We’re all rape accomplices


This may appear to be a little extreme, but let this nut-head explain

A five-year-old girl was brutally raped in Lahore on Thursday and was found dumped outside Ganga Ram Hospital around 8 pm on Friday. The very next day a 12-year-old girl in Faisalabad and another first year student in Toba Tek Singh were gang raped. This was followed by another gang rape of a 15-year-old girl yesterday in Tharparkar. Last year 7,516 cases of violence against women were reported in Pakistan with 822 of them being rape cases. And anyone who’s familiar with the perverted concept of ‘honour’ in our country knows that 822 is a sorry fraction of the actual number.

While there is universal condemnation of the acts that would run the entire gamut from dubbing it any degree of ‘wrong’ to protesting on social media or even streets, there’s a criminal dearth of noise or endeavour with regards to actually deracinating the root cause behind rape: the reprehensible image of women.

Every individual who propagates the deplorable myth that women are inherently dependent on or weaker than men is a rape accomplice. Every person who scorns at a girl for not catering to their definition of decency is a rape accomplice. Anyone who is a flag-bearer of double standards of modesty for men and women is a rape accomplice. Everyone who teaches women to be ashamed of their bodies is a rape accomplice. And if your respect for a woman is dependent on how well covered her body is, then you sir/ma’am, are a rape accomplice as well.

While this might appear to be a little ‘extreme’, let this nut-head explain his stance.

An accomplice is ‘a person who helps another commit a crime’. And while most of us won’t directly provide a rapist the aid that he needs to commit his monstrous crime, by propagating the aforementioned ideals we definitely help him unleash the loathsome ‘beast’ inside him.

Answer this: who would have more of a tendency towards rape, a man who’s told that a woman not dressed up in synchrony with (insert any cultural/social/religious/individual standard of modesty) is dishonourable, or a man who’s told that how a woman chooses to dress up should be no one else’s concern, regardless of whether she’s wearing a burqa or a bikini?

Now answer this: who would have more inclination towards physically abusing a ‘party girl’ who’s drunk and has ‘many male friends’, a man who’s taught that women must follow a different set of morals as compared to men, or a man who’s taught gender equality in every single aspect of life?

And finally answer this: who has more of a chance to become a rapist, a man who lives in a society where a woman’s respect has got nothing to do with her body or a man who lives in a society where a woman not following a certain ‘dress code’ is dubbed an open lollipop inviting flies and insects?

Maybe in an abhorrent fit of ‘bestiality’, your son might not particularly mind temporarily being one of those insects.

Now a rather appalling flipside to this argument is that if the women are forced to dress up according to the ‘socially acceptable’ standards, men wouldn’t plunge to the lower echelons of humanity and that any woman who isn’t dressed up ‘properly’ or doesn’t ‘guard her modesty’ is actually ‘asking to be raped’.

First of all, in my very humble opinion, in an ideal world any person who says that any woman who’s raped, under any circumstances whatsoever, was ‘asking for it’, is ‘asking’ to be beaten up publicly. Secondly, as a man myself, I find men’s portrayal as a sex-hungry ‘monsters’ who lose their control at the sight of a woman’s skin, pretty hard to digest.

Let’s set the record straight. A woman not covering her head isn’t ‘asking for it’; one wearing a bikini isn’t ‘asking for it’ and yes, one who might not be wearing anything at all is still not ‘asking for it’. Those that justify rape under any circumstance shouldn’t merely be dubbed rape apologists but should instead be called rape accomplices and should share a fraction of guilt for every rape where the victim was ostensibly ‘asking for it’.

The myth that the hijab, burqa, or following a particular definition of modesty protects women is busted by the fact that in a recent BBC report it was revealed that 99.3 per cent of Egyptian women had experienced harassment, while the rate of sexual offenses in Saudi Arabia is 58.6 per 100,000 and Qatar and UAE have rates of 1.7 reported cases of rape per 100,000 population. Also, when 5-year-olds and 7-year-olds are being raped, it’s obviously not a case of what’s atop the woman’s head, more a case of what’s inside the man’s head. And those who want to flaunt the fact that forcing a woman to wear the hijab reduces the chances of her being raped, should know that those chances would be further reduced if you lock her up in a cupboard and throw away the key.

