Rape In The Valley

I was in the Jofa area this past weekend with my family when apparently this incident took place. The Jordan Times reports, in a rather confusingly-written article, that two 20-year old British female tourists were raped during their short stay in the Jordan Valley over the Eid weekend. From what I understood, the story involves 6 men; 4 who tried to rape them, and 2 who were sent to protect them from the original 4 but (ironically) ended up raping the girls themselves.

“The two women, who are studying Arabic in Syria for one year, went to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley area on Saturday and spent the entire day there until it became dark,” he added. They could not find a ride back that night and then met a woman, who offered to host them for the night, Duradi said.

“Four of the six suspects, who saw the women heading to the couple’s house, went and got drunk, then returned to the house around 2:00am and tried to force their way in,” he added.

The couple locked the door but the four men kept banging on the door and trying to enter the house until 5:00am, according to the criminal prosecutor.

The woman’s brother and a friend came to the house and she asked them to take the two women back to Amman in their car, Duradi said, adding that they agreed and left the house through the back door, but on the way, they reportedly raped the women.

“The two suspects threatened the women, and then took turns raping them,” he said.

It’s a disgusting story for sure, but if convicted, they will each receive a maximum punishment of 22 years. In the context of the crime I don’t really see that sentence as a decent one, nor is it a proper deterrent. Sharia’ law would have them receiving 100 lashes, and with such stories in mind I don’t know if I would mind them getting such a sentence instead. I don’t know about you, but I could probably stomach it.

But 22 years? They’re likely to get less than that. Maybe they should be tried in the infamous State Security Court; charged with sullying the good name of Jordan which will adversely affect tourism as well as disrupting its relations with a foreign nation.

And that being said, I should point out to any foreign readers that the likelihood of you visiting Jordan and being raped is fairly (and safely) slim. Besides, according to Public Security Department Spokesperson Major Basheer Daaja, both “alleged” rapists were unemployed and had previous criminal records. Apparently unemployment has now become a justification motivating factor when it comes to rape.

Lemme tell you, if I was the ultimate lawmaker, the punishment for rape would be instantaneous castration.

If that’s not a deterrent then I don’t know what is.


  • This is really disgusting!
    You know what Nas, I’d go with all possible convictions. I’d go with the 100 lashes, 20 years in jail, and castration. That is not even enough for those brutes!.. It makes me sick that such incident happens in Jordan.

  • “confusingly-written article” is correct! A couple of drunk men attempted to break in a house with the known intent of raping two foreign Western women inside for three entire hours and noone thought it might be a good idea to maybe……..call the police! On top of that it was arraged for them the following morning to ride with two men they don’t know, and they were willing!

    Nevertheless, rape is rape, and if that’s what indeed occurred the harshest penalty should be pursued!

  • Actually the punishment for this sin (zina) according to the sharii3a is death by stoning, thank you very much.

    Let us see the good Muslim people of Jordan do what Allah al qadiir has very clearly revealed.

  • There’s always a slim chance that the convicted criminals are innocent, therefore I’m against castration. If they were convicted they deserve to spend a very long time in jail, but they should not spend an additional time because the victims were non-Jordanian. A jordanian woman’s honor is just as worth as a British one.

  • true! a rapist is a rapist whether the victim is Jordanian, Indian or British and maximum punishment should be passed.

    I vote for castration + lashing + lifetime in prison (I can imagine that castration would make the other prisoners’ job easier [sorry for the disgusting thoughts here]).

    It is a vote right?

