OTHERS SPEAK UP For the Voice the Powers in Pakistan Would Silence: Mukhtaran Mai. For a noble woman who suffered the too common and hateful crime of rape, who now is prisoner in her own home, protesters rallied uptown on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
UPDATE: SCROLL DOWN FOR MUKHTARAN IN HER OWN WORDS
As buses and taxis whisked toward the Plaza, and nannies and strollers and tourists tried to claim a path down the sidewalk next to the park, a coalition of human rights organization sent a stern and strong message to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf: it is patriotic to be a Muslim, a Pakistani, and a woman in support of Ms. Mukhtaran. [TOM WATSON] HAS MORE
CATCH 22: Mukhtaran Can Travel Alone to the United States Now, But . . .
. . . the Pakistani authorities have now told Mukhtaran that she will be allowed to travel to the U.S. on her own, without an escort – but they still haven’t returned her passport. [NICHOLAS KRISTOF]
SOME: LOCAL BACKGROUND
When the Prophet Muhammad came to the people of Makkah with the message of Islam, he had to deal with a society that had no respect and dignity for its women. Burying baby girls alive was common. Women had no marital rights, no right to inherit property or receive an education. They could not function as individuals within their society without their father or husband's permission. Now, many years later, we are still struggling to purify our societies of these pre-Islamic practices. We know that Islam gave women a multitude of rights that other women did not enjoy until the advent of modernism and secularism. But it's not enough to say, "Islam liberated women." We as believing people must establish this deen in order to create just and peaceful societies so that rape and other forms of abuse are forbidden and punished accordingly. [I VIEWS]
UPDATE: Mukhtaran Mai in Her Own Words
MUKHTAR MAI:[translated by Azra Rashid] Women are facing a lot of problems here, not only at the workplace, but they’re also facing domestic violence and abuses. I can only understand one reason for this. They think women are weaker than men. Men have all controls in society. The second reason is illiteracy. Women are uneducated. They don't know their rights. The whole world is with me if you think about it. Not just Pakistan, but the whole world. And if I’m not getting justice, then there is little hope for other women going through the same kind of abuse. I don't think women are to blame for this. They don't get justice, and that's why they let these abuses go on quietly. But now I understand this, especially after the high court decision. The legal system is weak. The law does not have any strength here. If even the law would falsify the truth, who would then women turn to for their justice? If you think about it, I’m not really getting justice. Just look at the high court decision. They refuse to believe the truth. They said it was a total lie. That's a further abuse for women. But God is watching everything. One witness is not enough in Pakistan to prove a rape. They need at least 15 witnesses. The woman who goes through the abuse and exploitation, no one believes her. The high court said it's a false allegation. The case never took place. They said that because there is no one version of the story. I went to file a report, but there was no one to write it. There are several different versions of the story. But I told them I wasn't the one responsible for documenting it. I was also illiterate. The police is to blame for this, and not me. It's for the first time that someone has filed a report. And even that took two and a half years to be done. But I didn't want it that badly back then. It all changed after the high court decision. I felt really hurt. The perpetrators of this crime were ignorant and illiterate people. But the judges at the high court were all educated people. I cannot imagine how they could have come to a conclusion like that. Afterwards I started hating education, as well. Of course, it hurts. You understand that, too, being a woman, the kind of hurt that a woman must feel after going through such violation. But I have to live. When it hurts really bad, I just go to my school, look at the girls and spend time with them to help forget the pain. But I will go on until I have even the slightest hope of justice. I don't really want to move away from my village. This is my home. I just feel the same amount of attachment to my village as people do to their country. But when people say harsh things about me, I think about leaving this place. But then I tell myself, I have my school and these girls here. If I left, I’d be leaving them behind, too, and the perpetrators will think that Mukhtar gave up and left after everything that happened to her, that if they do that to a woman, the woman will leave, and they will get away with the crime. I think about that.
BLOGGERS WHO HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT MUKHTARAN CAN BE FOUND[here] PREVIOUS HERETIK POST [here]
The Heretik Joe Ivory Mattingly is interested in showing as much support across the blogs as possible. If you have posted about Muktaran and would like to be added to the next update of posts, drop a comment below or contact me [here]