KARACHI, PAKISTAN — Kainat Soomro is a 17-year-old Pakistani girl who has become a local celebrity of sorts in her battle for justice in the Pakistani courts, a daring move for a woman of any age in this country, let alone a teenager.
She is fighting to get justice for a gang rape that she insists happened four years ago in Mehar, a small town in Pakistan.
We first met her in the office of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. A colorful traditional Pakistani shawl covered her head. Her father sat next to her as she recounted the 2007 incident.
“I was walking home from my school and I went to the store to buy a toy for my niece,” she said, staring at the floor of the office. “While I was looking at things a guy pressed a handkerchief on my nose. I fainted and was kidnapped. Then four men gang raped me.”
As she shared details of her days in captivity and multiple rapes, she kept repeating, “I want justice, I will not stop until I get justice.” After three days, she was finally able to escape she said. As she spoke, her father gently tapped her head. He said he tried to get Kainat’s alleged rapists arrested, but instead he was rebuffed by the police.
According to the Kainat family’s account, the tribal elders declared her kari, (which literally means black female), for losing her virginity outside marriage.
In Pakistan, women and men who have illicit relationships or women who lose their virginity before marriage are at risk of paying with their lives.
“These are matters of honor and the leaders call a jirga and they declare that the woman or the couple should be killed,” said Abdul Hai, a veteran field officer for the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan. These acts of violence are most commonly labeled as “honor killings.”
The most recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan noted that in 2009 roughly 46 percent of all female murders in Pakistan that year were in the name of “honor.” The report noted that a total of 647 incidences of “honor killings” were reported by the Pakistani press. However, experts say that actual incidences of “honor killings” in Pakistan are much higher and never get reported to the police because they are passed off by the families as suicides.
Kainat said that despite the pressures her family refused to kill her.
“It is the tradition, but if the family doesn’t permit it, then it won’t happen. My father, my brother, my mom didn’t allow it,” she said.
And that defiance has left the family fearing for their lives. The family’s new home in Karachi has been attacked a number of times.
But, according to Abdul Hai, Kainat is lucky: “The woman or the girl usually gets killed and the man gets away,” he said. “Over 70 percent of the murdered victims are women and only 30 percent of victims of honor killings are male.”
In Karachi, Kainat and her family are now sharing one room in a run-down apartment block, and they have to rely on charities to help them pay for food.
“We go hungry many nights,” said Kainat’s older sister.
But their fight might never pay off. A local judge has already ruled against Kainat in the case. “There is no corroborative evidence available on record. The sole testimony of the alleged rape survivor is not sufficient,” the judge said in a written decision.
Another problem is that material evidence is usually not collected in rape cases in Pakistan since the police rarely believe rape victims and therefore don’t order rape kits in a timely manner.
Without medical tests to corroborate her story, it remains Kainat’s word against the alleged rapists. But even having lost her case at the local court, Kainat insists, “I am not giving up, I will take this all the way to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
THE BIBLE: IMMORAL AND IRRATIONAL
Wayne Everett Orgar
Last year I sent a letter to a church elder that I have been corresponding with. Some excerpts from this letter are as follows:
“I’m not sure why you quote the Bible to me. No other book has caused more confusion and needless suffering among nations. The thinker has to reject the Bible as nonsense if considered in its entirety and in context. Examine the three versions of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, 34 and Deuteronomy 5). Exodus 34 is very different from the other two. How could a god forget its own commandments? No super-intelligent being would allow such errors in its holy book. Exodus 34 is the only version that says it is the Ten Commandments in text (Exodus 34:28 KJV). Christians don’t quote this version. They probably don’t know it exists and it reads like embarrassing nonsense.***
I remember the story of the devil taking Jesus up on a mountain to see all the kingdoms of the world to tempt him (Matthew 4:8-9). No such mountain is possible, given that the earth is a sphere! This would only work on a small, flat Earth. Of course, since Christians believe that Jesus was god, this temptation would be absurd. A god would already own the kingdoms of earth. The devil would obviously know this. Add to this the belief in the supernatural nature of the devil and Jesus and it becomes apparent that it would have been entirely unnecessary to go up on a mountain to see anything on earth. This story is irrational even if you don’t believe it literally.
Let’s be analytical about the alleged Jesus cursing a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14) because it didn’t bear fruit when he was hungry. Why did he not know that it wasn’t the season for fig trees to bear fruit? He was god, he was supposed to know all things. Why make the tree wither? This would highly irrational behavior for a god or a human.
Take a look at II Kings 2:23-24 (KJV). The context is a story of Elisha (not a parable or an example of what is not appropriate punishment) being teased by 42 children. The god sends two bears to kill (tare/devour) the kids. All kids tease and so do adults. No one deserves death for teasing, no matter how impolite it is. This is not an example of justice and morality. This is not the behavior of a rational, loving god. Why not just ground the kids for a week or make them wash Elisha’s feet for a month?
Flip back to Leviticus 21:16-24 (KJV). The context is god, telling Moses, to tell Aaron who can’t approach the altar in the sanctuary. This is one of the most despicable passages in the Bible. It essentially trashes people with disabilities and disfigurement and says that they are a “profanity”. Maybe I’m sensitive since I have spent a good deal of my life helping people with disabilities. This language is not loving, moral, or rational in any context.”
If these words were written in any other religious book, would you respect that book? Why respect the Bible? I could write much more about the many vulgar, irrational, and immoral passages in the Bible. However, it is up to the believer to read the Bible for himself or herself and discover what this book really says. After all, if you are claiming that this book gives you meaning in life, you’d better know what it really says.
When I was young, I was led around these passages. This is the way that young people are brainwashed. Once they believe, it is almost impossible for them to face the truth in adulthood. It is too difficult emotionally. I have found that when Christians are confronted with such passages, they become angry and attempt save face with weak excuses about the Bible containing good passages also. Nothing excuses the thinking demonstrated in the above passages.
I am still waiting for a response to my letter. What could the elder say to defend such language? What would you say to me?
***HINT, 11/25/2000 – Almost any public library has the information that can explain to you why this glaring contradiction exists. Find a book written in the past 10 to 15 years that summarizes the past 1000 years of Bible scholarship. Read for yourself what we have learned about the many people who wrote the Bible, when they wrote it, and why. Your life will not be the same.
For some reason, pro-life Christians think their God is against abortion and baby-killing. I don’t get it! There are lots of examples to the contrary in the Bible. I mean, who has killed more babies than the Christian God? Have you read these passages?
Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
Exodus 12:29 “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt…”
2 Samuel 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
Isaiah 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Isaiah 13:18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
I ask you… How can Christians carry that book around and swear by it’s contents, but have absolutely no fucking idea what it says? Amazing!!!
Just because it’s fucked up to deny the right of a child to live doesn’t mean that your god thinks the same way.
First, he says:
Exodus 20:13 (New King James Version)
****See footnote below this post)****
13 “You shall not murder.
And then contradicts himself:
Ezekiel 9:5-7 (New King James Version)
5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.
Isaiah 13:15-18 (New King James Version)
15 Everyone who is found will be thrust through,
And everyone who is captured will fall by the sword.
16 Their children also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished.
17 “ Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,
Who will not regard silver;
And as for gold, they will not delight in it.
18 Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces,
And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not spare children.
1 Samuel 15:2-3 (New King James Version)
2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
Hosea 13:16 (New King James Version)
16 Samaria is held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They shall fall by the sword,
Their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
And their women with child ripped open.
Numbers 5:17-21 (New King James Version)
17 The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 Then the priest shall stand the woman before the LORD, uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 And the priest shall put her under oath, and say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you, and if you have not gone astray to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be free from this bitter water that brings a curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, and if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has lain with you”— 21 then the priest shall put the woman under the oath of the curse, and he shall say to the woman—“the LORD make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the LORD makes your thigh rot and your belly swell;
And with all that said, why NOT help send the little ones to your sick, depraved god’s domain?
Just look at them…
HOW could you follow a god that ordered people to massacre these precious little things? Is this what a “loving” god would tolerate and allow to happen?
Think — For Yourself.
****The New King James Version replaced “kill” (from the King James Version) with “murder.”****
Exodus 20:13 (King James Version)
13Thou shalt not kill.
CARRIE Prejean isn’t the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage. Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials, Fox News reported.
“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ms Ashley told Fox News.
“In Leviticus it says: ‘If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.’
“The Bible is pretty black and white
“I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone.
