The Price of Honour

Rand Abdel-Qader

This is the face of Islam. She’s dead. Daddy did it.

Rand Abdel-Qader was 17. She had a crush on a British soldier. She met him when she was a volunteer on a project. There was no actual relationship between the two of them. She hadn’t even seen him since January, but her dad found out in mid-March that she had been seen talking to him. One of her friends told him.

No doubt feeling fatherly concern, he asked her if it was true that she had met the soldier. Then, as fathers do (at least in certain cultures that are, of course, equal to all other cultures) he began to beat her savagely. But sometimes a good beating just isn’t enough.

With the help of her brothers (like father, like sons) he held her down with his foot on her throat until she stopped breathing. What a nice daddy. He didn’t want her to feel the pain as he then began to cut at her body with a knife. It’s hard to say what actually killed her – whether it was being stamped on, suffocated, or stabbed repeatedly all over her body.

And it’s not like there was a post-mortem. She was wrapped up and tossed in a grave without any mourning, because she had brought shame on the family. It was a family funeral. Her uncles showed up to spit on her body before it was covered with dirt.

Daddy was arrested. He was released after two hours because it was an honour killing. Sgt Ali Jabbar of Basra police said: “Not much can be done when we have an ‘honour killing’. You are in a Muslim society and women should live under religious laws.”

It would be terrible enough if this were an exceptional story. The only reason it is news is because it is the first case known to involve a British soldier in Iraq (if “involve” is even the right word). There were 47 honour killings just in Basra last year. That’s 47 other girls, just like Rand, just in one city, just in one year.

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14 Responses to “The Price of Honour”

  1. ERS Says:

    Here are a couple ideas:

    1. Why don’t we start economically boycotting countries that continue to treat their women like this and the companies that do business with them? We could do for women what the boycott of South Africa did for blacks when they were living under apartheid.

    2. Why don’t we write to our representatives and leaders and demand that they withhold some meaningful portion of our aid to these countries unless and until they materially, measurably, sustainably improve their human rights track records?

    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”
    http://www.redroom.com/author/ellen-r-sheeley

  2. sol Says:

    Ellen,

    It is a bit of a problem boycotting Iraq, when we are in the process of rebuilding it after invading it after economic sanctions didn’t work. The problem is Basra has been the pullout of British troops and giving local police authority again. Call me an imperialist, but I would have made it a condition of the transfer of power that honour killings would not be tolerated and punished.

    But at the end of the day, you can’t do a lot because this is just part of the culture, rooted in the Islamic worldview.

  3. asimplesinner Says:

    We do well to keep focusing on these things that are true and factual. I have had people grow annoyed with me for publishing stories that were true – I was called inflammatory.

    Apparently, just publishing stories that tell the truth is inflammatory.

    Hmmmm.

  4. Mary Says:

    Oh Lord, Our God, we pray for Rand and all her sisters, that they will be lifted into your merciful arms and that you will turn the hearts of their murderers to repentance by the love of Jesus Christ. We pray in His Name. Amen.

  5. John of Indiana Says:

    There’s that “Religion of Peace” in action again…

    And some “Friends”, eh?
    “Mr. Abdel-Qadar, we saw Rand looking at an Infidel soldier. She smiled at him.”
    “By the hairy danglies of the Prophet! I must AVENGE this insult!!”

  6. Mary Says:

    John,
    It’s true that Jesus said He did not come to bring peace but to bring a sword. In this case, repentance is the sword.

    Rand, and others like her are already dead. We cannot bring them back.

    It is my belief that God is the One who choses the time of our death. Her father and the others were only the evil means…God letting Satan show his power perhaps. By using them in this manner, God teaches us spiritual lessons about compassion, prayer, our world, our enemy, so many things.

    In the meantime, I have no personal power in this particular situation but to move the Mighty Hand of God by my, and perhaps my fellow Christians prayers and petitions.

    I promise you, if God opens those men’s eyes and brings their hearts to true repentance, there will be no greater pain that we could inflict upon them. True repentance is a sword that pierces the heart to the very core of a person’s being and one is forever changed. This, I pray for Rand’s murderers.

    I

  7. sol Says:

    Mary,

    I think you missed what John was saying. He was paraphrasing the father’s reaction to his daughter indiscretion.

