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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Special Appeal

The silence from the right concerning our ally’s creation of a modern Sodom is appalling. While they are busy ranting about Kansas couples are denigrated gay men marrying in Boston and not being able to force Muslim children to say Christian prayers in school, a very real and horrible travesty against all laws of man and God has passed beneath their notice.
Mukhtaran Bibi was ordered gang-raped on the spot by a tribal council in Pakistan in 2002. The sentence was carried out by her neighbors and she was forced to walk through the streets of the village naked. The whole idea was to shame her so badly that she would commit suicide. But the Bible teaches us that the fragile container is the one God chooses to strengthen and Mukhtaran defied her village by refusing suicide and pursuing legal action against her rapists.
She won her case and six of her assailants were sentenced to death. The Pakistani government also gave her $8000 in compensation (insert wry remark about punitive legal caps here). Showing an incredible sense of forgiveness and community, she used the money to found two schools in her village: one for boys and one for girls. Thanks to donations from abroad, those schools remain open. Funny, but I never heard Franklin Graham raise money for Mukhtaran’s schools.
A few days ago, a Pakistani appeals court threw out the death sentence of five of the six men convicted for raping Mukhtaran. They will be moving back to the village where she has tried to find meaning in her life. Mercy Corps has agreed to hide Mukhtaran to protect her life. Kudos to Nicholas Kristol of the New York Times for not letting this go totally unnoticed.
Mr. Kristol says that Mukhtaran is a hero, and he is right. If she were only a Christian her persecution would be preached in righteous indignation from every pulpit in this country. She isn’t. She is Muslim and a member of a religion that religious leaders from the right are calling inherently evil and dangerous.
Mukhtaran is not trying to live off of her victimization. She is simply trying to continue the good work she started. I’m asking for everyone to help her.
Here (http://www.mukhtarmai.com/) is a link to the site to help support her schools directly. Here (http://www.mercycorps.org/home/) is a link to Mercy Corps to help defray the cost of their badly needed work. Here (Pakistan@un.int) is the email address for the Pakistani Ambassador to the UN. Here (usa@un.int) is the email to the UN Ambassador for the US. Here (president@whitehouse.gov) is the email of President Bush so you can urge him to put pressure on Pakistan to reform its laws and to protect Mukhtaran from her attackers.
I’m challenging you to show that you care. Click on the envelope button below to spread the word to everyone you know. If you lean liberal politically, you know it’s the right thing to do. If you have ever called yourself Christian, you have no excuse.

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