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Apr 05, 2017
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Jordanian MP Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: It Is in the Rape Victim's Best Interest to Be Married off to Her Rapist

#6074 | 02:57
Source: Al-Hurra TV (The U.S.)

Jordanian MP Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe said that "if there is a possibility to marry [the rape victim] off to the perpetrator of this crime, and if the continuity of this marriage can be guaranteed by law and by society, I think that this is in the best interest of both society and the victim, because Arab society is different than other societies." Speaking on the American Al-Hurra TV channel on April 5, Al-Kharabshe further said: "I do not think anyone else will marry her."

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: The damage to a rape victim cannot be rectified. The psychological residue and the damage to her reputation and her honor will continue to haunt her in society. But if there is a possibility to marry her off to the perpetrator of this crime, and if the continuity of this marriage can be guaranteed by law and by society, I think that this is in the best interest of both society and the victim, because Arab society is different than other societies.

 

[…]

 

Such a marriage cannot take place unless the woman consents to it. If she does not, the perpetrator will get the punishment he deserves. Therefore, we are different than other societies. We are Eastern societies, not European ones. The honor and reputation of the family and the woman still need to be maintained. When I say this, I am not saying that we only protect...

 

Interviewer: Such statements are very degrading to women. Suggesting that a rape victim should be married off to the rapist is degrading.

 

Mahmoud Al-Kharabshe: Sir, please... The law is the product of a certain social environment. We cannot implement the law of France or America in Jordan. There are social norms and customs. A law that does not follow these social norms and customs, and does not protect the woman as well as society as a whole, is bound to become a sword hanging over our necks. We want to protect society and women, not just the women.

 

Secondly, if the woman consents to the marriage - what's the problem? Thirdly, the law guarantees that the marriage will last at least five years, and stipulates that if it is annulled or fails in less than five years, the attorney-general or the claimant can relaunch the (rape) case. Therefore, the law guarantees everybody's rights and protects the woman's honor.

 

[…]

 

I support punishing the perpetrator. But when there is a possibility to keep the entire issue under wraps, thus avoiding the social consequences and the damage to honor and reputation, I believe that this is in the best interest of the woman and the family, especially if both the woman and the family consent. We do not want the perpetrator to escape punishment, but nor do we want this crime to spread this way. We want to protect society and the woman from this exposure, because this will continue to follow the rape victim wherever she goes. I do not think anyone else will marry her.

 

[…]