An article titled “Stop Mitigating Rape – Joint Action Group for Gender Equality” published by The Malay Mail Online on 17th March 2017 lambasted Syariah Lawyer Faiz Fadzil for his comments. It has to be noted that the title of the article and its content are a mere straw man fallacy.
Faiz Fadzil was referring to the situation of statutory rape, i.e. sex with consent with a girl below 16 years of age. We do have to emphasise the act of rape was not being vindicated in any way by anyone.
Unless of course Faiz Fadzil was encouraging rape and disparaging the victims that would have been wrong on all counts. On the contrary a solution is being provided for which the opposers do not provide an alternative solution.
At the same time the existence of a mutual agreement among the parties involved has to be accentuated. The idea is not about coercing the opposite side into marriage but rather the opposite. Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) and other feminist rights groups are quick to label the Islamic Religious Authorities as having an urge to punish.
However when a suggestion is given, that does not involve punishment for either side, they are quick to turn away. Misrepresenting Faiz Fadzil and his suggestion so as to paint him in a bad light does not help any of those involved.
It has to be remembered that the act in view was consensual and not forced. Though labeled as rape, the entire fiasco was not exacted but rather elective. When it comes to prevention, many see sex education as a method to teach the responsibilities that come with sex and how to work around those obligations.
But when the same sex education fails, and a method to mend the situation is presented, the proponents are those who oppose it the most. The ideas of compassion, mercy and love are apparently applicable to only some.