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    Technorati: graph / links

    Just cut their balls off, for “cultural” reasons

    by Sunny on 14th October, 2005 at 3:53 am    

    I hate it when someone tries the old “we’re Asian, please be lenient” excuse when they’ve committed a serious crime. It should be all the more reason for a harsher sentence IMO. Did your mum not raise you properly, fool?

    Take for example these three rapists in Australia who are claiming that because their [Pakistani] culture sees women in a degrading way, their actions should be excused.

    A violent gang rapist should have been given a lesser sentence partly because he was a “cultural time bomb” whose attacks were inevitable, as he had emigrated from a country with traditional views of women, his barrister has argued.

    MSK, who, with his three Pakistani brothers, raped several girls at their Ashfield family home over six months in 2002, was affected by “cultural conditioning … in the context of intoxification”, Stephen Odgers, SC, told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.

    Mr Odgers said the new evidence showed that he had a disease, which, combined with alcohol and the cultural conditioning of “a society with very traditional views of women”, was “clearly a factor in the commissioning of these offences”.

    After their balls have been cut off, for cultural reasons you see, their barrister should also get a slap for having the gall to use that line of reasoning. People like this really piss me off. [via DSTPFW]

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    14 Comments below   |  

    1. David T — on 14th October, 2005 at 10:22 am  

      Yeah, but

      1. His barrister might have been instructed by his client that this was his mitigation, and therefore had no choice as to whether to use it.

      2. It may have been crap, but it might have been the best mitigation available.

    2. Old Pickler — on 14th October, 2005 at 11:18 am  

      Fortunately, as far as I know, the ‘cultural’ defence has not been accepted as a mitigating factor, or to reduce a sentence for rape or honour killing in the UK. As far as I know - I may be wrong.

      Of course it is in Jordan, etc, but fortunately we are not living there.

      It’s one thing for a barrister to use it as an argument, and quite another for it to affect the sentence. Remember all those loopy judges who used to give rapists light sentences if a girl was hitchhiking etc?

      The ‘cultural defence’ is really patronising, and is an example of the soft racism of low expectations.

    3. Siddharth — on 14th October, 2005 at 3:26 pm  

      The person with the initials MSK is a common criminal and a rapist at that.
      What’s Mr Odger’s (MSK’s defence) excuse? Had the crime taken place in a Muslim context, MSK would still be sent down.

      Is the Asian/Muslim culpable for the dodgy defence of a shaister lawyer (Mr Odger) who uses any prextext to ensure his client wins and he gets his fee?

      Guess who get the bad press? Muslims in general, of course!

    4. Al-Hack — on 14th October, 2005 at 3:44 pm  

      I don’t buy the old “dodgy lawyer” argument. He can’t come up with something without the agreement of his client. Either he suggested this tack, or this idiot MSK character did. They are still both to blame for trying it.

    5. Limerick — on 14th October, 2005 at 3:56 pm  

      There is a real issue with people using the “cultural” excuse to get away with serious crime. I tried to find the link but could not, about an Asian man who killed his daughter for getting pregnant, and he was given a lighter sentence because the judge took into account the shame that he caused the family. I think that was the story, not sure. I
      was outraged - how dare they demean the girl like that and let these patriarchal men get away with subjugating Asian women under the guise of culture?

    6. Don — on 14th October, 2005 at 5:21 pm  


      You can’t blame the lawyer. They are culturally conditioned to be lying bastards.

    7. Kulvinder — on 15th October, 2005 at 7:27 pm  

      A lawyer would protect you far more staunchly than any policeman.

    8. Don — on 15th October, 2005 at 7:35 pm  

      Until the money runs out.

    9. Kulvinder — on 16th October, 2005 at 3:08 am  

      No. Representation is a right. The law will provide for you.

    10. Don — on 16th October, 2005 at 10:16 am  


      I thought we were just bantering here, but it seems that you are serious. In which case I suggest that you are using two different meanings of the word ‘protect’.

      The average of three police officers killed on duty, and around two thousand seriously injured each year, would suggest that they are being fairly staunch in protecting society as a whole. I am sure most of us have reservations about some aspects of the police, but let’s not be too glib about it.

      My remarks about lawyers were meant to be light hearted (honestly, some of my best friends …) but the ‘protection’ they provide is of a different sort and (with the exception of dedicated civil rights lawyers) they would be as willing to act against you as for you, depending on where the fee is coming from.

    11. Kulvinder — on 16th October, 2005 at 11:35 am  

      The way you wish to live your life cannot be defended by the police. They keep the peace, nothing more.

    12. Don — on 16th October, 2005 at 11:45 am  

      So two different meanings of ‘protect’? We are close enough to agreeing here. Shall we leave it at that?

    13. Nush — on 17th October, 2005 at 9:43 pm  

      i dont think it is wise to have double standards where culture can be used as a scapegoat, people should know right from wrong regardless of what culture they have been brought up in.

      its a shame they sunk that low and limericks example above shows that its not right in any context.

      the whole shame on family argument is so weak, i can understand it being an issue but an excuse for killing your pregnant daughter? im sorry it doesnt cut it for me.

      where are the morals people had, knowing right from wrong.

      rape is rape and the punishment shouldbe standard too. i understand that all cases have their own merits etc…but what a flipping cop out. this is so infuriatign to read about!

    14. Jai Singh — on 18th October, 2005 at 3:59 pm  

      The bottom line is that “culture” is not sacred. Religious practices are a different matter — but again, only up to a certain point (what may be regarded as acceptable behaviour in one religion may well be regarded as wildly unjust and oppressive by another).

      When it comes to life & death matters such as the example of this thread’s topic, “culture” is absolutely no excuse and does not supercede the laws of the country one resides in. If one is going to stubbornly insist on perpetuating such attitudes and practices, you have a number of options:

      1. Migrate to another country where the local legal system is more in line with your own values and customs.


      2. Have the guts to accept the relevant legal sentence for your criminal actions. If you truly have the courage of your (misguided) convictions, then don’t be a coward and attempt to wriggle out of paying the price for your criminal behaviour.

      I’m afraid you can’t necessarily have your cake and eat it too. What’s happened in the above case (and in many others involving honour-killings, forced marriages etc) is that the people concerned want to get away consequence-free with actions grossly in violation of basic human rights and, more pertinently, the laws of the nation they reside in.

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