Skip navigation

Afghan law does not allow rape, backer says

Reuters News Agency

But 'if a woman says no, the man has the right not to feed her,' he says ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. chanel turner from Canada writes: You have got to be kidding- so he can starve her if she does not put out!
    Yup- that is sexual slavery- pure and simple!
  2. Chris Edwards from Canada writes: Evidently they need further explanation on rape and an understanding that its meaning isn't always so literal.
  3. Syed Abbas from Seattle WA, United States writes:

    So what is the big deal.

    Getting into and out of marriage are different in Shia and Sunni Islam.

    If a woman does not want to sleep with the man, she can have the marriage annuled.

    Under Shia law while Divorce by men is not that easy (must have 3 sittings), a court ordered annulment requested by a woman is simple and quick.

    Under Shia law a woman can ask for annulment of marriage for as simple a reason as not being satisfied in bed.
  4. G H from Calgary, Canada writes: Oh well....so it's just starvation for the lady. I'll lt my wife know that all the fuss has been about nothing.

    Hey honney...thay are just staving the women nnot rapeing them after all

    thump

    OWW
  5. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: But it's o.k. for her to "starve" him indefinitely. Hmm. It's an interesting place to bring the law to bear. It would also be interesting to see what a typical Hazara "marriage agreement" looks like to learn just what values are in play and how they are applied in reality.
  6. gerhard beck from Canada writes: Syed Abbas, you must admit that women are second class beings in practice, no matter what section of Islam you look at. Under Sharia law she would not even dare to ask for a divorce to avoid being stoned. Welcome to the 21 st Century of another makebelief system.
  7. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Afghan men may refuse to feed their wives if the wife refuses to have sex? I'm thinking there will be many Canadian men willing to entertain such a notion. (I say this light-heartedly.)
  8. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: It's time for all women to SPEAK OUT, loudly, clearly and unceasingly against the oppression of women. Send an email to Prime Minister Harper, President Obama and the United Nations. Assault, murder, oppression, slavery, rape, starvation, genital mutilation, forced marriages and all other demeaning, insulting practices against women and girls are unacceptable! It's time that we do not shut up until the men who run this world do something about practices like this. There are more than 3 1/2 billion women and girls on this planet and most of them live under the control of men. Women are not property, they are not of less worth than men. Women will be equal, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much we must continue to SPEAK OUT!
  9. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    I remain perplexed over the response of Canadians on this issue- from the government right down to men and women on the street. Why are we so selective about which misogyny we will criticize? Why does the Canadian government and public say nothing about the cruel treatment of women in, say, Saudi Arabia... while at the same time professing such concern for the women of Afghanistan?

    Consider:

    "A lawyer for a gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail says the punishment contravenes Islamic law.

    The woman was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes - she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack. [She was subsequently gang-raped.]

    When she appealed, judges doubled her sentence, saying she had been trying to use the media to influence them."

    BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7098480.stm

    Systemic violation of the rights of women (by our standards) are common in many countries that the Canadian government treats as "most favoured" nations. Saudi Arabia is a perfect example. Women who commit adultery in Saudi Arabia are PUBLICLY EXECUTED: the preferred method is by stoning. No Saudi woman may be in the company of a non-related man without a male family member present. No Saudi woman would risk appearing in public without the all-covering burqa.

    Men in Saudi Arabia may also be harshly treated. A Canadian, William Sampson, describes enduring months of vicious torture by Saudi authorities. A Canadian teenager is currently sentenced to beheading- unless his parents pay 'blood money' to the victim's family.

    So why the disinterest amongst Canadians and their government over the course of Saudi justice, while such a grandstanding wringing-of-hands takes place over Afghanistan?
  10. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: Richard Roskell. I think, for some unexplained reason - perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back - the situation in Afghanistan has ignited anger about abuse and oppression of women "everywhere". I agree with you wholeheartedly about the situation for women in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, and on and on and on. I hope this current anger does not fade away as the "story of the day", but that women in particular take up the issue and speak out "unceasingly" until the men who run the world actually do something about it. There's an old saying that "people don't change until it becomes too painful to stay the same. It is up to free women to make this issue unbearably painful for the powers that be. The only weapon we have is our ability to speak out and not shut up - and to make sure that women and girls living under oppressive regimes know that we are indeed speaking out for them.
  11. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Richard Roskell: Answer: Afghanistan doesn't have a big chunk of the world's oil reserves, or billionaire Saudi princes spending their oil fortunes on foreign goods (some of them for their harems).
  12. Peter R from Mississauga, Canada writes: I think the answer to your question is straightforward, Richard: we have no military presence in Saudi Arabia, but we do in Afghanistan. Supposedly we are rebuilding it in our image.
  13. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Peter R: No one has yet explained how our having soldiers in Afghanistan can have the slightest influence on Afghan lawmaking--except for our government threatening to remove them from the country if certain laws are not changed. But that would get Canadian lawyers into the mix, which could have unpredictable results for everyone . . .
  14. Sohail Ahmer from Canada writes: Syed Abbas I'll tell you what the big deal is:

    1. "If a woman does not want to sleep with the man, she can have the marriage annuled." In reality this is not the case since there is immense social pressure for the women to stay in the marriage. Within muslim societies divorcees are looked down upon. Also, in reality women are not made aware of their rights particularly in societies such as Afghanistan.

