England and Pakistan finally have something in common. No, it’s not cricket. It’s blasphemy. In Pakistan, you can find yourself on death row if a single Muslim alleges he saw you sitting with your backside on a Koran. In England, you can find yourself trundled away on the tumbrels of political friends and foes, guillotined by media headlines and left to rot in the morgue of a destroyed career if a single woman alleges you put your hand on her knee (or backside).
In both countries, you are guilty until proven innocent, and you may never be proven innocent. So steer clear of Mo (Mohammed) in Pakistan, or Mo (Maureen) in England!
Pakistan is the only country in the world where a person can be found guilty of blasphemy on the word of a single accuser with no corroboration. The presumption is that if a Muslim makes a complaint against a non-Muslim then the accused is guilty. Even the police and judiciary comply with this presumption. With Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, a defendant is faced with a Kafkaesque trial in the brave Islamic world of judicial phantasmagoria.
England is now marching to the progressive drumbeat of this enlightened Islamic country it created in 1947. The description of sexual touching in our Sexual Offences Act 2003 is as surreal as melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s paintings or Karachi’s courtrooms: ‘A person (A) commits an offence if (a) he intentionally touches another person (B), (b) the touching is sexual, (c) B does not consent to the touching, and (d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.’
Are there objective standards by which one can prove intention? Or is ‘intention’ to be evidenced by subjective, speculative or emotional claims? How does one define sexual in a hyper-sexual culture? What if person (A) reasonably believes that person (B) has consented to being ‘touched’ or vice versa? What if there is a rush of dopamine and oxytocin and vasopressin and both reasonably believe that consent was given until the endorphin high suddenly plummeted? What happens if the accuser is suffering from ‘false memory syndrome’?
Don’t expect to find a reasonable explanation to such questions. Rather, be prepared for a high-voltage shock. The small print in our law defines ‘touching’ as ‘any part of the body, or with anything else, and can be through clothing’. In R v H (Karl Anthony) , the Court of Appeal held that contact with an individual’s clothing was sufficient to amount to ‘touching’. Statutory Warning: Hugging or shaking a woman’s hand can destroy you for life.
Take a deep breath and read the next section helpfully provided by the Crown Prosecution Service. ‘Where touching was not automatically by its nature sexual, it was possible to ascertain whether the touching had been sexual by determining whether by its nature it might have been sexual and if so whether in the circumstances the purpose had in fact been sexual.’ It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a clever lawyer to make sense of the above.
Here’s the icing on the cake! For this offence you can join Norman Fletcher ‘doing porridge’ for six months to ten years. Be very afraid! Big Sister is watching you.
No decent person will deny the ugly and odious, threatening and dehumanising nature of sexual harassment. As a reporter, I was bursting with effusive praise when police launched a campaign against ‘eve teasing’ (Indian English slang for mild forms of sexual harassment) in Mumbai. The police were protecting women and not promoting a pernicious ideology that has begun to use the law as a weapon of terror against men. The Mumbai police had not succumbed to the Left-wing hysteria that is now demanding sexual harassment to be classified as a ‘hate crime’ based on the feminist slogan that ‘misogyny is hatred’.
While Western feminazis are losing the plot on real sexual harassment and seething with faux moral indignation just because a male hand accidentally brushes a woman’s rear, a courageous Pakistani Muslim woman is insisting that Pakistan return to the dictum Ei incumbet probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (‘the burden of proof is upon the one who declares, not upon one who denies’) in both blasphemy and sexual harassment cases.
Accusations of blasphemy and sexual harassment are often used to settle scores, says Rabia Ahmed. ‘But what of the cases where there is no way to prove the accuser right?’ she asks. Just as Christians and other religious minorities are vulnerable to accusations of blasphemy, so men are vulnerable to accusations of sexual harassment. ‘Their mere presence can ruin a man, personally as well as professionally,’ she writes. ‘It is all the more important, then, that such accusations should be verified.’
But crucially, says Ahmed, ‘there is no way to verify the truth of sexual accusations made years after the event, and some very public accusations were made decades after a supposed event. Unless these are verifiable, surely it is best in such cases for the accuser to stay away from the person she accuses and carry on maintaining the silence she has for so many years, unless the accused still has access to her’. Sadly, this is precisely the wisdom the Church of England failed to take into account in its farcical trial and hasty condemnation of Bishop George Bell, as I will explain in my ‘Rebel Priest’ column tomorrow.
When the media plays judiciary and pronounces the defendant guilty, the media is guilty of slander or libel. False accusation is one reason why many cases of sexual harassment unravel before they are even brought to court. Academics point out that ‘the frequency of false allegations of sexual assault’ is one of the biggest controversies affecting the discourse related to violence against women.
An American study estimates the prevalence of false allegations to be between 2 and 10 per cent. A British study by Harris and Grace (1999) showed that 43 per cent of complaints of rape were false or malicious. During a BBC Radio 4 programme (25 April 2006), a judge expressed his belief in the frequency of false allegations. ‘It is very emotive to tell us that 14,000 allegations were made in 2004 and only 2,500 were prosecuted . . . Is it not that there are unfortunately thousands of false allegations?’
Another judge quoted in the book Sexual Assault and the Justice Gap: A Question of Attitude says: ‘I think it’s very easy to make a false allegation. It’s increasingly easy. Particularly as now you no longer have the corroboration rule. I think the very nature of the cases tends to be one word against another . . . I think there are many more cases now in which there are false allegations.’
In the ethnic cleansing of patriarchy, men are collateral damage. Teen Vogue columnist Emily Lindin tweets that she is ‘not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations’. She presses on: ‘Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.’
Feminazis have inverted the pyramid of universal jurisprudence and no longer give a damn about the oppression of women. Justice, truth and morality are on the scaffold. Power, politics and ideology are on the throne. The necromancers of feminism, postmodernism and Leftism have resurrected the sleeping spirits of the Salem witch trials and the French Revolution. England can no longer claim moral superiority over Pakistan.
(Originally published in The Conservative Woman)