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The stoning in Iraq

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 21, 2007 | 8:03 pm

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.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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