victim is a minor.
Do we even need to read the article? The headline says it all. Isn’t that sad that we knew exactly what that article was going to say based on one line? This world is getting worse and worse everyday. As much as I hate the way our country is acting towards women as of late, well, it’s always been there just waiting to be revived, I am so thankful to live in the United States. The rant about our so-called Republican “friends” will come at another time. For now, I’d like to focus on the international side of things.
First and foremost, this makes me sick, and so angry. I feel my blood boiling, but I know that being angry sitting here in my living room isn’t going to do anything but give me acid reflux. And who needs that? So, I decided to write about it. Second of all, I was scrolling through the comments section following this article and found that about 98% of people were upset by this and completely in shock. Is it or is it not 2012? Yet, all over the world, women are treated as garbage, less-than, or a piece of ass. Let me tell you, we are none of those things. We are human beings. What makes a man, country, or government believe they can make us feel like this, and thus be treated like this with impunity? I am so sick of hearing stories like this. I guess I am an idealist, and think I might possibly wake up one day, and this shit will all just be a bad dream. But alas, it is much too real.
This poor innocent child was raped. Raped. Let that word soak into your brain. Raped. Meaning, a man took what he felt was his God-given power and forced himself upon her, a child no less, and then, upon being arrested, was released after wishing to marry her to escape punishment. Marry her. Let that sink into your brain, as well. Do those words even belong together? On what planet are we living? I don’t know about you, but my brain cannot comprehend this. There are just no words. Really? It’s a sad fact that women in other countries have been living this way for thousands of years and no one seems to be doing anything about it. Guess what? We are all PEOPLE, and all citizens of this world! I saw a great photo the other day, someone had written on a map of the world, and the statement said, “I don’t see any borders”. Why do we feel we should allow people to do this others, no matter what country they are in? This is not some far off galaxy, although just knowing these atrocities are allowed to continue makes it seems like it more and more these days.
Please know – women are not here to be used, abused, wasted, thrown around, beaten, murdered, driven to suicide, or ravaged as if we are nothing. The fact that some people do not get that astounds me. Another thing that gets me – whenever I read comments about stories like these, people always say, “Those animals, those savages…”. Well, guess what, folks? Animals do not do this to each other, WE DO. No one should be comparing these human atrocities to the actions of animals. PEOPLE kill each other for fun, PEOPLE rape other people because they feel they have a right to. Do not disparage other non-human animals by using this illogical fallacy. This is a human problem, and should be treated as such. This poor girl killed herself rather than be forced to be married to and live with her rapist. Her family was “shamed” by her rape. As if she asked for it. I want to know something. Why is the rapist’s family not made to live in shame? That’s the way it should be.
I just thought I would share this article and some thoughts on the issue, and hopefully raise some awareness. It shouldn’t take these tragedies and injustices to make people realize, we are all one race – THE HUMAN RACE.