IN ISLAM A WOMAN NEEDS FOUR MALE WITNESSES TO VALIDATE RAPE CLAIMS

By Serwaa Ampaafo

Photo: wiki

Sharia is the law of Islam. The sharia law is cast from the words of Muhammad called “Hadith” his actions called “Sunnah” and the Quran which he dictated.

As a legal system, the Sharia law is exceptionally broad. While legal codes regulate  public behavior, the sharia law regulates public behavior, private behavior and even private beliefs. 

Compared to other legal codes, the sharia law also prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation and favors corporal and capital punishment over incarceration. 

 

Of all legal systems in the world today, Shariah law is the most intrusive and restrictive especially against women.

Briefly lets look at sharia’s stance on rape according to the Quran as dictated by Muhammad the prophet of Allah:

Quran (24:13) –  It states that “Why did they not bring four witnesses of it? But as they have not brought witnesses they are liars before Allah.”

This verse requires corroborating testimonies from 4 male witnesses to prove the rape of a girl or a woman.

Quran (2:282) – Establishes that a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s in court.

Quran (2:223) – “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will…”   There is no such thing as rape in marriage, as a man is permitted unrestricted sexual access to his wife/wives.

Under Islamic law, rape can only be proven if the rapist confesses or if there are four male witnesses.  Women who allege rape without the benefit of the act having been witnessed by four men are actually confessing to having sex.  If they or the accused happens to be married, then it is considered to be adultery. 

Islamic law rejects forensic evidence such as DNA in favor of testimony.  An interesting situation thus sometimes develops in cases where a victim alleges rape but the man denies that sex even took place.  

In the absence of four male witnesses, rape cannot be proven. The presence of the man’s semen on the woman does not prove that rape has taken place. That may have happened with her consent. It may be that she is claiming that he raped her because of an argument between them, so that he will be punished or in order to blackmail him. So this is not proof that the crime of rape has taken place, nor is it proof that the crime of zina has taken place. 

According to Sharia it is possible that no real intercourse took place, but the semen entered her vagina or she put it there herself. The possibilities are many and according to sharee‘ah, hadd punishments cannot be imposed on the basis of possibilities; rather it must be on the basis of proof hence the requirement of 4 male witnesses.

The woman’s testimony then becomes a “confession” of adultery.  She can even be stoned, even though the male is unpunished since he never admitted to a sexual act. 

Some clerics even blame  rape on the woman. Australian Sheik Feiz recently  said a rape victim “has no one to blame but herself.  She displayed her beauty to the entire world… to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature.”  Even his successor, who was brought in to mitigate the backlash, compared unveiled women to “sweet pastries,” tempting ‘hungry’ men.

One of the world’s most respected Sunni scholars, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, told an audience on his al-Jazeera television show in 2004 that “to be absolved from guilt, the raped woman must have shown some sort of good conduct.”

When it came to light in 2016 that a 13-year-old British girl had been abused by a dozen Pakistani rapists, certain members of the Muslim community said they believed the victim “played her part.” 

There can also be no such thing as rape in a Muslim marriage, even if the husband hits the wife in order to bring about her submission.  Another recent fatwa reminds a woman, she “does not have the right to refuse her husband, rather she must respond to his request every time he calls her.” (Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 33597).

In conclusion, Presented with these can we say Islam abuses woman by endorsing rape through the establishment of the code of  four male witnesses needed to attest rape corroborated by comments from known Islamic scholars/clerics? 

Since it is also  incredibly unlikely that a child molester will violate his victim in front of “four trustworthy men”, can one say Sharia amounts to a free pass for sexual predators?

 

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