In Morocco, rape victims aren’t people.

A sixteen year old girl in Morocco has killed herself. During the last days of her life she was beaten and starved after being forcibly married to the man who raped her, a marriage she was forced into by a judge acting in accordance with the law of the land. This is the 21st century, and a judge forced a teenage girl to marry her attacker, and did it lawfully.

Nothing about this makes sense to me. I can’t understand how her parents could be talked into this, I can’t understand why a judge would order it, I can’t understand why a court would recommend it, I can’t understand why it’s an actual part of any law that a man could avoid prosecution for rape by marrying his victim, I can’t understand how anybody could ever think it’s a good idea in the first place. I can only assume the law was written by serial rapists who knew they’d eventually get caught, it’s the only way I can imagine that happening.

According to the newspaper, this type of forced marriage is rooted in local rural traditions to safeguard the honor of girls who are raped.

What the hell does that even mean, to “safeguard the honor”? If I club that judge in the knee can I dodge prosecution by forcing him into a legal contract that gives me power over him, allowing me to club him more if I like? How does it make sense, what is the reasoning behind it?

“You break it, you buy it.”

I wrote a little about objectification the other day, and here’s a fine example. Amina al-Filali wasn’t treated as a human being who’d been wronged, but a damaged item of merchandise. She wasn’t offered safety or compassion or justice, she had her choices taken away, her future decided by others for their own convenience, she was thrown into a situation where it was plainly obvious to anyone that she would be abused & mistreated at best. Given the circumstances it’s really not surprising how she chose to exercise the last scraps of power left to her.

I think at this point I’ve already said every single thing I know about her. I don’t know what hopes or dreams she had or what her laugh sounded like or what color her eyes were. She was just a kid and she had everything taken away from her so that a rapist could avoid prosecution for his crime. A crime he committed against her.

This goes way beyond blaming the victim, this is dehumanizing the victim and punishing her for crimes committed against her. It’s putting her into the power of one who has hurt her before and has no incentive not to hurt her again. It’s monstrous and I cannot believe that anybody would order this of someone they considered a human being. All of Morocco should be up in arms about this, all of humanity should be ashamed of it.

She was 16.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on March 16, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This isn’t new. I’ve been reading many stories like this but this is the big one to hit the mainstream media. In Pakistan men rape girls who are in the Christian minority then they are jailed and, to be released, must marry the rapist and convert to Islam.

    • Oh, it isn’t new? Well, that’s alright then.

      Seriously, what a pointless, asinine thing to say. Of course it isn’t new. It’s actually codified as law in the old testament book Deuteronomy, which is generally believed to have been written between 650 and 600 BC.

      People need to speak out against this sort of thing whenever and wherever it happens, every single time, until it is gone completely. It’s a shame it took so long to get mainstream attention but since it has let’s give it more attention than Moroccan lawmakers can handle!

      Do you have links for any specific incidents in Pakistan? I’d be happy to call them out too.

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