The Pakistani/ Indian Gang Rape “Epidemic”: Cultural or Hereditary?


The “grooming” gangs in Britain, which lure young girls in and turn them into sex slaves, were denounced for years by the British National Party while officials turned a blind eye  because many of the criminals were Muslim—a fact even Muslim leaders eventually have had to admit.  [Oxford gang rape: did people ignore this sort of scandal because racist Nick Griffin was the first to mention them? By Sean Thomas, Telegraph, May 15th, 2013] Not only were the suspects Muslim, they are all of Pakistani origin, aside from the occasional African. 

But now even the British Parliament has been forced to acknowledge that

evidence presented to us suggests that there is a model of localised grooming of Pakistani-heritage men targeting young White girls. This must be acknowledged by official agencies, who we were concerned to hear in some areas of particular community tension, had reportedly been slow to draw attention to the issue for fear of affecting community cohesion.  [Home Affairs Committee – Second Report | Child sexual exploitation and the response to localised grooming]

In May, a nationwide investigation was finally launched against dozens of gangs suspected of preying on thousands of girls.

Is there a pattern here? Gang rape attacks are unfortunately common in Pakistan. The country even has a special name for the victims: “kari.” They are subject to “honor killings” if they publicly speak up about the attacks.

Many British Hindus objected to the description of the Pakistani rapists as “Asian” (the term used in Britain for those from the Indian subcontinent), saying that no Hindu would ever be involved in such atrocities.  Yet, looking at their home country, we see a different story.

As with  the Serbs and Croats, it is primarily religion which separates the Indians and Pakistanis.  Both countries were historically considered part of ‘India’.   When the British withdrew, their empire in India was partitioned along religious lines, with the Hindu part retaining the name “India” and the Muslim part taking the name “Pakistan.”

A high profile gang rape in India brought attention to what is frequently described as an “epidemic” in the country.  Western tourists have also been victimized in recent attacks.  The attackers do not just come from the underclass—one of the attackers is described By the Daily Mail  as a “businessman.” [Two Western women raped in India: Irish charity worker, 21, `drugged and assaulted` and U.S. hitchhiker, 30, gang-raped in resort town in separate attacks, By Becky Evans, June 4, 2013]

As usual, a large volume of academic work is devoted to blaming the prevalence of rape in India on the British imperialists who first observed and reported on it.  For example, an article in the Cambridge Journal of Asian Studies blamescolonial indifference” and “contemporary trends in England” for the widespread nature and lax treatment of “intraracial (Indian-on-Indian) rape.” [The Rule of Colonial Indifference: Rape on Trial in Early Colonial India, 1805–57, By  Elizabeth Kolsky, November 2010,] But the historical record indicates that the British simply allowed the Indians to develop their own criminal justice system based on their own customs.  

The one exception: the British were reluctant to submit themselves to the Indian criminal justice system, largely because of its treatment of women.  A 1883 “Petition of Englishwomen in India” against a proposal to subject them to the Indian criminal justice system described the position of women in Indian society as “entirely different from that held by their European sisters”, and warned of a “terrible risk of injustice to which European women would thus be subjected” as the attitudes of Indian men were “so deeply ingrained in their minds that no amount of education and no residence in Europe can wholly disabuse them of it,”  these attitudes being “the low estimate in which the natives of India hold the female sex.” 

The petition also warned that Indian women would suffer if the criminal justice system were turned over to natives instead of British colonials. 

There were also many reports of rape of British women by Indians during the rebellion of 1857.  While dismissed by modern apologists as exaggerations, nearly a century later there were many similar reports of horrific violence against women in the fighting between Hindus and Muslims following the withdrawal of the British.  In the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence, hundreds of thousands of women were raped. There were reports of women being tied to trees and gang raped, breasts hacked off, dumped in mass graves, being held in Pakistani rape camps.

I decided to check if any other former British colonies have this rape epidemic found in India and Pakistan—for example Hong Kong.  A Google search of “rape in Hong Kong” turns up “Indian arrested in Hong Kong on rape charges” [The Hindu, June 6, 2013]as the top result, followed by almost 3 pages of articles on the same incident.  A Google search of “gang rape in Hong Kong” turns up a story about a woman raped in Hong Kong by three  men from Nepal, a small country on the north end of the Indian subcontinent.

There is increasing mainstream and academic acceptance that behavior is at least to some degree determined by genes and heredity.  We see the same behavior coming from element of both Indian and Pakistani society, despite the religious separation between the two groups who share a common ancestry. 

Of course, in a sense it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s nature or nurture, immigrants bring their own deep-rooted practices with them. Something to keep in mind in the ongoing immigration debate.

James Ryan (email him) is an intelligence analyst who lives and works in the Washington, D.C. metro area.