Fighters for rebel groups in Aleppo have requested a fatwa allowing them to kill their wives so they don’t get raped by Shiite militias, according to a reporter from the Free Army media channel. According to the reporters, fighters feared other militias would violate the women’s honor by raping them.
Sheikh Abdul Razaq al-Mahdi, a scholar affiliated with Islamist militias, said he received the question “Is it permitted for a Sunni who is being besieged by the Shiites to kill his wife or sister to prevent them from raping her” and gave a fatwa responding “no,” according to Vocativ.
Although the Syrian regime is ruled by Alawite President Bashar al-Assad backed by Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, it claims to be a secular government.
A letter reportedly written by a nurse who had decided to commit suicide to avoid rape was published and shared on social media. The letter is addressed to the scholars of Islam.
The author writes “I am committing suicide not due to no reason but because I do not want several members of the Assad Regime to savor raping me while just yesterday they were afraid to say the word ‘Aleppo’.”
She concludes “by saying that your fatawa (verdicts) have become meaningless to me so save it for yourself and your family..I am committing suicide.. [sic] And when you read this know that I have died pure despite everyone.”
At least 20 women reportedly killed themselves to avoid rape, according to the Daily Express.
Yet again women become the helpless victims of a war largely fought between men.
Women are not the spoils of war, nor are they a border to be divided between enemies. Men should not be asking scholars if they ought to take it upon themselves to kill their wives rather than risk even the possibility that they might be raped.
To think that a woman could be violated to make a point, so much so that her life becomes valueless means not only her victimhood should be challenged but so should the society which defines a woman’s “honor” in this way.