Rape or murder: What would you choose?

Rape or murder: What would you choose?
Women in Aleppo are choosing whether to kill themselves before they are raped by pro-regime henchmen - such is the reality of existence in Aleppo right now.
2 min read
14 December, 2016
An injured woman is helped on to a truck in Aleppo on December 14 [AFP]

People in Aleppo are asking clerics an impossible question - whether it is better to kill themselves or be raped, as regime troops, intent on revenge, swarm into previously rebel-held parts of the city.

It's a question that mirrors the uniquely miserable scenario that women in Aleppo face, as footage of rape, executions and torture appears on pro-regime and pro-Russian social media.

Sheikh Muhammad Yaqubi, a prominent Sufi cleric and one of the few Syrian clerics to openly call for the regime's removal, answered the awful question on Twitter.

"We are receiving from Aleppo questions like this one, can a man kill his wife or sister before she is raped by Assad Forces in front of him?" tweeted Yaqubi.

At time of publication, the question had been retweeted more than 1,500 times and received dozens of messages that reflected the woeful situation.

The New Arab
has heard of numerous young women in Aleppo making the awful decision to take their own lives, for fear of attacks by Assad's henchmen.

This question - is it better to kill yourself or be raped - would usually only be asked on an intellectual basis, but this is the reality that real women are facing in Aleppo, right now.

Today, real women are asking this real question - and looking to religion for the answer.

"It is forbidden to kill in fear of rape or to commit suicide; patience is the necessary and the rewards come after life," tweeted Shaykh Yaqubi.

"Ya Allah, please forgive us!" came one reply.