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This article was originally submitted by Dr Mahnoor Mohydin
Just in the beginning of this year, when the Aurat March Movement had taken a bold initiative to raise awareness and a voice against rape culture, we all had very different views about standing up for our rights.
Some of us resented the concept behind it, some supported the cause and went all out to participate and yet there were some of us, ‘the middle pathway people’ who believed there should be a platform for equal opportunities but though the bad translation of the slogans lead the movement to get controversial publicity that took away the main purpose of the effort. So, we thought let’s play safe and said ‘mera tahaffuz mera deen hai’. I was one of these people. We seemed to be satisfied with our take and approach towards the situation.
Just 6 months after and here I am questioning, ‘Mera Deen mera Tahafuz tha, Kaha hai mera Deen?’
I live in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A country based on the ideology of having a place that will become like Riyasat-e-Madina.
A place where Muslims can be Muslims. A place where we can lead our lives according to Islam. A place where our integrity isn’t harmed like it was before and during the events of partition. We’ve heard of countless sacrifices of our mothers and daughters for this separate homeland and yet we fail to protect them even when they are in the home that was supposed to be their protection. Has Pakistan not achieved the purpose for what it was built for?
I sit here wondering that it would take a Rape of a Mother for the nation to realize that they were wrong in not taking action. Yet, there are still those in power who seem indifferent about it.
My father once said to me, ‘Generally there is more good in this world. But the bad get together and have the strength to overpower the good. Just like in a class of let’s say 100 students, 92 will be disciplined and doing their work but the 8 will get together and disrupt the whole class. They’ll have the whole class in their grasp. Where we go wrong is that we don’t realize the power of unity.’
This makes me think, that the power of collaborative effort should not be thought that it’s ineffective.
We need to keep trying and stay strong. If bad can stay united and overshadow, then imagine what the unity of good can bring.
We all mutually agree that the CCOP officer really doesn’t know how to handle and bring order. Unfortunately, though there are people out there who think like him. For those of you who think that it’s the woman’s fault, take a pause and think again.
In a classroom, if there’s a naughty child and is up to something. The teacher finds out and starts showing an out of proportion reaction. Starts physically abusing the child and maiming.
Will you say the child deserved it?
Yes, the child maybe at fault but that does not mean that for that fault he will be punished the way the teacher behaves.
Same goes for in this story. Yes, the woman did not get petrol in the car. Maybe she thought that she’ll get fuel on the motorway as we all know that there are fuel stations on this route or one can also detour and fuel up. The point to understand is that she may have her mistakes, but by no means do her mistakes mean that she can be raped.
This is not just about the motorway incident. It’s about all those times, people turn around and say ‘Ya tou hona hi tha’ or start blaming a girl’s clothing or her so-called ‘lack of not taking precautions’.
We all take precautions. Point is whatever we are capable of doing. Each one of us, in our capacities take the necessary steps. No one wants to be violated.
It’s high time that we stop finding reasons to cover up the crime and make it easy for the criminal. When someone robes your house, you don’t say ‘Chori honi hi thi’.
Chor, Chor hi hota hai aur usay pakarna hota hai.
Our headache at the moment is not to think how effective action will be. If this will decrease or not.
Crime may keep happening but when the justice system dies, you give a growth medium for crime to breed in and that’s the worst form of all crime.
Justice has to be served and it has to be shown. Justice not seen, is a justice not served.
I would like to quote my father as I end this, ‘If action is not taken, then the first two words of this country’s name should be removed. We are not the Islamic Republic if we don’t give 100 lashes to these culprits. So many sahaba’s even lost their kids to this punishment. As one narration recounts, one person died after 60 lashes and the rest of stoning was done on his grave. Hanging is another thing but the idea of the lashes is to make the offender know how he tormented the victim. So, he knows what crime he has done’.
We don’t need to live by Zia’s interpretation of what being the Islamic Republic of Pakistan means. Let’s learn from our mistakes in bringing reform from both previous military and political regimes.
Set forward the true spirit of Islamic Adalat and resurrection of Insaf.
We want the like of that age and land, where a woman could safely travel alone from Madina to Makkah. Confidant in the regulation of the State that she was entrusted to, that she will be unharmed and safe.