Monday, May 21, 2007

The stoning in Iraq

For more than a year, Iraq has been besieged by sectarian assassinations -- Sunnis and Shiites killing each other simply because each Muslim group considers members of the other heretics. We've grown callous to this news. But the story of the 17-year-old Iraqi girl stoned to death in an "honor killing" makes me burn with anger, almost to the point of tears. From the LA Times:

BAGHDAD — The video is shaky, but the brutality is clear.

A slender, black-haired girl is dragged in a headlock through a braying mob of men. Within seconds, she is on the ground in a fetal position, covering her head with her arms in a futile attempt to fend off a shower of stones.

Someone slams a concrete block onto the back of her head. A river of blood oozes from beneath her long, tangled hair. The girl stops moving, but the kicks and the rocks keep coming, as do the victorious shouts of the men delivering them.

In the eyes of many in her community in northern Iraq, 17-year-old Duaa Khalil Aswad's crime was to love a boy from another religion. She was a Yazidi, a member of an insular religious sect. He was a Sunni Muslim. To Duaa's uncle and cousins, that was reason enough to put her to death last month in the village of Bashiqa.

Women's groups say the video shows Iraq's backward slide as religious and ethnic intolerance takes hold.

"There is a new Taliban controlling the lives of women in Iraq," said Hanaa Edwar, a women's rights activist. "I think this story will be absolutely repeated again. I believe if security is not controlled, such stories will be very common."

The U.N. recently reported that these "honor killings" were on the rise in Iraq; in the first two months of the year, 40 women were killed for alleged "immoral conduct" -- from having an affair to simply sitting in a car with a non-relative male.

I decided not to embed the video, but you can click here to watch it.

1 comment:

karim said...

Firstly, this type of savagery rarely happened before the invasion of Iraq by the US government.

Secondly, you wrote: "Sunnis and Shiites killing each other simply because each Muslim group considers members of the other heretics.",

This is not true or accurate. Sunni and Shia have been living together in Iraq for centuries without any problems.

The Kurds are also Sunni, so perhaps you could explain to your readers why they are not fighting the Shia but instead they are actually hostile to Sunni-Arabs?

The killing is between Iraqi nationalists and people perceived as collaborators with the foreign occupation. It so happens that a lot of Shia are associated with the US government (which ironic because Iran, the center of Shia Islam, is anti-US).

Bottom line, this has nothing to do with religious beliefs.

It has with a violent illegal occupier that is pitting locals against each other.

The Bush administration is guilty of crimes against humanity. This may lead to the break up of Iraq and to the suffering of millions of people (which is already happening but of course none of you care).

God bless Operation Iraqi Freedom!!