Afghan Woman Forced to Marry Her Rapist

A year after she was pardoned from prison on the condition she agree to marry her rapist, a young Afghan woman, faced with distressingly few options, has now reluctantly wed her attacker.

In 2009, Gulnaz, then 16 years old, gained international attention after she was raped by her cousin’s husband and sentenced to 12 years in an Afghan prison for “forced adultery,” during which time she gave birth to a daughter fathered by her defiler.

Unfortunately, being imprisoned for having the temerity to be a victim of rape is not unusual in Afghanistan, evidenced by the fact that more than 50 percent of Afghanistan’s female prison population has been jailed for moral crimes, such as “forced adultery” or “zina” (extramarital sex).

Yet, nevertheless, after spending two and a half years in jail, Gulnaz was offered a pardon in December 2011 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, albeit on the condition Gulnaz marry her rapist.

Karzai’s decision, however, wasn’t particularly surprising given that the Afghan police and judicial response to violence inflicted upon women — deeply rooted in Afghan custom and Islamic law — is to either ignore the crimes or, in most cases, send the women back to their abusers.

Still, Karzai’s decision engendered enough international and domestic outrage to prompt the Afghan president to graciously release Gulnaz without the precondition she wed her rapist.

Sadly for Gulnaz, presidential decree notwithstanding, her family was bent on having her marry her attacker, a decision based on the fact Gulnaz’s status as an unwed mother made her a social pariah who had brought shame upon her family.

In fact, reports surfaced that prior to her release Gulnaz’s brothers had threatened to kill her daughter, threats which prompted Gulnaz to seek sanctuary in a women’s shelter. There Gulnaz spent over a year while her family and the rapist’s family haggled over terms of the marriage.

Those marital conditions included a reported demand for the rapist’s family to give a daughter to Gulnaz’s family, part of the traditional Afghan practice known as “baad,” whereupon women are given away to pay family debts or settle disputes.

Unfortunately for Gulnaz, the Afghan government was reportedly tag teaming with her family to help persuade the young woman to go ahead with the marriage, persuasion which, according to Gulnaz’s lawyer, Kimberley Motely, included Gulnaz being “systematically brainwashed” by Afghan officials.

Moreover, Motely said Afghan officials were “repeatedly denying her documentation for an asylum application” for Gulnaz, making Gulnaz a virtual prisoner in the women’s shelter.

Unfortunately, given the traditional Afghan hostility toward allowing women the freedom to escape abusive male relatives and family members, women’s shelters in Afghanistan more often than not resemble prisons masquerading as sanctuaries.

To that end, the Afghan government requires that a woman can’t move out of a shelter, most of which are run by NGOs and the United Nations, unless she is going to the home of a male relative.

However, that rule can prove problematic if, as in many cases, those same male relatives have abused or threatened to kill the woman or girl in the first place, a fact which leads many Afghan women afraid to seek help from Afghan police and judicial authorities.

Moreover, the Afghan government has taken extra steps to ensure that women’s shelters are not seen as enticing options for women fleeing abusive homes and marriages. As the head of Afghanistan’s juvenile prisons has said, “People really hate it when girls run away.”

To that end, the Afghanistan Supreme Court in October 2010 ruled that any Afghan woman who fled her home and went anywhere other than to the police or a close relative would be locked up as a precaution against them having illicit sex or engaging in prostitution.

So for Gulnaz, the only unsavory options open to escape her torment entailed either a return to jail or forcible return home, unpalatable choices which led to her decision last week to leave the women’s shelter to go marry her rapist.

While some may question Gulnaz’s decision as one which will leave her still vulnerable to further abuse or worse from her new husband or her family, others are more pragmatic in their opinion.

One such person is filmmaker Clementine Malpas who first brought Gulnaz’s plight to world attention in a documentary she made aimed to shed light on Afghan women jailed for moral crimes.

Malpas said, “Marrying the man she told us had raped her isn’t what we had hoped for Gulnaz but the current cultural context of Afghanistan leaves very few options, especially for a woman with a child out of wedlock.”

To that end, Gulnaz reportedly made her choice in order to give her daughter hope for a better future. Specifically, Gulnaz’s little girl, having been born in prison, was considered to be illegitimate, a disgrace to her family and, as a consequence, never to be accepted by Afghan society unless her parents marry.

