Legalized Rape: Iraq Legalizes the Raping of Young Girls Starting at the Age of Nine
On Tuesday, April 8, Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki’s Shiite-led Iraqi Government placed before his Parliament a bill, strongly supported by Iraqi men, and approved by the governing coalition of Shiites and Sunnis, which will allow men to rape girls even in forced marriages (Iraqi law already allows forced marriages), and which will allow men to divorce any wife who is above the age of nine.
Currently, only females above the age of 18 are permitted to marry (or, it might be more accurate to say, to be married), under Iraqi law. This new law will enable even nine-year-olds to be sold off into “marriage.”
Whereas, technically, women, in the post-invasion Iraq, are allowed to vote and otherwise participate in Iraqi politics, only few do, because the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein Government left the religious authorities in control of family matters; and, so, women who try to participate in politics generally become ostracized. The circumstances for women in Iraq were far better under Saddam’s regime.
Back on Nov. 1, 2013, President Barack Obama announced an increase in military aid to the Maliki Government, an increase that had been urged upon him especially by Republicans in Congress. President Obama will now have to decide whether to fulfill on that promise, or whether, instead, to suspend the aid if Iraqi men will turn into law this newly introduced bill, after the Iraqi Parliament comes back into session on April 30th. If the U.S. terminates that military aid, then the chances that Al Qaeda in Iraq (which had started there in 2003 as a result of the U.S. invasion) will take over the country and oust the current, U.S.-installed and Iran-allied Shiite-led government, will greatly increase.
In other words: for Obama to demand rejection of this child-rape bill would likely mean a return to the more-active U.S. military involvement in Iraq, which Obama had only recently ended in Iraq. Alternatively, it would mean a takeover of Iraq by Al Qaeda, or at least a renewed civil war there, ending in a failed state, which then would probably be ruled ultimately by Al Qaeda.
The new bill, called the Jaafari Law, was described the following way by Hannah Strange, the Assistant Foreign Editor of Britain’s Telegraph:
“The Jaafari law, doesn’t mention exactly from what age children would be able to wed but it does contain provisions for divorce for girls as young as nine, so we can do the maths on that one. It also effectively endorses marital rape by forcing women to submit to the sexual demands of their husbands and ensures that any wife entering into a divorce — whether of her own will or not — is punished with the loss of her children, by automatically granting the father custody of any offspring over the age of two.” Ms. Strange goes on to say, “That this law is even being considered — and it is most likely to go ahead, given its hearty endorsement by the Iraqi cabinet — makes me want to rip my own skin off.”
On March 19, 2010, Yanar Mohammed in Baghdad told Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” radio, that the U.S. had abandoned the Iraqi people after destroying her country. She said that after the Saddam Hussein-era relatively secular constitution was replaced by the U.S.-installed government, “the [new] Constitution has established a state of inequality for women. There is an article in the Constitution, Article number 41, which has cancelled, almost cancelled for good, the civil rights, the minimal civil rights which women had under Saddam, under what was called the personal status law.” Of course, the proposed Jaafari Law would go further, to enable men to rape girls with impunity, which they cannot now do.