News & Comment: Maliki’s regime Steps Into Saddam’s Shoes As The Terorriser Of Iraqi Women
News & Comment
Maliki’s Regime Steps into Saddam’s Shoes as the Terroriser of Iraqi Women
On the 6th of February, the BBC, Al-Jazeera and other media reported on a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), entitled, “‘No One is Safe’ – The Abuse of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System”. It stated that Iraqi security forces are illegally detaining thousands of women and subjecting them to torture, abuse and threats of sexual assault. Many are held for months or even years without charge because of alleged acts of terrorism committed by their husband or other male relatives. The report documented that the abuse included being, “beaten, kicked, slapped, hung upside-down and beaten on their feet, given electric shocks, and raped or threatened with sexual assault by security forces during their interrogation.” Some of the women described being violated in front of their husbands, brothers and children. The study also found that most of the female detainees had no access to a lawyer and that they were being coerced into signing false confessions. One detainee stated that after 9 days of beatings, shocks, and being hung upside down had left her permanently disabled. She said that officers forced a confession of terrorism from her by threatening to rape her teenage daughter. Seven months after speaking to HRW she was executed despite dismissal of charges against her by lower court rulings. Furthermore, those security officers implicated in this torture have not been brought to justice and hence have been given permit to abuse with impunity.
The brutal legacy of Saddam and the US occupiers who followed him continues unabated under Iraq’s Western-installed secular regime. Such horrific abuse carries echoes of the torture and violation that innocent Muslim women were subjected to by US prison officers in Abu Ghraib which still haunts our minds. In the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, then US President, George W. Bush justified the war upon the basis of liberating the Iraqi people from oppression, including their women. One year after the invasion, he told a gathering at the White House, “Every woman in Iraq is better off because the rape rooms and torture chambers of Saddam are forever closed.” It is clear however, that the lasting legacy of Western colonial occupation and any form of interference in Muslim lands has only even been to generate further oppression and humiliation for the daughters of this Ummah, as evident by the ongoing human tragedy being suffered by the women of Afghanistan. Furthermore, Saddam’s rape and torture chambers have clearly been re-opened under the new management of the US puppet government in Baghdad. This holds relevant lessons with regards to the current UN and Western-led negotiations over the future of Syria aimed at weaselling in the next Western-backed regime in the country to replace its last Western-installed rulers – the Assads. It is unquestionable that the establishment of any Western-backed, Western-installed regime or secular system in Syria is bound to herald a new phase of oppression for its people, as the women of Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced first-hand.
Alongside the horrific ordeal being suffered by thousands of female Iraqi prisoners, the women of the country continue to live in an environment of lawlessness and insecurity. More than 1000 people have died this January due to the ongoing political violence according to government data. The continuing epidemic of abductions, sexual violence, and trafficking of women in the country has caused Iraq’s women and girls to feel too scared to leave their homes. In addition, there are thousands of war-widows, many of whom are working in humiliating conditions or begging on street corners. Desperate poverty has forced thousands of other women to even sell their bodies, simply to afford bread to feed their children. This is the true face of the so-called liberation brought to the Muslim world by Western colonial policies and wars, and installed governments and systems. It is impossible to envisage any form of positive future for women under this current Iraqi regime or any man-made system.
The women of Iraq, Afghanistan, and all our Muslim lands are in dire and urgent need of the establishment of the Islamic Khilafah state to protect their lives and dignity as well as to ensure for them financial security. It was from Baghdad under the Khilafah that Khalifah al-Mutassim sent an army 90,000 strong to the Roman Fort of Amurriyah in Al-Sham to rescue and protect a single Muslim woman who had been captured and humiliated by a Roman soldier, for this is the great status of honour that Islamic rule affords the woman. Al-Mutassim freed the woman with his own hands and apologized that she had to wait for him, saying, “Dear sister, I could not come earlier, for the way from Baghdad to you is a quite far one.” It was from Baghdad under the Khilafah that the Khalifah sent the great Muslim general Salahuddin Ayubi to liberate Palestine from the Christian Crusaders. It was Baghdad under the Khilafah that was known as Madinat al-Salam (the City of Peace) for it was blessed with security under the rule of Islam. And it was Baghdad under the Khilafah that the people enjoyed a high standard of living due to the Islamic economic system. It was narrated that when the Abassid Khalifah Harun Al-Rasheed died, his treasury department had around 630 million worth of gold dinars in surplus cash. Truly, the dignified life that every woman in Iraq and across the Muslim world deserves will only be realized through the return of the system of Allah (swt), the Khilafah.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir