7 Nov 2012

15-Year Old Victim Of Thousands Of Years of Male Insecurities

Let's start this day off with some crazy crazy news from Pakistan.

A 15 year old girls was gruesomely murdered by her parents for allegedly sullying the family's honor by looking at a boy, according to BBC. The story varies from news source to news source, but the gist of it is identical. The poor girl was killed by her own family by pouring acid on her. I can't stress that enough - for looking at a boy.  According to her own father, who recounted his version of the story on October the 29th, he'd caught her looking at a young lad who drove by a on motorcycle. If that seems harsh, let me tell you what her mother said:

"She said `I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again.' By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way," the mother told the BBC reporter.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

This is just one story out of the many so called "honor killings" happening in Pakistan, where there is an epidemic of woman killings. The reasons for these killings generally relate to having unapproved relationships or marriages and for dishonoring their family. To be precise, 943 women were killed according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan just last year, but the death toll is believed to be higher due to the sheer number of unreported cases.

Why is it that the fundamentalist men of Islam are so afraid of women? Dishonor in a random gaze at a passer by? Is then murder more honorable? The disgusting, sinful and selfish taking of another person's life, your own child no less, is a more honorable thing than looking at someone? It's heartbreaking to see a young girl suffer for a man's insecurities.

I'd like to come back to the parent's statements on this matter. It sickens me to hear her own mother even say this was her daughter's destiny - I mean, the contrasting role of woman-daughter as perpetrator-victim here is painfully heartbreaking. One owes her death to another woman who believe it's her duty to be subservient to her man and religion - and that's something I can't but disagree with. How can one not value the lives of their own loved ones for such undiscriminating, inflexible, outdated and hermetic beliefs?

How exactly was the acid thrown, if we are to believe the dad, before the girl had the chance to apologize? Do her parents travel around with buckets of acid? I ask this because a little research on the internet reveals that it takes a lot of acid to not just harm or maim, but kill someone by simply pouring it over them.

But it's hard to blame muslims or Islam as a whole. The real baddie here is extremism and hatred, the unkind, encrusted selfishness of people hiding behind dogma as an excuse for atrocity. This kind of issue has nothing to do with islamism, or christianity-its a common human denominator for the worst that's inside us all. Dogma simply brings it to the surface.

What do you think?

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