  • Catholic Sunni Shia, what dreadful remarks to make. Whether the victims are western, arab or jordanian the attackers should be treated the same but as you well know the press will highlight cases of foreigners. As it happens, violent rape in this country is extremely rare. This crime is one of the most serious after murder and I hope the perpetrators get the maximum sentence. Our police did an excellent job as they have a Department which specialises in family violence and sexual offences. T

  • am i the only one that feels that this whole story is extremely fishy and far fetched …
    first i don’t really know of any people that will host female foreigners out of good will, never mind it being the women who did the invitation. then a bunch of people trying to force their way through a home non the less for hours upon hours without a single shot being fired by either is very unjordanian.
    then after all that they don’t get raped but that group but by the group that offered to host and protect them ? why the hell wait ?
    then you go to the fact of how naive those 2 girls can get, really you go around a country hitch hiking ur way in what you consider to be a dangerous country and terrorist threat, and you are not the least suspicious of strangers. they can’t possibly be that mentally and culturally retarded can they be ? how did they get there without securing a return ride, thats like the basic of basics in traveling you figure out how you can get around (and since they are residents in the region they can’t be that culturally shocked to not know any better)

    wait wait wait…. so around 5 am or so early morning they manage to fight off the rapists and take a TAXI back to amman ??? and the taxi driver didn’t attempt to rape them (since it seems everyone who gets close to them tries to do so)
    where was that taxi when they needed it the most alas!

    just for the record i don’t know of any punishment for rape in islam, the 100 lashes and the stoning is for zina which is consensual. i wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a different one for rape!

  • thats why hareega when i a guy rapes a jordainian women they should start throwing them in jail for 22 years, im not with reducing these 2 rapist punishment to a year or 2, hopefully this incident will bring drastic changes to such cases

  • “Our police did an excellent job as they have a Department which specialises in family violence and sexual offences.”

    really? … we do?

    whats it called? enlighten me.

    and no, violent rape in jordan is not “extremely” rare. its just not talked about often in the media..

    actually, by definition of rape, a married man can still ‘rape’ his wife – rape is not only forced sexual intercourse, but also violent seizure, abuse and despoliation.

    How many women in jordan are forced to enter “bait al ta3a” or forced against their will to have sexual intercourse with their abusive husbands?

    go figure.

  • Personally, I’m against capital punishment. 22 years in Jail is enough punishment.

    Islamically though, Raping is different than adultery. Rape follows the guidelines of “Al mufsidoon fil Arad”, and those get way worse punishment, (cutting off one arm and one foot and then exiled is the least of the punishment. It can also be Crucifixion and execution) Now I think that’s enough deterrence.

    As for the honor of women. I don’t think anyone needs to exaggerate the matter. We all know that it’s the same for every nationality. We shouldn’t make a political issue out of this, then allow the law to say it’s final words

    With all of that said, I hope these people receive a fair trial and get what they deserve. If convicted, or acquitted

  • Shocking!!!!! It is such as shame that something like thhis happened in Jordan!!!!!
    Nonetheless, one can’t help but notice the double-standards in our society…. For raping a British woman, the rapist gets 22 years in jail and for raping a Jordanian woman, the victim gets killed by her family!!! i mean this is just disgusting!!!

  • Well since this seems to be a free for all in calling for medival punishments to be imposed for a crime to occuring in 2007 I say we go for the ancient French punishment of ‘quartering’ :
    “The offender would be first tortured with red-hot pincers, then the hand with which the crime was committed would be burnt with sulphur and molten lead and wax and boiling oil poured into the wounds. The quartering would be accomplished by the attachment of the condemned’s limbs to horses, who would then tear them away from the body. Finally, the often still-living torso would be burnt. ”

    Nas, you say that this should be tried in the state security court (why whats good could it possibly be if we start having normal criminal offences being tried at this undemocratic institution??) I say we should just go back to trial by ordeal maybe we should attach the defendants to huge boulders and throw them into the Dead Sea, if the float then: guilty if they drown then: innocent… fair enough?

    Come on people this is 2007, its a disgusting crime of course, but is no different than crimes happening all over the world, so why do we have to undermine our courts’ authority like that? And lets face it Sharia punishments while nice and ‘holy’ and all are actually medieval and really have no place in this age of technology and human rights etc…

    22 years is the maximum penalty in this sort of crime which I think is suitable if the maximum penalty allowed by law is applied

  • Onzlo, so why is it that when a Jordanian woman is raped by a man (often her father or brother) she becomes a whore and is killed and the rapist/ killer gets away with 2 years because it is honour killing??

