Sixteen Year Old Moroccan Girl Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Older Man Who Raped Her

We have yet another tragedy in the Arab world where a 16 year old Moroccan girl committed suicide in Morocco after being forced to marry her rapist — a man ten years her senior. The girl’s parents filed charges against the man but the court ruled that rather than punishing the man, he should marry his rape victim.

The forced marriage led to further abuse at the hands of the man and his family. The girl finally could take no more abuse and consumed rat poison to end her misery.

The Moroccan penal code exempts a rapist from punishment if he agrees to marry his victim.

The case obviously disgusts anyone with an ounce of humanity. The imposition of these medieval, misogynistic laws vividly demonstrates the divide with many Muslim nations. To call this a judge or a court is itself absurd. These are extensions of religious institutions — imposing oppressive conditions on women and girls. The thought of this child being forced to endure this abuse is truly horrific.

Source: AL Arabiya

48 thoughts on “Sixteen Year Old Moroccan Girl Commits Suicide After Being Forced To Marry Older Man Who Raped Her

  1. Sad situation, but I still have questions about the suicide, I wouldn’t put it past the guy & his family to poison her.

    Either way, still looks like murder…

  2. And this is another example of why the separation of church and state has been a real positive for the US. The impulse for religion to impose its own code on everyone is a horrible weakness.

  3. Excuse me, professor T. It’s not you, maybe it’s not others. Maybe it’s me who alone gets tired of hearing “ME” Middle East as a code word for “muslim theocratic de-humanizing hell”. Did we check to see what the liberal muslim Moroccan take was on this tragedy? What was Arabiyya’s take? And what did Al Jazeera english have to say.
    Morocco is famed for its women who give the men hell in public, as well as at home. That this is a general characterization with all its limitations, I’m aware.
    And as a point of law, does it force the parents to accept this judgement?
    Had they no other course to avoid dishonor—–a point which falls well on the many dishonored (continuously) minorities here in America.

  4. PS How does the African American male feel coming home as the strength of his family, but a failure because of how society handles him.
    It is a wonder that he abandons them, gets drug/alcohol habits, and feels even further demeaned in his own eyes. Guaranteed progress in society.

    A little further off-topic on the subject of the power of being demeaned or dishonored. And it isn’t just them. Anybody seen “White Feather”?
    And by demeaning Muslims we make it easier to start the next crusade.
    Arab lover! Yes, gladly. And thai, assyrian, kurd, indian, etc. I love mankind, the ones I meet daily and the ones whose massacre is quickly taken off the first pages on our newspapers. One crazed gunman…….BS!!!

  5. indeed, it is a tragedy!!!
    judging from the infos we got, all i can blame is her family, they’re the ones who accepted that humiliation… and don’t say it’s because of the religion nor the law in morocco, because her family had a choice to kick him insiide jail but they didn’t and that’s my friends what makes the tragedy even bigger :(…

  6. I hasten to add that I’m not an apologist for sharia law, nor the culture that uses it.
    I am in daily contact with sufferers of those social regimes, even to the point that they immigrate to Sweden, where I meet them, or to USA where most of their immigrant relatives are. And each has 500 cousins they have left in their homeland.
    They were, yesterday, a new acquaintance, an Iraqi Catholic Christian from Bagdad, here since 14 years. She looked at me with wonder, wondering what this American was like: did he hate Iraqis, etc.; and yes she left because of religious persecution. And my Assyrian Christian (Syrian Orthodox) barber whose closest family history and whose culture she shares with me.

    When I see Nasser my Moroccan friend I’ll ask´him about the 16 years old girl. Will have to get and save a newsclip to show him. He has at times with his denial tendency when confronted with uncomfortable facts.

    Something which none of us have troubles with. I mean none of us is so fixated on maintaining homostasis (to use a medical term) in our lives that we would adjust our filters and views in order to maintain the warm fuzzy feeling we have.

    Nobody, eehhh?!