For Gulnaz and her little daughter, as well for as countless other Afghan women and girls mired in similar situations, acceptance back into the good graces of Afghan society can come at a terrible price.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • esperanto

    There is also this:

    Houria Bouteldja,spokesperson for PIR,the French Party that Publicly Supports Hamas and Hezbullah


    "Debate by Ex-Muslim,now Agnostic Farhan Qureshi vs Ex-Atheist,now Christian David Wood on:”The Literal Resurrection of Jesus Never Ocurred”

  • Mary Sue

    and not a peep out of the Feminist Usual Suspects! Particularly the ones that misinterpret a passage out of the Bible/Pentateuch that they claim means a woman has to marry her rapist and then bash the Bible on that basis!

    • Dianna

      I'm a feminist who found this story on a feminist page. It's wrong no matter what your faith is.

  • AdinaK

    Sharia Law, the beginning and the end of western civilization. It is their MAIN end goal. The rest is just window dressing.

    Want to know where western civilization is headed, if Sharia is not pushed back? –

    Marrying ones rapist will seem like a picnic, if Islamists gain TOTAL control, not just in their regions, but in America (the west) as well! Simply put, Islam (which IS Sharia Law) and the west are incompatible. Time to face facts –

    Adina kutnicki, Israel –

  • objectivefactsmatter

    These are the people our soldiers are supposed to worry about offending. We have to live according to their cultural values when we try to ensure they don't harbor international terrorists again and again.

    None of this 0'Bama foreign policy "leadership" is working for us.

  • Chezwick

    Please folks, email this article to liberal friends/family….under the heading: 'Women's Rights in Islam'.

    Make it clear that Gulnaz's plight is not under the oppressive Taliban, but under the pro-American, "moderate" Karzai government. This is the kind of society being built on American blood and treasure. Furthermore, make it clear that this is not some aberration of Islam, but its essence…that under Islamic law, Gulnaz was actually treated HUMANELY, because she was "allowed" to marry her attacker, instead of being stoned to death for adultery.

    If a story like this isn't cause for some reflection in the mind of an Islam-loving liberal, then nothing is.

    • BS77

      I thought this sort of barbarism was par for the course in Afghanistan.

  • KKKK

    another sad case of a sharia slave. indeed. and this is what we're fighting for in Afghanistan, again?

  • JacksonPearson

    Gazzali, the renowned Islamic thinker summed up the 18 pains that had been visited on Muslim women as a punishment for Eve's transgression in paradise. The list eloquently shows the position of women in Islam and how the social customs were backed up by Islam. Here Islam goes to the extent of saying that even pregnancy and childbirth are punishments from God. Such is the nature of the all merciful Allah!

    The 18 punishments are:
    1. Menstruation

    2. Childbirth

    3. Separation from father and mother and marriage to a stranger

    4. Pregnancy

    5. Not having control over her own person

    6. A lesser share in inheritance.

    7. Her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce.

    8. It being lawful for man to have 4 wives but for a woman to have only 1 husband.

    9. The fact that she must stay secluded in the house

    10. The fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house.

    11. The fact that 2 women's testimonies have to be set against the testimony of one man.

    12. The fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative.

    13. The fact that men take part in Friday and feast day funerals while women do not.

    14. Disqualification for rulership and judgeship.

    15. The fact that merit has 100 components, only one of which is attributable to women while 999 are attributed to men.

    16. The fact that if women are profligate they will be given only half as much torment as the rest of the community at the resurrection day.

    17. The fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period of 4 months and 10 days before they remarry.

    18. The fact that if their husbands divorce them, they must observe a waiting period of 3 months or 3 menstrual periods before remarrying.

    • jakespoon

      Delightful people.

  • Walter Sieruk

    As terrible ,tragic and awful as this above news story is things in the Islamic countries can be even more senseless and wicked then this. For example, as exposed in the book by Walid Shoebat FOR GOD OR FOR TYRANNY on page 270 It reads "The hatred of women in an Islamic society is so immense that even if a women is raped , she is stoned to death." Furthermore, Tp punish the woman who wars raped and not the rapist is not only a great miscarriage of justice but it's also outragous and absurd. The Bible teaches "Acquitting the guily and condemming the innocent – the Lord detests them both." Proverbs 17:15. [NIV]

  • Genesis 16:12

    ISHMAEL (Islam/Arabs) GOD said, ………."He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." ~ New International Version (©1984)

    From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary authored nearly 150 years ago said this…..

