The misogyny of Sharia on display

By Lorenzo

The story of the Norwegian Qatar resident Marte Dalelv who brought a charge of rape against a co-worker, was convicted by a Dubai court of perjury, drinking alcohol and extra-marital sex and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment has had a “happy” ending; she has been pardoned by the Emir of Dubai.

Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Sharia is the basis of law in the UAE, as the official Dubai website announces. It is almost impossible to prove rape under Sharia. As an Islamic website tells all and sundry:

Indeed, the Sharee’ah put some special conditions for proving Zina (fornication or adultery) that are not required in case of other crimes. The crime of Zina is not confirmed except if the fornicator admits it, or with the testimony of four trustworthy men, while the testimony of women is not accepted.

Which means that if a women brings a charge of rape without said four (male) witnesses, she is admitting to extra marital sex. If, for example, her testimony includes that they had been drinking, then she is admitting to drink alcohol. Or, in this case, it is revealed by blood tests. And if she brings a charge that has not met the (almost impossible) evidentiary requirement, it can be deemed false testimony and so perjury.

Describing the evidentiary provisions of Sharia in the case of rape as “a free pass for sexual predators” hardly seems too strong.

The effect (and likely the point) is to make women highly vulnerable that then leads to “protective” measures which restrict and subordinate women. The requirement for public chaperoning, the restrictive clothing, the limited public activity, provide “protection” for women that the (religious) law does not. Women who fails to avail themselves of said protection then become, in effect, fair game. As one Sydney-based Muslim cleric has been quoted as stating quite explicitly:

“A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world . . .

Strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans: all this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature.”

He compared a woman dressed in such a way to a sheep. “Would you put this sheep that you adore in the middle of hungry wolves? No . . . It would be devoured. It’s the same situation here. You’re putting this precious girl in front of lustful, satanic eyes of hungry wolves. What is the consequence? Catastrophic devastation, sexual harassment, perversion, promiscuity.”

If women are stripped of the protection of the law by impossible evidentiary requirements, yes a sort of social jungle is thereby created. But as women very explicitly had no role in the creation, development or implementation of Sharia, it is hardly their fault, now is it?

But it does provide for, in effect, licensed “punishment” for women who “wander off the reservation”. As our good cleric’s comments make clear.

Marte Dalelv was operating on very different assumptions about the role of law:

Ms. Dalelv, who worked for an interior design firm in Qatar since 2011, claims she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker in March while she was attending a business meeting in Dubai.

She said she fled to the hotel lobby and asked for the police to be called. The hotel staff asked if she was sure she wanted to involve the police, Ms. Dalelv said.

“Of course I want to call the police,” she said. “That is the natural reaction where I am from.”

But she was assuming that the law had something to do with protection of people. Not, as Sharia so often is, the implementation of righteousness and structuring of status. And righteousness is often about stripping people of moral status and moral protections; using the language of morality (and, indeed of law) to subvert morality. But a basic source of clerical authority is to be “gatekeepers of righteousness”, which entails creating rules and, ideally, effective sanctions for those who do not follow the rules of righteousness. Even better is much public display of following said rules.

Which is why educated, middle class Muslim women have been the cutting edge of the “new veiling movement”. Ostentatious signalling of their commitment to religious norms is a form of protection (pdf) for being employed, and so in public and not chaperoned. Thereby also signalling the social power of the norms of righteousness clerics proclaim.

The evidentiary requirements of Sharia are bad for women, but excellent for clerics.


  1. dave bath
    Posted July 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    so … what are the evidentiary requirements for a guy sexually assaulted by male, a guy sexually assaulted by a female, or a female sexually assaulted by a female?

  2. kvd
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    I dunno about Sharia rules, but it seems the first rule for Roman Catholic investigators is not to make any written notes.

  3. Lurker
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Yet we are allowing into this country, people from cultures who daily lived Sharia Law. If the people from these cultures want to as one, leave Sharia, and adopt Western values, Western cultures, Western dress, Western laws, then there is little problem about them arriving here. Yet many of them don’t, and rather see Australia as an opportunity to live Sharia, but in a compliant, trusting, welfare-rich Western country.

    I wonder to myself as I see their women, covered from head to toe, and oft-times with even their eyes shrouded too, what multitude of sins might be handily covered as well. How do we know that these women do not suffer assaults and beatings from male relatives? Brainwashed into Sharia, these women are hardly likely to avail themselves of Australian law, so offenders may not suffer consequences. I wonder too, as I see these women, covered from head to toe, what other sins might be shrouded from our eyes? Child brides and incidents of FMG might well go unnoticed, unreported. After all, what are these women considered to be – seemingly just property and vehicles for male sexual satisfaction.

    Multiculturalism is not just about food and festivals – it allows this malignancy that is the subjugation of women as well. People say Sharia will never happen here, that Western Law will trump all – but there have already been calls in Australia for Sharia – and with Australia allowing Indigenous courts, the gate has been opened for other systems of Law to be introduced as well. If we continue to allow tens of thousands of people into our country from culturally Sharia countries, then over time our culture will change too, and although it may not be this generation to suffer, it may end up being the next, or the one after that that may suffer from Sharia being imposed on the general population.

    So the question is; do you want your daughter, or your grand-daughter, or your great grand-daughter to be treated as property, as a vehicle for male sexual satisfaction, to be shrouded in cloth from head to toe, or to be the victim of rape from a male (or a group of males) who have no cultural hand-break on their sexual urges, and then experience no redress, comfort or protection under the law for the crime she supposedly committed.

