Sidi Ifni, Morocco - "Raping is a crime. But if the rapist and the victim agree to marry each other, the rapist will no longer be punished," said the minister of Justice. This is the statement the minister issued in an interview to describe Amina's case.
Sidi Ifni, Morocco – “Raping is a crime. But if the rapist and the victim agree to marry each other, the rapist will no longer be punished,” said the minister of Justice. This is the statement the minister issued in an interview to describe Amina’s case.
It is true that agreement on the part of the two sides makes marriage legal no matter what the circumstances are. But the point that the minister should have considered is that there are two kinds of couples: some people who choose to get married because they have to and those who marry because they like to. Amina and her rapist, unfortunately, belong to the former because they have no other choice but to escape dishonor and blame in the eyes of the society. And to escape that, marriage, for them, is the last resort.
According to Amina’s parents and other sources, their daughter was accosted by an adult in the street and raped by force, which means that she was not tempted into sexual intercourse. In this respect, the rapist alone is harshly to blame and to punish for his monstrous and inhumane act. But suppose the other way around turns out to be true. That is, if she was tempted by the rapist into sexual intercourse and did not evince any resistance, the blame falls on both, the rapist and the victim.
However, given the fact that the victim, Amina, didn’t turn sixteen yet when she was raped, she should not have been penalized for her act, for she was still a minor. Otherwise, according to the minister’s statement, this presupposes that any raped girl, be she as young as 13 or less, must marry the one she accepted to be raped by. And this humanely illogical and preposterous. So, whatever the case, the rapist can’t be forgiven, and the victim can’t bear the blame.
The minister adds that the crime of raping doesn’t deserve any punishment provided that the rapist, the victim, and their families agree upon marriage as a remedy to the scandal. For sure, this can put an end to the scandal for a short moment and calm down the the fury of the victim’s family. But, with time, raping will still proliferate, especially that rapists aren’t punished well enough for what they do to innocent girls. Quite the contrary, if any rapist, for instance, has fallen in love with a certain beautiful girl and wants to get married to her, all he has to do is pluck up some courage and rape her.
Once the girl is raped, she will have no other choice but to say yes to the rapist, and as is common in our culture, even the families will have to agree, too. Therefore, the abolition of punishment as suggested by the minister in the case of agreement on the part of the two families concerned will only add insult to injury. It’s mainly because the couples who agreed to get married didn’t do that of their will, but rather out of fear of losing face.
The judge whom the minister defended must already be well-versed in such matters, and must then be aware that when raping happens, the majority of Moroccans most of the time have recourse to marriage, not because they agree upon it at their will, but because the victims and their families feel that no one stands by them and supports them during this scandal, and in a desperate attempt not to lose their honor and respect in the vicinity of their neighborhood, they force their victims to get married. Yes, Amina and her rapist signed a marriage contract, but the minister in question should have asked himself why they did so rather than discuss their agreement.
In the interview, the justice minister went on to attribute Amina’s suicide to the topsy-turvy quarrels between her and her rapist in their married life. Regrettably, the minister forgot that the poor Amina complained several times to the police center about her husband’s beatings. But no one was all ears to her agony, predicament, and suffering. Despondent and hopeless, she complained to her mother about her miserable marriage, and she simply advised her to be patient. Amina desperately tried to draw everyone’s attention to the melancholy and harsh circumstances she was under, but all her attempts were met with apathy. That was why she used rat poison and committed suicide at last. The minister must bear in mind that marital problems don’t usually end in suicide.
The decision the judge made is supported by the minister when the latter confirmed that the judge respected the law to the letter. But what law is that which doesn’t protect raped innocent girls from marrying their rapists? What law is that which forces a raped girl to marry her rapist and reward the rapist with getting married to his raped girl? What law is that which encourages more raping at a time when it doesn’t punish the rapist on the simple condition he marries his raped girl? What law is that which implicitly shows that raping isn’t a big deal, and only marriage is the solution to legalize it? What law is that which brings the raped and the rapist together in one home? These are the questions the justice minister ought to have posed and had in mind before speaking.
The minister of justice should have wondered that if the victim didn’t agree to the forced marriage, she would lose hope in getting married to another man, that if she didn’t say yes, no one would propose to her for the rest of her life, that if she didn’t marry her rapist, the whole society would look down on her as a prostitute and a good-for-nothing girl, her family would no longer be proud of her as their pure daughter, the society would treat her callously and harshly, her whole life would be futile and unworthy of living, her personality would be infested with complexes of different sorts, her family would be ashamed of her presence in their home, her name would carry an infamous reputation among her friends, relatives and neighbors, no one would accept her wholeheartedly and the whole world wouldn’t pardon her whatsoever.
The statement issued by the minister of Justice and Freedoms, Mr Mustapha Ramid:
Edited by Hicham Elkoustaf
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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