A professor’s controversial remarks on sex crimes have drawn strong criticism, including from the head of Turkey’s top religious body.
Just what are sex crimes? Â The cleavage, the rape or the stoning? Â Didn’t Taj Din al-Hilali tell us thatÂ Â women who don’t wear the freedom sack deserve to be raped by the soldiers of Allah?
Some people believe cleavage causes glo-bull warming. Or earthquakes….. like in Iran:
Seismologists have predicted that Iran — particularly its capitol, Tehran — will be struck by a quake in the near future. Cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem SedighiÂ told Iranian media that indecently dressed women are to blame.
Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes… What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.
Religious Affairs Director Professor Mehmet GÃ¶rmez said Thursday criticisms and bans in Islam preventing women from exposing their sexuality cannot be used as an excuse for harassment or rape.
His comments came after a professor from Konya’s SelÃ§uk University Faculty of Theology claimed women wearing clothes that reveal their cleavage were provoking harassment.
“Who is the focus of the problem? Women,” said Professor Orhan Ã‡eker. “If you wear clothes that reveal your cleavage, it would not be a surprise for you to encounter such ugliness. It would not be reasonable for you to complain about the result after your provocation.”
GÃ¶rmez, speaking to reporters following a meeting with Chinese Islam Association Chairman Hilalunddin Chen Guangyan, said sexual harassment and rape were a crime committed against all humanity.
Ã‡eker’s remarks drew criticism from several female deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, as well as Higher Education Board, or YÃ–K, chair Professor Yusuf Ziya Ã–zcan, who ordered an investigation into the comments.
SelÃ§uk University Rector SÃ¼leyman Okudan has ordered a probe into Ã‡eker’s remarks, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.
Zafer ÃœskÃ¼l, head of Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, said Ã‡eker’s remarks were unacceptable and women were not the only target of rape and sexual harassment.
“This is a sick mentality that perceives women as sex objects,” ÃœskÃ¼l told Anatolia news agency.
Emphasizing that Ã‡eker’s comments violated women’s rights and human rights in general, ÃœskÃ¼l said every kind of rape and harassment was a crime and no situation could make the victim responsible for a crime. Such comments are humiliating and they should be severely protested, he added.
Speaking to reporters, GÃ¶rmez said in response to a question that any kind of harassment or rape is “among the grave crimes and sins that are committed against all humanity and God, not only against women.”
“I don’t believe that any religious cleric in Turkey, or any theologian expressed himself on this issue in the way that was reflected in the press. As a matter of fact, our professor that made the comment said he was misunderstood,” said GÃ¶rmez.
Ã‡eker defended himself Wednesday following the reactions and said: “I did not use the word ‘rape’ on this issue. I used the word ‘harassment.’ I did not say there is a woman at the center of the problem. Let me correct this. I said if a woman is harassed and if this happens because she wears clothes that reveal her cleavage and she provokes [men], the guilty party here is not only the man. The woman is also a partner to the offense.”
A group of women gathered Thursday in front of Istanbul’s Galatasaray School to protest Ã‡eker.
“We will protect our rights,” the group shouted, holding a banner featuring photographs of former daily Vakit columnist HÃ¼seyin Ãœzmez, who was charged with sexually abusing a minor, and Ã‡eker, the DoÄŸan news agency, or DHA, reported. The banner read: “There is no difference between them.”