    2. "Under Shia law while Divorce by men is not that easy (must have 3 sittings), a court ordered annulment requested by a woman is simple and quick." Again reality is that divorce is far easier for a man then it is for a woman in societies such as Pakistan and Afghanistan which are the countries we are talking about and not some utopian Islamic society. Social stigma is again a strong deterrent for women to seek annulment.

    3. "Under Shia law a woman can ask for annulment of marriage for as simple a reason as not being satisfied in bed." Right...and the woman that annuls her marriage will have a line of suitors waiting for her? Or after being sexually suppressed all her life she will be willing to stand in a court with men around her and explain to a male judge how she is not being satisfied by her man??? Good god man...come to your senses.

    This has to be the most abhorrent and disgusting application of law and as human beings with some element of a conscience muslims should not be defending the vile practice of treating women in such a degrading manner.
  15. Another vicious kick right in the face from Peter MacKay to truth., writes: 'if a woman says no, the man has the right not to feed her'

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    These kinds of things are hilarious!

    This is the country Steve Harper thought we could turn into a democratic exemplar of rights and decency???

    What a fool!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Get the troops out of there. There is NO hope of them successfully turning that place around.

    If we really want to help people, we should extract them from there and resettle them in the civilized world.
  16. e h from tofino, Canada writes: I think it is important to understand why we are in Afghanistan in the first place. The original reason why we sent our troops to Afghanistan is to fulfill our obligations under NATO to go to the aid of any other NATO member(s) who are attacked on their own soil. The US was attacked on their own soil by militants located in Afghanistan and ostensibly sheltered by the then Afghani government which was then ruled by a group of people known as the Taliban. The way the politicians (ours and others) have sold this venture to the public is by saying that we are there to help the people and help women's rights and this and that. That makes it more palatable to the public that may not realize that we have an alliance in NATO and either we fulfill the obligations of the alliance or we have to leave it. There are many other countries that have these same issues that we are not 'helping': Yemen, Somalia, and North Korea come to mind. We are not there because none of those countries attacked a NATO signatory on their own soil. The people in Afghanistan have values and morals and lifestyles that are very different from ours. Many of them think that we live amorally and should become more like them. Many of us think that they're out to lunch and should get with it and be more like us. We developed our current parliamentary democracy in Canada over several centuries and without a bloody revolution (or several) as happened in England, France, US, and other countries. We developed differently from them while we recognize that they have very similar values to our own. To expect a group of people within a border (Afghanistan is not a nation in the classic sense) to develop, in the space of 7 years, to have a governance model similar to ours which took decades and centuries of incremental change, is to be completely unrealistic. And keep in mind that a democracy can be given away. Rome, Germany and France voted away their democracy in exchange for dictators.
  17. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Sex or no Food eh, That is some mighty fine progress happening in Afghanistan.
  18. david sandford from vancouver, Canada writes: i think if you read the fine print the law says "right to deny food "(and oxygen)""
  19. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: e h from Tofino - very well said. However, that being the case, then the objective of the Canadian military in Afghanistan is not to provide security or infrastructure or any other thing for the Afghan people. It is simply to use the land they need in Afghanistan in order to pursue Al Qaida and the militants that attacked the US. How is that working out? They haven't caught Osama Bin Laden in all the time they have been there. They have spent all these years, 117 Canadian lives and millions of dollars fulfilling their obligation under Nato. They should now declare the mission a failure and get out.
  20. C Oslie from Canada writes: Richard Roskell : I don't know what kind of preferential treatment you think Saudi Arabia gets from Canada. When they do something ignorant and barbaric, which seems to be fairly often, plenty of people here criticize.

    The government didn't help Richard Sampson much, but I don't see that as preferential treatment for Saudi Arabia. The government doesn't provide much help to -anyone- abroad without a huge media campaign to shame them into it.

