Sunday, June 12, 2005

E-Mail Plea for Mukhtar Mai

I sent this out to some folks so we can raise awareness, please make dua for our sisters in Islam.

Some of you may be familiar with a Sister named Mukhtar Mai. She is a Pakistani woman from the rural village of Meerwala. In June 2002, because of a rumor stating that her 14-year-old brother had been seen with a girl from a rival tribe, the tribal council of Meerwala called him before the tribal court to stand for his "dishonor" to the girl's family. Mukhtar Mai plead the case for her brother and they excused him.

But under the un-Islamic tribal laws of her village, they ordered that she should be raped to restore the honor of the offended family. Four men took turns while raping her in front of a cheering village and she was left naked and thrown into the street with nothing but a shawl to cover her as she walked back to her village. Many times she had contemplated suicide but it was her family and friends that convinced her not to take her life. But instead of giving up, she decided to fight back.

Last year in 2004, over 150 women were raped under the order of the Panchiat court, a village system of law that goes against the secular laws of Pakistan and the divine laws of Islam. You see, Mukhtar Mai is a teacher of Islam. So she is well versed in her rights as a Pakistani woman but just as knowlegable about her rights given to her as a Muslim in the Qur'an. The local imam of her village used his standing in the community to speak out against the injustice. With his help, the reputation of her attackers was being maligned as men who had violated her Islamic rights. Her attackers assumed that she would be too ashamed to tell the police what had happened to her but with the encouragment of the imam, her friends and family, she filed a complait with the police and alerted the attention of the local and international media.

Because the Pakistani government had felt the international scrunity of 9/11, they wanted to prove that they were on the side of law and order. The tribal elders and the volunteer rapists were charged and subject to hang for their crimes and Mukhtar Mai was given a $8,000 in compensation. She has used the money to build a school in Meerwala to educate the young girls whose education is often denied. President Musharaf offered her a house in the city and all the trappings of luxury but she decided to stay in her village to help her people. But the charges were overturned against the rapists this year.

Brothers and sisters, the Qur'an and Sunnah is the rock that she is standing on and she has made it very clear to journalists that she fights from an Islamic standpoint, not against it. In March 2005, the Islamic Shari'a court stepped in and overturned the appeal and ordered that that her attackers be tried for their crime and had them arrested. Prime Minister Sauhkat Aziz offered her protection but she refuses to leave Pakistan and she is determined to stay with the people she loves.

But just yesterday, June 10th, the Lahore High Court went against the Shari'a court and released her rapists from prison. Her case has been appealed and is going to the Pakistani Supreme Court but she is in tremendous danger from people who want to restore the "honor" of the men who attacked her. They may kill her, rape her and find some other gruesome way to punish her for speaking out. Please make dua for our Sister Mukhtar Mai and others like her because prayer is the biggest and most powerful weapon of the Muslims.

Please write a letter to the Pakistani embassy here pleading her case.
Mr. Janangir Karamat
3517 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008
202-243-6500
info@embassyofpakistan.org

Her case has received so much attention that
her website has exceeded it's bandwith
but you can see the older one at http://www.mukhtarmai.com/Mai'sTragedy.htm.
You can also get frequent updates by checking out these websites...www.izzymo.blogspot.com
www.sunnisisters.com/sunnisister
by checking the Iman Muhanna/Mukhtar Mai section

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