Rape cannot be prevented by forcing women to cover up, it can only be prevented by women empowerment, promotion of gender equality and the eradication of antediluvian myths that teach us how women are men’s property who must keep a watch on them and control them. When it is stated or implied that women are men’s property and that the latter have an upper-hand over the former, you’re cultivating a ground for rapists to grow. And everyone who plays even the most minor of roles in the cultivation should be called a rape accomplice.

Not only are we all rape accomplices because we promote the aforementioned ideals, but our law is quite possibly the grandest of all rape accomplices, since it doesn’t consider DNA as primary evidence in rape cases in the year 2013 AD. Furthermore, by asking for four witnesses – who can only be dubbed the closest of collaborators, since they preferred watching a woman being abused than preventing the act – it’s almost as if we’ve created a social and judicial setup to facilitate rapists.

Merely screaming bloody murder over a heinous act won’t suffice in its eradication, and propagating the West’s rape statistics won’t particularly help the cause in our neck of the woods, where rape is criminally misreported and prevails despite us purging our society from ‘Western evils’. To actually reduce rape, every single one of us must ask ourselves if we’ve ever, intentionally or inadvertently, promoted misogynistic ideals or tried to justify rape under any circumstances. If the answer to those questions is in the affirmative, we’ve all played a part in the physical and mental trauma of every raped woman in our society.

The writer is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: [email protected],

Twitter: @khuldune


  1. To the writer:
    with respect of what you have written above will mean nothing to a rapist. you are accusing a guilty with a rape charge without understanding the reason why a male rapes a female. Islam is the only religion which gives ultimate protection and respect to females even if they are non muslim. sadly from childhood a male is not educated towards the rules and regulation of Quran and sunnat. and thats why they don't follow the orders of ALLAH, they don't fear ALLAH and they don't understand that they will die one day and after that they will have to go through the punishment of ALLAH in their grave and in the hell. people are not following Islam they know what is right and what is wrong but they are just doing what they like or want to do and thats the main reason of rape and murder in the world. ISLAM provides a system of society that had never existed before. the kind of respect Islam gives to a women is no were seen in any religion. sadly we so called muslim are living our life based on our own rules. and thats why we are doing such inhuman acts like rape. if we really fear ALLAH then we must understand that each and every male or female on earth should protect three things of each other 1. their lives 2. their respect and 3. their wealth. if we could do even that the world will change INSHALLAH. A rapist mind is full of negatives thoughts that he has gained through media, tv, movies, negative concepts books, through his gathering and through the depresion and failure of his life or the power that he have over the weak. Thats the main reason why a male rapes. revenge and illegal temporary desires that he learned through his childhood are the major factor. but as we all know that ALLAH is most merciful we all muslim and even non muslims should understand that we must chnage our thoughts towards females. females are human beings just like us. and their respect is our top most piority if we are humans. yes women should were burqa b/c thats the order of ALLAH its not my order its the order of the Creator of female and male and everything that we can or cannot see. sex is a union of married couple its a gift of ALLAH to the married couple a reson to make their bond more strong and to keep their generation running. its not a game of lust that we play by raping females its not the skin show that we want to see and its not the barveness that we forced on females. A real mulim reapect females by not starring their beauty but by lowering their graze. we must learn, apply and spread Islam as this is the only way we can restore peace in our society. A rapist was once a innocent child but the enviorment in which he grows and the things that he select from life makes him a rapist. to all males out there I just have to say one word that please fear ALLAH as he even knows whats in your heart and he will expose you both here and on the day of judgement. follows the laws of ALLAH and the sunnat of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) as its the only way to live in this world peacefully. and for all the females out their please cover yourself as its a order of ALLAH and thats your first line of defence towards a evil eye of a rapist. by wearing western cloths and applying glamours makeup on ur face and exposing your skin show your are just inviting a male who does not follow the laws of QURAN and Sunnat. and that male will approach you with an evil thought of rape b/c he is not follwoing the orders of ALLAH but he his following the orders of his nafs and shatan. his mind has lust for your body only and he will stop at nothing. thats a mind of a rapist he just wants his fix from you. your body is like a cocaine, heroine, wisky or cigrate to him he wants it and will not rest if he does'nt have it. thats the mind of a rapist. I pray that ALLAH guide those sick minds of male towards the lights of Quran and Sunnat….Aameen. we must follow Islam b/c if we don't then what is happeing in this world will never end. First we must follow and then lead….

