Suffering in Silence: Rape

In the last few weeks we have witnessed some of the most horrific acts of violence being perpetrated against women. This has brought the spot light on the crime of rape. On Friday the 22nd February 2013 a Panel Discussion was hosted on Radio Islam International dealing with different aspects of rape.

The panellist for the first segment of the programme was Moulana  Zakariya Philander from Cape Town and Moulana Muhammed Asvat from Springs. Ml Zakariya began by discussing the lowly manner in which women were treated prior to the coming of Islam and how Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam changed that. Ml Muhammed went on to share some of the advice that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam gave with regards to the treatment of women. Aaisha Radiyallahu Anha narrates that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “The one with the most perfect Imaan and best character from among you is the one who is most kind to his family.”{Tirmizi}

When questioned as to why do men rape, Ml Zakariya shared a number of reasons. He said: “As a lack of respect for women, men consider them to be second class citizen and think that own them and do what they please with them. Furthermore, we are living in a time of instant gratification, where men feel entitled to instantly release their sexual energises. This has caused the scourge in rape” Ml Muhammed added: “ Stereo type behaviour of men also play a role, where men feel they are powerful and can assert themselves over anyone.”

In the second segment of the programme Mufti Sraaj Desai from  Port Elizabeth responded to some of the objection that are level against Islam with regards to the punishment for rape. He said that Umar Radiyallahu Anhu gave the death penalty to the perpetrator of this heinous crime. Mufti Siraaj also spoke about Islam being the only religion which presents an entire concept, if adopted would most definitely curb rape.

In the third segment of the programme, psychologist Fazila Asvat of Rustenburg and social worker Anisa Moosa from Johannesburg spoke about dealing with the trauma of being raped.  A sms was sent in to programme from a sister who was raped three times by a close family member and despite this she said that she has forgiven the perpetrator and pray for his guidance.  Both the guest were amazed by the bravery displayed by this sister and shared words of consolation to the sister

Sister Fazila concluded by saying: “Parents need to put certain protective measure in place to ensure the safety of children, maintain levels of modesty in the home, work on character development and move from dysfunctional homes to functional homes.”  Sister Anisa concluded by saying: “It is not just about rape or violence against women, but rather there needs to be an overall change in perception from grassroots level.”

The programme was well received by Radio Islam International and listeners and has been put up as a Podcast on the  website. You can listen to it here

Yusuf Moosagie

28th February 2013