Thursday, February 17, 2011

Raping with Words – the Attack on Lara Logan

After watching events unfold in Egypt, and particularly in Tahrir Square – “Liberation Square” – the world rejoiced as the people of Egypt were given what they had been demanding for 18 days. This was a revolution unlike any that had been seen before, and certainly unlike any of the revolutions that we know of from our textbooks. The American & French revolutions were bloody affairs, as was the Russian revolution of 1917 and many other historical revolutions. There was some violence in Egypt, to be sure, and some people did die, but most of the violence was perpetrated by the government, by supporters of the harassed and confused “President” Hosni Mubarak. This was an historical event not only for the reason that the people of Egypt drove out their despotic dictator, but for the fact that they did it without resorting to violence.

The brutality that everyone was expecting to come out of the Egyptian revolution, from those expecting such things, did not manifest itself, and this must have been a terrible disappointment for those who constantly bang on the drum that Islam is the Seed of the Devil and will destroy us all, and that all “Islamists” are “terrorists” and seeking to be martyrs in one way or another. Which is why, I am certain, so many pundits, right-wing bloggers, and, quite frankly, unhinged individuals, have taken some sort of perverse pleasure from the attack on Lara Logan. It is understandable that some people do not like others, particularly because of disagreements along partisan lines, but at the same time, there is no need to leave civility behind. This issue was addressed by President Obama in the speech he delivered in Tucson after the tragic assassination attempt of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

Image © by Ben Heine
When President Obama spoke in Tucson part of his concluding comments included these words: “I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.”

The fact that we may not believe the same thing that our neighbour has never been the issue; the issue is that they are our neighbour and we must live next to them, in peace. The idea that we should be revelling in the suffering of others is, in a word, perverse. There is nothing positive about it, and it is indefensible. There is even a word in German for taking pleasure from the misfortune of others; they call it “Schadenfreude”. The people that have taken pleasure from the attack on Lara Logan have revealed far more about themselves than they can possibly imagine: by mocking a woman who has been brutalized and raped they demonstrate just how they view women, and what value they place on women in society.

At the same time that the new Congress has decided to focus their energies on making access to legal abortion, for any reason, the highest thing on their agenda, you have to wonder, why do these people hate women so much ... especially when some of them ARE women? Anyone who would mock the brutal assault & rape of Lara Logan is likely the same type of individual that supports the political “redefining” of rape, & denying women access to life-saving medical procedures.

Some of the most vitriolic comments came from an individual named Debbie Schlussel (I'm not going to link to her site as I doubt she would return the favour). She boasts of her appearances on the Bill O'Reilly Show, and a claim to having single handedly caused Starbuck's Coffee to have one or their best quarters ever as a result of what she said at one point. Obviously, Debbie Schlussel has a solid connection with reality. Ms Schlussel, in her comments on the attack on Lara Logan, makes the point of accusing Muslims specifically of the attack, using the attack as an opportunity to vilify all Muslims, claiming that “This.Is.Islam.[sic]”. She referred to the demonstrators in Tahrir Square as “animals”, essentially stating that Ms Logan had called this attack upon herself for going back to Egypt so soon after the departure of President Mubarak.

While there's nothing funny about an assault on anyone, especially a rape, using a sexual assault to promote a political agenda is especially heinous. The idea that this was an attack perpetuated by “Muslims” is pure and absolute conjecture: news services showed that Tahrir Square was filled by Egyptians of both the Islamic and Christian faith (and quite a few non-believers I would imagine given the age of the demonstrators). The fact that Muslims surrounded Christians so they could pray without fear of attack, after the Christians had surrounded the Muslims, the day before, demonstrates that people from both religions were cooperating in this revolution. It was NOT an “Islamist” revolution, as people like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh would have you believe, it was a revolution of the Egyptian people, and that's what Lara Logan was there to report on.

Saying that this crime was an act committed by a specific group is not only a gross generalization, it is overtly racist and exemplifies the worst in what has become an increasing “Islamophobic” attitude in the west that climaxed during the second term of George W. Bush. The fact that George W. Bush contrived the story we were given that propelled the United States into a war against a nation that had not attacked them in any way whatsoever is lost on those who call all Muslims their enemy; they have decided that Islam owes them a level of civility that the west is not provided them with. These critics of Islam want Muslims to go off and hide, pretending that they don't exist, but they forget that so-called “Christians” have acted as badly, or worse, than Muslims through the course of the past two thousand years.

Rape is only one small example of the crimes that have been used as a weapon against women in countries where men claim to be “Christians”. Rape is a crime that has been well practised in the west, a predominantly “Christian” area, it could well be argued that the attackers of Ms Logan were, in fact, not followers of the Muslim faith but Christians (not very good ones, one should point out, but that's another point as well).

