In Surah An-Nisa (The Women) ayah 16: Allah commands to punish both of two persons who commit illegal sexual intercourse. How can a 15yr old who was forced to have sex with his step-father be considered one of two persons who have committed illegal sexual intercourse? She was a girl whose vulnerability was used by an adult for his sexual pleasures.
It is easy to say that she enjoyed the sex and was aware of the consequences of the abuse that was imposed on her. It is also equally comfortable for a heartless person to say that she consented to it, without due process.
I would not say that there was due process when criminals amongst us have the liberty of expert legal protection, yet this girl did not. The State has also failed in its obligation to protect the rights of children, and this negligence has cost a nation dearly.
Where are those parliamentarians so passionate about the rights of the individual, and so hell-bent on ensuring that no creature shall be prosecuted unless otherwise proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt? And our religious scholars jump to “defend” Islam, when it is not Islam at fault, but a lack of adequate legal and institutional mechanisms that should have been in place that have resulted in the “wrongful sentencing” of a child for a crime she did not commit.
I for one, and many I know, are not challenging Sharia and its relevance, but the injustice to a helpless child who needs to be protected; who needs the love and care of all – including the religious scholars.
It is not a question of whether flogging is right or wrong for illegal sexual intercourse, but the fact that the State failed to protect a child even after she was abused, tortured, terrorized and used for the personal sexual pleasures of a man who was supposed to protect her.
I am also reminded in this instance of the Kurendhoo case of a girl who was forced to have sex with an intruder into her aboard, but was accused of having consented to sexual intercourse because she did not shout out loud. For God’s Sake, the perpetrator entered her home by breaking in with an axe!
Where has our sanity gone?
I am not a religious scholar, but I am a Muslim and I know Allah does not wish for us to flog children for crimes they did not commit.
I stand to back off from the above argument if anyone can convince me; a child who is used by her caretaker for his personal sexual pleasures is committing sexual intercourse that has to be punished by flogging.
Yesterday I was sitting in ALFresco for a coffee with some of my coffee-cafe-colleagues when the subject of the protest against Naseem So for giving tuition to children at his house came up. These were men who had fought bitterly for reform and rights and for decocracy and human rights in this country.
The men felt that what NOOR was doing now amounted to undue harassment of a law abiding citizen who had served time for his wrongdoing. After all, he has been convicted and punished. They believed that he had the right to lead a normal life. That it was the parents who sent their children to him for tuition; and the parents new that he was convicted of systemically sexually abusing his students when he was a teacher in Iskandhar School. So, when the parents decide to send their children to Naseem So for tuition it was ok.
The same sentiments were what I got from people on two separate occassions yesterday. And last night, according to Miadhu Daily Online, a group of people from the neighbourhood protested against the protestors. Maidhu reported that those who confronted the protestors asked why there should be a protest against a person who had served his punishment for something wrong such a long time ago, when there were paedophiles who were under investigation and not brought to justice.
This sympathy to Naseem so is very interesting. It shows our attitude to sexual child abuse as a people and a nation. The Ministry of Home Affairs also reacted against the petition being circulated by NOOR.
Maldives is really a haven for paedophiles!
Posted by Smile Shihab on April 10, 2009 in Child Abuse, Civil Society, Comments and Opionion