  • Interesting comments! A fifteen year old Jordanian girl was violently raped recently and the rapist got the death penalty. In this particular case involving the British women luckily it is open and shut with physical evidence and other things available.

    One of the most important things to do is if there is a sexual attack is to get the physical evidence as soon as possible thru the Family Protection Department. They have forensic doctors on 24/7 availability, one of them female, who will take the medical evidence at the special unit in the FPD. There are female detectives available to take statements. The Department is situated near the 7th circle behind Safeway and Cozmo. There are also units situated round the country.

    Anyone who is sexually abused (whoever the offender is) or physically abused (if the offender is a member of the family) can call the Family Protection Department on 111 or 5815816/5815846.

  • Naseem:
    You know what’s more interesting and sad than the story itself?
    Some of the comments!
    Qwaider got it right, in islam this falls under “7ad el 7erabah” which begins with what Q said and range to hanging.

    As for Black Jack(Is it jack daniels? because it seems you drink too much)
    “How many women in jordan are forced to enter “bait al ta3a” or forced against their will to have sexual intercourse with their abusive husbands? ”

    Well why don’t you enlighten us and show us your stats, or your stats are based on unseen evidence by us “normal people”-you remind me of bush and cheney, no,no cheney is better because he still believes that there are WMDs in iraq!

    FYI, what T said is completly true, and they do a better job thn “you” think.

    I agree with Bam, the story is fishy, I read up to now 3 versions of the story, none of them makes sense.

    As fo the vote: I vote for Castration, and a tatoo on the forehead that says rapist in Red..

  • Mohanned, the story is not fishy. These girls accepted our usually typically wonderful Jordanian hospitality. You might say they were not very sensible but does this mean they should accept to be raped? Absolutely not. And don’t listen to all sorts of stories and exagerations It did happen and the offenders were caught very quickly. T

  • Nas: Sorry I missed that, sarcasm doesn’t really read easily.

    Sana: I don’t really get your question, I also think you answered it yourself. I think its because this is what is called as an ‘honour’ killing and basically there is Article 98 of the penal code (laws are made by parliament but applied by courts) that provides for a reduction in penalty in cases of ‘fit of fury’ etc…. The law is ridiculous, and whats worse is that our judges often seem to bend over backwards just to apply the reduction when there is clearly no sudden fit but a pre-meditated murder. But what does this have to do with the rape we are talking about?

  • Mohannad,

    I pardon ur ignorance; Black Jack is not meant to reflect an alcohol beverage, Its actually a popular card game at casinos and gambling halls 😀

  • so now u are playing the stats card?

    I pardon your ignorance again, Mark Twain popularized the famous phrase: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”

    do you want me to get you statistics about rape cases from a Jordanian governmental agency??? how reliable and accurate source that is!

    however, I can tell you from a reliable source, 76% of americans oppose the war in iraq, but still overwhelmingly engaged in it. statistics? how funny. so if there are no reliable statistics about rape, you wont care?

    dude, wake up, Jordan is like any other country, we have alot of rape cases that go unnoticed. look at it this way: from an ARAB culture perspective, if somebody’s sister/mother got raped, do u think they want the whole world to know about it? how about if the rapist comes from a ‘prestegious’ Jordanian tribe? do u have to use the ‘wasta’ to prosecute him? I wonder whether your ‘statistics’ then would help ease the victim’s rage.

    let me remind u that you are a citizen of a country whose own constitution allows for honor killing. so stop with this statistics thing as if you are trying to make a valid point to the world. ur not.

    P.S. BBJ actually sounds better, i like how it rhymes.

  • “let me remind u that you are a citizen of a country whose own constitution allows for honor killing.”

    So you are saying that I should be ashamed to be jordanian?
    I don’t know where you live or lived, but from your perspective I can tell that it was not a nice place to be in.

    There are problems but exaggeration and back stabbing is worse than our problems.

    P.S: Yeah I like BBJ better, you know it sounds benut butter jelly which is much better than Gambling, cause you know some of us “jordanians” are ignorant and consider it haram.

