I actually wrote this post a few years ago, but never published it, knowing the backlash I’ll probably get. Here it is anyway.
I was talking to a young liberal acquaintance of mine about what she wants to do with her life. She said she wanted to study abroad. I was responding politely when she suddenly mentioned that she will possibly study in Dubai.
“You heard about the Norwegian tourist who went do Dubai, didn’t you?” I asked. I’d mentally debated whether or not I should say anything, and decided to mention it out of a feeling of responsibility towards my (apparently very naive) friend. She answered that she had not heard about the tourist. So I filled her in.
A Norwegian woman went to Dubai on vacation and was raped. When she reported it to the authorities, she was thrown into jail. (For more details, see this article on BBC News)
My friend’s reaction?
“Well, I’m going as a student, so that’s different.”
Right. I’m sure the rapists will stop to ask you what kind of visa you have.
“I don’t know about their culture, about their beliefs.”
You know enough to know that rape is wrong. If this had happened in Texas, you’d be cussing out Republicans, petitioning Congress, and leading protests. And well you should! Because what happened to this woman is a heinous crime! But, because this happened in a predominantly Muslim country, apparently it’s okay. We just have to understand their culture and beliefs.
“I wouldn’t go to any country without learning about their culture.”
I’m sure the rapists will stop to ask you how much you know about Islam.
The verdict is in. Apparently, rape is okay if it’s part of your beliefs and/or culture. Or, maybe, if we “understood” more about Islam, somehow incidents like this wouldn’t happen.
That would be because no non-Muslim would ever travel to a Muslim country.
Not to mention that this is implying the Norwegian woman was raped because she didn’t understand the culture. That sure sounds a lot like the “blaming the victim” thing that liberals supposedly don’t like.
Before anyone decides to call me a bigot (too late), I’ll say this: of course not all Muslims are rapists. Nevertheless, the United Arab Emirates is ruled by a monarchy with law based on Sharia. Perhaps that has something do with Marteh Deborah Dalalv’s experience? No western country would throw a woman in jail for being raped. Sounds like Sharia law allows rapists to get away with their evil acts.
Pretending Ms. Dalelv’s experience doesn’t matter helps no one. Not Muslims who are good, decent people, and not innocent women. Throwing a woman into jail for being raped is not okay. It’s so far from okay that I’m surprised anyone could act as nonchalantly about it as my friend did.
My point isn’t to say that Islam is bad. Many Muslims are perfectly nice people, just trying to live their lives like the rest of us. My point is that institutionalized Sharia law is a problem, particularly when it comes to how it treats women and crimes against them, and yet a typical liberal response is to pretend this isn’t a problem for the sake of not appearing “inclusive” and “tolerant.”
I’m sure I’ll get called many names for this post, but it needed to be said.
- Lip Magazine: sharia law, UAE, and Woman’s Rights” (blog post)
- Article from Mondaq on Sharia Law
- CIA World Fact Book on UAE
- Human Rights Watch profile on UAE