Saying that Lara Logan was raped by Muslims assumes facts that can only be known by one who was on the scene, with the perpetrators of the act. Facts and evidence, that's what's important here, not the wild conjecture and overt prejudices of people who hate Muslims, regardless of what they have done. Facts and evidence are the two things that are lacking by those who want to vilify “Islam” as the all-consuming evil that it must be in order to validate their place at the apex of civilization. But, that hasn't stopped the pundits before. As the saying goes, “never let the facts interfere with your arguments”. After all, if you allow facts to enter the fray you just might find yourself persuaded by your opponent's argument ... the one using the facts.

All the while they ignore the facts that are known. Facts that do not need any special skills to discern, they are right out in front of us. The 1st fact: Lara Logan was brutally assaulted and raped; that's the first FACT that we have. The 2nd fact: She was saved by a group of Muslim women & about 20 members of the Egyptian Army; that's the Second FACT that we have. There has been absolutely NOTHING released on the nature of the criminals who attacked her; nothing about their identities, or their religion.

Image © by Ben Heine
So, why do the attackers have to be Muslim? Do Americans, people claiming to be “Christians” never commit the crime of rape? Have not American soldiers, while on active duty in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq and probably Afghanistan been accused of, charged of and convicted of raping and murdering civilians? If you want to condemn all of Islam for the attack on Lara Logan, then you must do the same to all of Christianity for the crimes perpetuated by those who have slaughtered “in the Name of the Lord” over the last thousand years, or Jews who have killed in the name of “HaShem”.

Ultimately we must remember that rape is not about sex; it isn't about love: it is about the domination and complete control of a victim. Rape victims are not only women or girls; men are raped often in prison and boys are often the victim of sexual assault. Unfortunately, due to the stigma surrounding the reporting of sexual assaults, many of these events go unreported or under-reported, making accurate reporting on numbers difficult to come by. What rape is about is an intellectually impotent male who is so sexually frustrated he feels his only choice is to take control over someone that they are able to physically and/or emotionally dominate. There is nothing romantic about rape, nor is there anything “sexy” about it; it is the ultimate degradation of humanity, removing any possible element of beauty from the sexual act. Mocking a victim of this type of crime serves to continue the victimization, creating an atmosphere of hate that foments more and more hatred until some unseen line is crossed, moving toward some “critical mass” of hatred that will eventually lead to all out war. At least, that would be the ideal for the Islamophobes; their “worst case” must include an Islamic war with the west, a war with Christianity (as though “Christianity” is an organized “force” which will do battle).

I'd also like to remind those who disagree with me - and I know that people disagree - American soldiers - "Christians" - in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and MANY other fields of battle committed acts of rape and barbarism - if you want to condemn all of Islam for the attack on Lara Logan after this attack, then do the same to all of Christianity for the crimes perpetuated by those who have slaughtered "in the Name of the Lord", or Jews who have killed in the name of "HaShem".


Anonymous said...

Yeah but Islam is the anti-Christ religion.

Mohammad was a pedophile, rapist, and went on a murderess rampage.

All Jesus done was turn over some tables in the Jewish temple.

Pretty clear what religion is 3vil vs Divine. Islam is literally Satanic and will kill all non-Allah/Satan believers in the end!

Unknown said...

I posted the comment from "anonymous" after much consideration. While I strongly disagree with the premise of the comment, that "Islam is literally Satanic", I am also interested in promoting a dialogue. Thus, my response (similar comments will NOT be published, unless they bring something genuinely original to the dialogue - so if you're going to hate, be creative about it):

This article was not about the eschatological natures of Islam or Christianity, nor was I making any judgements or assessments as to the relative spiritual "values" associated with either belief system. If you feel it necessary to judge an entire people, that is your prerogative, but I caution you - as you seem to be someone who wants to be aligned with the "Jesus side of things", there is a rather strong admonishment against judgment. To declare, in an absolutest manner, that "Islam is literally Satanic" is, quite frankly, not at all useful for any dialogue. You are slamming the door in the face of any possible discussion, but, I suspect that this doesn't bother you either, considering that you have hidden behind the veil of the anonymous posting.

It's amazing how being able to attack without having anyone know who you are allows so many people to spew hatred and vitriol into the ether.

Unknown said...

As for the "Anti-Christ" of religions, you should look much closer to home. Islam was founded over 1,000 years ago. The religion of the Anti-Christ, according to the Book of Revelation, will be something relating to the New Age (decidedly Not Islam).

It's amazing how blinded people can become by hatred and ignorance. Having eyes to see, but not seeing .... If only I'd written that myself.

Anonymous said...

Where are are you assuming that I have hatred by my comments? I think you outta open your eyes & see which religion wants to occupy and destroy the whole world.

It's not "Islamophobia" when they do want to kill us and rape our women. Islam is a religion born straight out of hell.

Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 7:15, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Islam claims to be a religion of "peace." hmmm..

Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (English: My Struggle)
Islamic "Jihad" = My struggle

Writings on the wall imo.