Saskatoon woman fears stoning if returned to Pakistan

Unfortunately, Jamila Bibi was sent to Toronto on the 16th of September to catch a flight home. The 65 year old originally came to Canada in 2007 to escape claims of adultery that she says are false, says her lawyer, Bashir Khan.

Khan said the Canadian government has decided Bibi can move elsewhere in Pakistan, despite also acknowledging that she is at risk from both individuals and state authorities in the country.

“Except that makes no sense to me because the criminal charge is outstanding and she’s a target of honour killing,” Khan told CTV News Channel. “She will be. She’s received threats already.”

A deportation was originally ordered for Bibi in 2011, after her bid to secure refugee status was rejected.

The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights tried to get the government to keep her in the country, but it didn’t work, evidently.

Amnesty International is also urging the Canadian government to reconsider the deportation, saying the work of the UN body should be completed before the Canadian government makes any final decisions.

“There’s no way that Canada would want to be responsible for returning a woman back to a country where her rights could be violated,” Gloria Nafziger, an Amnesty International refugee co-ordinator, told CTV.

She’d been working for Meg’s Restaurant downtown and the owner, Sahana Yeasmin, has been helping as much as he can with her legal bills.

“As a human being, we cannot throw people like this away. From my heart, I very badly need help,” Yeasmin said.

The Atlantic ran a feature in 2012 focused on the difficulties women face in Pakistan. I don’t think it’ll matter one bit if she’s guilty or innocent once she’s back in that country, sadly.

Westerners usually associate the plight of Pakistani women with religious oppression, but the reality is far more complicated. A certain mentality is deeply ingrained in strictly patriarchal societies like Pakistan. Poor and uneducated women must struggle daily for basic rights, recognition, and respect. They must live in a culture that defines them by the male figures in their lives, even though these women are often the breadwinners for their families.

But for those who dutifully follow and live the Koran, they’ll be able to justify continued patriarchal thinking because the writers of the Koran made sure to include verses dictating how to treat and value women – often as property and worth half of what a man is.

The inequality came first, no doubt, and someone just made sure to write it down so nobody would forget. The Koran existing as a written echo of an earlier call for all to behave properly in Allah’s eyes. But while the world and overall human rights move forward, these poor women are still stuck living in a past that promoted this inequality as the status quo and a present that continues to enforce it.

Back to the Atlantic:

A difficult irony for women in Pakistan is that, should a victim speak up about physical or sexual abuse, she is seen as having lost her and her family’s dignity. Many rapes go unreported as the victim fears she will become worthless in Pakistani society. Often, women will turn to their employers; families they can trust. It’s a typically unnoticed form of charity but one that can be crucial to their survival.

The stories shared in the piece are poignant and heart wrenching. The Asia Human Rights Commission focuses on a different story of a women who was raped by her father and later poisoned by her family.

the easiest solution was to kill Sofia and bury her in secret so that the family’s shame would be buried, in secret, with her.

Their first priority was to protect the honour of the family and secondly to take the shelter behind religious tradition. The rapist was provided protection by his wife and siblings to murder Sofia in order to hide his crime. The murder of the daughter in the name of honour was, in fact, not to uphold the religious traditions but to reinforce the concept that women are the only source of sexual corruption and therefore it is only the woman that is liable for punishment and not the rapist.

Few comment on my blog but save the time you’d spend hammering one out now – I know I’m uninformed and lack the education in the culture and the history of the country and I’m just a low to mid class white woman in Canada who’s never had to experience anything approaching the lives these women wake up to every day.

That’s why I blog. That’s why I do the reading and find out about these stories and these people. Because I’m sheltered from so many problems others face and can’t really imagine what they’re going through.

I read in the Tribune that there’s some hope to be had. The Pakistan Constitution has equality written into it. Women are in the army, the air force, climbing mountains. Things are happening, but

ultimately, Pakistanis need to decide if they are going to be governed by the Constitution of Pakistan, which grants equal rights to everyone or by the will of illiterate clerics and whatever fantasy laws they whip up. If the government remains silent and no action is taken to correct this dysfunction, then there is a risk that ignorance will spread to less affected urban areas. Nothing is static.

The author, Sabina Khan, then notes she’s lived in Saudi Arabia and would hate to see Pakistan get to the point where women are covered head to toe in black and walk four paces behind men.

Pakistani women may be irresistible beauties, but they have contributions to offer to society, many are well-educated and it would be a loss for the nation to hide them away like second-rate citizens.

I agree.

Ms. Bibi, my heart goes out to you.

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3 Responses to Saskatoon woman fears stoning if returned to Pakistan

  1. Laurance says:

    Oh jeez, Minion! Crap! (and lots of other scatological and profane and blasphemous expletives.)

    “Few comment on my blog but save the time you’d spend hammering one out now…”

    Oh, I’m gonna hammer. This is pissing me off.

    All right. What’s going on here? WTF?

    Related. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was scheduled to speak at Yale, and all sorts of people got their asses in the air and howled in protest. Some of the protestors were the usual suspects, the Muslim society at Yale, ho hum, so what’s new? but what’s new is that there were feminists and atheists carrying on as well. Stop Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking.

    Huh? Silence Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

    Poor Ayaan! She’s sure become a lightning rod and gets yelled at all over the place. She has some Politically Incorrect things to say about Islam. Google Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale to read about the kerfuffle.

    So why? You’ve told us about this poor Pakastani woman who fears for her life, and I’ve told you about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. What’s the connection?

    The connection is that this is precisely the kind of horror show that Ayaan is seriously concerned about. Ayaan Hirsi Ali criticizes Islam for this very kind of dreadful thing. People don’t want to hear it.

    Muslims don’t want to hear it. And these “Interfaith” johnnies don’t want to know. We’re all supposed to look the other way and pretend that these things aren’t mandated under Islam. But why in the hell did some atheists and feminists object to her too????

    Yes! Yes! I know! I agree! There are lots and lots of kind-hearted and good Muslims! I don’t deny that! And there are some nice things in the Quran too, along with the backwards garbage about Jews and Unbelievers. But damn it! Wake up and smell the coffee! There’s far too much backwards 7th century crap also going on! And if you read the Quran you’ll see that this kind of outdated horror is expected.

    And here we have a Pakistani woman fearing for her live now!

    AAAGGGHHHHHH!!!! Enough from me now! If you need something to read, ask Nice Mr. Google about the brou-ha-ha at Yale when Ayaan was invited to speak.

    Good night! Now I’m worn out! My head is tired and I need to sleep.

  2. 1minionsopinion says:

    I just meant to deter anyone who’d write to complain about lack of education on the topic. I’m all for anyone who’ll write something that adds to and improves my posts. Thanks for the reading homework, too.

  3. Laurance says:

    Oh Minion! I wasn’t yelling and howling at *you*! Thank you for telling us about this woman! I sure hope she doesn’t get deported and sent back to be stoned to death!

    Rather, I’m squawking at the way people somehow don’t want to know about Islam. They say that Islam is a Religion Of Peace, and employ the No True Scotsman Fallacy any time someone wants to talk about the problems with Islam.

    And now we have Yale messing around with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I’m keeping an eye on the Intergoogle because I sure hope someone posts either a Youtube video or a text or both of Ayaan’s speech.

    I want very much to hear what she actually *said*, not what a bunch of outraged people believed she might say even before they heard her talking.

    Whoops! Gotta get moving, lots to do today.

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