Islam is often is the responsibility of brutality towards crushed ladies. The example of Noura Hussein, who is sentenced to death, pictures otherwise, says social proponent and novelist Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Violence against maidens does not differentiate. One in three women across the globe experience physical or sexual violence in their lives, irrespective of race, age or income. Intimate partner violence is the most common model, with physical violence occurring to as many as two out of three women who have ever been in an intimate partnership.

This is not news, and hitherto, the difference in how this violence is discussed is striking, depending on where and by whom it has been perpetrated. When the savagery has occurred in majority Muslim countries, scholars are speedy to blame Islam itself, instead of find the army of Muslim women who are fighting for their rights within the faith, and representing ladies- and themselves- at all costs.

Noura Hussein, a young lady from Sudan, caters an instructive and urgent instance. At the age of 16, Noura was forced into a wedlock by her leader. She refused and fleeing from her family dwelling near Khartoum to stay with her aunt in Sennar, around 250 km away. She lived there for three years, determined to finish her education, when she received parole that the bridal programmes had been cancelled, and she was welcome to come home.

On her return, it became apparent that “shes been” tricked. The wedding ceremony was underway, and Noura was duly “given” to the groom. Distraught, the 19 -year-old refused to consummate the matrimony for a number of eras. Within the week, her husband’s tactics is becoming more vigorous. Noura’s husband abused her, with the help of relatives who pinned her down during the act.

When the spouse returned the next day to echo the crime, Noura retaliated. She stabbed her husband a number of times, eventually killing her rapist. She afterwards returned to her family, that were allegedly then rejected her and turned her over to the police.

Over a year later, on 29 April, 2018, Noura was convicted of assassinate. On 10 May, she was sentenced to death. His kinfolk was offered the choice of either consenting monetary compensation for the violation, or execution. They opted the latter. Now the family and community have 15 days to petition the convict. They are hoping to overrule the decision to execute Noura for protecting herself against physical and sexual violence, and steering an impossible situation that no young woman should ever face.

Noura’s story is perhaps not unusual in a world-wide where intimate collaborator brutality is rife. However, there is something about Noura’s case that is indicative of a wider truth. The majority of people involved in raising awareness about this young woman’s occasion are other Sudanese Muslim women. The lawyers working on the event in Washington DC are members of the Sudanese diaspora, and statement of the case contacted me through another Sudanese writer’s Instagram and blogposts. The majority of parties fighting for Noura are ladies, Muslim women.

This reality flies in the face of those who claim that Muslim ladies are suppressed, submissive or believe in a religion that takes away their own rights. It too stands in complete opposition to men who try to use a warped form of sharia to vindicate any part of such a situation- the forced marriage, the rape, the sentencing. The maidens reasoning on Noura’s behalf point to both rule and theology: to be marriage without assent is ban in Islam. Child marriage is still rehearsed, although women continue to fight the laws and habits that allow it.

However, as happens so often in cases like this, the narrative becomes an opportunity for the airing of grievances and prejudices about Islam, through the debate of proposing for women’s rights. Islam is murderous, beings will say, because of how they treat their women- and appear, here is an example that reinforces that argument!

Let the women who are advocates for #JusticeForNoura be an example of how that is fundamentally mistaken. The onu on Muslim women is impossibly heavy- to defend themselves against both the knowledge of non-Muslims with an Islamophobic agenda, and the deeply patriarchal norms that exist within readings of sharia throughout the world. To paraphrase Dr Susan Carland, Muslim women forever face a catch-2 2. However, when the fight genuinely is on, as in the case of Noura, they are the first to step up to fight for each other’s rights and protection. Tell me, how is that injustice?

* Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social counselor, and scribe. See her website here


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