Todd Akin and George Gallow on Rape

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 14:26 PM EDT, 22 August 2012

George Galloway, Photo by David Martyn Hunt

Over the past few days in the United States, there has been public uproar about Congressman Todd Akin and the comments he made on a television program in which he defended his anti-abortion position by stating that a woman who has been ‘legitimately’ raped can abort any pregnancy should that occur.

Now, in the United Kingdom, George Galloway, an elected MP of the Respect Party for Bradford West, is also at the center of controversy surrounding a recent broadcast. During a broadcast of his program called Good Night with George Galloway, he defended Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, by declaring that a woman who has engaged in consensual sex and is still in the bed with her partner cannot justifiably claim rape.

Assange has been granted asylum by the Ecuadorean government and remains ensconced in their embassy in Knightsbridge to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape. It is Galloway’s belief that, “The whole thing is a setup."

Galloway, Assange, and others believe that these sexual assault claims were part of a conspiracy to deliver Assange into the hands of the U.S. authorities who will charge him with espionage which carries a potential sentence of life in prison, or even the death penalty.

The British authorities have vowed to arrest Assange as soon as he steps outside of the embassy which has prompted strong emotions from supporters and denouncers. Supporters like Galloway maintain that Assange is being persecuted by the U.S. for publishing leaked military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and highly classified diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.

Galloway’s intemperate remarks in which he defines a man having sex with a woman who has fallen asleep after initial coitus as simply ‘bad etiquette’ and does not constitute rape, are just as egregious as the comments made by Congressman Akin and equally damaging to the advances made in women’s rights in the U.K. And just like Akin, though Galloway subsequently clarified his comment by stating that "No never means yes," he remains steadfast in his belief that a woman cannot be raped if moments before she engaged in sexual intercourse with the man she is accusing.

In his broadcast Galloway states, "Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you're already in the sex game with them. It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said: 'Do you mind if I do it again?' It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning."

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFcsf4t6Uxc]

Sandy Brindley, national coordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland said Galloway's comments were "very unhelpful" and supported an enduring but false notion of "real" or "serious" rape. "It can be just as devastating to be raped asleep by someone you know as it is to be raped by a stranger in the street," she said. (Source: The Guardian)

Assange is accused of meeting two different women – known as woman A and woman B – in Stockholm in August 2010. Both of women, who did not know each other, claim that they went out with Assange and subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse. However, each woman alleges rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion, and in the case of one woman, she claims that she awoke to Assange attempting to have sex with her despite the fact she was asleep.

Galloway continues in his broadcast by stating, "Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100% true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don't constitute rape at least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognize it. And somebody has to say this.

Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him, claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion."

George Galloway, like Akin, is unapologetic and has refused to renounce his statements despite being fired as a columnist on the Scottish political magazine Holyrood. Lawyers and anti-rape campaigners said that morally and legally Galloway was wrong and the law is clear that consent is required every time someone has sex.

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias

The Pastor, The Witch, & The Children

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:41 PM EDT, 7 June 2012

A medicine man or witch doctor, working on a fetish in Mopti, Mali 1993, Photo by Peter GaulBRITAIN -- The ugly specter of witch hunting has once again found purchase in the United Kingdom. When Americans or Europeans think of witch hunts they recall a period in European history that lasted from the early 16th Century until the early 18th Century and sporadically thereafter.

The countries with the most notable and bloodthirsty trials and the highest number of victims, in descending order are Germany, Sweden, Scotland, America, and England. (Source: Hanover College, Department of History)

Historians and sociologist remain divided on the exact reasons why the citizens of these countries embarked on campaigns to eradicate ‘witches,’ who were primarily identified as women, though men and children were also victims.

Some have suggested that witchcraft was used as a means of subjugating the population to force them to accept Christianity. While others believe that it was a combination of misogyny and Gendercide, however, both agree that it was a combination of factors including mass hysteria and a desire to explain sociological problems such as poverty, plagues, and unexplained deaths.

400 years later witch hunts have once again returned to the U.K. through an unlikely conduit. On 4 March 2012 in London, Kirsty Bamu, a young, Central African Republic (CAR) native was brutally murdered by family members after being accused of being a witch. He was beaten over a period of several days as part of a 'exorcism,' before finally succumbing to death by drowning. There are thousands of African children who are suffering similar fates throughout Britain.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRqrGHA-Azs&feature=related]  "A phenomenon which was eradicated in Europe in the early 18th century is now raging across Africa, where according to UNICEF children between ages 4 and 14 are increasingly accused of practicing witchcraft. With the exception of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the urban phenomenon of child witches occurs principally in the Congo Basin, more precisely, in areas of Kongo culture (Yengo, 2008).

It is no coincidence that these countries, Angola, the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have also suffered from political instability, endless conflicts and civil wars, and the recruitment of child soldiers. The phenomenon appears to be gaining ground in countries that are geographically close (Cameroon, CAR, Gabon and Nigeria; Liberia and Sierra Leone).

The last decades of the twentieth century were particularly hard for the majority of sub‐Saharan African countries, which have suffered an acute and multiform crisis (social, economic, political and cultural). While a small number of individuals gained wealth rapidly, most people sank into a quagmire of poverty. Furthermore, the social changes that followed the rise of capitalism, urbanization and school attendance had a profound effect on the family, kinship relations and inter‐generational relations. In these circumstances, it is obvious that there were strong tensions between the elderly and the youth, brothers and sisters (in the widest sense), and also one’s cousins." (Source: UNICEF Report Pg. 19 -24)

Although, it is a complex issue, the prevailing belief which seems to be confirmed by news coverage, is that cases of adults in Africa being accused of witchcraft are usually the result of a dispute over inheritance or someone's desire to get that person out of the way. In fact, in the Central African Republic the government legalized the hunt for witches by instituting laws which allow the police to arrest, charge and prosecute women who have been accused of practicing witchcraft. Many of these women languish in prison for years simply because they angered a male.

In the case of ‘child witches,’ in addition to the sociological stresses outlined in the UNICEF report, much of the violence seems to be instigated by ‘ministers’ who preach a Prosperity Theology. A branch of Word of Faith movement, it is sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel or the health and wealth gospel, and is a Christian religious doctrine which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians. The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth. (Source: Wikipedia)

Since children are unable to defend themselves, it is easy for church 'pastors' to level charges against them while simultaneously extorting money from their families who are desperate to remove the perceived evil in their midst. These religious leaders are able to enslave people with their perfidious assertions that these curses can potentially be removed through a large donation.

Once accused, the children do not stand a chance and are subsequently subjected to inconceivable methods of child abuse which are euphemistically labeled as ‘exorcisms.’ Subsequently, when these religious leader proclaim that the inhuman measures have failed to cast out the evil from the child, these precious victims are then thrown out into the street and left to die, or are tortured and killed.

This heinous practice that is spreading across Africa is unfortunately motivated by Christian extremists who are intent upon lining their pockets versus tending to the spiritual needs of their flock. We encourage you to watch the video reports at the links below to learn more about this horrific phenomenon, as well as familiarize yourself with the history of witch hunts and witch trials in Renaissance Europe.

Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias