Kommentar

Salman Rushdie tar for seg Mukhtaran Mai-saken, som illustrasjon på kvinnens stilling i Pakistan. Den er ikke enestående. Den kvinnelige legen som ble voldtatt av sikkerhetsvakter, måtte til slutt rømme landet. Hun fikk ingen støtte, heller ikke mot truslene i etterkant.

Dette er bare toppen av isberget. Musharraf var feig nok til å nekte Mai pass fordi han var redd for negativ PR i utlandet.

India er ikke stort bedre. Den muslimske delen av befolkningen (180 millioner) har fått opprette et parallelt juridisk system, dvs. det er ikke vanlige muslimer, men de mektige islamske seminaret, Darul-Uloom, som har presset myndighetene til det.

Now comes even worse news. Whatever Pakistan can do, India, it seems, can trump. The so-called Imrana case, in which a Muslim woman from a village in northern India says she was raped by her father-in-law, has brought forth a ruling from the powerful Islamist seminary Darul-Uloom ordering her to leave her husband because as a result of the rape she has become «haram» (unclean) for him. «It does not matter,» a Deobandi cleric has stated, «if it was consensual or forced.»

Darul-Uloom, in the village of Deoband 90 miles north of Delhi, is the birthplace of the ultra-conservative Deobandi cult, in whose madrassas the Taliban were trained. It teaches the most fundamentalist, narrow, puritan, rigid, oppressive version of Islam that exists anywhere in the world today. In one fatwa it suggested that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Not only the Taliban but also the assassins of The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl were followers of Deobandi teachings.

Darul-Uloom’s rigid interpretations of Shariah law are notorious, and immensely influential – so much so that the victim, Imrana, a woman under unimaginable pressure, has said she will abide by the seminary’s decision in spite of the widespread outcry in India against it. An innocent woman, she will leave her husband because of his father’s crime.

Why does a mere seminary have the power to issue such judgments? The answer lies in the strange anomaly that is the Muslim personal law system – a parallel legal system for Indian Muslims, which leaves women like Imrana at the mercy of the mullahs. Such is the historical confusion on this vexed subject that anyone who suggests that a democratic country should have a single, unified legal system is accused of being anti-Muslim and in favor of the hardline Hindu nationalists.

In the 1980’s, a divorced woman named Shah Bano was granted «2_kommentartenance money» by the Indian Supreme Court. But there is no alimony under Islamic law, so orthodox Indian Islamists like those at Darul-Uloom protested that this ruling infringed the Muslim Personal Law, and they founded the All-India Muslim Law Board to mount protests. The government caved in, passing a bill denying alimony to divorced Muslim women. Ever since Shah Bano, Indian politicians have not dared to challenge the power of Islamist clerical grandees.

Det er ganske utrolig at et stort demokratisk samfunn som India kan forskjellsbehandle folk på den måten. En kan jo tenke seg hva det gjør med skilte muslimske kvinners mulighet for å klare seg.

Rushdie erklærer denne politikken for uverdig et moderne samfunn.

Han skriver at problemet skyldes at India og Pakistan har en utpreget ære/skam-kultur.

The «culture» of rape that exists in India and Pakistan arises from profound social anomalies, its origins lying in the unchanging harshness of a moral code based on the concepts of honor and shame. Thanks to that code’s ruthlessness, raped women will go on hanging themselves in the woods and walking into rivers to drown themselves.

Her streifer han innom det fenomen at de sosiale lovene ikke er blitt mer fleksible, men faktisk strengere og mer nådeløse/brutale, etter hvert som moderniteten vinner innpass. Å snakke om «pakistanske tradisjoner» får det til å høres veldig statisk ut, og det er misvisende.