Monday, June 2, 2008

More Bad News

On March 16th, Abdel-Qader Ali murdered his own daughter for the crime of speaking to a British soldier.
For Abdel-Qader Ali there is only one regret: that he did not kill his daughter at birth. '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.
PZ Myers offered a smashing assessment of the story. While this was horrific enough in itself, the situation is actually far more sinister:
Two weeks after The Observer revealed the shocking story of Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, murdered because of her infatuation with a British solider in Basra, southern Iraq, her father is defiant. Sitting in the front garden of his well-kept home in the city's Al-Fursi district, he remains a free man, despite having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his student daughter to death.
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.
Yes, the man who murdered his progeny was not only released, but praised for his particide. The article is full of other equally abhorrent quotes and information (such as the fact that her brothers assisted in her murder) from which I could create a cacophony of religious horror, but I what I've already quoted should be sufficient to express my personal revulsion.
"I wondered, incorrectly, if Leila Hussein was a reluctant accomplice in the death of her daughter, Rand Abdel-Qader, the young girl who was murdered by her monstrous father for speaking to a British soldier. Now I feel particularly awful about that; Leila Hussein was devastated by the killing, condemned the act, and left her contemptible husband at grave personal risk.
Leila Hussein has been murdered, gunned down as she tried to escape Iraq."
Today, PZ weighed in again with his usual eloquence, illustrating that we atheists are perfectly able to admit when we're wrong when we are:

It's true though, she was shot attempting to flee her husband, as well as the country of religious people who agreed with him:

It was two weeks after Rand's death on 16 March that a grief-stricken Leila, unable to bear living under the same roof as her husband, found the strength to leave him. She had been beaten and had had her arm broken. It was a courageous move. Few women in Iraq would contemplate such a step. Leila told The Observer in April: 'No man can accept being left by a woman in Iraq. But I would prefer to be killed than sleep in the same bed as a man who was able to do what he did to his own daughter.'

The Islamic men of Iraq were eager to arrange that for her.

What will Islamic officials say? Will they condemn the act at all (if they have, I've heard/read nothing of it) or will they say that these men do not represent TRUE ™ Islam? That excuse is all too familiar for those of us pointing out the horrors resultant of religious certainty on a daily basis. Remember, this man was released and not charged for murdering his daughter because Islamic law was determined to be in his favor.

Will Islamic leaders feign horror at another situation like this, and say that there are good people and bad people in the world, and they can't help it if bad people become Muslims and sully the religion? Recall that this woman was systematically hunted by the hordes of a whole country, not by a few bad apples who have managed to resist the reasonable influence of god. Besides, isn't it one of the promises of the Abrahamic faiths that accepting god into your life makes you a more moral person, rather than a walking tribute to unreason? One can't help but wonder when the morally empowering aspects are going to kick in with these faiths.

Or maybe they already have.

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