Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Hijab: License to Rape


I had a rather late epiphany the other day: The hijab—the various wraps and veils of clothing meant to cover the “walking vagina” (the hawra) in public—was developed as a way to mark out the non-Muslim women for Muslim men to help them identify which women are permissible to rape.

We who have been schooling ourselves in Islamic literacy know that this goes on in a de facto sense in, for example, the
banlieues of Paris and other French cities: in those largely Islamic ghetto areas, non-Muslim women, when they go out of the house, have taken to wearing some form of hijab in order to avoid getting gang-raped by Muslim men in the neighborhood.

I had not, however, put two and two together until my recent epiphany.
This function of the hijab is not merely an expedient or some accidental by-product: it is its very essence: precisely to mark out that class of women that it is permissible to rape. The women wearing the hijab are protected (at least in theory), while the women not wearing it become fair game. The hijab is not merely a way Islam has devised to control the sexual depravity of Muslim men and thus protect Muslim women: it is also, and more importantly, a way to redirect that sexual depravity and satisfy it with a permissible object: the non-Muslim hawra.

The divine permission to rape is enshrined, among other places, in Koran 4:24, where God tells Muslim men which women are forbidden to be fucked and which are permitted to be fucked—and among the latter category are women owned by Muslim men—i.e., taken as slaves in battles against enemies.

One assumes that Islamic law over ensuing time has endowed that category with flexibility such that any non-Muslim women in any circumstance, whether in the Dar-al-Islam or in the Dar-al-Harb, are considered as enemy property rightfully owned by Muslim men, whether or not the men have acquired the maximum power, through jihad conquest, to be able to enslave them proudly and conspicuously.

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