One of the most frightening things about Islam is that even moderate Muslims have some very radical views. For instance, we saw recently that Bassam Zawadi believes that it’s okay for Muslims to invade countries (causing a great deal of bloodshed) which prohibit the preaching of Islam. More recently, Bassam has repeated the common Muslim charge that women who dress immodestly are asking for rape. He said in the "comments" section:
“You have to understand that Western Law easies and facilitates these kind of things to occur. Allowing women to dress up immodestly and acting shamelessly lures men to rape them and promotes fornication and adultery which can result in Aids. If these things occur in Muslim countries then its because they got influenced from the West and not from Islamic law. I am not talking about the people but talking about the governing system.”
It seems, however, that Bassam has modified the claim. Normally, Muslims claim that women who wear, for example, miniskirts, are inviting men to rape them. But Bassam is criticizing governments. He appears to be saying that if a government does not force women to dress according to Muslim standards, the government is “luring” men to rape the women.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that Bassam is not a radical Muslim. He is quite moderate in his views, and he lives in a country that is very moderate (United Arab Emirates). But even so, Bassam, like many other Muslims, associates clothing styles with an invitation to rape. In the eyes of Muslims, if a woman wears certain clothing, and she is raped, it's her own fault. She has no right to complain. In the West, we blame the criminal rather than the victim. In the Muslim world, the rape victim is often viewed as the criminal.
For instance, in the United Arab Emirates (again, quite moderate), a woman named Touria Tiouli was gang-raped by three Muslim men. She reported the assault to the authorities, but the rapists claimed that Tiouli was a prostitute, and she was promptly charged with fornication. You can read the results of the trial here. Notice the pattern in the article. Some men asked if Tiouli needed a ride home. Since she agreed to get into the car with the men, she was inviting them to rape her. (It should be noted that Tiouli came from France, where getting a ride home does not qualify as grounds for rape.)
We see this pattern quite frequently among Muslims. Here’s an article about one of the Muslim brothers who went on a gang-raping rampage in Australia. He justified his crimes by saying that it was the victims’ fault, since they were willing to go along with the Muslims to a party. Apparently, if a Muslim invites you to a party, and you agree, you’re a bad girl, so you deserve to be raped.
Sheikh Qaradawi has summed up the Muslim position here. If a woman is raped because she was dressed immodestly, she is guilty of provoking the rape. I confess that I find this view absolutely repulsive.
Islam is the “Religion of Blame.” If a woman is raped, it’s her fault, not the rapist’s. If Muslims kill innocent people, it’s the West’s fault, not the terrorists’. Take another look at Bassam’s words above, and you’ll see that he not only blames rape on a woman’s clothing, he also blames the West for rape in the Muslim world! (He says: “If these things occur in Muslim countries then its because they got influenced from the West and not from Islamic law.”)
This is how Muslims get by. Whenever a problem is found in Islam, Muslims point a finger somewhere else. Change will not come until Muslims take a good look at the real source of their problems: Muhammad, the Qur’an, and the Hadith.
For more on rape in Islam, see:
“Rape in Islam: Blaming the Victim”
“Rape of Unbelievers in Islam”
“Muhammad and the Female Captives”