Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The First Blog: Rape Accusation Reinforces Fears in a Divided Iraq

I've decided to create a blog where I can put down my thoughts about the news I read. I receive the New York Times everyday, and I try my best to read it. Sometimes I come across certain articles that really catch my attention, and I just feel like I need to write about it, but don't usually know where. So I guess this will be the place now.

The article that really stood out to me today is a front page story by Marc Santora. He's the NYT correspondent in Baghdad, I believe, and I really enjoy his writing. I think he is able to strike a neutral voice between the very angry sectarian opinions that are expressed on that side of the world.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/world/middleeast/21iraq.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin

(I don't know how to shorten the link into a link. Sorry, guys.)

A Sunni woman announced on Baghdad TV that she was raped by Shiite officers. The entire community is shocked because no one really talks about rape so publicly. I mean, it's pretty alarming in a country as liberal and nosy as the US, imagine how strange and foreign it is for that to happen in Baghdad (I'm assuming).

What I thought was terrible was how the Sunnis and Shiites immediately got up in arms to defend themselves and blame each other. The Sunnis are saying that this is how the Shiites abuse their power, and the Shiites are saying that the woman is a liar and she is just trying to incite Sunni propoganda.

However, it is clear that Santora wishes to show that it shouldn't be about Sunni vs. Shiite. What the people should really be focusing on is the woman being raped by officers who are supposed to help maintain order.

"The case “should not be dealt with on a sectarian basis,” said Saleem Abdullah, a spokesman for the Tawafiq bloc of Sunni parties, which helped the woman come forward. “She is a sister for all Iraqis.”"

And then near the end of the article, Santora writes, "Sabah Salem, a professor at the Baghdad University College of Law, said that while men were occasionally charged with rape in Iraq and punished, many cases went unreported."

"'Rape cases in Iraq are viewed as a shameful thing to any woman regardless of the fact that she is the victim,' he said in an interview."

Santora is trying to point out that rape is happening in this world and it is going unreported, and a woman's body is being violated, and these people are just looking at it from the faulty, and extremely self-absorbed, perspective.

1 comment:

Slonik said...

Oh, Dene's blog is back! With this, Slashdot, Jon Stewart and The Onion I don't really need to watch/read actual news. Excellent.