Islam is often blamed for violence towards subjugated dames. The case of Noura Hussein, who is sentenced to death, shows otherwise, says social advocate and writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Violence against females does not discriminate. One in three women in all regions of the world ordeal physical or forms of sexual violence in their own lives, regardless of race, age or income. Intimate partner violence is the most common form, with physical violence occurring to as many as two out of three women who have ever been in an insinuate partnership.
This is not news, and yet, the difference in how this violence is discussed is stark, depending on where and by whom it has been perpetrated. When the savagery occurs in majority Muslim people, scholars are quick to blame Islam itself, instead of noticing 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 woman from Sudan, furnishes an instructive and urgent pattern. At persons under the age of 16, Noura was forced into a matrimony by her parent. She repudiated and escaped from her family home 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 word that the wedding schedules had been cancelled, and she was welcome to come home.
On her return, it became apparent that “shes had” been tricked. The wedding ceremony was underway, and Noura was duly “given” to the groom. Distraught, the 19 -year-old refused to consummate the wedding for a number of daylights. Within the week, her husband’s tactics became increasingly vigorous. Noura’s husband abused her, with the help of relatives who pinned her down during the act.
When the partner returned the next day to repeat the misdemeanour, Noura retaliated. She stabbed her husband a number of meters, ultimately killing her rapist. She thereafter returned to her family, who reportedly then disavowed her and turned her over to the police.
Over a year later, on 29 April, 2018, Noura was imprisoned of slaying. On 10 May, she was sentenced to death. His family was offered the choice of either accepting monetary compensation for the felony, or executing. They picked the latter. Now the family and community have 15 days to appeal the sentence. They are waiting to invalidate the decision to execute Noura for protecting herself against physical and sexual violence, and steering an hopeless situation that no young lady should ever face.
Noura’s narration is perhaps not unexpected in a world where intimate partner violence is abounding. 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 case are other Sudanese Muslim wives. The solicitors working in the field of the case in Washington DC are members of the Sudanese diaspora, and parole of such cases contacted me through another Sudanese writer’s Instagram and blogposts. The majority of people fighting for Noura are women, Muslim women.
This reality flies in the face of those who claim that Muslim girls are subjugated, subservient or believe in a religion that takes away their rights. It also is currently in ended opposition to men who try to use a warped version of sharia to justify any part of such a situation- the forced marriage, the rape, the sentencing. The wives debating on Noura’s behalf point to both principle and theology: to be united without agree is forbidden in Islam. Child marriage is still rehearsed, although women continue to fight the laws and traditions that allow it.
However, as happens so often in cases like this, the narration becomes an opportunity for the broadcast of grievances and prejudices about Islam, through the contention of preaching for women’s rights. Islam is violent, people “ve said”, because of how they consider their women- and seem, here is an example that strengthens that proof!
Let the women who are advocates for #JusticeForNoura be an example of how that is fundamentally inappropriate. The onu on Muslim wives is impossibly heavy- to defend themselves against both the stupidity of non-Muslims with an Islamophobic agenda, and the deeply patriarchal criteria that exist within interpretations of sharia around the world. To restate Dr Susan Carland, Muslim women forever face a catch-2 2. However, when the fight absolutely is on, as in the case of Noura, they are the firstly to step up to fight for each other’s rights and protection. Tell me, how is that oppression?
* Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical technologist, social campaigner, and writer. Stay her website here