Epidemic of acid-attacks on Islamic women

Originally Submitted by Barbara Bassett 7/25/10

I recently received two emails containing some very horrifying stories along with even more horrifying pictures. One was entitled “Epidemic of Acid-Attack on Women in Pakistan”, the article is about women who volunteered to lift their veil and show their burned faces and let a picture speak a thousand words and tell their truth. These women are courageous because they are Muslim women and under Sharia law the act of showing her face is a crime, even if it’s burned and no longer resembles a woman’s face.

I want you to think about this — these women are victims of a heinous crime. However, the heinous crime is not considered as such, it is considered an act of defending ones honor. A man whose marriage proposal is refused is defending his honor by throwing acid onto the body of the woman who refused his proposal. How dare she refuse him, his feelings are hurt and he is just so pissed off. But hey, we are talking about Islam, where men whose feelings are hurt by a woman get to act out their anger.

Yep, in Islam Mr. Refused is told not to seek counseling but seek revenge –throw acid in her face, you can even make a human torch out of her, you need to defend your honor man and we will back you up –you are the victim and she wears a veil that covers her face so we can hide our methods of peaceful honor defending. That is until she decides to lift her veil and show the world the horrific barbaric truth of what really goes on within the walls of the honorable religion of peace.

Warning the following photos are graphic and horrifying and real!

Story of Irum Saeed

Irum Saeed, 30, is a resident of Rawalpindi. She recalls how 12 years ago, when she was only 17, a boy, whose marriage proposal she had rejected, followed her to her college. The street he chose for the scene of crime was narrow, and Irum was unable to escape his hot pursuit of her. The rejected boy proceeded to throw a jug full of acid on her. As she turned to avoid this, he threw the remaining acid onto her back and shoulders, badly burning them. The photograph was taken at her office at the Urdu University of Islamabad, Pakistan, on Thursday, July 24, 2008. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times to try to recover from her scars.

Story of Shameem Akhter

Shameem Akhter’s face was mutilated with acid when she was only 17. Now aged 20, she is still unable to comprehend how she fell victim to criminals, who kidnapped and raped her for revenge. Then they left her face mutilated, hoping her appearance would silence her forever and ensure that she would never marry. They have succeeded in destroying her life and much of her spirit. Shameem has undergone plastic surgery 10 times to try to repair from her scars.

 Story of Najaf Sultana

Najaf Sultana, now 16, of Lahore, was burned by her father at the age of five while she was sleeping, apparently because he didn’t want to have another girl in the family. The burning left Najaf blind. Abandoned by both her parents, she now lives with relatives. She has undergone plastic surgery around 15 times to try to repair her scars.

 Story of Shehnaz Usman

Shehnaz Usman, now 36, of Lahore was burned with acid by a relative due to a family dispute five years ago. She has undergone plastic surgery 10 times.

Story of Shahnaz Bibi

Shahnaz Bibi, now 35, of Lahore, was burned with acid ten years ago by a relative due to a family dispute. She has never undergone plastic surgery.

Story of Kanwal Kayum

Kanwal Kayum, now 26, of Lahore was burned with acid one year ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has never undergone plastic surgery.

 Story of Munira Asef

Munira Asef, now 23, of Lahore was burned with acid five years ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has undergone plastic surgery 7 times to try to heal her scars.

 Story of Bushra Shari

Bushra Shari, 39, of Lahore was burned with acid thrown by her husband five years ago because she wanted to divorce him. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times.

 Story of Memuna Khan

Memuna Khan, 21, of Karachi was burned by a group of boys who threw acid on her to settle a dispute between their family and Menuna’s. She has undergone plastic surgery 21 times.

 Story of Zainab Bibi

Zainab Bibi, 17, of Islamabad was burned five years ago by throwing acid on her face a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has undergone plastic surgery several times.

 Story of Naila Farhat

Naila Farhat, 19, of Islamabad was burned five years ago by throwing acid on her face by a boy for rejecting his marriage proposal. She has undergone plastic surgery several times.

