Girls, who get knocked up by their boyfriends and contemplate abortion, please spare a thought for Amina Filali a young Morrocan who was forced to marry her rapist. The thought of enduring life with her rapist troubled her so much she chose to commit suicide.
Now I know these are totally different things, but there’s one huge similarity – the loss of life and a sense of finality, the pressure to make a decision that could alter lives forever.
When I read this story on Al Jazeera, (which is fast becoming my preferred source of news) I was horrified and heart-broken. It made me think of those parents who force their children to get married to save face of having a child out-of-wedlock. It makes me really think of how incredibly difficult it is to be a parent – you’re responsible for bringing this person into the world and moulding them to be the best God wants them to be.
Somewhere along the line, parents forget this; they take on the role of gods in their children’s lives and enforce decisions that terminate their children’s destiny.
I’m a strong believer that ‘all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28). Something positive has come out of the death of Amina – the nation is forced to sit up and pay attention to the horrors faced by child brides and rape.
If I could speak to her parents, I’d ask them, ‘why did you think to gift your daughter to her attacker?’, ‘How much did she mean to you that you thought this was the best way to preserve her dignity?’, ‘What images of happiness did you picture of her future? Did the rape seem ok to you? I’d ask her mother, ‘have you ever been loved?’, ‘How many times were you raped?’, ‘Do you know what happiness is?’
I can only imagine that people who perpetuate or condone evil are people who have not truly experienced love and forgiveness. It may seem too late for them, as they’ve lost their daughter, but I really think what the Filalis need is to be shown true love. They need to be shown what their daughter missed.
What do you think about this story? Can you empathise with the parents? Do parents still ask their daughters to get married when they get pregnant before marriage, or is that really as old school as it sounds.