Sunday, 6 May 2007
Martyr of Love
It is not something like Romeo & Juliet or its Arabic version Qais Wa Layla. Not even a fictional story. It happened in the “new” and “free” “Democratic” Iraq. It all started when this seventeen-year-old girl fell in love with a man and decided to live with him. But what started as an innocent romance ended in a gruesome murder. Like the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, The scene was horrific. A crowd of long-bearded, bloodthirsty, revenge-seeking men with evil-looking eyes dragged Du’aa (or Do’aa in Kurdish) to face her destiny: Stoning To Death. The accusations were ready, Adultery, conversion to Islam and running away from her family with the man that she loved. Her uncle and cousin were among the crowd that took her life and were very proud of “getting rid of her shame”. The cams of many mobile phones recorded the crime and it is available now on Youtube.
The death of Do’aa caused outrage among women rights activist in Iraq who condemned this crime and asked for punishment of all those involved in this brutal murder. Very limited and shy responses came from the local authorities of Al-Mosul province. However; we did not hear any reaction from the Iraqi government or from the major political parties in Iraq. Three months ago, the-Rape-of-Sabrin case provoked anger in Iraq as well as the Arab world. Al-Jazeera spared much of its precious time to cover her case, simply because it was a Sunna-Shiaa issue and was expertly handled to criticise Al-Maliki’s Shia-dominated government which in turn reacted unwisely to the allegations and finally the case was dealt with in the sectarian context.
This time Do’aa case lacks the sectarian flavour so it was very hard to get the publicity of Sabrine’s case. As I mentioned, Al-Maliki kept silence. Our long-bearded Sunni scholars did not pay attention to this crime. Similarly, turbaned Shia’ Mullahs seemed not bothered as if this murder happened in a different country or on another planet. The Kurdish government, who always insists that their model of “democracy” should be adopted by the rest of Iraq, simply ignored this murder although it was carried out on a “Kurdish territory”. For me, this incident exposed the way in which our “schizophrenic Iraqi society” thinks and reacts at times of chaos and anarchy.
We know that stoning to death is an Islamic punishment for adultery, but those who stoned Do’aa were Yezidis, not Muslims and whether she was stoned because of Adultery or conversion to Islam we still do not know. Yezidism is an ancient religion its roots existed long time before Islam but both Sunni and Shiaa versions of Islam consider Yezidis as “Kuffar”, infidels and devil worshippers. This may explain why Sunni and Shia’ clerics kept silent and did not condemn this crime. Contrary to that, they might felt relieved to see the implementation of “God’s Law” on this girl. But if this is the case, what was the reason behind the retribution killing of twenty Yezidi labour workers by Muslims the next day. And it is worth mentioning that the only point, which both Shiaa and Sunni clerics agreed upon since the American invasion of Iraq was the abolition of Family Law, legislated by Qasim’s government. Many “academics and thinkers” blamed the Yezidis and their heretical religion for this “cruel and barbaric” act. However; Muslims did the same and we frequently hear ceremonies of stoning and whipping of those who commit adultery being held in Iran and Saudi Arabia, our examples for a Shia and Sunni Islamic states.
If this crime happened in Baghdad don’t you think it will attract more attention by the media, the public and the government. Just because this crime happened in a Kurdish area so we do not bother ourselves with it.
There are many questions left unanswered but we should learn the lesson. The tribal and Bedouins values have prevailed in our society and now they hide behind the ugly face of religious, sectarian and ethnic variations. The values of coexistence and accepting each other have been replaced by hatred, bloodshed and revenge. But the question still lingers: how many other Do’aas should give up their lives to the goddess of evil on the Iraqi Altar?