Sick and Perverted in Pakistan – the case of Mukhtar Mai
It’s not a new story, but the story is in the press again on the case of Mukhtar Mai, a woman who was, in 2002, publicly and brutally gang-raped in Pakistan by official decree of the elder members of the tribe. They then forced her to walk naked in front of her villagers just because her younger brother was seen walking with a girl from another tribe. The world is horrified and disgusted. It can’t even respond intelligently to this. It makes one think what pigs these men are. Also, the fact that the people of her village could actually watch the degradation of this poor woman makes them just as perverted and just as guilty.
All this in the name of “honor.” Such a case makes “honor” a very dishonorable thing. Should these rapist pigs also be brought to justice for a crime against humanity? It is inhumane what these people did to Mukhtar Mai.
The reason the story of Mukhtar Mai was in the press yesterday is that Mukhtar Mai must suffer humiliation once again. The six men who raped her were actually brought to justice and imprisoned at the time of their original crime. Now, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has decided that five of the six rapists will have their convictions overturned and have been released from jail.
A completely normal question to follow would then be, what type of judges sit on the Supreme Court of Pakistan? Are these men competent of serving justice? Are they also serving the perpetration of feudalism in Pakistan? Are they the puppets of the tribal extremists? One would also have to ask, are they even competent? It is difficult to believe they are competent at their jobs. There is no evidence whatsoever they are competent to judge and uphold the law.
Since her humiliation and gang-rape, Mukhtar Mai opened a girls’ school and a refuge center not far from the place where she was raped. The refuge center is for girls and women who have also suffered the same injustices in Pakistan. She has also written a book called “In the Name of Honor” which has been sold around the world. Mai is now concerned that these rapists will return to the village where her school is located.
Unfortunately in Pakistan and in other countries around the world, the case of Mukhtar Mai is not unique. In societies such as Pakistan where feudalism still exists, we will continue to see and hear of these tragic stories about the lack of justice and abuse of women. Women and young girls who, unlike Muktar Mai, have no access to the media and are silenced. In countries like Pakistan where access to education is limited, where extremist groups such as the backward Taliban and other tribal systems exist, the law is not followed and girls and women continue to be severely abused.
Tribal and extremist groups ban education because they don’t want to educate their own people, they want to keep them ignorant in order to use them for their own purposes. They want their “serfs” to work for them on the land. Schools and hospitals in these areas are limited or don’t exist. Whenever the government sends doctors or teachers to these rural communities, they force the doctors and teachers away.
When a country defines honor as something between the legs of a woman (a very perverse idea, indeed), these kind of atrocities against women will continue to exist. Only psychologically sick, ignorant and perverted men would allow such atrocities to continue to exist. Unfortunately in Pakistan, these types of crimes against women are not rare.
The Pakistan government ought to move into the 21st century and recognize that tribal violence against women is a very serious human rights abuse. Feudalism ended in Europe about 1500. That was more than 600 years ago. It is time to come into the 21st century and end this sickness and perversity in Pakistan. Last time we looked at the calendar, it was 2011.