“How about asking Mr. Musharraf to focus on finding Osama, instead of kidnapping rape victims who speak out?”

Kristoff writes of the plight of Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani woman gang-raped by order of a village tribunal who brought her attackers to court and used the money she received from their convictions to set up a local school–and who is now being detained by the Pakistani government and is being held without a lawyer.
Jason Chervokas says:Pakistan’s treatment of Bibi and the US government’s failure to hold it’s ally’s feet to the fire on this most basic of human rights issues starkly exposes the bald, two-faced, lie that is the Bush Administration’s supposed campaign for democracy in the Arab World.”
So far, the US government has been silent on this human rights violation by an ally.
Read Tom Watson on how to speak out. Blogger LazyCat has some added links and resources.

Update
: She’s home.

Latest Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Oh come on, politics on this blog too… Is there no escapism?
    If the point must be addressed, I’ll put it this way. Perhaps its best for the State Dept. to deal with such matters behind CLOSED doors. People may not like the fact that we rely so heavily on Pakistan to help fight terrorists, but guess what- WE DO! Solving this problem through the press accomplishes nothing…seriously. In fact, its most likely detrimental since publically embarrassing a necessary ally is hardly the way to get anything done.
    One more thing, I was born in the Middle East and am very familiar with what is going on there. You are fooling yourself if you don’t believe there has been tremendous human rights progress since Bush has taken over. Its absolutely amazing that all these people comment NOW! Where have you been for the past 100 years? The relative progress over the past 4 years has been nothing short of revolutionary.

  2. Randy says:

    The headline is totally egregious. Where is the slightest proof that the Bush Administration does not oppose this violation of human rights? Indeed, what decent human would possibly support this tragically common abuse of human rights, and especially women’s rights, by this and virtually all other Muslim societies? But Jeff is correct when he comments that some things are best dealt with behind closed doors. Does this mean that no one can speak out as individuals? Of course not! But before you vilify the Bush Administration – or give blog space to those who do – doesn’t it make sense to ask “How can the most effective action be taken to help women who are victimized in this way?” Do you really think that attacking the Bush Administration – which by instituting a fighting war on terror is the first institution in the world to send the message to Muslim societies that terrorism, AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS SANCTIONED BY ISLAM AND BY ISLAMIC REGIMES AND SOCIETIES, will no longer be accepted by those who care for human rights – is an effective way to aid these women? Or that individual protests, especially if they are vitiated by political opposition to the Bush Administration, will be more effective than overt, covert, or diplomatic efforts by the U.S. Government? I think that is an unutterably naive point of view. I also think that publicly holding every Muslim regime’s feet to the fire for every one of their virtually nonstop human rights violations is both likely to be ineffective and counterproductive. (Personally, I wouldn’t mind declaring war on all of them, but at the same time, I don’t delude myself that THAT would be any more effective in ending the subjugation of Muslim women.) Lastly, the argument is a false dichotomy, of course. Pakistan does not “allocate resources” between finding Bin Laden and violating the rights of female gang-rape victims. What they have done and are doing to this woman could not possibly be more wrong – but in what fantasy land would they act differently if Bin Laden were dead or imprisoned already? But the headline’s question is nothing more than a nice way to turn the tragic and constant violation of human rights BY MUSLIM SOCIETIES AND MUSLIM GOVERNMENTS into fault on the part of the Bush Administration. But it’s just rhetorical excess, all heat and no light.

  3. susan mernit says:

    Points taken, gentleman, but how about this woman’s situation–without global outcry, isn’t she at risk? I’m concerned with this particular woman and if blogging about her situation can help the situation, blog I will.

  4. Randy says:

    Wonderful to hear that this brave woman is free, and her refusal to be co-opted by the Musharraf regime is most admirable. It seems to me that when Kristof calls Musharraf “nuts,” he’s almost certainly right. But what is the next step? Musharraf is nuts; his efficacy in aiding the war on terror is spotty at best and his commitment and motivations are, to say the least, questionable. But – if America pressures Musharraf too much, or withdraws support – as distasteful as supporting him may be – is there any doubt that the regime that replaces him will be more fundamentalist Islamic, more anti-woman, more anti-American? Condi Rice is publicly pressuring Egypt on democracy and women’s rights. Do we care more about Muslim women in Egypt than in Pakistan? I don’t think so…Rice is speaking out partly because we have more leverage in Egypt, but also partly because there is a more credible desirable opposition – not because the Bush Adminisration is indifferent to the suffering of Muslim women ANYWHERE. In short, I think we’re better off questioning Administration tactics than overall Administration strategy – for the moment.

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