What Islam Says About Rape and Its Investigation

on Monday, July 15, 2013

Rape is sadly so rampant today and leaves many women detected and hopeless in life. This is a problem which has existed and will continue to exist for as long as stern actions to deal with this issue are not applied. If you have ever interacted with a rape victim, then you probably understand its devastating impact to the affected party’s way of life. As a matter of fact, rape is a very serious offense which corrodes societal fabrics and cannot go unaddressed among Muslims, considering Muslims are as affected as any other people across the globe.

Many times, Islam criticized creating scenarios which allow men to rape and go scot free. While according to the Islamic law, rape is an acceptable crime, the burden of proof is misplaced and imposes a heavy burden on the rape victim. How often do rapists commit their monstrous acts in the presence of four men who could act as witnesses? Logically, any rapists would commit rape in secluded places where no one is able to see them committing the act. Consequently, the requirement that the victim produces four male witnesses in essence cripples the ability of the raped victim to prove his/her case. Recent events in Pakistan and some Muslim nations, refuse the use of DNA evidence as primary evidence, is no doubt a further obstacle to obtain justice by the affected women. Further interesting is the second option which requires that if four witnesses are not present, then only the rapist’s testimony is sufficient proof.

Let alone the aspect of the burden to proof, despite widespread opposition to this assertion, Islam treats women as lesser human beings. The fact that a master is allowed to sleep with a slave girl irrespective of whether the girl consents to it or not, is proof of these. As one would ask, does this slave girl have no dignity and the right to choose who she cohabitates with. What makes her lose this right? For as long as the master has success such a girl without her consent, then it amounts to a rape, and in this, rape is permitted under the Islamic law.

Worth mentioning is the fact that the law imposes a penalty on the woman in instances where she is unable to meet the four witness threshold, and the rapist is not willing to confess. In such an instance, the woman who alleges the rape will be considered as having admitted adultery or fornication and faces punishment. This explains the reason behind lesser case of rape being reported in Islam states. Women fear not being able to meet the threshold and face punishment, opt to keep quiet.

Why does Islam not allow DNA as primary evidence?

Well, this is a move meant to protect cases where women can falsely accuse men of raping them after having consensual sex. While this is as well not acceptable, when coupled with other evidence such as screaming, and signs of struggle, should be primary evidence. While protecting the alleged rapists from false claims is as well important, it should not be done at the expense of the capability of the victim proving that she was violated.

In essence, the Quran being known for its assertion of respect to human sanctity of human life irrespective of religion, gender, or social status, among others must not be selectively interpreted. It should cover all human life, and not exclude slave girls who are as well humans and deserve a chance for a better life. It would be a dark day if people were allowed to rape their slave girls, and then go scot-free.

The bottom-line

Muslim as a religion is against rape and believes in capital punishment to the offenders. Nonetheless, the measures put in place are insufficient and offer excessive leeway to the offenders. Additionally, the fact that fewer cases are reported should not be misconstrued as the act not being perpetrated as in many instances women shy away for fear of being victimized. The many women who suffer in the hands of rapists must be given fair avenues to seek justice and not to be punished. The world has gone  on a technological way, and hence the role of technology is seeking justice for rape cases must not be sidelined. Women should be treated with respect just like their male counterparts and their testimony should be treated as such.

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