The case of Amina Filali has been on my mind ever since this story broke. Following the immediate sadness and shock that something like this could still happen in today's Morocco, came a sense of hope for a better future. A future where the country's women could have better recourse in front of the law when faced with extreme events that render them vulnerable to society and its harsh moral codes. The legal system should not play legal cover-up when rape happens. The legal system should be clear about who is the victim and who is the aggressor. First victimized by the rapist, Amina Filali finds herself face to face with a legal system that instead of exonerating her and punishing the criminal, pressures her into a cover-up marriage, supposedly to protect the honor of her family. Apparently the parents did not really think this strategy was protecting their honor or that of their brutalized daughter for that matter. It is no suprise that Amina decided to end a miserable day to day life filled with physical abuse, and I am sure excruciating psychological agony as well, sharing a "home" with her very rapist. So now, where do we go from here?
As tragedies go, this one could have possibly been prevented if the country's legal system did not have its thinking head far up inside its a#*, but let's agree, for the sake of argument, that hind sight is indeed always 20/20, and let's just accept the fact that we need to start thinking about how to make it impossible for a scenario like this to happen in the future. Heading in that direction would be the silver lining in this awful episode. I am encouraged by the general feeling of outrage around this tragedy and how it seems to have galvanized the citizens of Morocco to demand a total revision of penal code. Looking at photos from Saturday's demonstration in Rabat on this issue, I am feling cautiously optimistic that the message has been received and that the country will do the right thing for its citizens. May Amina Filali rest in peace, as to us, may we not rest in peace until the laws that led her to suicide are forever repealed.
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