Should men found guilty of rape be hanged?
by Stephen Schwartz
I have a somewhat different perspective on this.
In Sarajevo in 1997 I heard about a young man who had allegedly been raped repeatedly by Serb terrorists in the concentration camp at Omarshka. The young man heard that I was one of few people who had carried out a serious campaign to disclose and denounce this.
(No name of the victim, please.)
A speech I gave in Berkeley about rape of women and men in Bosnia-Hercegovina was published in a Croatian and Bosnian newspaper read everywhere outside the Serb areas, and in Serb media I was denounced as an American homosexual media fabricator of what would now be called "fake news" against the heavenly Serbs.
It is dangerous for me to go openly to Serbia. I had a near miss in 2004 when I had to come back from Central Asia via Belgrade.
In Sarajevo, I sent out messages to the young male rape victim that I was available if he needed to share his story but that I had no tabloid intent, would give him full confidentiality, and that if he wanted to remain silent or be left alone I would respect his wishes.
Then I forgot about him until until I was living there in 2000 and heard that he had asked one of our mutual friends if he could come and meet me in the Sarajevo Jewish community for coffee.
"Of course, I said of course" -- I put this in quotes because it will be my epitaph. I asked the mutual friend why the Jewish community and was told "he feels it's the only safe place." I know what some folks think of safe spaces for women, gays, etc. Ha ha. Remind me to laugh on my day off.
I waited in the restaurant at the Jewish community for the young man.
Bosnians were profoundly uncomfortable with this topic. They could process the rape of their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters since they had heard about this for centuries.
But Serb media harped 24/7 on how "decadent Muslim homosexuals could not defend their women." I heard this over and over. Vojislav Sheshelj, who was a human rights poster boy at U. Michigan but who went insane and incited massacres after he was raped, supposedly, in a Serb prison, declaried that the raped Bosnian Muslim women were lucky that they had finally encountered real men, and that the reports of rape in Kosovo were false because Serbian men would not grant ugly, vile, hairy Albanian whore insects the privilege of rape by a Serbian hero.
The Bosnian Muslims defended their martyred sisters while also protecting Serb and Croat Christians from reprisal.
Bosnian Muslim women formed the Battalion of Raped Women and went to the front with arms and lipsticks in their hands. Lipstick was more important than guns because the women wanted to make sure the Serbs knew women were killing them. Pres. Alija Izetbegovich had ordered money set aside for purchase of cosmetics in Italy for the Battalion of Raped Women.
Great topic for a "cultural Marxist" doctoral dissertation, which I might write!
Continuing on the male rape case and the meeting in Sarajevo. I was told he had been kind of plump and feminine looking and I am certain the drunken Serbs took one look and celebrated their "victory" as often and long as they could.
You see, his entire family had been killed and there was nobody to go to the camp and inquire about him.
Serbian good times: guns, moonshine liquor, ecstasy pills, plenty of fresh pork (a favorite of the marquis de Sade), blessings from the Serbian priest, and a Muslim captive to abuse.
Better a male than a female to torment because nobody would avenge the male victim and, hey, it"s more humiliating for the Muzz. Kind of a cultural archetype.
When he showed up he was emaciated. Had obviously been through a lot. I asked him to sit down. He was unsteady and trembling, pale, unsmiling.
Told me the story of the devastation of his family. I had heard a lot of such things and was inured to them by then.
He began talking about the camp. Stopped. I did not say a word, waited. He started again. Stopped. Began crying and shaking.
I said "brother, please, tell me what I can do to help but please, relax." He looked like he needed a decent meal.
Time passed. Kosher-halal food arrived. The Sarajevo Jewish Community is nice in that it has a terrific cafe. The young man looked at me for a couple of minutes and in an almost imperceptible voice asked me if he could get a little glass of plum brandy. I said, sure, why not. I will never forget how he looked at me and said "I know it's forbidden in our religion and that you are a firm believer. But it helps me." He said he asked to meet me in the Jewish Community because he could drink some alcohol there without being seen.
I said "You don't have to conceal anything. Allah made you and Allah made plums and Allah made the man who makes brandy and the recipe and here in the Jewish community they serve it and there will be no problem, unless you drink to excess and I will not let you do that." He smiled, for the first time, in gratitude.
He restarted the story about the camp, once again stopped, started again, broke down. Told me with a kind of sob, "I am not homosexual." Stared down at his hands.
I noticed that his clothes were shabbier than usual even in postwar, impoverished Sarajevo. The awful cliche: "haunted."
Time passed. Finally I took his hand. That is not an issue in Bosnia — plenty straight guys express male bonding physically. I said, "please look at me." He was covered with tears, and looked up pleadingly.
In another cliche I shut the notebook demonstratively, and put my pen away. Still holding his hand I said:
"I will not ask you to say anything more, now or ever. When you need to speak I will be there for you if you wish. But remember this: Allah subhanawata'la sees everything. Allah knows what you suffered. Allah knows the depth of evil in the people who took advantage of you. You have many, many Muslims and Jews and Christians and gays and human rights activists and ordinary people around the world on your side. You are a Bosnian and the son of freedom fighters. Be strong and know you can always contact me through the Jewish community or the Muslim clerics here. If I cannot help you immediately I will make sure someone does. Do not hate yourself. Do not obsess. Try your best to start a new life and trust in help from Allah."
Empty words in a country where thanks to Brussels the young man can't even find work in a cafe. Which is probably good because idiots would harass or even attack him. I did not see him again. Heard he went to Sweden and is now studying, belatedly, at a university. Don't know what he's studying... oh right, one of those filthy criminal Muslims who rapes Swedish women when not dealing drugs or recruiting for ISIS.
One further note — a bit later I met Susan Brownmiller, the famous author of Against Our Will, a feminist classic, at the BBC in London. I asked if she would speak with me about rape in the Bosnian war.
She responded that rape always occurs in war and that Bosnia did not represent anything special.
I heard in this an argument against any form of U.S. intervention anywhere.
Yes, proven rapists should be hanged.
Un mundo inmundo, as Mexicans say.