Thursday, 5 June 2008

Mourning the murdered mother of a murdered Iraqi girl

Leila Hussein became known around the world for refusing the accept the brutal murder of her daughter, Rand Abdel-Qader. Rand was kicked and stomped to death by her father and brothers. Her father is reported as saying:

My daughter deserved to die for falling in love.

... even though her falling in love was nothing more than a schoolgirl crush. Her brave mother refused to accept the murder of her daughter as a cultural/religious necessity to cleanse the family of shame. Aligning herself with Iraqi feminists (because who else was going to shelter her?) she was murdered 3 weeks later.

The sad truth remains that in many countries in the world:

[a]ny woman who does not submit to her role as a passive piece of human garbage is a potential target in a patriarchal society scarred by years of violence.

Nobody will be punished for either of these crimes. When Du'a Khalil Aswad was crushed, kicked and stamped to death by the men in her family, videos put on the internet showed the police just standing by and watching.

Even in the UK female genital mutilation happens, forced marriages happen and girls are murdered by their families because of who they befriend or are attracted to. Why? Maybe a clue lies in the inability to challenge the communities and attitudes that allow these things to happen.

Whilst debating Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the thoroughly British former Islamist Ed Hussein can't quite bring himself to properly condemn stoning. He doesn't like it, but his condemnation is weak and spineless. He should have been angry, clear and ferocious in his denunciation of the violence against women in the Middle East, Europe and, sadly, in the UK. That lack of strength of conviction and anger from even progressive Muslims and missing discourse in Islam helps people like Leila Hussein's husband get away with their crimes.

1 comment:

  1. That was a tragic story. I'm speechless.


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