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Friday, November 17, 2006

Pakistan Tries to Change Its Rape Laws; Extremist Muslims Scream And Walk Out

In the Islamic world, if you are a woman, you are subject to rape, and if you are raped the law blames you, not the man, and punishes the woman. God help you if you can prove you were raped.

Pakistan is trying to amend the laws which say that a woman must have 4 witnesses to the rape to bring them into modern times. Extremist Muslims, however, who are happy with subjugating women to the point of slavery, are pissed to hell. They walked out of the Pakistani Parliament.

Pakistan to amend rape laws

Pakistan lawmakers passed amendments to the country's contentious rape laws, making it easier for victims to prosecute their attackers, and dropping the death penalty and flogging as punishments for extramarital sex.

Islamist fundamentalists, however, were furious and stormed out of parliament in protest at Wednesday's vote.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf applauded the lawmakers and said it was necessary to amend the "unjust rape laws" in order to protect women.

The changes, which must still be approved by the Senate, give judges discretion to try rape cases in a criminal rather than Islamic court, where women have to present at least four witnesses for a conviction. Musharraf urged the Senate to pass the Protection of Women Bill within days.

The new legislation comes amid Musharraf's efforts to soften the country's hard-line Islamic image.

The amendments won cautious support from human rights activists, but they urged the government to take bolder steps and scrap the law, known as the Hudood Ordinance.

Pro-Islamic lawmakers, however, threatened to block the bill's passage in the Senate.

"We reject it," Maulana Fazlur Rahman, a top Islamist opposition leader, told reporters after the vote, which he described as a "dark day" in Pakistan's parliamentary history.

Strict Islamic laws dictate that a woman who claims rape must produce four witnesses in court, making a trial of the alleged rapist almost impossible because such attacks rarely happen in public. Those who admit that sex took place outside of marriage but cannot prove it was rape risk being charged with adultery.

Under the changes, consensual sex outside of marriage is still considered a crime, but punishable by five years in jail or a 10,000 rupees (US$165; euro129) fine instead of death or flogging, said a parliamentary official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Hina Jillani, a top female Pakistani human rights activist, said the government was moving in the right direction, but had not gone far enough. "We wanted a total repeal of the 1979 rape law, but the government has not done it."

The thugs of Islam say that any changes making women human is "Un-Islamic."

Well, there you go, folks: just a small view of what awaits women when Islam tries to take over the world. Nice, ain't it?

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