The case of Naila Farhat was brought to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in November 2008 and received great publicity. The perpetrator was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay Rupees1.2 million in damages. This represented a landmark decisions in dealing with gender violence, but the judgment could hardly stem the menace of acid-throwing. This was also somewhat exceptional case in the landscape of acid attacks in Pakistan. In most cases, measures, if at all taken, are still disproportionately low as compared to the sufferings inflicted by the attacks.

 Story of Saira Liaqat

Saira Liaqat, 26, of Lahore was 15, when she was married to a relative. The families had agreed she would join him only after finishing school. But then he demanded her to live with him after the marriage and eventually attacked her with acid when his demand was not met. Saira has undergone plastic surgery 9 times.

 Story of Zubaida Khatoon

Zubaida Khatoon was burnt by her husband to resolve an argument. Her husband had made it a hobby of frequently marrying women from families to lower economic groups. When she discovered this, Zubaida protested his actions. He tried to settle the argument by setting her on fire after pouring kerosene on her. Raising an objection to his lechery was all needed for her to bear these scars.

 Story of Nasreen Sharif

Nasreen Sharif, 23, was once a beautiful girl. When she turned 14, her cousin poured a bottle of sulphuric acid on her face as she slept. His excuse was that he couldn’t stand other boys whistling at her (because of he beauty) when she crossed the street. She no longer bears any resemblance to that youthful beauty. “My skin melted and my hair burned away. I am now blind, I have no ears and I have no sense of smell”,
says Nasreen.

 Story of Parveen Akhtar

Parveen Akhtar, 38, from Jehlum found her life changed when her husband asked her for her written permission to allow him to remarry. Her refusal to it angered him and he tried to murder her by dousing her body with kerosene and setting it alight. He portrayed the incident as an accident and told people that he wanted to remarry because she cannot bear children.

 Story of Bashiran Bibi

Nearly 25 years ago, newly-married Bashiran Bibi (now 57), a resident of Sukheki, Pakistan, was pushed by her mother-in-law into a coal stove. The family proclaimed it to be an accident. Her husband blamed it on a fit of epilepsy that she suffers from. Resolved to her fate, Bashiran continues to live with her husband and in-laws and gave birth to 5 children after this “accident”. Whatever money is donated to Bashiran’s cause, her husband uses it for himself and doesn’t spend any on her treatment.

 Story of Mumtaz Bibi

Mumtaz Bibi, 39, from Khairpur, Pakistan, came under her husband’s wrath while trying to protect her daughters. Her offence was that she refused to let him selling off her girls, shielding them with her life. Because of her lack of compliance, her husband poured acid all over her body, then proceeded to divorce her.

 Story of Tasneem Shahzad

24-year-old Tasneem Shahzad’s story is repeated all too often. A girl, too poor to bring much demanded dowry, she bore the wrath of greedy in-laws. Tasneem’s ex-husband was an addict. It was left to her to support her own household as well as that of her extended family. Tasneem worked in several homes to support all those who depended on her. However, that was not pleasing enough for her greedy in-laws. One day, her clothes were set on fire by her rapacious in-laws and she suffered severe burns. They then proceeded to try and prove that the incident was an accident.

  Rays of Hope

Amidst this grim state of affairs for the unfortunate women of Pakistan, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is working to expose the extent of the gender-violence in Pakistan and the misogynist mindset behind it, which is spreading within the Pakistani Middle Class. The AHRC is working closely with acid-attack victims as part of its involvement for denouncing human rights violations across Asia. 

The Depilex Smileagain Foundation is another organization, which is working with victims of acid-attack to help them smile again, however impossible a task it may appear: they are trying to make impossible possible. In fact, DSF is working in partnership with the Italian NGO Smileagain Foundation that believes, “There is every possibility that these survivors can manage to live the rest of their lives with dignity, with some help.”

