Afghanistan’s President Enacts Pro-Rape and Pedophilia Law

Slap this man for me.

Amidst all the modestly reported good news from the G20was word that the Afghan president has ratified laws for the Shia population allowing the marriage of children and spousal rape.

The Times reports that “A leaked copy of the laws obtained by The Times details new strictures for Afghanistan’s Shia minority. Women are banned from leaving the home without permission. A wife has the absolute duty to provide sexual services to her husband, and child marriage is legalised”.

President Karzai claims that he passed the legislation to secure the conservative, Islamist vote in the upcoming elections. The Times points out that the 20% of the population that is Shia is actually fairly moderate, it’s their religious leaders who promote such extremism, and are, apparently, responsible for how their flocks vote.

It’s nauseating that after such a promising beginning freeing women from the torturous strictures and punishments of Taliban rule, that rape, exploitation, and paedophilia are suddenly a worthwhile price to pay for continuing to hold office.

In a surprise moral stand from the conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose presence at the G20 summit was generally ignored (at least in the British papers), he “said he was troubled by the law and would lobby other leaders to support him in seeking to have it repealed. “This is antithetical to our mission in Afghanistan,” and his Trade minister threatened a withdrawal of support if it were not struck down.

Other governments best follow suit. It is one thing to acknowledge that Afghanistan has a conservative culture oppressive to women due to the Taliban rule and years of bizarre religious practice, it is quite another to legitimize such behaviour by creating a law binding women to allow themselves to be raped and imprisoned in their own homes. This is the sort of thing that the society should be moving away from as the government protects women and children so that a more egalitarian society can evolve.

A society where children are allowed to mature before marrying (not to mention having a choice in whether or not to do so, and to whom), where rape isn’t assumed as par for the course in a marriage, and where exploitative and abusive religious practices result in prosecution for the rapist or paedophile, rather than their victim.

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