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June 01, 2008

Still Evil in Basra

A few weeks ago I read Drew's post about the teenager in Basra named Rand who was killed by her own father for merely talking to a British soldier. The murder was an act of absolute evil that was not just condoned by a"face" culture but demanded by it. Pride and shame cultures are not dependent on fact or truth, only the feelings and perceptions of privileged individuals (in this case Muslim men). And so when pride demands death, "everyone knows that sometimes it is impossible not to carry out an 'honour killing'."

The story doesn't end there. At the time, the girl's mother, Leila, divorced from her monster husband, was fleeing from reprisals for denouncing the murder. She had been hiding in safehouses established by women's rights movements in Basra where they had plotted an escape for her to Jordan. She didn't make it. Leila was gunned down on the way to meet her contact.

Two men ran from their homes to help. They rushed Leila to hospital and a passing taxi took the other two [who were helping her escape]. But Leila died at 3.20pm, despite several operations to save her. As she lay in her own hospital bed receiving treatment, Mariam said that she heard someone saying that Leila had been shot in the head. But there were other mutterings that were clearly audible. 'I could hear people talking on the corridors and the only thing that they had to say was that Leila was wrong for defending her daughter's mistakes and that her death was God's punishment.

'In that minute I just had complete hatred in my heart for those who had killed her.'

Mother and daughter were killed because of a stupid honor culture. Keep it in mind the next time some snob tells you that we must learn to respect other cultures.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:05 PM

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