A team of Italian doctors, linked to Italian Smileagain Foundation, visit Pakistan every three months to conduct operations on those victims in an effort to give them back as normal a life as possible.

In September, 2008, the team visited Lahore where they carried out two operations and then proceeded to Multan, where surgeries were carried out in Bakhtawar Amin Memorial Trust Hospital. Some 60 patients were evaluated and 8 surgeries carried out.

The stories from Mutlan were strangely different. This is an area where people have property and the disputes often revolve around inheritance. Here wrath knows no gender. Whereas in other parts of the country it is often women who are burnt by acid or fires, here there are as many male victims as well. Those who have been working with Smileagain Foundation, say that what they have seen in Multan is very similar to what occurs in Bangladesh. Property encourages men to lead an idle life, it leads them to indulge in pursuits of personal pleasure, and when they see a chunk of their means of this blissful idle life slipping away, their greed turns them into violent criminals.

Undoubtedly, the life of misery and horror the victims of acid-attacks have to live on is hard to comprehend. While organizations like Smileagain Foundation works toward giving these devastated victims as dignified and normal a life as possible, let us hope that works of Human Rights groups, such as AHRC, of the media and civil-society groups help expose and discredit the Islam-motivated misogyny that is responsible for the malaise, which only can cure this problem and help restore women as a dignified and equal part of men in Pakistan and any other society

Women settle for crumbs at the liberals table as Dems continue war against women.

BettyJean Downing

VAWA watered down as part of the war against women, Democrats set the table and Republicans drink the kool-ade!
100 Years Ago, women took to the streets and demanded the right to vote. What will you fight for this year? We the women of the free world are the majority, and yet not only are we not covered under the Constitution of the United States, but we ostensibly need a Violence Against Women Act to protect us. Yet with the new act, we are forced to share what little funds we have with Gay men and non-citizens, as well as with any other peoples our government can find to share the already paltry sum amongst!

Still hanging after all these years? Free us now! ERA to free women - we are the niggers of the world!

Still hanging after all these years? Free us now! ERA to free women – we are the niggers of the world!

How disgusting that we, the women of the greatest country on earth, need an act specifically created to address the violence directed against us in the first place. But now, to have to share it with others totally negates the reason we fought for specific protection in the first place.
Is there nothing our government holds sacred for the female majority of the population? Are there not hate crimes in effect for gays? Are there no other recourse acts to be drafted for others in need that we women, who die at the rate of 4 a day, need to share our pitiful sum, stretch our already overtaxed resources to the breaking point, when not even a dent has been made all these years in lowering the staggering numbers of women who suffer and even die from gender related violence?
What was wrong with the Violence Against Women Act before the Democrats decided to alter it and force the Republicans to sign on or risk being held responsible for denying women protection? Once again, women are being used as pawns. And once again, we settle for crumbs at the Liberal table!
Where oh where were the women while this travesty against women was going on? How many of our own daughters must be slain, battered, and raped before we realize that we have once again laid down for the man and his political machine rather than for our own benefit?
CRY for the women who are dying so that the Liberal can continue to allow havoc to be wreaked upon women and blame it on a war coming from someplace else, when it actually comes straight from the liberal table set by the Democrats and their molls!
Shame on the conservative men and women who refused to step up and fight for all women—who refuse to expose this travesty for what it is. Shame on all those who repeatedly sell out women in the name of government!
Give us an Equal Rights Amendment. Free Us Now!

“It’s about EQUALITY “

BettyJean Downing Kling

I get weary trying towomen-logoOrtiz figure out a new and different way to say – “It’s about EQUALITY”, How many different ways can one present such a simple concept? If you are a liberal you claim to understand this principle,  yet you are intolerant of a multitude of persons and ideals of half of your countrypersons.  If you are a conservative, likewise you claim to know God and follow his precept that All Men (and women) are created equal, yet you treat the majority of our citizens as beneath you at best.

