Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Women in Somalia; sexual spoils of war

Certain aspects of Islam and jihad are so heinous it is hard to read about them.  It is important to always know what Islam is doing, to whom and where at, as disturbing as that might be to a good portion of us.

Rape is a barbaric aspect of war, a method of leaving your mark to let others know you were there.  Islam has never stopped sanctioning sexual abuse of captive/vulnerable women, it is one way of paying your soldiers for their work.  I this case, that may be the driving force behind all these rapes.  Al-Shabaab is running out of money, and by giving permission for their jihadists to take the women as they please could be partial payment.

It is a sick and evil cult which tells its adherents it is OK to rape the females, some as young as 12.  Then again, since Muhammad married Aisha when she was 6, and consummated the marriage at age 9, 12 year olds are fair game.

From The New York Times December 27 by Jeffrey Gettlman

For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The girl’s voice dropped to a hush as she remembered the bright, sunny afternoon when she stepped out of her hut and saw her best friend buried in the sand, up to her neck.
Her friend had made the mistake of refusing to marry a Shababcommander. Now she was about to get her head bashed in, rock by rock.

“You’re next,” the Shabab warned the girl, a frail 17-year-old who was living with her brother in a squalid refugee camp.

Several months later, the men came back. Five militants burst into her hut, pinned her down and gang-raped her, she said. They claimed to be on a jihad, or holy war, and any resistance was considered a crime against Islam, punishable by death.

“I’ve had some very bad dreams about these men,” she said, having recently escaped the area they control. “I don’t know what religion they are.”

Somalia has been steadily worn down by decades of conflict and chaos, its cities in ruins and its people starving. Just this year, tens of thousands have died from famine, with countless others cut down in relentless combat. Now Somalis face yet another widespread terror: an alarming increase in rapes and sexual abuse of women and girls.

The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale.

But it is not just the Shabab. In the past few months, aid workers and victims say, there has been a free-for-all of armed men preying upon women and girls displaced by Somalia’s famine, who often trek hundreds of miles searching for food and end up in crowded, lawless refugee camps where Islamist militants, rogue militiamen and even government soldiers rape, rob and kill with impunity.

With the famine putting hundreds of thousands of women on the move — severing them from their traditional protection mechanism, the clan — aid workers say more Somali women are being raped right now than at any time in recent memory. In some areas, they say, women are being used as chits at roadblocks, surrendered to the gunmen staffing the barrier in the road so that a group of desperate refugees can pass.

“The situation is intensifying,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations’ special representative for children and armed conflict. All the recent flight has created a surge in opportunistic rapes, she said, and “for the Shabab, forced marriage is another aspect they are using to control the population.”

Read it all

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