Sunday, November 06, 2011
It’s still quite a while till Valentine’s Day in the United States, but in Pakistan the day of love came early as a Romeo named Ahmed Yusuf threw acid in the face of his 9 year old Juliet, his wife/cousin causing extensive burns over her body.
Ahmed Yusuf couldn’t have known any better. Throwing acid at a woman in Pakistan is their culture’s version of roses and chocolate. And since he was only 10 years old, his father and brothers were happy to help out.
After the father who had married off a 9 year old girl to her 10 year old cousin noticed the acid burns, which the family tried to pass off as a skin condition, he earned a “Father of the Year” trophy by taking her back home, but that didn’t dissuade his brother and nephews who showed up and thew acid on her again.
Now the acid burned girl and father are on the run with the Pakistani police in hot pursuit because the local law favors turning the girl back to her husband. The whole thing might end in an honor-killing or charges of adultery, a term that in the Muslim world covers everything from marrying without a father’s permission to being gang raped in an alley.
What could a 9 year old girl possibly have done that would result in multiple acid attacks from her own uncle/father-in-law and her child husband? The answer is simple. She was a 9 year old girl in a culture where weakness only inspires cruelty, where animals are routinely tortured and people are treated like animals.
This whole lovely scene took place in Faisalbad, one of Pakistan’s largest cities built up by the British as Lyallpur after Sir James Lyall that was later renamed Faisalbad, after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The new name is far more fitting than the old, Lyall for all his faults was not known to rape and torture nine year old girls.
Quite a lot of Pakistan is named after that old Saudi prune, who was a backer of its Islamist ruling thug, General Haq and his Hudood laws which made any woman bringing a rape complaint guilty of adultery. 9 out of 10 female prisoners in Pakistani jails are there under the Hoodud laws.
When Faisal was finally put down by one of his own nephews who had gone to Berkeley, dropped acid and decided that maybe modernization was the way to go, he left behind a legacy of Saudi power used to leverage Islamism around the world.
When the defenders of the Tunisian and Libyan regimes who are rushing to eliminate all family laws that contradict Sharia explain that “Political Islam is a necessary gateway for Middle East democracy”, what they really mean is that you have to break a lot of 9 year old girls to make a democratic omelet.
Don’t fear the Islamists in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Turkey and Libya. They’re well intentioned folks who want democracy. A democracy under which 9 year old girls are property to be bought and sold by the acclamation of the voters, who just happen to be doing the buying and selling.
Saddam may have had his rape rooms and Mubarak’s thugs may have assaulted women, but under the Islamists every house has its rape room and every marriage is an assault.
Men like Austria’s Josef Fritzl or America’s Phillip Garrido are not an aberration under Islam. They are the norm, as mainstream as a white picket fence and chapel. And as Islam becomes mainstream in the West, the end of the protection extended to children is also coming to an end. It was a long battle to raise the age of consent in the UK with the Criminal Law Amendment Act in the 19th century, but as London turns to Londonistan, it will go the way of female rulers, cartoons and ham sandwiches.
There are plenty of love stories like these coming out of Faisalbad. A 12 year old girl was sold off in marriage to an 82 year old man, whose third wife he had murdered by the girl’s father. The father got out of jail and got five acres of land, and a girl who in America would be going trick or treating ended up in a nightmare that her American counterparts could not even begin to imagine.
As the 82 year old landlord put it, he was “owed a wife” and it doesn’t much matter where you get the wife from. Since his murdered third wife had been a cousin of her murderer, it was all kept in the family. The only good news here is that he might be too arthritic to throw acid in her face.
According to the police no laws were broken, “because the girl is an adult as per Islamic Law and Shariah. She is 12-years-old and that is not too young for marriage” Being an adult doesn’t mean that she can get married on her own, or drive a car or vote– it just means she’s eligible to be raped every night by an 82 year old man. That’s the only adult status allotted to Muslim women.
Don’t get the idea that Pakistani law enforcement is completely useless. When a 5 year old was married off, they did intervene to the bafflement of the fellow who was sanctifying the love match. “This marriage is allowed in Islam and it is not against the law.” And he does have a point. The prophet of Islam married a 7 year old, though he may have waited as long as two years before sexually assaulting her.
The difference between a 5 year old, a 7 year, a 9 year old and a 12 year old is one of those things that you have to be an Imam to properly understand. What did it matter that, “the child had no idea what was happening. She didn’t know she had gotten married or that her father was also getting married to her new sister-in-law.” Aisha was playing with dolls until her father traded her for a top spot in Mo’s brand new religion. The nameless 5 year old girl’s father traded her for a marriage to her husband’s sister.
Why does all this matter to us? Pakistan isn’t just over there, it’s over here. Jessie Bender, a 13 year old girl from California, ran away before she was set to be taken to Pakistan and married off by her mother’s Pakistani boyfriend. How many other girls like her never got the chance to run away? How many of them weren’t 13 but 9 or 7 or 5?
We’re not discussing the quaint customs of some distant country anymore, as Islam grows the tribal savagery of a land where little girls are bought and sold right here in our backyard by people whose religion tells them that women are chattel.
What does a 13 year old American girl go for in Pakistan? Three thousand dollars. You might want to remember that number the next time another episode of Mosque on the Prairie airs or an expert says that we shouldn’t fear the rise of political Islam in Libya or Tunisia or London. The next time you see a cheerful news report on a local Muslim community celebrating Eid, remember the number.
Three thousand dollars or three thousand lives, it doesn’t matter much. Once we agree to let Islam in then all the talk about moderates and standards is a matter of setting the price. The question is do we want to bargain for the lives and rights of our children?
In the history of the world, no tyranny has ever voluntarily relinquished power or been replaced by peaceful means.
Have a nice day