  7. Or let me diverge in order to show the ME in another light.

    Suppose that the crusaders had really succeeded, were followed by the poor peasants from Europe (promised land), and the territory expanded to encompass what is now Syria, Lebanon, and part of Iraq.
    Shall we now realize that the Christians would then be faced with surviving on subsistence farming, on which the Crusader leaders would have meager income. Lacking the trading routes whose overflow had helped raise their surrounding muslim neighbors welfare, which in turn allowed for the rise of science (impelled by Mhd’s (quranic) command to learn) and that positive input.

    Would our Christian land (Christiana) have followed their European cousins in their slow progress up the incline of liberalism and scientific discovery with rising welfare? In spite of the poorness of natures resources and lack of rain.
    I think not.

    The state of Israel survives on the back of modern science, which they keep astounding us with. It is the modern state doing a total takeover of a territory.
    It is the modern exception.

    So it isn’t judendom which was the answer, as their own policy re immigration of poor analphabetic Sephardic jews from Africa, etc shows. Their own realization of the impact of education and social specialization necessary in a revealed. To start the rise from clan/religious orientation requires resource overflow and specialization and a common language.

    The rest of the ME region, deprived since 1500’s of the trading income from the East to the European market, has remained at a subsistence level.

    They have been drained of their best people over the centuries by immigration. From one little area in Lebanon have the best left home for new homes with better opportunities; and they came home to buy summer homes, but not to stay. We have concentrations of them in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

    BFN, gotta go.

  8. “The Moroccan penal code exempts a rapist from punishment if he agrees to marry his victim.”
    the pig commits a crime
    the pig gets to decide and apply the law
    the victim is fucked
    why is the US striving towards this manner of justice?

  9. This decision makes neither logical nor psychological sense, of course. If someone should steal my money, no one would argue that justice demands that we become business partners.

  10. Mr. Turley,
    I enjoy your web page, but I need to take exception to this article.

    1. How is a country that borders the Atlantic ocean in the Middle East?

    2. In 2006, with the support of the king, Morocco revised and replace the family law. The new family law prohibited marriage before 18, and no longer required that a woman marry a man chosen for her. It is a remarkable and liberal document for most countries, and especially an islamic country. see this article for more information.

    3. There are many female mourchidat. These are religious workers who do everything in a mosque but lead prayers. I believe that this is the only place in the islamic world where this happens. See this article for more information on this.

    4. This is a horrific action by the judge, and I feel for the young woman. And the actions of this judge was wrong. It appears that the judge used a loophole in the law to reach this decision which is certainly not in the spirit of the new family law.

    5. This country has many problems, but is leading the arab world in womans rights and has inspired other countries to revise their civil codes. The current code has its problems, but is not “medieval”, but progressive. I hope you will take a moment to read the articles cited and reconsider your comments.

  11. I salute Idealist707 and Joseph Eisinger for their skepticism, and call for putting this incident in perspective. I have lived in Morocco and claim to know a little about its culture and practices. I assure you that if such an incident has taken place, with the exactitude of the stated circumstances, it is not a common occurrence. The progress Moroccan women have made is quite astonishing. Many Moroccan political leaders: Ministers and Members of Parliament. The Moroccan society is very complex and interesting, and cannot be confined or defined by such a headline. When one looks closer, there is much to be amazed about in that society.
    So I did feel a little unfairness towards a nation that’s trying hard.
    This is not to defend this practice. Not at all. But when a reader sees the article, with the Moroccan flag and national symbol, they would tend to keep in mind: Rapists, forced marriages, suicides….
    I love this blog though!!

  12. In America, there are “religious” politicians who would require a rape victim to carry and bear the child of her rapist.

    Same Dark Ages mentality, right here in America.

  13. joseph eisinger,

    Thank you for the additional information. I have a very good friend who is Moroccan and travels back every two years to visit family. His views on his homeland are more in line with yours.

    That being said, he is as embarrassed by the actions of this judge as I was by the actions of Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin.

    My friend is more so however because the Moroccan judge’s action contributed to the tragic death of an innocent.

  14. That’s not a medieval punishment; it’s straight out of the Bible.

    The separation of Church and State is vital.

  15. Blouise,
    just got back.
    re eisinger, you said:
    “My friend is more so however because the Moroccan judge’s action contributed to the tragic death of an innocent.”

    !. I am sure, as you are probably, that Judge Martin would do his worst if he got a chance to do what the Moroccan judge.
    “. Eisinger makes quite clear:
    ——Morocco is not part of the ME, and the concept is a misleading one!
    IT USES THE GUILT BY ASSSOCIATION to judge all lands practicing sharia. “Thery’re muslims aren’t they, well that does it—shoot them all.”

    (Well, isn’t it JT?, It is possible to not agree with you, I hope.)

    ——this judicial decision is mirrored in religious tinged ones in the USA (sorry that was not Eisingerl)
    ——this judgement was against the ruling laws. Do we see a similar problem here in the USA?

    The Sharia can be quite draconian, as we know, but it is fortunately moderated in some countries. As is the USA law, in its exaggerated sentences for repeated convictions for using marijuana.

    I stand by my contention that condemnation en masse is no way forward, for them or us. Is it difficult?—-ask Hillary what she has for hopes for China.
    The greater the contact on a personal level is an important way forward.

    No general condemnations, not even on a legal level, is my desire.

    We’ve had family honor killings in Sweden. One resulted in a day being proclaimed in her honor, and is observed each year. When did America do that?

    We may see the Moroccan king do the same.

  16. Mike A.
    And thank you for not giving me the kudo for being the first skeptic
    to have the courage to disagree with Professor Turley.
    Although my contribution may be poorly based in terms of references,
    it is still of great importance to dare to be the first to stick ones head up and risk getting it chopped off.

    But maybe you have a personal conflict with me (which I’ve forgotten) which prevents you mentioning my name with praise.

    No matter, “I will survive”.

  17. idealist707:

    Sorry. LOL. And I actually read your comment first. But you need not be prickly. I’m not aware of any personal conflicts, but I’ve been tied up with work lately and have hardly had time to read the postings on this site, let alone comment on them. I’m still trying to catch up on some great topics.

  18. Mike A.
    Thank you for answering, and not just walking away. Very fine of you.
    Sorry, recovering from a lifetime of low self-esteem. Been that way since????
    Now the question is, how could I have phrased it so that I did not attack you, thus practically guaranteeing a snark in reply. And have dared bare my poor self-esteem, and asked if I am not worthy of praise. Still hard to do, only 3 weeks practicing—-really, it’s true.
    Thank for the kind reply.
    Every failure does not guarantee a bettering—-unfortunately, as we all know.

  19. idealist707. We had a Moroccan cabdriver in Denmak. He gave us a quick assessment of the situation there regarding Muslims, and it has always stuck with me. Morocco is a north African country that has a diversified population. You are right that not all Muslims share these extremist religious views and that not all Moroccans are Muslim. Paris has had a huge influx of Jews from Morocco. We ate in a Moroccan kosher restaurant.

  20. I mean, can you imagine that I have not only challenged Mike S, and Gene H., as well as others, but now inferred that the great JT used “guilt by association” and is coding “hate sharia judged societies.”. Now that requires some stupidity—had it since 2nd grade, all my life. I guess you could call it reflexive behaviour.

    You should hear the tales. Another time.

  21. SwM,
    According to Nasser, the jewish population is about 30 percent, the berbers about 20 percent (St Augustine was berber on his mother’s side), and even the arabs are a highly mixed ethnic group.

    Different religious fractions drove them—we never had that problem in Europe, peace reigned always. Irony, need I say?

    Lucky you, eating ´there in Paris. Ahhh, me! Vous parlez bien Francais, n’est ce pas?
    Hey, that might have been Denmark—now am confused. Vous avez des amis en Danemark? Ou en France? Ou les deux?
    Pardon my conceit showing off my poor French.

  22. id707,

    Good lord no. I don’t want to be the founding father of anything!

    Better to stand behind the lines taking potshots at the wounded as they return from battle. (yeah, I’m being snarky but not at you)

  23. Blouise,
    Well, there’s no doubt which walking wounded deserve the sniper fire.
    Guess that’ll get the NSA’s attention. Shall I write Obama, Obama, Obama, and see if the SS shuts me down. Don’t challenge fate old man, someone just told me.

  24. It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon,” she said.”We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice.”

    The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape.

    “The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,'” said Lahcen Filali in an interview that appeared on Tuesday night.

    In many societies, the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of wedlock is a huge stain of honor on the family.

    In many parts of the Middle East, there is a tradition whereby a rapist can escape prosecution if he marries his victim, thereby restoring her honor. There is a similar injunction in the Old Testament’s Book of Deuteronomy

    Morocco updated its family code in 2004 in a landmark improvement of the situation of women, but activists say there’s still room for improvement.

    In cases of rape, the burden of proof is often on the victim and if she can’t prove she was attacked, a woman risks being prosecuted for debauchery.

    “In Morocco, the law protects public morality but not the individual,” said Assouli, adding that legislation outlawing all forms of violence against women, including rape within marriage, has been stuck in the government since 2006.

    According to the father’s interview, the girl was accosted on the street and raped when she was 15, but it was two months before she told her parents.

    He said the court pushed the marriage, even though the perpetrator initially refused. He only consented when faced with prosecution. The penalty for rape is between five and 10 years in prison, but rises to 10 to 20 in the case of a minor.

    Filali said Amina complained to her mother that her husband was beating her repeatedly during the five months of marriage but that her mother counseled patience.

    A Facebook page called “We are all Amina Filali” has been formed and an online petition calling for Morocco to end the practice of marrying rapists and their victims has already gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

  25. @ Idealitst: ” Did we check to see what the liberal muslim Moroccan take was on this tragedy?” Yes we did check, because it was a Moroccan Judge who forced the girl to marry her rapist. Yes Morocco is “Middle Eastern” in it’s culture, and it is a culture that is horrifically misogynistic and homophobic, which is a sign that they are culturally insecure in their manhood. Their insecurity leads them to wildly attack anything that might possibly cast a doubt on their manliness.

    The girl did the right thing, tragic as is was. If most of the women oppressed by these pseudo-men had her courage, that failed culture would die out for lack of children. The world would be a better place.

  26. SwM,
    Are you Moroccan? Just joking. very impressive. so i can stop beating my drum. But maybe you are a former CIA arabian translator in the analysis division?????? They have offices all over the US according to Ishmael Jones book. Read him?

    Re this: So two wrongs make a right.
    The family honor is the big thing, although here, it would appear to be the prosecution who screwed up (sorry for the analogy).

    Perfect clip. Shows as usual, when it’s good reporting, the complication of the real world slaps us in the face.

    Would someone rape the King’s niece or granddaughter, please?

    Wasn’t it Cheney’s daughter who helped the closet people?

    No, really, you always surprise me. The ladies have more that one can of insect spray in their accoutrement for the pestering/festering ones.


  27. idealist, I just like to cook with harissa. You only get bonus points if you don’t have to look it up.

  28. TotC,
    I ain’t going there. Keep your prejudices. Ain’t no changing them. Bye.

    As for being raped being a stain on honor, here the culture, intra-familial interpreted, means only contacting men approved by the parents and the brothers. of course that’s loosening up now. That was the case when the victim became a national women’s rights idol, with a annual celebration in her honor.
    One young man met what he thought might be his in-laws to ask´to continue court her. He got held down by the mother in the sofa, while the brother poured oil from the stove down his throat.

    But I still will not condemn then as cultures or countries. That stinks of xenophobia to me. You all know where I stand, I believe—-if you read my comments, which I can’t presume.

    But TotC is a suspected troll in my book.

    Do you believe as we do in Sweden, that trolls dissolve in daylight—-or was that dracula et al. Anyway, ours goes around in mid-winter, with his lantern, and has a poem in his honor.

