T Nation

'Gang rape' victim faces jail on adultery charges

I found this while doing some research for a piece of university work I’m doing.

From, a British newspaper called, “The Telegraph.”

‘Gang rape’ victim faces jail on adultery charges

By Philip Delves Broughton in Paris

(Filed: 03/01/2003)

A businesswoman who accused three men of gang rape has been arrested in Dubai and faces trial on charges of adultery.

Touria Tiouli, 39, from Limoges, in France, has had her passport confiscated and cannot leave Dubai after being charged under the emirate’s Sharia law.

This declares any sexual relationship outside marriage to be illegal.

Mme Tiouli was on a business trip last October when, she alleges, she was raped by three men who offered her a lift home from a nightclub.

She reported the attack immediately to the Dubai police, who after investigating her claim arrested her rather than those she accused.

One of the men admitted to having “consensual sex” with Mme Tiouli, which made her, in the eyes of Dubai’s judiciary, guilty of both adultery and making a false rape accusation. She could face up to 18 months in prison. None of the men has been charged.

Mme Tiouli was held in prison for five days and has since been staying at a hotel.

The government has taken her passport and refused to let her leave the country until her trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

Friends in Limoges issued a statement from Mme Tiouli yesterday. It said that when she reported her rape to the police, “I was crying and I saw quickly that my story did not carry any weight with them.”

She added: “I am frightened and I am not sleeping.” Her 14-year-old son is staying with friends in France.

Mme Tiouli, who is divorced, was born in Morocco but moved to France as a child and is a French citizen.

This was her third visit to Dubai, where she worked on behalf of French luxury goods companies establishing links in the local market and dealing with the French consulate.

When she reported her attack to the police, she believed her status as a French citizen with close ties to the consulate would lead to her being taken seriously.

Sharia law is applied with varying severity in many Muslim countries. In Nigeria, adultery is punishable by stoning to death, while in Dubai a prison sentence is usual.

Also from, ‘The Telegraph.’

Birthday drink ‘led to gang rape ordeal’

By Philip Delves Broughton in Paris
(Filed: 03/01/2003)

The Frenchwoman arrested in Dubai after accusing three men of rape had been alone in a hotel bar earlier, celebrating her 39th birthday.

Touria Tiouli had a Coca-Cola and stayed until about midnight, according to Brigitte Roddes-Chmitt, who leads her support group.

As Mme Tiouli left, three men she had been introduced to by the bar’s owner followed her out. The businesswoman had spoken to them only briefly and none of them had made any advances.

As she was waiting for a taxi, the men drove by and offered her a lift to her hotel.

Instead of taking her there, however, she claims they took her to a rough part of town and raped her in their car. Then they dropped her back at her hotel.

She called the police that morning, Oct 14. Mme Tiouli says she was told by the bar owner that one of the men she has accused comes from a prominent Dubai family.

A spokesman for the United Arab Emirates embassy in Paris said Mme Tiouli “had not even come to trial yet and there wasn’t even a judgement against her”.

He said she was charged with breaching laws common in the Arab world regarding sex outside marriage, and that he did not expect the case to cause a rift between France and Dubai.

Mme Roddes-Chmitt said she had been told by officials in Dubai that Mme Tiouli’s Moroccan appearance may have worked against her. “There is a large network of Moroccan prostitutes in Dubai and the three men told police they thought she was a prostitute,” she said. “A woman’s word means nothing there.”

The French consulate secured her release from prison and has been helping her since with money for her hotel bills and aiding her search for a lawyer.

Mme Tiouli claims that every lawyer she has contacted in Dubai has refused to help her.

The French Foreign Ministry said Mme Tiouli was receiving “every protection possible from our consul”.

It said that it had made several appeals to the local authorities on her behalf. A ministry spokesman said: “Naturally we want to see a swift conclusion to this affair.”

I’m interested in what people who subsribe to the “cultural relativism” school of thought think about this. You know, all of those people who say we simply can’t judge the practices of another culture because we filter them through Western value systems, and who is to say that Western value systems are superior.

This is pretty much all you get in 99% of the anthropology departments and various ethnic studies departments in major U.S. universities. That large majority of teachers who subsribe to this teach that such things as clitoral mutilation, cannibalism, torture, etc., can’t be viewed in terms of “right” or “wrong,” only in some broadly relativistic scheme. Yet of course these same people are the first to say that the U.S. is an evil country, plagued by sin, because there was slavery here over 100 years ago. Or for another comparison, the Nazi holocaust was evil and wrong, but Mao’s cultural revolution was some benign political decision for the Chinese leader to make for his people.

I personally don’t see how those two positions jibe – how only things done in or by Western civilizations can be considered wrong.

BTW, sorry for the hijack, but I had to rant a bit. As for the laws of most Middle Eastern countries, including those of our “allies,” they could definitely use an injection of classical liberal principals (liberal as is personal liberty – research for yourself the historical definition).