Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
In our daily newspapers, rape rears its ugly façade almost every day. Sometimes, it is a brutal rape and murder by a stranger, gang-rape of a girl by her acquaintances or in many cases rape of a girl by her own father or elderly relatives. In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in ratio of rape in India. It is becoming such a common thing in our newspapers that we are apt to not even pay any remarkable attention.
In India, a woman is raped every 25 minutes. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, between March 2004 and April 2005, 318 cases of rape were reported in Delhi alone. According to available statistics, more than 600 rape cases were registered in Delhi in 2005. NCRB statistics also show more than 18,100 people were tried for rape in the country in 2003. Rape cases pending in courts across the country till Oct 2003 were 56,000. The Startling aspect the story is that the perpetrators in most of the cases are a family member or a relative. According to a study, released in 1997 by the Sakshi Violence Intervention Centre based on a survey done with 350 school girls in New Delhi, “63% of the girls had experienced child sexual abuse at the hands of family members. Nearly one-third of the girls said the perpetrator had been a father, grandfather or male friend of the family.”
These are the cases that are registered in police stations. While a vast majority of the cases go unreported. There is one observation by a study that only 5% of women crimes reach police stations in villages and even in that little percent, only 30% cases are registered by police and actions are taken against the accused.
In view of the startling situation one naturally is forced to think what the reason of the increasing criminal and barbaric trends in Indian youths is. One thing is noticeable that as the country is heading rapidly to globalization and westernization the ratio of such crimes is going higher and higher. Globalization has caused a significant change in the Indian culture, society and scenario. Late night party cultures, discos, dating clubs, fashion shows and beauty contests have increased in numbers in the past 10 years. The satellite and cable TV channels have grown and are almost uncensored by any organized authority. Also, this decade has witnessed a huge increase in pornography materials both in CDs and on Internet. The Indian entertainment industry (national and regional) and media which have access nearly to every house, present bold scenes and nudity as fashion and symbol of higher lifestyle. The youths are heavily getting addicted to drugs and other intoxicant stuffs.
At the same time, it is regretful that Indian women have gone far away in following the western culture in terms of nudity, immodesty and fashionable lifestyle. The good and constructive aspects of western culture such as discipline, hard work, dedication, tolerance, transparency, honesty, incorruptness etc are neglected. While on the contrary, the superficial glitters are accepted as a source to climb the zenith of development and intellectualism. The way the daughters are dressed and nurtured is very dangerous for them and ultimately for the society. This has caused havoc in our social system and the sanctity of relations and respect of humanity is falling apart.
One who has an observation of recent social disorder and betrayal from the cultural and religious values is quite sure that the latest increasing trends of sexual violence against women are based on the changing scenario of our social system. It is quite surprising event and one is forced to think when we have a free and open society where men and women are free to make friends, have affairs, go to brothels and enjoy their life as they wish, then why some monsters prey girls to fulfil their lust. But, on the contrary, with the rise of globalization and westernization the crime ratio is on the rise. In USA, the hub of western culture, a woman is raped every 90 seconds. In 1995, 354,670 women were the victims of a rape or sexual assault. Over the last two years, more than 787,000 women were the victim of a rape or sexual assault. So, this is a clear proof that the direction to which our social system is headed is leading it to destruction and devastation.
As Muslims we believe that the guidelines that Muslims have been given by Glorious Quran and a Hadith are the ultimate points to find a peaceful and flourishing society. And, being followers of the only heavenly and most authentic religion, we can claim that the social and moral teachings of Islam can guarantee peace, tranquillity and safety if they are truly implemented. In order to get the society peaceful, safe and flourishing Islam has introduced complete social system. Unlike the current social systems, which hypocritically ban the consequences such as rape and sexual violence but leave the doors flung open by allowing the causes from where crimes creep in the society. But, Islam, on one hand, strictly deals with crimes like adultery and rape while on the other it roots out the immediate causes of the crime and regards them also illegal.
Islam has introduced strict penal codes for social crimes so that none dare to commit it. It set up such rules and commandments that narrow down the trends of committing such crimes. First, Islam has ordained it followers to cover their body necessarily every time; the men have to cover from pelvis to knee, while the women have to cover their entire body except their face, hands and feet. Islam has asked women to observe purdah form her distant relatives and strange men. The Glorious Quran enjoins Muslim men and women to lover their gaze and maintain modesty:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be modest. This is purer for them. Allah is fully Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and preserve their chastity, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent. They shall draw their veils over their bosoms, and shall not reveal their adornment save to their own husbands, their fathers, the fathers of their husbands, their sons, the sons of their husbands, their brothers, the sons of their brothers, the sons of their sisters, other women, the male attendants who lack natural vigour, or the children who have no knowledge of sex. They shall not strike their feet (when they walk) in order to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn to Allah together, O believers so that you may succeed.”
Women are recommended to wear modest clothes and not reveal their body and structure that may be sexually provocative to the opposite sex. In view of the women’s biological nature and their physical structure, Islam has asked women to, preferably, stay in their houses and not go out:
“Stay in your homes, and do not display your finery as women used to do in the old days of ignorance.”
However, due to some compulsions and reasons, if any woman has to go out she has been enjoined to maintain modesty and wear Hijab*:
“O prophet, enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they draw their veils close round them. That is more proper, so that they may be recognized (as righteous women) and not molested.”
To get the society free from crimes, the spate of pornographic materials must be strictly banned. The media, TV channels and cinema which present and publish vulgar materials must be censored. However, it heavily depends on our womenfolk whether they are careful to safeguard their modesty and self-respect or not.
After all, our youths and new generations need to be given more and more morals teachings and social values which are almost zero in our prevailing education system.
 sify.com New Delhi, the rape capital of India
 Indiatimes.com Debates and views on rape in India, Sunday, November 27, 2005, Source: neoncarrot
 Indiatimes.com Debates and views on rape in India, Sunday, November 27, 2005
 US Department of Justice, 2000
 National Crime Victimization Survey, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice, 1996
 The Glorious Quran, Al-noor 24/30-31
 The Glorious Quran, Aa-ahzab, 33/33
 The Glorious Quran, Al-ahzab, 33/59
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org