    • Kamran your trying to say that "pious men" don't rape.. and that rape is a Pakistani creation only.. Rape happens in every country.. but the sort of legal guarantee it gets in South Asia is because no one really questions the belief system.

      I would agree with Khuldune that being a rapist does not actually begin with the actual act but the mindset… which also tends to either justify or be apologist of the act! How many times have this been said.. the girl must have worn something to invite this.. or that what was she doing there alone.. all such voices only choose to shun the victim!

    • Grow up. Try not to bring religion into everything. I agree, no one follows Islam, but by trying to preach Islam instead of addressing the actual problem will get you nowhere. Start from the basics. Women are HUMAN BEINGS and have equal rights.

      • Couldn't agree more with you ……… WOMEN NEED EQUAL RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES EVERYWHERE, including in muslim countries!

      • Its the easiest of ways to hide your head in the sand , leaving the problem alone and blame everything of islam not being followed.

    • Then why do women get molested more in societies where they cover up if hijab or burqa would be a protection like you state? because it helps nothing at all… it's the mindset towards women which is the evil like Kunwar states correctly.

      and what do you mean no other religion protects women from being raped? do you even know what you are talking about? well, obviously you don't. in christianity rape is strictly forbidden as you are not allowed to have sex outside marriage so how could you even do that?

      and then, where does islam protect non-muslim women? have a look at the sources… it's allowed to rape slave-girls! and it's only allowed to enslave non-muslims. where is the protection please??

    • Yes…. Islam gives ultimate protection and respect to women…. BY TRYING TO COVER THEM FROM HEAD TO TOE. That's amazing respect.. really. And in case you're thicker than the average human being, I am being sarcastic.

    • Keep preaching Islam, and how it provides all the solutions??? Why did Prophet Mohammad marry 6 year old?? Lets hear your logic.

      • I am very critical of Islam, I agree with this article and I identify as a strong feminist– just saying this so you don't call me an Islam apologist.
        BUT the story about Mohammad marrying Ayesha when she was 6 or 9 is a historical fallacy. There is historical evidence that he didn't sleep with her until she was over 17.

        Also Islam has nothing to do with preventing rape. It MAY have something to do with perpetuating rape because most muslims have an idea that 'modest' women can stay away from rape.

        And many people who follow your capitalized ALLAH molest and rape. A lot of molvis and mullahs and islamic teachers abuse children. A lot of priests are pedophiles. Religion is only an act that people put on to subdue their conscience or tweak their ethics. It's a script that people follow so they can ignore the horrible things happening in this world. Fighting injustices is more important than praying for them.

        • I don't have aproblem with Islam, if a woman chooses to believe in it, that is her right. Just like women have the right to believe in no sex before marriage. Rape is not a religious thing, rather a mindset. If people view women as second class citizens then it doesn't matter whether they wear a burqa or a bikini, the rapists will justify their behaviour.

    • Kamran you are a very good person and brought up with good values. MashAllah you impressed me. Dont mind comments of ignorant people, they wont understand where you are coming from.

    • kmaran u r really sick. u need to be lock up in mental hopital………unfortunately pakistan is counrty which is pullulating with beast like u

    • I entirely disagree with Kamran’s Islamic-supremacist mentality. You make it sound as though everybody who doesn’t believe in the Islamic God, book and messenger is going about raping people on a daily basis. This is not the case. You must also realise that everyone who calls themselves Muslim does not believe that wearing the burqa is a mandatory part of the faith, and that Islam is no longer the monolith it once was, and hasn’t been perhaps as far back as the death of the Prophet PBUH. And that the healthy way to deal with diversity in religion is not by rejecting new interpretations off-hand, but by embracing fresh views even, nay, especially, if they challenge traditional interpretations; it is not by creating an environment of exclusivity, but by nurturing a culture of inclusivity that we can hope to profit from our rapidly changing inner landscapes.
      As for the alarming number of rapes being reported now in Pakistan, the purported ‘Land of the Pure,’ the author misses perhaps the most important point of all. And that is that we, as a nation, simply do not get laid when we need to. Islam does not permit its followers to engage in sexual intercourse till they are married; modern economics does not allow people to marry till they are at least well into their twenties. Put the two together and you have the average person going, presumably, without sex for a decade or more after they hit puberty. This culture breeds frustration; since there is no legitimate way to express our sexuality, we seek out whatever outlets we can find, and none save marriage has the sanction of state or society. In our society, even if two adults are engaging in consensual sex, they are committing an actionable criminal offence, which, to my mind, goes against the dictates of rationality and human nature.
      We like to think of this as a continuation of a distinctly Islamic or Abrahamic tradition. But both Abraham and Mohammad, Peace be upon them, engaged in sex outside of the bounds of marriage. Hazrat Ismael AS was born to the slave Hajra and the Prophet had a son called Ibrahim, who died in infancy, by Maria a coptic slave. Solomon’s harem is the stuff of legend, and we, in the meantime, find ourselves expected to spend our teenage in quasi-celibacy, all in the endeavour to follow in the footsteps of these very Prophets! Ironic…

    • I wanted to write something. Then I read your words and didn’t need to write anything more. People do not study Islam and then get stupid ideas. They even do not know that they have almost come near "Kufr" by writing some things which are actually equal to refusing Quran ayaat. If all that will be true then there should not have been any rapes in western shameless societies. We have the minimum percentage of these crimes in Muslim societies. Our Media should also be educated so they know what should be highlighted to what extent. But here we have a race " our channel was the first to report … " . Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elaihe Raajeoon.

      • you do not have the 'minimum percentage of these crimes'…you have a system where women are scared to death to report rape, because she will be punished or killed, and you have a religious system that says she must have 4 witnesses or there is no crime, and these two work blatantly together to encourage women to NEVER report rape…indeed, it is such a misincentive that I have to wonder how any rapes get reported at all, unless they are of children who end up requiring medical treatment, or those women who die as a result and have no choice in the reporting. Apologists like you though just make it easier for people to understand how deranged your cultural teachings are at root.

  2. Thank you for pointing out some of the fundamental problems fuelling our entire sordid cultural setup. Now, if only someone would begin translating such articles into Urdu and start making them available to a more generalized audience. People need to be re-educated from scratch regarding basic human rights and morality. They need to be taught how to THINK.

    • I agree…I was briefly a part of a 'pakistan rationalist society' on facebook but left because the members were so absurdly fundamentalist that very little logical or rational discussion was possible. I have really not been around so much fundamentalism since I was a child growing up in Southern Baptist fundamentalism. While I understand this mindset, I find it completely exhausting and can only be around it for a very limited time.

  3. Well we can expect things to go wrong, if we try to enforce centuries old traditions and rules in 2013 AD. The illusion that the human society has seen its ideal golden age centuries ago, and after that it has done nothing but degradation , puts one in a state of hating every that contradicts the ideal.
    Fortunately it is the economy that determines one's role and respect in the society, woman was nothing but a household property of man, just over a century ago. But the modern women with the ability to compete and beat men in every aspect of life, are changing things for good.

    • Ahmed sahab, your comments are as nice as the article! Very well said! …. "Well we can expect things to go wrong, if we try to enforce centuries old traditions and rules in 2013 AD." ….. You've hit the nail on the nead, this is the key! …………. Society changes and improves and we all need to do the same too! …. If people realise this one fact alone, we will be living in a much safer and prosperous world! ………. keep up the good work!

      • No one here is claiming to know more than Allah. If you look at how the Quran was revealed, it was to address specific societal issues that were experienced by the men at that time. The Prophet experienced societal shortcomings, and Allah revealed a certain part of the Quran to address those specific issues.

        However, as societies change and become more complex, problems change and solutions change as well. So the laws need to adapt to address these new and unique issues. Sadly, we as Muslims are reluctant to adapt, while the rest of the world around us adapts and adjusts. It is no surprise that we are lagging behind.

    • Historically there is little proof of this and that is why I think the 'antiquity' argument should be avoided. The truth is that there are exponential amounts of cultures over time, many undiscovered, each with their own unique regulations and rules, most of not all originating as matrilineal and then switching to patrilineal at some point in existence…after the role of males in the creation of children was discovered. To this day there are still many matrilineal cultures. The severely patrilineal and violent do seem to overrun and absorb their neighbors, and we tend to call this 'progress' though there is little proof of that either, if one defines progress strictly in terms of 'quality of life' for individuals. To posit that women have been chattel for millenia and only in the last hundred years have gained freedom is just not true…women can be quite equal in some cultures (Lugu lake) while being enslaved a few miles away in another village, there has been tremendous variation over time. It is not dependent on chronology and as civlized human beings it is up to us to find out EXACTLY what causes this dysfunction in society and prevent it.

  4. Another stupid article that misses solution or a realistic diagnosis. By just writing fancy quotations enjoined with adjectives won't do a thing. Irony is that its being read by guys like you and me while the actual culprits won't understand a word of what's being said.

  5. Good set of points, and glad to see a reference to Egypt and Saudi Arabia – if dress was a factor rape would not occur in these countries, it does. The problem is never the dress, but wierdo who has no self control or indeed self respect.

  6. In my personal opinion, Mr Kamran (whoever he is) writings should be written instead of Mr Khuldune's one. No matter how louder we cry that we are modernist and we should adopt new solutions to the problems our society has, we must no forget that we are Muslims first. No matter how impractical this might sound to practice the centuries old way of lifestyle, we have no other option because the moment you point our mistakes and loopholes (in your personal opinion) in any religion , you are basically trying to get out of the lifestyle that religion tells you to follow. I am not preaching Islam or something like that here as Mr Kamran was charged with earlier, its the reality vs what it should be. By condemning rapists and rape, we cant forget the we are Muslims and we should be supposed to follow the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. I do expect some criticism that would follow most likely by some of our female colleagues of the society who thinks Covering heads or praying 5 times a days is all rubbish now in the 2013 A.D. Now if we talk about the rape as a menace of the society, than i think the only solution is to change the mindset of the society especially that of the rapists towards the women is to change the way our society is. We are all double standards, we call our self Muslims and say Allah Hamdullilah afterwards very proudly but at the same time we do some things which are morally forbidden. We aren't rape accomplices as Mr Khuldune said, the real rape accomplices are our forefather who designed and modified our culture and standards of life style to their own personal or collective desire and needs. No religion allow you to disrespect a woman. Women are as equal as men. Its our culture now our religion that treats them unequal. We cant educate everyone, the only solution is start educating your own next generation. At least your future generation will be following a more decent path compared to the one our generation is following. The main point is we all are against rape and we highly condemn it but let me remind you, during this condemnation, we should now point fingers on the religion except if someone is an Atheist, as I personally highly respects everyone's own thoughts and point of view.

    • While I am not personally a muslim, and am therefore not particularly literate with this religion. I took the article to mean that it should not matter whether a woman was wearing a burqa or not. What she wears is inconsequential. A muslim woman who wears a burqa should have the same respect as an atheist wearing a bikini. Even if you are muslim and believe women should dress conservatively, should the fact that a woman doesn't mean you respect her less? I feel the author was using the burqa as an expression of ultimate conservative dress, rather than a comment on religion.

      • First of all, Islam is a little ultimate conservative religion, I gives you option at some place but it also binds on others, You are right about the use of Burqa word here but if you look at our society, burqa is worn because of the religion. And generally if someone use a the word burqa wearing lady, the next thing that comes to your mind will be she is a practicing muslim, or may be she is following the islamic dress code for women to be used outdoors. No on a plateform like this, any writer should be very carefuly in choosing his or her words because it can sometimes give a very bad impression about the mindset of the writer. My comment was more over the already given comments given here and less on the article. I hope I have have clarified my point here.

    • Sir, "No religion allow you to disrespect a woman. " Please explain why is sex with 'ma malakt aimanokum' is permitted!

