Sex Crimes: Part of War Against Women & Modernity

by DR. LAINA FARHAT-HOLZMAN January 22, 2013

Violating women and girls is as old as human existence. Incest taboos in so many cultures is testimony to the problem that even within the family, little girls are preyed upon by fathers, uncles, and brothers.

Even in religions without the familial incest taboo (such as Islam), the pious are told that it is a sin to permit your daughter to have her first menstruation under your roof. She must be married before she becomes a "temptation" to the menfolk.

o Rape in antiquity. Ancient warfare involved totally wiping out the conquered males and raping and carrying off the women as slaves. This was most famously the case in the Trojan War, in which all the women, including the royalty, were hauled off into slavery and concubinage. All the ancient powers fought this way. Warfare was pretty much total genocide.

o Rape was daily fare in the great harems of the Muslim world during the first centuries of Islam. The Arabs actually went into business with the Vikings to provide them with captive women for the harems and male slaves for the salt mines. They also went into business with the Southern Italian and Sicilian nobility who nearly depopulated that region to sell surplus peasants to the Muslim slavers for very good money. This is unimaginably evil.

o The Western World. The most advanced countries in the West have undergone one of the most remarkable revolutions in history: the emancipation of women, once only property. Although rape still exists, it is not culturally accepted and is punished.

o Rape in Modern Warfare. It is a shock to us today to see how rape has been used as a weapon of war. Its cause is not lust, but cultural punishment and naked vengeance. When the Soviet army reached Berlin, they raped every woman from baby to granny as punishment of German men. The Japanese raped every woman in Nanking, China, for the same purpose. When Bangladesh was freed from Pakistan, armies on all sides raped women, again, to demoralize the enemy. The raped women were rejected by their families, giving rise to multiple suicides. The Serbs set up rape camps to deliberately impregnate their Bosnian enemy's women. And of course, Central Africa's "soldiers" are the most horrific abusers and rapists of any women they come across.

o India and the Muslim World. It is sad that these two enemy cultures have the same dreadful culture when it comes to women. Recently In India, six men gang rape and then use a steel rod to destroy their victim's intestines, a violation from which she died. What was their motive? The young woman, a medical student, was on a public bus with her fiancée after seeing a movie. Her "sins" were that she was female, that she dared to move freely in public, and that she was middle class, whereas they were village louts. Patriarchy and ignorance are twin vices. Even worse, India's self-inflicted ratio of women to men is 8 women to 10 men. With widespread aborting of girl fetuses, India is left with wolf-packs like these rapists. The countryside is full of them, and they are now prowling India's cities, and the police ignore it.

Cairo has like situations. Women are routinely harrassed in the street, and under cover of demonstrations for "freedom," gang raped. Tradition is at war with modern values, countryside immigrants and jobless louts against modern women.

Europe, which hosts immigrants from traditional African villages, are experiencing rapes unprecedented since World War II. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, UK, and France all are faced with the need to reeducate or expell these violators. The rapists believe they are entitled to despoil western women who "behave and dress immodestly;" they think it is their right.

The flight of people from villages to cities, a transition like going from the Dark Ages to Modernity, has created embittered monsters such as another seven Indian rapists who this week vented their hatred on one guiltless young woman. They did it because they could. That may end when they are all hanged, a draconian but needed solution.
Contributing Editor Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of How Do You Know That? You may contact her at or

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