Archive for June 2008
A day after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was condemned for suggesting that “Hindu suicide squads” should make powerful bombs to target “mini Pakistans” in India, the students wing of the party defended his stand and went a step further, saying they would not mind being called “terrorists” if bombing anti-nationals was terrorism.
“Yes, we are terrorists! If protecting the country is terrorism. If killing traitors is terrorism. If bombing those who criticise the nation, the motherland and the religion is terrorism. If fighting terrorism with might is terrorism. Then we are proud to be terrorists,” the posters said.
PZ Myers brings attention to a really tragic event which took place in Iraq.
It started when 17 year old Rand Abdel-Qader was murdered by her father. The story is heartbreaking to read.
At that time, her mother Leila Hussein was powerless to stop her husband and sons from murdering her daughter. She had to live for two weeks in that house, suffered beatings and a broken arm when she told she wanted to leave, before she found a chance to escape and join a women’s right group in Iraq. She immediately received death threats there, for speaking out against the murder.
“They cannot accept me leaving him. When I first left I went to a cousin’s home, but every day they were delivering notes to my door saying I was a prostitute and deserved the same death as Rand,” she said.
“She was killed by animals. Every night when I go to bed I remember the face of Rand calling for help while her father and brothers ended her life,” she said, tears streaming down her face.
“I miss my two boys,” she said. “But they have sent a message saying that I am wrong for defending Rand and that I should go back home and live like a blessed Muslim woman,” said Leila, who is now volunteering with a local organisation campaigning for better protection for women in Basra.
Tragically, Leila Hussein was killed day before yesterday by gunmen as she was to leave Iraq to campaign for women’s rights from a safer location.
What about her husband who murdered her daughter? He still walks free.
“If I had realised then what she would become, I would have killed her the instant her mother delivered her,” he said with no trace of remorse.
Abdel-Qader, 46, a Government employee, was initially arrested but released after two hours. Astonishingly, he said, police congratulated him on what he had done.
“They are men and know what honour is,” he said.
“Death was the least she deserved,” said Abdel-Qader. “I don’t regret it. I had the support of all my friends who are fathers, like me, and know what she did was unacceptable to any Muslim that honours his religion.”
“I don’t have a daughter now, and I prefer to say that I never had one. That girl humiliated me in front of my family and friends. Speaking with a foreign soldier, she lost what is the most precious thing for any woman.
“People from Western countries might be shocked, but our girls are not like their daughters that can sleep with any man they want and sometimes even get pregnant without marrying. Our girls should respect their religion, their family and their bodies.
“I have only two boys from now on. That girl was a mistake in my life. I know God is blessing me for what I did,” he said, his voice swelling with pride. “My sons are by my side, and they were men enough to help me finish the life of someone who just brought shame to ours.”
First, it beggars belief that the murderer walks free. The simple question is,
Why is this monster not in jail?
Also, this is a clear example of when religion kills.
I’m aware some people might think that I’m being very crass and naive. That this is culture, not religion. Just because some fundamentalist misinterpreted the religious text, it doesn’t mean that the religion itself condones misogynistic actions and murder. After all, moderates (or True BelieversTM) would never do such a thing. So aren’t you being stupid when you attribute this to a religion?
No, because one can only comment on a religion based on the action of its adherents. This isn’t a question of ‘misinterpreting a text’. Rather, it’s about interpreting what is written. Recently, the Jamiat-i-Hind issued a fatwa against terrorism, which is a good thing if it’s able to convince religious adherents that terrorism in the name of religion is wrong. But what’s to stop other imams from issuing fatwas, or instructing followers that the religion requires you to kill? After all, the Quran does contain passages which are literally interpreted by muslims to support such barbaric killings.
The courage and bravery that Leila Hussein showed to escape from her husband and to speak out for fundamental rights for women, despite the threats to her life by religious nutjobs, is enormous. It’s an immense tragedy that her life was cut short in such a manner.