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Acid Attacks Rising in Colombia, What if they Were Muslim?

Acid Attacks Rising in Colombia, What if they Were Muslim?

Acid attacks have come to our attention mostly through news reports of such incidents in India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Islamophobes and the like are all too happy to point to Islam as the cause of such incidents even though the motivations of such attacks have to do with issues completely unrelated to Islam.

In fact, in India many of the victims of acid attacks aren’t even Muslims but Hindus! Now, this horrific act is on the rise in Colombia. Since Colombia is a predominantly Catholic nation would it be correct to say Catholicism is responsible? Of course not, but don’t expect Islamophobes or the uncritical media to be aware of this profound double standard. (h/t: JD):

Acid attacks in Colombia reflect rage

by Juan Forero (Washington Post)

BOGOTA, Colombia – Every glance at a mirror transports Consuelo Cordoba to the moment when her boyfriend doused her with a skin-searing acid that obliterated her face, leaving her with gruesome wounds that will never heal.

The chemical burned off an ear, melted an eye, ate through her lower face and ruined her teeth. She now wears a skin-tight elastic mask, breathes through a straw-like tube that protrudes from her nose and walks the streets looking “like a monster,” as she put it.

“I would like to go to sleep today and not wake up tomorrow,” she said. “The truth is life is too hard and I am alone.”

A cheap and quick way of destroying a woman’s life, acid attacks in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have received widespread attention in recent years, with a documentary about victims in Pakistan winning an Oscar this year. While the gruesome assaults have been rare in the West, a rising number of attacks in Colombia has alarmed prosecutors and public health officials and terrified women. Dozens of such attacks, in which assailants soak their victims with sulfuric or nitric acids, are believed to take place here each year.

The precise reason for the spike here — and not in, say, neighboring Peru — is not known. But women’s rights advocates in Colombia talk about an epidemic of violence against women, from spouse-battering cases so extreme that they make the nightly news to reports of illegal armed groups using rape as a weapon in a murky rural conflict.

“Sometimes in the West we make fast judgments and say, ‘Look how terrible they treat women in the East,’ and we don’t look first at ourselves,” said Monica Roa, the Bogota-based international programs director of Women’s Link Worldwide, a rights group. “The violence here may be different, but it emanates from the same place. This is a culture where machismo reigns, where men do what they want to do.”

If a woman is attacked over a dowry in India or because she ventured outside without a veil in Pakistan, in Colombia a woman might be attacked because of sheer rage over her independence or even by a disturbed man she doesn’t know.

That’s what happened in 2004 to Maria Cuervo when a complete stranger shouted, “This is so you don’t think you’re so pretty” and drenched her face with acid.

Mostly, though, a jilted boyfriend or a husband intoxicated with jealousy is behind the attack.

“He had hit me because of jealousy, so I ended it,” Erica Vanessa Vargas, a slight, soft-spoken woman of 20, said of the day she ended her relationship with a boyfriend four years ago. “He then said, ‘If you’re not mine, than no one will have you.’ ”

Her former boyfriend paid a small boy $1.75 to throw acid at her — changing the course of a young life. “I stopped going to school, I can’t work, I can’t depend on my own self,” said Vargas, wearing a scarf to shield her scarred neck and chin.

Legal avenues and reform

The statistics on acid attacks are hazy in Colombia, as in other countries where they take place.

Bogota city councilwoman Olga Rubio, a victims’ advocate, said about 100 of the assaults have taken place so far this year across Colombia. It is a pace that would easily surpass last year’s total of 150.

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20 Comments »

  1. “even though the motivations of such attacks have to do with issues completely unrelated to Islam”

    Maybe, maybe not. Islam can certainly reinforce misogyny within a society – as can other patriarchal religions of course.

  2. the roll of religion is very powerful in most societies, unfortunately. i wouldn’t discount any religion’s ability help lead men to think they have the right “put their women in place”.

    genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

  3. lol. role. looks like i need a drink.

  4. what if they were muslims. oh wait they are.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19195985

    but don’t blame islam. oh wait.

  5. Mike, it is islamophobic to not support the islamic awakening in mali.

  6. Maybe the operative word here is impunity. Does the culture, do the laws, sufficiently punish people for doing this?

    Well, he became really very angry. He couldn’t control himself, what man could under such circumstances….

    She/he was committing adultery you know…

    He was so frustrated he just killed/maimed whomever, the poor guy he was just so mad…

  7. lol. then color me islamophobic. or should i say colour?

    yeah i was suprised to see the Tuareg had gained any ground. especially after the fall of gaddafi. he was their big financial backer.

    jane you ignorant slut. don’t you know they are only doing as allah commands?

    Volume 8, Book 81, Number 791:

    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    Allah‘s Apostle said, “Allah curses the thief who steals an egg (or a helmet) for which his hand is to be cut off, or steals a rope, for which his hand is to be cut off.”

    oh shit, narrated by the guy they want to name the st. anthony islamic center after. looks like “justice” is coming to minnesota, too. i better call my cousins.

  8. Mike, Jane might not know that famous line from SNL.

  9. hey Mike what book is that. oh wait is it …Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. or maybe this one “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)” But wait let me guess you dont follow the old testament. What about the theif…Exodus 22:2-3

    If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
    Romans 13:4

    For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

  10. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 – Thieves will not enter the kingdom of God.

  11. I don’t think throwing scriptures at each other is going to help solve problems. Changing the laws might though.

  12. Mike,
    Correct mike. Don’t blame violence of Muslims on Islam. If one did such a thing they would be considered an idiot. Great link btw.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19195985

    A small comment from the link you posted if you bothered to read through it. Are you illiterate? Most haters are.
    “The Islamists have vowed to implement strict Sharia law, despite strong opposition from the local Muslim population.”

