A bed of dust and soil 5

Islam punishes the crime of being raped with death.

This picture and the text are from the Clarion Project.

Afghanistan-Girl-IP

 

A 10-year girl in Afghanistan is in danger of being honor-killed by her family after being violently raped by a mullah in a local mosque after her Quran class. After the family openly talked about killing the girl, the mullah offered to marry her, claiming to the authorities that he thought the girl was 17 and that the sex was consensual.

After nearly dying from her injuries sustained during the rape due to a delay in medical care, “Women for Afghan Women”,  a shelter for battered women and children, arranged for the girl to be taken to a hospital. Her injuries included a severing of the wall between her vagina and rectum that caused hemorrhaging.

After her recovery, she was taken to a women’s shelter to protect her from her family.

Pictures taken of the girl to document the case show a small, pre-pubescent child whose weight at the time was about 40 pounds (about 18 kilos), according to the doctor.

Last week, the police were given orders to return the girl to her family, despite the fact that she will most likely be killed. Tuesday, the police entered the shelter and took the girl.

“I went to the hospital when they brought her there. I was sitting next to her bed when I overheard her mother and aunt saying that her father was under tremendous pressure by the villagers to kill the girl because she had brought shame to them,” said Nederah Geyah, who is the head of the women’s affairs office in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Yes, there is, or has been, a “women’s affairs office” in Kunduz.

Honor killings of girls who have been raped are common in Afghanistan, as family members believe that the raped girl brings shame to the family. Moreover, a girl who has been raped is considered not fit to be married and therefore must be supported by her family.

Dr. Hassina Sarwari, who is head of the shelter and a pediatrician, said when she arrived at the hospital to take the girl to the shelter, she encounter a large group of elders from the girl’s village. The group included male members of the girl’s family – her father, her brothers and an uncle.

Once inside, she met the girl’s aunt, who told the doctor she had been told by her husband to smuggle the girl out of the hospital and deposit her into the hands of the family outside.

“She said they wanted to take her and kill her, and dump her in the river,” Dr. Sarwari said.

The doctor made her way to the girl’s room, where she found the girl and her mother holding hands and crying.

Did the mother wish to save her daughter?  Not at all.

Dr. Sarwari remembers the mother’s words: “My daughter, may dust and soil protect you now,” she said. “We will make you a bed of dust and soil. We will send you to the cemetery where you will be safe.”

With the help of Geyah, the girl was rescued from her family and placed in the shelter. Geyah also helped initiate legal proceedings against the mullah.

But that “women’s affairs office” is not very powerful or even effective.

After publicizing the case, both women[ Sarwari and Geyah] were threatened with death by the mullahs as well as the girl’s family.

A militia commander demanded that the doctor return the girl to her family or face the consequences.

At one point, Dr. Sarwari was forced to go into hiding. Geyah has since resigned her job and moved to a different part of the country. Dr. Sarwari has said she wants to leave the country altogether. …

Locals …  are angry at the shelter – not at the mullahs or the family. The shelter, which is one of seven in Afghanistan, is perceived as a tool of the Americans to destroy traditional Afghani culture.

The traditional culture, which Afghan men want at all costs to preserve, includes the brutal raping and consequent killing of ten-year-old girls.

The shelter  has been receiving American aid, but the funding will stop when the last of the Americans leave. The seven shelters for women and girls in Afghanistan will have to close. Then there will be nothing to impede traditional Islamic Afghan culture from doing its worst.