For nearly three weeks now I have been writing my blog posts about sexual harassment and rape, of course focusing on India but including some general points as well. Even though I already wrote a full post about how clothes are never the reason for rape, there were surprisingly many people who still said that women make it difficult for men to control themselves by dressing in a revealing way. Today I want to give you a counter-example for this theory: rape also happens to women who wear a burka!
Yes, this is a fact. The religion of Islam has followed the stupid thought that it could be the victim’s fault that she got raped in the first place and they imposed this horrible piece of clothing on their women. Muslim women are not allowed to show most or any of their body parts, depending on how strict – or fanatic – their family is in their religious views. Showing their hair, their regular clothing, their hands or even their face and eyes could arouse a man and get him to rape them. This curtain-like, unshaped thing is thus presented as a form of protection.
When we were in Lucknow, a city with a relatively high Muslim population, I saw a girl of maybe ten years wearing a burka. To me it seemed inhuman, as if they have put this child in prison. It is an expression of a sick society and culture, in my eyes. The basic thought behind the burka suggests that men cannot control their sexual desire when seeing a woman. Also when seeing a ten-year old? Are men really so unable to control themselves? I cannot help my feeling, even though I know that this girl won’t feel like this and neither would her mother or sister. I know that her community won’t go that deep with their thoughts in daily life but to me it looks hard and it makes me question religion in general and particularly this one once again.
It lacks complete logic, in my eyes, to first make women wear a burka, telling them it will protect them of men and then making them responsible for getting raped. Some people argue that there are very few rape cases in Muslim communities and countries. Well, in countries that follow the Sharia law of Islam, a woman still needs to prove that she was raped by providing four male witnesses that confirm they have seen her getting raped without it being her fault! Why would a woman report a rape? Families, men and women alike, want to hide rape when it happened – shame, dishonor and then even punishment are the consequences for a woman who was violated in one of the worst possible ways.
No, your clothes cannot be the reason for getting raped and covering a woman from head to toe in a black cloth does not protect her, it makes it worse.
Yes, I know that many Muslim women say their burka makes them feel safe. The question is however why do these women feel unsafe without it? The reason is simple: it is your fault, the fault of those sick-minded religious men who openly state that they cannot control a sexual urge even if the female being in front of you is a minor, a child, a six-year old girl!
Call me intolerant towards religious customs if you like but as long as things are like this, I will remain on my point: if a religion asks women to cover themselves in order to avoid sexual harassment and rape, it is wrong, it stays wrong and that religion will always be wrong.