Trigger Warning: Rape Culture, Rape, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women and Girls, Violence Against Women of Color, Islamophobia, Immigrants, Hypermasculinity
Early Thursday morning, Houston police were called by a 12-year-old-girl. The 4:00 A.M. call came from the daughter of a recent Iranian immigrant who was being raped in front of her children by a neighbor who had forced his way into their apartment.
Sgt. Reginal Porter of the Houston Police Department reported that “He forced the victim to undress in front of her children, and then he raped her. She was able to hand her phone off to one of the kids and told them in Arabic to call the police.”
The suspect, Bryce Scott, 42, is a father-of-two and lives with his children and mother in the same apartment complex. He casually knew the survivor as their children played together at the playground. Seven out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
While it is unclear at this time whether the survivor of aggravated sexual assault was targeted because of her faith or origins, this act of violence against women cannot be removed from the global assault against Muslim women that monitors and regulates our bodies, movement, liberties, and aspirations. tweet
Scott fled the apartment naked. He left his pants and wallet at the scene of the crime making identification easy. He was later apprehended by police, still naked, hiding under a truck about 40 yards away from the apartment, near a school. He is currently in custody.
While the identity of the woman is still cause for some confusion, as the police identified her both as Iranian and an Arabic speaker which is not improbable, just rare, one thing is clear — she is undoubtedly an immigrant from the Muslim world.
While it is unclear at this time whether the survivor of aggravated sexual assault was targeted because of her faith or origins, this act of violence against women cannot be removed from the global assault against Muslim women that monitors and regulates our bodies, movement, liberties, and aspirations.
Four mosques have been set ablaze in less than two months, Muslim men or men who are perceived to be Muslim are being shot and killed in cold blood in public and private places, and Muslim women are being raped in their homes. Trump’s Muslim Ban, anti-Muslimness, and overall hateful rhetoric has bred a perception of “open season” against communities of color unlike anything that we have previously seen. Fear cultivates powerful resistance, and with faithful reflection during these turbulent times we will make it through this.