What a conundrum the two party system has inflicted upon our nation, successfully offering a supposedly free nation two options and only two, which are diametrically opposed yet the same in terms of standing as an antithesis to the precepts the Constitution was written to promote. Such is the frailty of mankind. Womankind, on the other hand, seems helpless to grab the brass ring.

I must admit, when I witness the vote results, I often ponder why we allow everyone to vote, and I can easily understand why the founders elected to restrict the vote to those with enough sense to understand what they were actually voting for. Initially, the founders were interested in creating a country greater than the sum of its parts, a country free from oppression, freedom to worship so that no one would be burdened by the religious dogma of another. And yet here we are with part of the country hopelessly liberal and another part that tries to bully everyone into practicing their religious, personal, and moral beliefs. Our Constitution states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion—that means either for or against. Congress and the legal process is to be silent regarding religion! Only then are we guaranteed freedom from government sanctioned religious or anti-religious oppression.

Neither side will change the other so why are we fighting losing battles? We do it for the sport of the political parties and for no other reason. In these battles only the politicians get fat! In terms of good for the country, we need to go back to the basics. The founders understood that mankind, if left to their own devices, is selfish and would vote for themselves rather than the good of the country. I will not bore you with a lengthy list of quotes to that effect nor will I remind you of the promises politicians make just to win elections.

Let’s consider for a moment America, the land of the free, two hundred years ago verses 2014. Briefly, the freedom desired was from the oppressive reign of a King, freedom of religion, and freedom from the oppression of an almost caste system that prevented upward societal mobility. Learned men fought and died to form a more perfect union offering opportunity to all. But where blacks, women, and Indians etc., were concerned, the Constitution did not apply at that time. But, the American Constitution, presented by brilliant men, formed a Republic that gave citizens an opportunity to evolve and perfect over time. The framers of our Constitution warned of greed and included checks and balances to protect American rights and freedoms. They warned that freedom would be hard to keep because mankind is (in my words) selfish!

America was the first successful Revolution to remain free to date, and just as freedom was difficult to gain and keep, many Americans have continued to fight for equality, and we are making slow gains. What part of equality do we still not understand that we understood when we passed the 13th amendment?

To say that black men were entitled to the same status as white men but to totally ignore all women—the majority of the population—was ludicrous at best. Then to wait 50 more years to give women the vote and still not spell out they are citizens in that Constitution is criminal, and to deny women equality under that Constitution, even as it has been amended to include all others besides the majority, is unfathomable.

Our discrimination laws do not include sex! In other words, there are serious legal consequences for discriminating against anyone, unless she is a white woman. Ironically, if she is black, gay, Latino, Islamic, or some minority she may—and I say MAY have some recourse, if she is fortunate enough to catch the eye of the ACLU—If not, she, like the rest of the majority of our nation, is out of luck. Why? We women—52% of the population—have no Constitutional rights! Our government forced Iraq to set up equal rights for women in their Constitution but does not grant America’s own women the same. Our government forced Japan to do the same, in 1945, but has refused American women since we asked for ERA in the 1970’s.

If you think the ACLU is on your side—think again! If you think either political party is on your side, think again. If you think a woman’s group from either side is on your side, think again! Where are they when women need them to save lives? Where is either side when women need them? Who is standing up against violence against women in a meaningful way? Have the death rate from Intimate violence dropped in all these s years? It has not! Is that the banner they carry? Was it front and center on anyone’s platform lately? Which party is promoting ERA on their platform? Which party is promoting stronger laws to protect all women or educate them about all of their rights in matters of life and death? Who is educating mothers on our rights to our children in our courts? Who is helping us when we are destitute and facing divorce against a powerful abuser who wants to take our children and a corrupt court system that turns a blind eye?  I say we need more than just birth control pills and abortions—we need equality. We need for abusers to know they will be prosecuted. We need stronger laws and equal pay, not just the right to sue if we find out we were not paid fairly. Power still lies in the hands of male lobbies in our family courts. Our women and children are still the most vulnerable and the least protected in this the 21st Century.

