by Muhammadullah Qasmi
(modified and latest version)
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.
The recent gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi bus provoked unprecedented protests throughout India. It is good sign that people are waking up to get their right of safety and security. But, on the other hand, at the same time when Delhi was raging with mass protests the rape cases continued unabated in the length and breadth of the country.
Police records show high incidence of crimes against women in India. The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that the growth rate of crimes against women would be higher than the population growth rate by 2010. Earlier, many cases were not registered with the police due to the social stigma attached to rape and molestation cases. Official statistics show that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported crimes against women. According to the latest data by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), with 24206 cases in 2011, rape cases jumped to incredible increase of 873 % from 1971 when the oldest case of rape was first recorded by NCRB. Even in 1971, there were 2043 cases of rape, the NCRB.
These are the cases that are registered in police stations. While a vast majority of the cases go unreported.
Reasons & Solutions
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 they broadcast materials containing sexual assaults, rapes and other crimes. 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. Moreover, the youths are heavily getting addicted to drugs and other intoxicant stuffs.
If we have a cursory view at the atmosphere in which we are living it may give us an ample understanding of the current outbreak of crimes against women. If you around at the electronic and print media, the entertainment industry, even day-to-day products they survive on nudity and project women as ‘play thing which are meant only to enjoy’.
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, the ration of rapes and other crimes against women is even higher. This is a clear proof that the direction to which our social system is headed is devastative and deadly.
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.
Likewise, drugs and alcohol is a major source of crimes in the society. According to reports, most of the rapists found drunken at the time of crime. The easy access to alcohol and its rampant spread also causing an alarming in the crime ratio. Therefore, this aspect is also needs our urgent attention and preventive measures.
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.
 The Glorious Quran, Al-noor 24/30-31
 The Glorious Quran, Aa-ahzab, 33/33
 The Glorious Quran, Al-ahzab, 33/59