  8. Marguerite Says:

    This is one of the things that makes me scream that Islam has no business being named in the same sentence as Christianity and I do scream it, well mention it, as often as possible when the whole “three great religions” bumph comes up. Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away (ie, my youth) I worked for a year for Magen David Adom and I in a pub one night I met this big, horrible, skinhead Russian import who was doing his time in the IDF. He was about 18 and was back from a tour of duty in the West Bank where he had his buddy had found a 13 year old girl battered senseless, barely alive and wrapped in a plastic sack. He was, honestly, not the nice face of the IDF or anything else but he was sober and crying. I never forgot. Years later I was working in Saudi and there was this lovely Egyptian Muslim girl who, sadly, was like the lass in the movie, whatever it was, who sang, “I’m just a girl who can’t say no” but she tried to commit suicide rather than go home. A Coptic gynaeocologist did the “hymen op” for her for free and he recruited ME as a scrub nurse. I didn’t want to do it – I’m no more a theatre nurse than a prima ballerina – but he said her life might as well end with hooch and pills in Saudi as at “home”. I was only 26 or so and it was a big thing to take it even though I’d heard of it before. I know this is par from the course from me but Palestinian society can be a bit barbaric but this girl was educated yet another educated Egyptian man believed she would be beaten, if not actually killed. Islam’s attitude towards women and sexuality makes everything you’ve ever read about the middle ages or those LDS folks in Texas seem quite reasonable. Azar Nafisi relates, for example, in ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ how women in prison sentenced to death would be raped by the guards before execution because in Islam only virgins go to heaven.

  9. Marguerite Says:

    And congrats on the new name. Solomon Hezekiah is really quite grand and I doubt you can top it without becoming an episcopus vagans 😉

  10. Mary Says:

    Ahhhh yes, sorry all, and John in particular. Obviously I should sleep more in the middle of the night and post less..

  11. E.M Says:

    Religion has been one of the worlds greatest downsides. take this, Muslim “honor killing” for example. It is Absolutely unbelievable. No matter how religious you are it does not give you the right to take a human life. Man i wish there was no religion in this bloody world, everything would be so much easier.

  12. sol Says:

    Your argument is specious. Someone did something bad for a religious reason, therefore religion is bad. One could equally argue that one person did something good for a religious reason, therefore religion is good.

    In acutality, many religious people have done many good things – built hospitals and schools, become doctors, nurses and teachers, and worked to alievate suffering throughout the world through hundreds of organisations.

    Without religion, there would be a lot more people dead.

    • Jay Says:

      So many things wrong with what you said, Sol…

      One only has to look at the said hospitals, schools, orphanages and the like to see that the actual percentage of these organisations in existence (and working mainly for the good of the subscribers of their religion- or even others) is MINISCULE compared to the atrocities committed, judgements made, lives disadvantaged and unhappiness spread.

      Also, the quality that you are admiring is the altruistic desire to do good. If you do good ONLY because a religion tells you to do so, then again, you are not ‘good’, but merely an automaton.

      As for the people who are doctors and lifesavers, once again the percentage of christian hospitals that refuse to perform abortions for example, is staggeringly high compared to any good done without judgement.

      A lot of people die BECAUSE of religion than are saved because of it. You do the addition. Still want your life in the hands of people who think they should take decisions based on a book written by someone ages ago???

      • sol Says:

        You are asking me to do addition based upon generalizations unsupported by facts. As your list of the bad things ascends in order, it descends into meaninglessness. What are “judgements made”, “lives disadvantaged” and most generically of all, “unhappiness spread”?

        If all you can see is altruism, then you do not understand responsive faith. You don’t understand doing good because someone has been transformed into wanting to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and love their neighbour as themself. There is no automation to it.

        Refusing to perform abortions is good. I’m glad that a high percentage of hospitals refuse to deliberately take unborn human lives. Yes, one must judge what is and isn’t a human life and one must apply a standard for making that judgement. Of course that judging does not makes something a human life or not. This is intrinsically what it is. Giving a third party the right to terminate that life does not make it not a life.

        It would interesting to have statical information about the number of people who have died because the killer was acting out of religious motivation compare to the number of people in heaven plus the number of people headed there. By my best estimate, the later group is astronomically bigger than the former.

        My life is in the hands of God, not in the hands of any people, so your question about what I want is a non sequitur. There are a large number of people who take decisions based on a book written by someone ages ago. They are called Muslims. As for the Bible, perhaps you should read my https://solomonhezekiah.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/the-bible-isnt-biblical/ before decide what you think my decisions are based upon.

        For someone who down on making judgments, you seem to have made a lot about Christians.


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