The 15-year-old girl that stood up to the Taliban? (photo left) The girl those Taliban thugs shot in the face because she wanted girls to get an education? [For details, see my earlier post ] Well, I'm happy to report that Malala Yousufzai has been discharged from a British hospital.
In 2011 Malala received Pakistan's National Peace Award for her bravery in speaking up for girls. But in October 2012, she was riding home in a school bus with her female classmates. Two Taliban thugs, hiding their faces behind hoods, stopped the bus, shot Malala in the head and wounded two of her classmates. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility. "Let this be a lesson to her," he said, adding that if she survived they would keep trying to kill her. But he didn't have the guts to say it for the TV cameras. He hid behind a written statement. Brave, those Taliban thugs.
Gravely wounded, Malala was flown to the UK, mostly to receive expert treatment but also to protect her from more attacks by those cowardly Taliban thugs. Surgeons had to operate several times to reconstruct her skull and do a cochlear implant to restore her hearing. On February 8, 2013, Malala was discharged from the hospital. And she's as feisty as ever. Listen to what this brave girl says HERE.
and her father, who founded an all-girls school in Pakistan, will receive the
2013 Reflections of Hope Award from the Oklahoma City National Memorial &
Museum. They are being honored for the hope and courage they displayed in the
face of political violence.
Now, the bad news
Unfortunately, many women and girls around the world, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and other countries in the Middle East and Africa, still fear for their lives.
Afghan girl beheaded for refusing marriage proposal
December 2012, two men attacked and beheaded a 14-year-old Afghan girl for
refusing to marry one of the men. The attack occurred in Kunduz province, the
15th deadly attack on a female there in 2012. A similar attack occurred in October
when a young woman was murdered after refusing to work as a prostitute. But
wait, it gets worse.
A gang rape in India
December 2012, a 23-year-old female medical student riding on a bus with a male
friend was brutally gang raped. For more than an hour six men raped and
sexually assaulted her with an iron rod, and threw her off the bus to
Her companion tried to stop them but was severely beaten.
attack took place in New Delhi, India's capital, sparking outrage and protests
around the world. For two weeks, the woman fought for her life in a hospital,
having suffered massive injuries to her genitals and intestines. And then she
A culture of violence against women
India, male aggression is routinely accepted. Many view rape as a personal
shame, not a violent crime. Blaming victims of sexual assault is common. Some
authorities encourage families to marry off their daughters at a young age to
prevent sexual violence. Wow, what a concept.
Instead of prosecuting the
rapist, they blame the victim for daring to walk alone, take public
transportation or wear certain clothes. The men are not responsible, the women
lured them into it! Sort of like when Eve tempted Adam with the apple.
A scathing report
judicial panel investigated and issued a damning report: In India, politicians,
police and the military fail to protect women and children. The report said
police frequently fail to report or investigate rapes. Worse, some police
officers are involved in child trafficking. Worse still, some male lawmakers
have sex-crime charges pending against them.
The report recommended that
India's outdated rape laws be overhauled, that marital rape be criminalized,
and that sexual assault of homosexuals be criminalized. It also recommended harsher punishments for rapists: doubling the minimum
sentence for gang-rape and imposing the death penalty when the victim is killed
or left in a vegetative state.
Five men have been charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of the female medical student. They pleaded innocent; if convicted, they face the death penalty. A sixth man will be tried separately as a juvenile.
But the rapes continue.
February 6, 2013, New Delhi police arrested four men for the kidnapping and
gang-rape of a 24-year-old mother. The men pulled her into their car and
attacked her. But they failed to stop at one at one of the new checkpoints set
up after the December 2012 attack. Police officers chased the car and caught
them. Two days earlier, police arrested a man for shoving a metal rod down the
throat of a 22-year-old woman during an attempted rape in her home.
How bad is it? In 2011, 24,206 rapes were reported in India, but activists say those numbers represent only a fraction of the total, due to the stigma attached to reporting such crimes.
Marry your rapist?
it or not, in Morocco, forcing women to marry their rapist is common. The penal
code allows men convicted of "corruption" or "kidnapping"
(meaning sexual assault or rape) of a minor to go free if they marry
their victim. Judges encourage this to spare the victim's family shame. These
folks think it's okay to force an already-traumatized girl to marry the man who
raped her! Sometimes this had tragic consequences.
March 2012, a judge coerced 16-year-old Amina al-Filali (photo left) into marrying the
23-year-old man who raped her. Seven months later, she took poison. Death was
the only way for her to escape her rapist.
Why did the judge and her parents force her
into the marriage?
To protect the family "honor." In the Middle East, India, Afghanistan and many third-world countries, the loss of a woman's virginity outside marriage is considered a stain on the family's honor. The legal age for marriage in Morocco is 18, but judges routinely approve forced marriages of much younger girls.
Prodded by women's rights advocates, the
Islamist-dominated government is considering plans to outlaw this barbaric
practice. Let's hope they do, and soon.
The latest outrage: Misogynistic clerics in Egypt
Muslim clerics in Cairo sparked an uproar recently by saying Sharia law
justified the mob sexual assaults on female protestors in Cairo's Tahrir
Square. One cleric, Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah, said: "They are going there
to get raped." He depicted them as loose women with curly hair, saying
they "speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear."
what I want to know. Why have no religious leaders in the US spoken out to
condemn this? Where are the Catholic and Episcopal Archbishops? Where are the
Protestant clergy? Where are the Muslim clerics and why are they not speaking
out against this outrage? Here's
my take: If these religious leaders are not part of the solution, they're part of the problem.
What do you think?
all the men in these countries are misogynistic. As you can see in
the photo at left, plenty of men support women's causes. But the others need a wake
up call. They need a crash course in what sexual assault and rape are like. They need to take a vacation, not on the French Riviera, in the slammer. I'll probably
get some blowback for that, but hey, I can take it. Leave me a comment and tell
me what you think! NOPD homicide detective Frank Renzi signing off. And
just in case you think I'm making this stuff up, here's a list of my sources.
[Sources: Pakistani girl's shooting sparks
widespread rage," various AP stories: 10/12 through 10/15