    Majority don’t want it. Should I link the burning of Mosques to atheists who hate and disrespect all houses of worship? Stalin and Hitler were normal atheists. which is why atheists will never make good leaders. they are too violent.

  13. “Don’t blame violence of Muslims on Islam”

    Why not, if that violence is informed by islam then one can blame islam. Not every muslim wants the full horror of sharia to be implemented, only the most religious muslims want that.

    I don’t know of any atheists who hate houses of worship, as an atheist I enjoy visiting the great cathedrals.

    “Stalin and Hitler were normal atheists.”

    LIke many leaders those two used religion when it suited them although both preferred to set up their own cults – religion was seen as a competitor for communism, Hitler had his own ideas about a german religion although he admired islam.

    “which is why atheists will never make good leaders. they are too violent.”

    Any ideology taken to extremes can be violent which is why religious fanatics don’t make good leaders, they are too violent.

  14. Yes, Bennett, the muslim majority is opposed. I keep reading the same figures: a violent core of 10-15%, 30-40% supporting them and about 60% clueless.

    As the Bible says, “the violent bear it away”.

  15. So if you see 100 muslims walking down the street, you can theorize that 10 actively want to kill you, 30 will cheer them on, and 60 will tell you that Islam is a peaceful wonderful thing and scold you for being an islamophobe.

    The violent core and the large minority supporting it are nourished by imams and mosques. They churn the world with disorder.

    The US has been free of violent religious hatred for a long time. We will regret importing it.

    The last time US corn prices went up there were bread riots in Egypt. Our drought will whack them. Famine until recently even in Europe was a regular thing. Some authors theorize ww2 was all about food.

  16. There are further divisions. The 60 who are not participating are divided into those who are and are not practicing, those who secretly sympathize with the jihadis and starry eyed converts who will believe anything at least for a while.

  17. bennet,

    “Correct mike. Don’t blame violence of Muslims on Islam.” well, not really. some violence by muslims should be blamed on islam. when muslim cut off a thiefs hand because they believe it is the proper implimentation of sharia. then that violence should me put on the hadiths.don’tyou think?
    “If one did such a thing they would be considered an idiot.” again that depends on the violence and the reasoning behind it.
    “Great link btw.” thanks. as you know i do love the bbc.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19195985

    “A small comment from the link you posted if you bothered to read through it. Are you illiterate? Most haters are.” lol. i’m pretty surei can read, but just barely sometimes. i saw the comment. so? the point is that SOME muslims, usually refered to as islamists, use the tennets of islam to justify their violence. kinda of like the way you justify muhammad stoning the jew and the jewess.
    ““The Islamists have vowed to implement strict Sharia law, despite strong opposition from the local Muslim population.”” good for the locals. but they (islamists) still cut the guys hand off in the name of sharia. did they not? what is their inspiration for impossing such a punishment? the hadiths? the actions of your prophet?

    “Majority don’t want it.” again, good for them. but maybe they are the bad muslims? why do they not follow the example of “the prophet”????
    “Should I link the burning of Mosques to atheists who hate and disrespect all houses of worship?” if there is an atheist text that says atheist should do such things (hate and disrespect all houses of worship) then yes. but i’ve never seen such texts. but maybe you can enlighten me? where is this atheist “divine writ” that says to hate and disrespect all houses of worship??????????????????
    “Stalin and Hitler were normal atheists.” lol. “normal” atheists? were do you come up with that?
    “which is why atheists will never make good leaders. they are too violent.” lol. you seem to be stereotyping atheists by the actions of a few. isn’t that what you keep accusing me of doing with muslims? even though i’ve never said “ALL” muslims are anything. nor have i said the “normal” muslim is violent. WHAT IS THE WORD MY ILLITERATE MIND IS LOOKING FOR HERE?????….. LMFAOA.

  18. Those men who show up and starting shooting football fans, hairdressers, etc. are maybe a good thing. They will help clarify to the muslims just exactly what kind of gov do they want. They might lessen the enthusiasm for theocracy.

  19. ummSaalih,

    “hey Mike what book is that.” sorry i don’t follow your “what”. if you are referancing my hadith, it’s book 81. from the sahih bukhar or shahih muslim collections. not sure which i got that from. wait i think it is muslim.
    “oh wait is it” oh are you referancing the bible? strange to preceed the antecedant with the pronoun. anyways:
    “…Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” yeah i saw the movie, the girl with a dragon tatto. great movie. plus i’ve read the bible. 12 years of catholic schooling.
    “or maybe this one “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)” But wait let me guess you dont follow the old testament. What about the theif…Exodus 22:2-3

    If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. Romans 13:4″ lol. no dueteronomy? how about the verse that says if a woman defends her husband in a fight, but her hand touches the other male combatant’s genitals, you should cut off her hand. the god of abraham is clearly crazy.

    “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” what is this? the tabilban creed. jk. it’sromans 13:4. dude not to nitpick, or sound like duece prez. but in america we usually put the book and verse number after the quote. plus your paragraph breaks makes it a little hard to follow.

    and here you flip flop????????..”(Leviticus 20:9)” But wait let me guess you dont follow the old testament. What about the theif…Exodus 22:2-3″ you’re right there, i don’t follow the old testement. do you? oh shit muhammad did. see the hadith were he stones the jew and jewess.

    anyways: “hey Mike what book is that.”? the bible, and it sucks. should be thrown out along with the koran. don’t you think. or are you for setting people on fire?

    do you follow the koran? how about the sunnah?

  20. sorry that should be i don’t follow your “that”. see we all make mistakes. the quess is can we identify them and what do we do to correct them.

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