  7. I would say to all women: Please dont trust a man when he sounds feminist! Dont trust any man at all whether he tells you that you have a perfect figure for modelling, you are empowered, you are very professional or anything which makes you feel good. you dont need to be told by men what and what not! Men around the world would prefer to be the boss! thats the inside truth from a man! and please people stop watching too much tv and get a life by actually being part of the society rather than the social network!

  8. this is biased. he has just told the rates of rape cases from muslim countries. if you compare them from non-muslim countries (where a great percentage of women dont cover up themselves) i am damn sure that these rates would be significantly lower.

    • ali, in Muslim societies rape is SIGNIFICANTLY underreported because of ideas of honor and modesty etc. So even if you compare statistics countries, you won't get the real answer because MANY pakistani rape survivors do not report it/are not encouraged to report/ or are forced not to report/ or are killed in honor killings.

    • Even if the rates in non muslim world are higher (which i doubt) its not because the women are uncovered but because men in general are facing bigger psychological problems due to broken homes etc. The normal man in Europe for example is far more respectful to women and immune to skinshow than in societies like Pakistan

    • of course they are going to be lower when a woman knows she has to have 4 witnesses, can be honor murdered for having been raped, or will have to marry her attacker. the actual rapes reported in these cases must be practically non-existant, my guess would be that rapes that do get reported are those in which the victim is killed or is so substantially a minor child that she cannot be said to have 'tempted' or been 'immodest'. What kind of number should be put on it, given these disincentives to report rape in such countries. My guess would be that perhaps five to ten percent, at most, of rapes in these countries are reported to authorities. Meditate on those numbers.

  9. Dear writer! plz go back and check the difference between Rape & Adultery….there are sick minds in this world.

  10. I disagree, covering or not covering properly doesn’t really matter, a man who’s not a devil inside won’t see the girl with desperation anyway!

  11. What goes inside the brain of a rapist? Where's the empathy? How long the rapist plans? This is sickeningly scary picture of our society. The root cause of frustration is rampant availability of CD's etc containing objection able scenes. It's high time government control those school boys going from schools directly to those sellers of CDs. God bless this country and those innocent girl. We demand a Rapist be publicly hanged.

  12. Early marriage – like that of the eight year old Yemeni girl who died after being brutally abused by her husband on their wedding night?

  13. This is a very good insight. However, what is more urgent is to educated the men as they seem be loosing their sense of being human…

  14. government should pass a bill that society as a whole should live like a family, as family is composed of men women, girls and boys elders and youngsters, husband and wife, sisters and brothers, father and daughter, but they are related to each other and there is no abnormal action like this.

  15. The article is missing the most important point that rape is not primarily motivated by sex but by violence. It is not covering up or exposure that will affect this crime. rather it is the anger and rage in a person which leads to rape. Exposure or provocative behavior may increase consensual sexual behavior not the incidence of rape.The four witness point in Islam is applicable to fornication so don't start labeling them as collaborators.

    • Khalid I believe this also and I believe that the compulsory domestic violence referenced in the Koran is part of the reason so many boys are so furious at women. Women in these cultures are put under an almost inconceivable amount of stress which would be hard for anyone to bear, but then amongst the inhumane repression, brutality, and restriction, they are expected to raise children. One can bet that a household in which women are beaten is a household in which children are corporally punished as well. Corporal punishment has been proven to alter brain chemistry and lead to personality disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophreniza. Men who grow up in a household of domestic violence are statistically far more likely than normal to continue the pattern of domestic violence in their own families. Many men turn this anger onto the weaker partner, the beaten mother and wife, for some reason, than at their fathers, whom they must grow to identify with and emulate. I think it is extremely important for culture and society to address this rage and the roots of it if we are to really make progress in terms of fighting this very violent crime.

  16. Thank you for having the bravery and the moral compass to publish this wonderful article. It is about time we start having discussions more like the one you have started.As a feminist living in a very dysfunctional, controlling family, articles like these are really godsends!

  17. Religious apologists are everywhere, aren’t they? They just can’t get it into their thick skulls that rapes are way under reported in conservative societies. And yes, religion is a problem when it endorses that women should be dressed up in sacks and beaten up for disobedience.

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