A year ago yesterday, 17-year-old Du’a Khalil Aswad was stoned to death in Bashiqa, Northern Iraq by thugs masquerading as “honorable men.”
The “honorable men” who dropped a concrete block on her face, dragged her body behind a truck and buried her with the corpse of a dog were cheered on by the crowd of equally “honorable men.”
Her closest relatives were among the thugs present that day, and while the video of Du’a’s murder was seen around the world and captured by cell phones for all to watch in the comfort of their quiet consciences, the evidence brought no one to justice, for old-world justice in Northern Iraq—as in many other locations around the world–is being shepherded forward unscathed into the modern world by “honorable men.”
“Honorable men” kill 5,000 women a year, for falling in love as Du’a did, for being raped, for chatting on Facebook, for refusing to marry, for adultery, for wanting to remain single, for speaking with a man, for purportedly dishonoring their “honorable men.”
Women within the world of “honor killings” are bought, sold, traded, like so much chattel by “honorable men” and when such chattel stray or appear to stray, thugs know well the use of guns, knives, kerosene, poison and stones.
We who refuse asylum to women fleeing from murder by “honor” or deport them home to their deaths…we who say “honor killing” is merely a variation on domestic violence…we who do not reform laws that provide commuted sentences for killers claiming the murder they did was honor motivated…we who placate the powerful by turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the cries of the dying and the cheers of the “honorable assassins”…we who saw the graphic CNN report of Du’a’s death and then turned away unfazed to our happy hour friends…we who have not spoken…who are we?
Can it be said that we, too, are honorable men?
To learn more: International Campaign to Against Honor Killings (ICAHK) and especially Diana Nammi’s Call Unheard.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Malcolm R. Campbell