    In Afghanistan of course we'll take a harder line since we have troops there fighting and sometimes dieing to try and drag the place out of the Dark Ages.
  21. Winston Smith from Canada writes: Women there are considered the property of man, no different than goats, cars, guns. That's the culture. Alexander the Great thought they were barbaric too and so decided to conquer them but look what happened in the end.
  22. Fundy tides are mighty from Canada writes: Well I am certainly glad the 'cleric' cleared that up. For a while there I was thinking that we were approaching something of an impasse with our Afghan "allies". Imagine my surprise to find out that it is the man who does the cooking! So he just refuses to cook until she agrees to do the deed. Sort of like going on strike I suppose. Oh, we're making real headway in modernizing that country. Just wonderful.
  23. chanel turner from Canada writes: GH-- you made my day- I am here sitting in the office and just howled -out loud- a big deep belly laugh!
  24. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Winston Smith from Canada writes: Women there are considered the property of man, no different than goats, cars, guns. That's the culture. Alexander the Great thought they were barbaric too and so decided to conquer them but look what happened in the end.
    -------------------------
    He conquered them, and descendants of his army still live in Aghanistan today. He took an Afghan woman as his wife, established cities that survive to today. Some Pashtun tribes have Macedonian bloodlines in them.
  25. anonymous in Ont from Canada writes: Wow some of the clerics comments actually made me laugh. Women with dirty faces, starving your wife if she refuses sexual relations. So utterly ridiculous that it's funny
  26. Winston Smith from Canada writes: Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: conquered them, and descendants of his army still live in Aghanistan today. He took an Afghan woman as his wife, established cities that survive to today. Some Pashtun tribes have Macedonian bloodlines in them.

    Exactly! They were completely assimilated by the local tribal culture.
  27. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Earl Street: Alexander conquered most but not all of Afghanistan. The residents of the Panjshir Valley--the base of modern warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud that remained impregnable to the Soviets--fought Alexander off and he eventually gave up. They were to Alexander what Scotland's Picts were to the Romans--a royal pain in the nates (Latin).
  28. Fake Name from Canada writes: "Syed Abbas from Seattle WA, United States writes: Under Shia law while Divorce by men is not that easy (must have 3 sittings), a court ordered annulment requested by a woman is simple and quick."

    Or the man could just accuse her of wanting to wear clothes that are too revealing, and have an "honour killing". Probably less trouble than going to court.
  29. Republic of Saturn from Canada writes:
    It makes no sense at all.

    When was the last time Christians regulate the sex life of a Muslim country?

    The reaction wouldn't be nice, you don't need to go Afghan to know that.
  30. Douglas Freestone from Canada writes: "A new Afghan law that has drawn Western condemnation for restricting women's rights does not allow marital rape, as its critics says, but lets men refuse to feed wives who deny them sex, the cleric behind it says."

    Oh, in that case it is okay then. Are you kidding me!?!?!

    Personally, I think Mr. Ayatollah Mohammed Asef Mohseni should have his balls cut off.
  31. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: O.K., let's look in the "unintended consequences" folder and ask ourselves what effect this foreign liberal backlash might have on events in Afghanistan.

    Let's say Hamid Karzai succeeds in forcing the government to withdraw the Hazara law. He is already widely despised as a foreign puppet; being seen to bend to foreign demands even though the law was passed by the democratically elected Afghan government could finish him off politically and cause him to lose the election.

    So who will Afghans choose to replace him, given that they want someone less susceptible to foreign manipulation?

    The list of candidates is not long. There is Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, head of the Hezb-e-Iqtedar Islam political party. He is a strong proponent of an Islamic government and Sharia law for Afghanistan. He received 0.8% of the vote in 2004.

    Ashraf Ghani has dual U.S./Afghan citizenship and is known as an able administrator; however, he will likely be Washington's choice, which won't help him. He is also Pashtun, which will not endear him to many. He wants to do away with the existing patronage system, which is a sure prescription for big trouble, and will probably doom his candidacy.

    Anwar ul-Haq Ahady is a U.S.-educated former Providence RI college professor and former Afghan Finance Minister. He is a Pashtun nationalist and has been accused of corruption when in office.

    Those are the people most expected to run, but there will likely be more.
  32. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: It would appear that many of the assumptions people made were in error. Women can leave the home for education or work or medical treatment. Also they do not have to wear the burqa - and remember the Taliban would have beaten them for wearing make-up even under a burqa. What is interesting is that there were many Shiite women demonstrating if favour of the law - not just men. They do not want us telling them how to live. Just because we have troops in the country does not give us the right to tell them what to believe or how to live their personal lives. This is an internal conflict that has to be decided among the Afghans themselves. It is an Islamic country and the people have to determine what rules they are prepared to accept.

    Things are much worse in the SWAT valley in Pakistan where the Taliban have gained control and women have to wear the burqa who never wore it before and girls have been banned from going to school.
  33. Republic of Saturn from Canada writes:
    Nick Wright from Halifax

    The first "unintended consequences" will be more coffins of NATO troops coming out of A-Stan.

    It's a dumb move.
  34. Sulli from Dartmouth from Canada writes: they are all petiphiles, just trying to make it legal, a$$holes, weak, men, can't get a woman any other way unless they put a gun to thier head
  35. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: Glad we got cleared that up. Women are not in fact property. Rather we should view them as pets that must be starved into submission
  36. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: Rick roskell

    hush
    you're not supposed to notice that only our enemies violate human rights and that our friends can do no wrong.

    People like you interfere with the smooth running of a global empire

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top