Healing the broken bone: Gang Rape Case in Afghanistan

A convoy of cars after attending a wedding ceremony were joyfully returning to Kabul from Paghman. In the darkness of a gloomy night the convoy was stopped around 20:00 o’clock   by armed men in police uniform. Both men and women were disembarked form the convoy and were separated from each other at gun point. First the women were strip off their valuable accessories (jewelleries, money, mobiles phones… etc) then they were strip off their honour and chastity. The women were gang raped by ten lunatic men hiding in police “uniform”, which is at least a symbol of providing security in war ravaged Afghanistan. But that night they were devils in angel’s skin.

Although no one denies the heinous crimes committed during civil war in Afghanistan but a rare case of family gang rape perhaps around the world, however according to Attorney General of Afghanistan, the first of its kind to be repeated in history of Afghanistan. What does it tell us? There were occasional cases of rape in society, but this certainly tells us that social morality of society is in sharp decline. From juvenile rape by Mulla (Religious scholar) in mosque (Masjid), to rape of daughters by father and animal rape, these rapists seem not to be obligated by any code of conduct neither religious nor social.

Among the four women raped by the savages was an 18 year old girl, who could not bear the scare of the heinous sexual violence. The last word she uttered was “don’t tell any we will lose our pride”. We live in a society where pride is the most important value while interacting in social settings. Even in her last breaths she was concerned of her family pride and wanted everyone to keep silent and put a veil of ignorance about the incident. Perhaps it was her last words that jolted or perhaps it is the severity of the crime that awoken authorities to take action. Initially a case of robbery was registered and when the victims visited the hospital, it resulted in registering a gang rape case.

When a misplaced or a broken bone heals badly, it normally leaves doctors with no choice but to re-break and reset the bone in order to allow the bone to appropriately do its job. There have been repeated cases of rape and sexual violence but the legal machinery rarely tremble to address this social evil. A couple of the convicts who have already served a ten years imprisonment, the crimes for which they were charged were rape and robbery. After their release the devils were on the loose and looking for their prey.

Rape is considered utterly forbidden in Islam and is punishable by death.  In Islam capital punishment is reserved for the most precarious crimes which harm victims or destabilize society and according to most Islamic scholars rape falls in these two categories. Islam very seriously takes the honour and protection of women. Though Islamic scholar called rape “hiraba” a form of forcible assault, which involves an attempt to overpower a weaker or threatened a person to accept unwillingly the sexual advance of the attacker.

Had these rapists were charged with capital punishment at the first place, much had been different today. The young girl who lost her life in hospital would have been alive; the women would not have been humiliated. Perhaps it’s time to go back and “re-break the bone” so it may heal properly. By serving capital punishment to the convict the legal apparatus should make sure that the rapist will not be able to repeat the appalling crime again. That’s how we are supposed to protect our social fabric, to punish the culprits in the severest of punishment, so it may keep the social evil doers at bay.

Some may blame the women too, however it should be noted that rape is a crime of violence, which is not caused by women’s action in anyway.  Anyone who does something under utter duress is not guilty of any sin, even in the case of someone being forced to deprecate their faith in Allah. The Quran says: “Except him who does it under duress and whose heart is at rest with Faith…” (Al-Nahl: 106). So it’s obvious that action perform by someone under duress will not be considered as his willingness to do.