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NOW

Faisal Karami: Against nudity,
but pro domestic violence

Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami has been under the spotlight for requesting an investigation into the case of Lebanese Ski Champion Jackie Chamoun who posed semi nude for a photo shoot. However, this is not the minister's first stance against women's rights, for he has opposed the adoption and implementation of the law incriminating violence against women.

 

Many women have died due to domestic abuse, and their killers -their husbands- were able to walk free given the lack of laws that protect women from such crimes.

 

Recent domestic abuse victims include Manal Assi, who endured hours of violent and deadly abuse by her husband earlier in February at their house in Tariq al-Jedideh, and Roula Yaacoub, who was beaten to death by her husband in northern Lebanon in July 2013.

 

Hazem al-Amine, a NOW columnist, linked these two positions taken by the country's caretaker minister in a commentary published on Wednesday.

 

The following is a traslation of his article:

 

One cannot help but feel ridiculous when one recalls the fact that Faisal Omar Karami is a minister in his country’s government. What made this person a minister? It is true that Lebanon has become a haven for political heirs and that Faisal has inherited a ministry as have most of our politicians. However, Faisal has inherited a leadership that his father had started to weaken and, by the time it reached his hands, was faded.

Karami is the sixth Sunni minister, which means that he has taken the ministerial seat with which Hezbollah indemnified the Sunni sect for the damage it had caused it. The Shiite sect gave the Sunni confession a ministerial seat which was occupied by the young Faisal Karami. But as the minister was leaving his post in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, he decided to punish Lebanese skier Jackie Chamoun for personal pictures in which she decided to pose naked before the camera.

Good job esteemed minister! You have overwhelmed us with your wisdom as you had done before, when, along with other figures, you stood against the law incriminating violence against women. Not only are you against a Lebanese girl stripping, but you also in favor for her being beaten? Is this conclusion not a logical one given your stances against incriminating violence against women and for punishing Jackie Chamoun for a personal act?

The puzzling part, however, is that people close to the minister say he is not uptight on a personal level, but rather a modern guy, according to his friends, who is against violence being exerted in his entourage. This is the case of most of those who opposed the law incriminating violence against women. Some of them are even civilly married and protect their girls so much that nobody would dare take advantage of the non-implemented law to exert violence against them.

The life proposed to us by politicians of this kind is different form the life they choose for their families and themselves. We do not deserve to be modern and we must beat our women. The same goes for Bab al-Tebbaneh residents who must fight people from Jabal Mohsen under the patronage of Tripoli’s politicians, including the Karami family. This, however, does not stop Faisal Karami from being an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ministerial leadership is one thing, and political allegiance is another.

Karami is not the only figure whom this applies to. The entirety of the Lebanese political class is wretched, and this is where March 8 and March 14 meet. As for Jackie Chamoun, who did have a defender of her right to make private choices, she was also the victim of a gift presented by the Shiite sect to the Sunni one.

This is not the minister's first stance against women's rights.