The ones who stand up and fight for their rights are the only ones who are heard:

An example of what is in Congress right now:

Gang of Eight Framework for Immigration Reform

“The framework is designed to satisfy the demands of illegal aliens and their advocates, and business interests that want more cheap labor. It includes nothing that would benefit law-abiding American workers and taxpayers. American taxpayers will be saddled with staggering costs in the future as millions of poorly skilled illegal aliens become eligible for government services and programs.   PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1z3ym)

In the news right now:

 “The pulse of equality is strong in America, and today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination,” said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, a major gay-rights group.

While there is still a long way to go for many others, we women have stepped up over the centuries to work toward equality and civil rights for others. Isn’t it time that we step up and ask that we as a group, be counted, and ask that others support us?

We are the majority, and yet, we as “women” we are the only group that is not covered under the Constitution nor protected from hate crimes, or protected from discriminatory language. That means we just don’t count in America! Whose fault is that? It is our own fault. As the majority we have successfully fought for, and won, many battles for minority groups—now it is our turn to stand up and ask for our equal rights too! Women, we must stand up and demand that we will no longer tolerate inequality on any level.

We need 3 more states to ratify the ERA—get involved. It is about EQUALITY! We have been complacent long enough. ERA now!

Bergen County Let Me Down: Violence against Women Ignored and 4 Women a Day Die

BettyJean Downing Kling

Today as I sat in court awaiting my case I was shocked to see no less than 7 DV cases go unheard because the women did not take the case forward. Whatever happened to the state proceeding without the woman because she may be afraid to testify? I saw officers agree to allow the state to drop the case.
Some abused women came in but said they did not want to proceed, a few called in saying they wanted to drop the charges and some simply did not appear. A parade of men came and went in and out without a care in the world, allegedly having violated the women they are intimate with.
What a horrible shame on two counts. First that the women let these men get away with violating them physically, but what about these punks that hit women and walk in here as if they are not the least bit ashamed of their behavior. I saw one man fondling and kissing her after the court and thanking her- she didn’t look happy about it at all. I saw another woman sitting there looking scared to death and she didn’t leave his side for a second. I could not help but look at these gems and think – gee what a prize that lady just saved from his consequences so he can be free to hurt her again!
On the other hand, I was there to see my case through. Having procured a final protection order from the county seat a few months back after the Judge found him guilty of terroristic threats, I was surprised to learn another county division downgraded the threat to kill case to a simple harassment and sent it back to Lodi to be heard. Funny no one spoke to me about that to be sure I wouldn’t drop the charges – or to be sure how much danger I was in. Did they think a protection order would keep me alive from a lunatic? In any case I was blindsided by that move but I proceeded to trial.
The defendant, my son, was found guilty but because the charge was downgraded he got what amounted to a slap on the wrist and a minimal fine compared to the seriousness of the crime he should have been found guilty of. The judge could only find him guilty of the charges before her and no more.
Downgrading a threat to kill to simple harassment is a serious injustice against me by the county. I did not get my day in court- and if anything happens to me – it is blood on their hands. I did not drop charges – I followed through – the county let me down. This is the reason 4-5 women a day are found dead in the USA- even when they don’t drop the charges and they are willing to show up – they do not get the justice and protection they deserve. Wake up America- a protection order is not a guarantee on saving a life!

Mah Gul Was Beheaded

Contributed by Barbara

By Noorjahan Akbar, Afghanistan Correspondent for Safeworld

Folks just walk by as if she is a piece of litter on the road!

of us will never learn about Mah Gul, or we will forget her soon. Mah Gul was a 20 year-old woman in Herat, Afghanistan. She was beheaded by her husband’s family, in October 2012, for refusing to be a prostitute.

The World Did Not Shake

When Mah Gul was beheaded, no one lit a candle. No one prayed for her. No one took a photo of her. No one installed billboards with her name and photo in the city. No one recorded her life story, dreams, happiness, sadness, smile or the way she gazed.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, no one praised her integrity, her bravery, her morality.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, my Facebook friends were writing about their favorite foods and difficult days.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, carefree Afghan boys were calling a young woman a “slut.”

When Mah Gul was beheaded, the Taliban were using women as cover-ups to take their injured to the hospitals.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, fatigued Afghan policemen were smoking on the top of Maranjan hill.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, a poet was writing about the taste of his beloved’s lips.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, reports were discussing the presidential debate in America.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, a soldier is Afghanistan was composing a letter to his son.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, Afghan teachers were re-writing boring, skewed history on the blackboards.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, a Kabuli prostitute was lying beside a cold wall and crying out of hunger.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, Afghan television stations were airing Indian soap-operas.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, our neighbor was beating his siasar* again.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, Herati women were hanging shirts on the clothes line, hoping that at least, they would feel freedom.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, American women were practicing yoga to decrease their stress.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, an “intellectual” in Afghanistan commented on how women wear smaller scarves now, and a local mullah was preaching about labour girls promoting prostitution.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, Angelina Jolie didn’t know.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, our school girls didn’t wear black scarves to mourn her.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, the President was a busy man.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, the world did not shake. In every part of the world, people follow the assembly line of their lives.

When Mah Gul was beheaded, her mother smiled, for her daughter was at last free.

Related Article: Mah Gul: Beheaded for Refusing to Be a Prostitute

So what? I have abortion rights and birth control!

WTF do I need ERA for? What do you mean I don’t have equal rights?

Women’s Issues Ignored: ladies oblivious to the facts!

Survivors Justice begging for attention to women’s plight right here in America  has caused me to rant again: Author asks ” What are we going to do for them???” http://survivorsjustice.com/2012/10/31/what-are-we-going-to-do-for-them/ I responded and am posting my reply as an article- if you agree please let her know suou side with survivors!

Note- this is not about abortion- I am pro-choice for your personal rights! Tthis is about all the other rights that every other woman also has a right to demand and whose choices are not considered as important and whose life , liberty and pursuit of happiness depends on more than reproductive rights! There is more to life then the right to end it- some of us are struggling to live it!

Apparently the war on women has nothing to do with beating them, raping them, abusing them , starving them, or taking away their children to award them to the batterer who wants to avoid child support and alimony. It has everything to do with dividing women into two political groups; those who want children and those who want the right not to have them! In the process the majority is split into minorities without enough power to affect change for womankind but enough power to sway elections. We are being USED ladies and abused. WAKE UP!If you ask me – ignoring all the things that we really need- like the litany of problems I mentioned above and jobs, education, the debt, war, economy: price of food and utilities etc. etc. is the war on women.IGNORING all of US- is the war!

When is the last time you needed an abortion more than food, safety for yourself and your children , a place to live, a job, your batterer jailed for his crime, or a court to listen objectively before turning our children over to the pedophiles or batterers who abused them?

But what do we know – we are beaten, battered, stupid breeders who apparently don’t need equal rights, just a lot of rhetoric that reproductive rights makes us the most powerful beings on earth because we hold the power of life and death.

What a load of shit- we are being murdered at the rate of 4 a day by our intimate partners. We are beaten by those we love and trust every 9 seconds – we are raped every 9 minutes and they tell us all we want is to abort a possible pregnancy?

Gimme a break – I want the right to castrate the bastard who raped me and any other son of a bitch who rapes my child. I want these batterers locked away! I want pedophiles castrated and put on an island. I don’t give a rat’s ass about their civil rights.

I care about the civil rights of the majority – which in case you have not noticed – WE DO NOT HAVE! What we have is the right to abort and nothing more! I care about the rights of innocent children who have no voice and are victimized by adults, the courts, pedophiles and would be mothers who take their rage out on the child instead of the perpetrator.


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