    Cultures are not struck in stone, but are fluid and evolving things. However, in Western countries we have seen that those who come from Sharia cultures seem the less inclined to change, and the West is usually the one bowing over backwards accommodating Sharia’s medieval rules and laws. If that mindset is allowed to continue, to prosper – then Australia with its smaller Western population will suffer greatly from continued immigration (including under the guise of ‘refugee’ intake) of those from Sharia states.

    p.s. Sorry for the lengthy post – this is a matter I feel strongly about.

  4. Lurker
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    One more thought – to you of the Left, who consider yourselves to be so empathic, tolerant, understanding and Progressive. Have you considered that in not defending our culture, you are defending instead the very worst forms of misogyny; and that you are additionally and potentially imperilling the lives of homosexuals, who likewise will suffer under Sharia Law. Any weakness from our Parliament and Law-makers will be seized upon by Sharia supporters, and Sharia in some form, limited or otherwise, will come about. So how will you as someone who lives and breathes the Law, live with yourself, if you do not stand up to defend our culture and our Laws.

    As the old saying goes: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  5. TerjeP
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    This should all be quite easy to fix. We just need an online petition calling for the relevant section of the Koran to be amended. Once the clerics see that public opinion is going against them then obviously they will do the right thing. Any predictions on how long this should take?

  6. Posted July 25, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Since they are all wildly less common forms of rape, not as important.

    The testimony of male victims also inherently has more standing and they can just claim assault, avoiding moving it into the “zina” category. In which case, for a female assault on a male, his testimony outranks the woman’s.

    In the case of Sunni jurisprudence, though practice varies by school, zina is theoretically purely heterosexual, so the problem does not arise in the male-male and female-female cases. (It is apparently just assault, with normal evidentiary standards.)

    In the case of Shi’a jurisprudence, it would include the homosexual cases. So, back to claiming assault but not rape. An option not available to a woman in a normal rape case, since the male testimony automatically outranks the female.

  7. derrida derider
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans …”

    Sounds like a cleric who is ..ahem .. struggling hard with his own “carnal nature”. Nothing that a good f**k wouldn’t fix. But then the lack of self-insight of religious bgots never ceases to amaze me.

    Yes of course sharia sucks, But to extend that disdain to all people from muslim background is just silly.

  8. Peter Hindrup
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Some appear to have very little faith in the strengths or stability of our culture, or the populations adherence to it.
    Can you really visualise the average Aussie giving up his booze and hedonistic life for a life of prayer 5 times a day?
    Of course I include the women in that too!

  9. Posted July 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]

    But to extend that disdain to all people from muslim background is just silly.

    Well yes, but not sure anyone actually was.

  10. Jolly
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I am with you and your fears are NOT unfounded. I am for all kind of migration to Australia. This complex mix of various races has served to enrich our land. Various religious faiths have thus far not threatened our secular way of life and governance. This is because we have not had an influx of Muslims who’s first loyalty is to Islam and Mecca. It is their fundamental belief. Please do not expect a Muslim to be loyal to Australia before loyalty to Mecca; that is an unreasonable ask.
    That we have accepted an underclass of (muslim) women in Australia is a travesty of justice to Australian women, irrespective of their faith. That we have female mutilation being practised in this country (albeit illegal) is mind boggling.
    For all those “bleeding hearts” who have both eyes closed to the Islamic requirements of all muslims, an education into this faith will open their eyes. Please read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s books: “Infidel” and “Nomad” to understand the shocking expectations of the Islamic faith and the demand for the acceptance of the Sharia laws for Australian muslims.
    The UK is having enormous problems with just one religion, ie Islam. So is France, Germany, Spain, Philippines, Burma, India, Thailand, etc, etc. The sad truth is that Muslims want the material benefits of the secular west, but also want to practise Islam. Once they come over to the western secular countries they want to make these western countries Islamic. Every Islamic country on this planet is having huge political and social issues and they flee these countries only to wish these host countries to embrace Islam. I strongly recommend that we ensure that only those who can contractually sign on to allegiance to Australia first, Australian Laws and English as the spoken language be allowed citizenship.

    Please read Ayaan Hirst Ali’s (a Muslim- from Somalia) books to understand the requirements of Islam on ALL Muslims.

  11. Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Cross-posted … in Portuguese …

  12. MT Isa Miner
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Australia needs to regain the confidence we once had to say to immigrants that they need to learn the äussie way” as well as their own.

    There is no polite or easy way to say some of the things that need to be said.

    I can stand being called a racist and an anti muslim because I want us all to start to talk.

    The customs that come with Islamic cultures like female gen*tal mutilation are already here, we need to openly support the policing of them and the integration of the immigrants into our communities with OUR values. 21 century WESTERN values. Although I admits others differ, the Surgeons union wants to cut the buthchers out of the game and do a modified compromised job in the hospitals.

    Yes, I know they were a doctor and a solicitor, but they can not have been assimilated can they. Neither of their professional vows were real- both were falsely sworn. That’s just the veneer.

    we have forgotten to value ourselves. We built the world. They want to come here becaue they want what we have. They shouldn’t get it for free. What they have to give up is the stone age ideas- we had to do it too- Luther, the Reformation, Cromwell etc .

    But getting everything and keeping the ideas that belong in the past is not on. that is a danger to us. That makes us stupid.

    When did we get stupid? Someone is playing us all for suckers and we have to stop listening to them.

    Especially if some people tell me that I am racist or xenophobic to notice when a particular group tends to include people more than any other group that wants to spread their religion with bombs .

    Or when someone tell me that I am xenophobic or racist for noticing that one group of people is more inclined to hold to on ideas about mutilating their girls or sexually enslaving our girls.

    I would like people like yourselves to talk about these things. I think we need to, but luckily we don’t need to as much as the UK and the USA do.

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