Islam is often blamed for violence towards subjugated females. The action of Noura Hussein, who is sentenced to death, establishes otherwise, says social advocate and scribe Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Violence against dames does not discriminate. One in three women across the globe experience physical or forms of sexual violence in “peoples lives”, regardless of race, age or income. Intimate partner violence is the most common form, with physical violence occurring to as numerous as two out of three women who have ever been in an insinuate partnership.
This is not news, and hitherto, significant differences in how this violence is discussed is stark, depending on where and by whom it has been perpetrated. When the brutality occurs in majority Muslim countries, pundits are speedy to blame Islam itself, instead of noticing the army of Muslim women who are fighting for their rights within the faith, and defending ladies- and themselves- at all costs.
Noura Hussein, a young woman from Sudan, provisions an instructive and urgent precedent. At the age of 16, Noura was forced into a wedlock by her papa. She refused 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 statement that the marry plans had been cancelled, and she was welcome to come home.
On her return, it became apparent that she 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 wedlock for a number of daytimes. Within the week, her husband’s tactics is becoming vigorous. Noura’s spouse raped her, with the help of relatives who pinned her down during the act.
When the partner returned the next day to repeat the crime, Noura retaliated. She jabbed her husband a number of durations, ultimately killing her rapist. She thereafter returned to her family, who were allegedly then disowned her and turned her over to the police.
Over a year later, on 29 April, 2018, Noura was convicted of murder. On 10 May, she was sentenced to death. His family was offered the choice of either abiding monetary compensation for the crime, or hanging. They choice the latter. Now the family and community have 15 epoches to appeal the sentence. They are hoping to overturn the decision to execute Noura for representing herself against physical and sexual violence, and steering an hopeless situation that no young woman should ever face.
Noura’s story is perhaps not odd 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 girls. The solicitors “workin on” the suit in Washington DC are members of the Sudanese diaspora, and word of such cases reached me through another Sudanese writer’s Instagram and blogposts. The majority of parties fighting for Noura are women, Muslim women.
This reality flies in the face of those who claim that Muslim ladies are subjugated, submissive or believes in a religion that takes away their rights. It likewise stands in ended opposition to men who try to use a warped version of sharia to justify any part of such different situations- the forced marriage, the assault, the sentencing. The dames reasoning on Noura’s behalf point to both law and theology: to be wedded without authorization is forbidden in Islam. Child marriage is still practised, although women continue to fight the laws and habits that allow it.
However, as happens so often in cases like this, the storey becomes an opportunity for the send of grudges and racisms about Islam, through the controversy of proposing for women’s rights. Islam is murderous, people will say, because of how they treat their women- and ogle, here is an example that reinforces that controversy!
Let the women who are advocates for #JusticeForNoura be an example of how that is fundamentally inappropriate. The headache on Muslim wives is impossibly heavy- to defend themselves against both the stupidity of non-Muslims with an Islamophobic agenda, and the deeply patriarchal norms that exist within interpretations of sharia around the world. To paraphrase Dr Susan Carland, Muslim women forever face a catch-2 2. However, when the fight truly is on, such 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 engineer, social proponent, and columnist. Inspect her website here