“If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that’s a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.”
Ms Ashley, 23, will be representing Beverly Hills in the Miss California pageant in November.
Her statements mirror former Miss California Carrie Prejean’s answer to a question about same-sex marriage in last year’s Miss USA pageant.
At the time, Ms Prejean said her answer opposing same sex marriage cost her the title.
But with the Miss California Pageant still months away, and Ms Ashley already echoing the views that got Ms Prejean in trouble last year, is she concerned that she may ruin her chances of taking home the tiara?
“That isn’t really the issue,” she said.
“I have a lot of friends that are gay, and … I have a lot of friends who have different views, and we share our views together.
“There’s no hate between me and anyone.”
And according to the Miss California state director, Keith Lewis, a contestant’s personal opinion should have no bearing on the result.
“The Miss California USA system has always had a place for an individual’s thoughts and opinions when it comes to all sides of political issues,” Mr Lewis told Pop Tarts.
“It is an organisation which empowers women, and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.”
Mohyeldeen Mohammad, who held the main speech in the muslim demonstration against Dagbladet (the newspaper that recently reprinted one of the Mohammed cartoons) last friday, tells Klassekampen (a left-wing newspaper) that gays must be killed.
Mohammad explains that he supports the islamistic al-Shabaab rebels in Somalia, who recently stoned a man to death.
– To my knowledge, that person was a homosexual, and that’s the punishment he deserves. That’s the point of view every muslim is forced to have through his religion, says the 24-year old from Larvik (a town about 2 hours south of Oslo) to Klassekampen.
Mohyeldeen Mohammad has a his roots in Iraq, and currently studies in Medina, Saudi-Arabia.
When asked about why he demonstrated against Dagbladet after saying that muslims don’t have to participate in the Norwegian democracy, he replies:
– The demonstration was a legal way to respond to the attack. In other countries we would have used other methods. Democracy has no place in Islam, because Islam forbids man-made laws. The only one who can create laws is Allah.
He then goes on to reject that a society based on sharia is a dictatorship.
– Sharia is not a dictatorship. It’s the best and most just laws. But today, no countries are ruled by God’s laws. Those who claim to rule according to sharia don’t.
Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an “honour” killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys.
The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre hole dug under a chicken pen outside her home in Kahta, in the south-eastern province of Adiyaman.
Police made the discovery in December after a tip-off from an informant, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported on its website.
The girl had previously been reported missing.
The informant told the police she had been killed following a family “council” meeting.
Her father and grandfather are said to have been arrested and held in custody pending trial. It is unclear whether they have been charged. The girl’s mother was arrested but was later released.
Media reports said the father had told relatives he was unhappy that his daughter – one of nine children – had male friends. The grandfather is said to have beaten her for having relations with the opposite sex.
A postmortem examination revealed large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she had been alive and conscious while being buried. Her body showed no signs of bruising.
The discovery will reopen the emotive debate in Turkey about “honour” killings, which are particularly prevalent in the impoverished south-east.
Official figures have indicated that more than 200 such killings take place each year, accounting for around half of all murders in Turkey.
An Ohio teenager says she ran away from home to Florida because her family threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity, local media reported.
Rifqa Bary, 17, testified Monday at a custody hearing in Orlando that she’d recently changed religions and is worried her relatives will do something drastic, according to WFTV in Orlando and Central Florida News 13.
“They have to kill me because I’m a Christian. It’s an honor (issue),” the girl told WFTV.
Such threats are common, even in the United States, her attorney, Rosa Gonzalez, told News 13.
“She says her life is in danger and she could be killed in an honor killing,” Gonzalez said after the hearing — which was held because the teenager’s parents are trying to regain custody of her.
Rifqa, a non-citizen whose parents are from Sri Lanka, has for several weeks been staying with an Orlando couple who are pastors of a new Christian church there. She met them on a Facebook prayer group.
Her father denied his daughter’s allegations to NBC 4 in Orlando, saying he never threatened to kill his daughter because she rejected Islam.
He was in Florida for a court hearing, but was reportedly traveling back to Ohio Tuesday.
The Florida Department of Children and Families currently has custody of her, but ultimately, Ohio authorities will decide where the teen should live.
Thanks to J.T. Hundley for this one.