Unwed Mothers And Pregnant Women Out Of Wedlock Fear For Their Lives In Northern Mali
KHQ.COM: Imagine a world where public stonings, amputations, floggings and other inhumane acts serve as punishment for not following religious laws.
This is the terrifying reality that people in Northern Mali are facing right now. The threat is growing every day and women and children are highest at risk.
CNN.com broke the story first and reports that radical Islamists are gathering the names of unmarried mothers and pregnant women who are not married, raising fear in their community that these women will be the next victims to cruel punishment such as public stonings, amputations and executions.
A Senior U.N. official said that two groups with ties to al Queda have taken control of Northern Mali and are vowing to impose strict Islamic law, or sharia.
In July, a man and woman caught in the act of adultery were forced into two holes and stoned to death publicly to set an example to terrified residents watching in silence and fear.
While it comes as no surprise, basic human rights are continually being stripped away from most of the residents in the area and women and children endure the worst of it. In an area where more than half of the population lives off of $1.25 a day, many will do anything for extra cash. Women are often forced into marriages and in an area where wives can be bought for $1,000, their husbands will often resell them. Militants are also buying children for as much as $600 and then enlisting them as child soldiers.
Recently prohibited acts include smoking, drinking, watching sports on TV and listening to music.
CNN.com quoted Islamist commissioner, Aliou Toure, as saying, "We don't have to answer to anyone over the application of sharia. This is the form of Islam practiced for thousands of years."
Western African states and Mali's transitional government are asking the U.N. Security Council to authorize military intervention to get the radical groups out of control and stop the terrorizing. The Security Council says they need more information before they can make a decision.
What do you think?
What is our responsibility as fellow humans to prevent inhumane violence and fundamental human rights from being stripped of those in other countries?
This story was written and filed by KHQ's Nichole Mischke.
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