    Just to conclude with an improbable tale, some 30+ years ago, my lady friend, her young teenaged daughter and I were strolling a beautiful day in Haga Parken.
    Whether it was the sight of the Arab boy her age or the sight of the lake shore , she quickly stripped, hopped in, and came out laughing.
    The arabic boy stood there transfixed, Had he come to Paradise, was this a houri, one of the 48 virgins?
    He didn’t get a chance to find out.
    From the confidences she later revealed to this “uncle”, hadn’t I been there, maybe he would have. End of Story.

  29. Good conversation y’all,
    And good hustle Idealist7. One would think you’re Moroccan….hahah
    But seriously, it is refreshing to see many people face this bad habit of ours, which tends to make us wanna see bad things in others to valorize ourselves. When exaggerated, it leads to a very binary (good and evil) frame of thinking. It prevents from seeing greatness in others. I’ve seen a lot of it.
    And yes ThinkoftheChildren, Arabs may have insecurities they need to work on about their manhood. But we sure do have our weaknesses when it comes to good and evil. We’re always ready to flatten a country just for thinking that our intentions might not be all pure. That’s insecurity for me…

  30. let the entire world condemn this. it is sad that some members of this modern world still act in that barbaric way.

  31. Morocco: Rape-Marriage Law Will Be Amended

    RABAT, March 15 (Reuters) – Morocco on Thursday said it would amend a law allowing rapists to marry their underage female victims after the suicide of a teenage girl raised doubts about the effectiveness of reforms to women’s rights in the country.

    Sixteen-year-old Amina El-Filali killed herself last week near the northern city of Larache by swallowing rat poison after a six-month forced marriage to the man who raped her.

    Local human rights activists say the law violates women’s rights and was created to avoid damage to the reputation of the victim’s family.

    “This is a painful incident… This is an issue we can’t afford to ignore,” said Communication Minister and government spokesman Mustafa el-Khalfi.

    “She was raped twice – once by the rapist and the second time by marrying him… We plan harsher sentences against rapists and we will launch… a debate about law 475 to reform it,” he told reporters.

    Rape victims in Morocco carry a stigma of shame and dishonour. They are often suspected by police and judges of consent, and little social assistance is given to help them rebuild their lives.

  32. I am not one to impede on the rights of other countries, but I am one to argue heavily when another person’s rights are being compromised. This was terrible, and for tradition it cost her her life. I really do hope that with the attention this story receives, activism will be stronger and more wide spread than before. This is a very unfair law. goes into a lot more helpful detail.

  33. forced marriage without the freedom of consent of one or both participants is living with a spouse picked just for tribal demands or for poltical concerns. It can have a terribly dishonest false affection or false respect at its core . Why would anyone, domineering or not , would want to spend their adult years in any society that promotes extremely unhappy marrriages A personal incompatibility should be acceptable by one or both partners as a reason for not going into an unsuitable mariage perceived as that’s “it’s a man’s law and women have to get used to it “was acceptable up until the 19th century but even then only in very conservative societies. Sixteen year olds as forced brides in any country should be allowed to state their opposion . By saying to an independent judge if they were to continue the relationship or marriage would be very doubtful of a happy productive relationship .

  34. By saying to an independent judge that if the woman or girl were to continue the marriage engagement or relationship they would be very doubtful of having a productive meaningful life and marriage is becoming more legally acceptable in some Arab and Western fudamentalist countries .

  35. Sad story. But really nothing new to see here…this forced marriage stuff goes on every other day in the U.S. A lot of muslim girls in high school are not allowed to date or anything…they are forced to remain alone…forced to protect their ‘honor’…which is really just their virginity…so that they can be “worth” more for their arranged marriage. So yep, that is still happening Today in 2012 in America. So yea nothing really surprises me. I pray that GOD has mercy on her soul and ask on her behalf that her sins be forgiven. Amen.

  36. Please people stop confusing culture and man made laws for ISLAM is has never accepted rapists to marry their victims it condemns them to death so do some research and keep your narrow minded opinions to yourselves

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