Friday, 27 October 2006

Rape-bait without the veil

Religious discordant

Religious leaders have always used analogies, parables and allegories to convey spiritual thought and teaching in ways to help their adherents understand truths that can be personally applied.

Just as we are reviewing the commentary about the veil and integration an alternative view has appeared about the veil and ingratiation.

The main point itself is about the veil and how that relates to societies in which people are either forced or elect to wear the veil.

Concern or prejudice?

The Mufti of Australia, the most senior Muslim cleric had given a sermon during the pious month of Ramadan where he contended that women who do not wear the veil dishonour themselves.

That is an opinion, albeit held by a religious leader with a following; does this imply that the leader is engaging his listeners to impose the authority to ensure that women do not dishonour themselves?

However, to then go on and say that without the veil, women become ready prey for scavenging and hungry predators – in fact – this is the quote – “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside... and the cats come and eat it... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat?” Read …

Outrageous views of those not integrated

Breaking it down, the leader is saying the uncovered women are as uncovered meat and men taking sexual advantage are like cats drawn to meat.

I cannot imagine that any religious leader would make a statement like this in the 21st Century, more so, a religious leader who has been in this position in a Western country since 1989. The fact that he is a Muslim is really beside the point.

Any leader should temper his views with reasoned logic and context, taking note of the message that could be imparted to possibly impressionable followers.

A broad fallacy of flawed logic

The leader obviously identified in his thinking what might be sexual provocation through undress, bodily adornment and accentuated feminine gaits – however, that does not absolve observers from restraining themselves and preventing the situation where lust hunger and lasciviousness get the better of their civility.

What this leader portends is that men cannot be held responsible for committing rapes predicated on the sexual attraction of the victim – we cannot have a society where rape is right for any reason regardless of the circumstances – in this – the leader was utterly remiss and should not only attract opprobrium but condemnation and ridicule from all quarters.

This statement not only denigrates women, it belittles men and offloads responsibility for personal attitudes and conduct to externalised stimuli – I am not sure an apology would suffice for what might just be inciting to rape.

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