[Please be aware this blog post discusses allegations of rape and sexual assault]
It seems that interesting things occur in the news while I’m on holiday and away from blogging facilities – last summer I sat in a cottage in the middle of the Sussex countryside watching parts of London be ravaged and burnt in summer riots. Open-mouthed we watched scenes which seemed best placed in a blockbuster movie, or at least in another country viewed on the news.
This summer in another rental cottage and watching the bizarre Mr Assange popping out of the window of the Ecuadorian embassy (described by one paper commentator as looking like the John Inman character from “Are you being Served?”)
Julian Assange is described (courtesy of Wikipedia) as is an Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist. He is best known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a media website which has published information from whistleblowers. The site acts as a conduit for worldwide news leaks, with a stated purpose of creating open governance.
While I support a person’s right to peaceful protest, I am somewhat bemused by those supporters who gathered outside the embassy to hear Mr Assange… he is accused of sexual assault and rape… sexual assault and rape… it needs to be said twice as it seems that many have forgotten this in light of charges he may face in the states relating to his Wikileaks site. Yes, I realise his claim of asylum is related to his fears of extradition from Sweden (where he faces charges of sexual violence) to the USA. I imagine that his fears are not without substance on this account, however the fact remains that these are very serious crimes he is accused of.
Regardless of what may happen in the future, surely this man ought to stand trial for the things he is accused of? If he is not tried on these accounts what does it say of the modern world’s attitude towards sexual crime? We have heard what Galloway’s repugnant thoughts are, rape is poor sexual etiquette – after all the woman (allegedly) said yes the once, so that (according to Galloway) covers all subsequent times… so that would mean that rape within marriage is okay… but wait a minute it isn’t, it’s illegal Mr Galloway.
Since the initial comments, George Galloway has sought to ‘clarify’ his initial comments… but they seem to me to smell of the original intent, doubting the women’s accusations on the grounds that they had apparently previously had consensual sex with Assange… so that returns to the original argument about ‘yes’ the 1st time not meaning ‘yes’ for everytime.
These are accusations and allegations, they have not been proved and I I’m not declaring Assange either guilty of the crimes, or the women guilty as liars… but these are serious matters which require looking into.
As for the other allegations against him, they need answering too – for if he believes so much in what he has done through Wikileaks then surely he would want a chance to make his argument?
That reminds me a little of those who lovingly counselled against my studying Theology at university as through doing so I would “lose my faith”… my argument at the time (as it continues to be) is that if something is right, and is the truth then it stands up against any amount of argument, criticism and opposing ideas.
What do you need to stand up for? What arguments and ideas are you willing to put to the test?
Are you ready to challenge yourself and those around you?