    Gen 1612. he will be a wild man-literally, "a wild ass man," expressing how the wildness of Ishmael and his descendants resembles that of the wild ass…his hand will be against every man-descriptive of the rude, turbulent, and plundering character of the Arabs

  • Judenlieber

    I used to wonder if there really was a literal Heaven or Hell. I still don't know about the Heaven part, but there definitely a Hell for women, right here on earth. And yet many educated, American women seem indifferent to the prospect of having it brought here to America. By the State Department and other government agencies.
    By the tens of thousands every year.
    What is wrong with them?

  • Lauren

    So, this is the so-called “honor and respect” that muslims claim that women receive under islam? Do they really think that it’s honorable and respectful for a woman to be forced to marry the man that RAPED her?

    • Mary Sue

      I once read a blog of a woman who was/is living in a city in Western Canada who converted to Islam. She claimed she converted because a male muslim averted his gaze from her face and appeared to look at the ground instead, and she was told this was 'respectful of women'. She bought it hook line and sinker.

      She should have her head examined.

      • jakespoon

        It's probably on a shelf somewhere,she obviously wasn't using it.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I don't even read this garbage anymore. Why are people surprised? Islam is not a religion, much less a so-called "Religion of Peace" like GWB sold to the gullible American people. Islam is a rabid form of totalitarianism and it is far more aggressive than Communism.

  • drivesguy

    I would like to introduce Gulnaz's future husband to the 72 virgin dating service (the business end of my 338 Lapua Magnum effective range 1.5 miles)

  • Ghostwriter

    Why am I not surprised at this?

  • LindaRivera


  • LindaRivera

    Thousands of Britain’s terrorized non-Muslim children have been gang-raped by cruel Muslims. The children were stolen-seized, held against their will and horribly violated. Their lives destroyed by Muslim monsters. Muslims destroyed the children’s childhood. Destroyed their youth; their hopes and their dreams. And filled their lives with pain. Every rape is a kidnapping. God gave the DEATH SENTENCE for kidnapping:

    Bible, Exodus 21:16 He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.


    Stop the Muslim rape war on Britain’s children! Permanently end all Muslim immigration!

    Muslim Gangs Drug & Rape Children All Over The UK – Britain Finally Starts To Wake Up

  • LindaRivera

    In a huge crime against innocent humanity British and European ruling elites have colonized Britain and Europe with many millions of Muslims. Muslims openly declare their goal is Muslim conquest and the imposition of excessively cruel Islamic sharia law where non-Muslims have NO human rights.

    The suffering of non-Muslim innocents is unbearable:

    South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council Are Complicit in Child-Rape
    …thousands of predominately Pakistani Muslim gang rapes of white English girls in the Rotherham area…

    British Schoolgirl’s Testimony – Muslims Threaten Children With Violence & Rape Outside School Daily


  • Mary Ann

    Oil and money

  • Tammy

    Get the Muslim president and all his elected Muslim officials out of the American Government or else this is what we will have to look forward to!

  • John Stone

    I am not sure exactly what Mohamed had in mind, but in a lot of Islamic countries women are property, not a whole lot different than the way the ennobled class treated serfs in ye olden days. And ain't is something how you just invited them in. My advice is to forget the Muslims, go after the big sinners, the ruling class. Maybe when they start having their lives at risk they will start to see the merit in acting in the interests of their own society. Or better yet, if you can get it done, force their daughters into the sex trade. If you are the serf, then it is time to get medieval.

  • @FazelFazels

    Misinterpreted translations of Qur'an, verse 24; ; 33 (end) …….. FORCE A WOMAN TO PROSTITUTION…..,GOD IS MOST MERCIFUL. This lead to discrimination of women in Islam.

  • mjazzguitar

    Marrying one's rapist is commonplace in the muhammadan world. In Morocco it is the law.
    The theory behind it is that the woman is now considered "used goods" and no one will want her- so the rapist's "punishment" is marrying her.
    The Egyptian muhammadans use this type of thinking to their advantage, kidnapping and raping the attractive Christians Coptic women that they want, and forcing them to convert to their cult.
    I think that there is now a change in attitude among the Copts and they are standing by their women after having been attacked by the muhammadans.

  • Jack Nick Olsen

    Great to see people still enforcing Deuteronomy 22!