    Peace out 😀

  • I know, but I am trying to be jordanian,you know, I gotta kick it up a notch like Emiril..

    P.S Thanks for correcting me, I can use your help writing my thesis 😀

  • CSS – Since there is no P in Arabic it would be beanut butter and jelly, which goes well with an ice cold bebsi. 🙂

    There was another rape story in today’s Jordan Times regarding a Jordanian woman in her dorm room. The man was sentenced to 22 years prison. I have some issue with the story. NOT that it happened, but I guess the way it was written. My sympathies to any MAN, WOMAN or CHILD who is put in such a horrible situation. Here’s what I say..

    1. How did he slip into her room? Aren’t there locks on the room doors, for the safety of the inhabitants.

    2. He assaulted her for 10 minutes? Was he wearing a watch? Sort of like the people that lived in a tent on side the road and had sex x amount of times, did they mark it on a calendar.

    3. The STUDENTS tried to force their way in to rescue her but couldn’t because he put a heavy object behind the door. All these ladies couldn’t get the door open by shoving all at once? But then a STUDENT with a black belt in taekwondo was able to break the door down?

    4. A pathologist exam indicated the lady was a virgin when she was raped. How can an exam determine that? If for whatever reason she hadn’t been a virgin, would that had made a difference? Would his sentence have been less?

    But, back to the British incident. I think the story does sound odd. Why would you not secure a way back to town in advance? They could have gone to any hotel and requested a taxi be called, etc.. And how can someone knock on your door for 3 hours (2am – 5am) It’s all strange…

  • Qwaider, I’m against ccapital punishment as well but I don’t think 22 years is enough punishment. People that get raped have to deal with that their whole lives. I work with little kids that are rape victims and that amount of dysfunction that they will carry for a long time is mind blowing. 22 years is nothing if they are just sitting in a cell being fed and reading at their leisure, if rapists are EVER going to be released into society then they should receive services in prison to help them cope when they are released. Or else when they get out of prison they will be so tired of having been forced to be someone’s bitch in prison that they will come out and… RAPE.

  • Salaams:

    I just want to point out, since I don’t see it mentioned, that none of the people who thought these British women were naive are saying that this means they deserve to be raped. A lot of tourist books focus on how *safe* Jordan is, esp. for women (and esp. compared to other countries). But that said, I don’t know of one that would recommend being abroad at night w/o any reliable way home. That’s common sense for women *everywhere in the world.*

    Also, Bambam, don’t throw that “you think it’s a dirty country full of terrorists” thing on these women (or any other Westerner who comes here). If they thought that, would they be studying in Syria which has a way worse reputation in the West than Jordan “America’s Best Friend?” Not all Westerners think that kind of stuff about Arabs.

    But I wonder what they think of Jordan now…

  • I travelled in Jordan in 1993 with my brother. As a woman, I can’t say I was comfortable, nor did I feel particularly safe. I had the feeling that as a foreign woman, there was an automatic assumption by men that they had a right to make advances towards me. I normally dress quite modestly and of course I was ultra aware of it while in Jordan. We did enjoy the kind hospitality which made our trip more memorable and worthwhile. 1993 was a long time ago.

    If I got stuck at night in an unfamiliar place, I may trust a woman to give me shelter.

  • If this story is true, these poor guys have been set-up by way of Financial Compensation. Just how much do these girls stand to gain?

  • Spare a thought for the women who went through this ordeal and indeed women who go through it but do not report it for various reasons. Forget the laws, politics, personal beliefs etc. and imagine how anyone would feel (male or felmale, Jordanian, British – whatever) having subjected to such a trauma. If you haven’t experienced something like rape then perhaps it would be considerate to try and understand what it is like to be a victim of rape. Having been raped in Jordan myself, I know the impact it has on ones life and it is incredibly upsetting to read such careless and thoughtless comments. I didn’t report the rape while I was there because I was so shocked and distressed by the whole event. The only thing I wanted to do was pretend it didn’t happen. I couldn’t speak about it because acknowledging such an ordeal was too much to bear at that time.

Your Two Piasters: