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.

The Cost of Coffee in Saudi Arabia

An American businesswoman is fearing for her life after she was arrested for having a coffee with a male workmate in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia.

Yara, a 37-year-old mother-of-three, said she was strip searched and forced to sign false confessions while in custody. A judge then told her she would “burn in hell” before she was released on Feb 4.

I don’t like to meta-blog, but I’m a bit short on time, due to marking exams. However, the full story is worth a read.

Sharia Justice

A Saudi man was rendered impotent by a witch. We know this because the witch, Fawza Falih, admitted it. She was beaten before she confessed, but as any good CIA agent working in the war against terror knows, sometimes you have to use a little force to get the truth. Falih was beaten so badly that she had to be hospitalised.

And sometime it takes a while for criminals such as Falih to finally admit their crimes. She was held by the religious police for 35 days.

She didn’t exactly sign the confession, as she is illiterate. But there’s no denying her fingerprint is on it, and there’s no reason to believe that someone who has been beaten would have their finger forceably inked onto something they can’t read. Why should the religious police even read your confession to you before putting your fingerprint on it? They are the religious police after all. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust? And if you confess, why do you need to have your lawyers in the courtroom or present evidence of your innocence? Isn’t the claim of impotence by a man proof enough?

It’s a mere technicality that witchcraft isn’t a crime under Saudi law. She was sentenced to death anyway.

She managed to appeal and the appeals court overturned the verdict, saying she couldn’t be sentenced to death solely on the evidence of a retracted confession. Appellate decisions don’t carry a lot of weight in Saudi law. The trial court reversed the appeals court. It sentenced her to death on a “discretionary” basis, as this was in the “public interest”. There is no right of appeal from this second sentencing. Only the King can intervene and commute it.

There’s not a lot of international pressure on King Abdullah. It seems many countries used up their political capital last year when they persuaded the King to pardon a girl who was sentenced to lashes for getting herelf gang-raped. So Fawza Falih may die, but Saudi Arabia will remain a key ally of the West.

Anglicans (and the Government) Want Sharia For Britain

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes that Islamic Sharia is not only more appropriate in some areas of the law, but that it is inevitable that it will be incorporated into British law. Rowan Williams says the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams said the idea that “there’s one law for everybody”under a single sovereign was “a bit of a danger”. A danger to whom? To those who opposed Sharia? He says that officially incorporating Sharia law would improve community relations. Now there’s accommodation.

But wait a minute. Dr Williams is a little behind the times. As I mentioned last week, ministers (without the consent of Parliament) have already legalised polygamy. This has been done specifically to accomodate Islamic law, which allows for up to four wives. So if they are going to allow for Sharia marriage, why not Sharia divorce?

Thus, Gordon Brown’s response to Dr Williams that he “believes that British laws should be based on British values” is not paticularly credible. Rather he’s saying what non-Muslim voters want to hear, while doing what Muslims want him to do.

UPDATE: A lady in the Question Time audience raised the same point about the legalised polygamy, and the Cabinet Minister on the panel was unaware of this and had not even read newspaper reports. It was the Opposition shadow minister who was aware that this additional benefits arrangement for husbands with more than one wife was a coordinated effort between four Government departments – departments represented at the Cabinet table.

Sharia Adultery and Double Jeopardy

Another one for the all-religions-are-equal file, from The Daily Telegraph:

Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld death sentences against them, Iranian media have reported.

The two sisters were found guilty of adultery – a capital crime in Iran – after the husband of one of the pair presented a video showing them in the company of other men while he was away.

The penal court of Teheran province had already sentenced the sisters, identified only as Zohreh, 27, and Azar, to stoning, the newspaper said.

The Etemad newspaper quoted Jabbar Solati, their lawyer, as saying that the sisters had initially been tried for “illegal relations” and had received 99 lashes. However, they were convicted of “adultery” in a second trial for the same incident.

The pair admitted they were in the video but argued there was no adultery as no scene on the video showed them engaged in a sexual act.

So in case you were wondering how sharia works, you can be tried and punished twice for the same incident.  And adultery? Nothing to do with sex. That’s when you are seen with your sister with men in a place public enough that you can be caught on video.

What They’re Fighting For

I’ve been thinking about writing about something since I commented on Matt’s blog. Now having come across something else on Steve’s blog, especially as I am not a regular reader of The Independent, I am compelled to spout off.

I have much more of a problem with the war in Afghanistan than I do with the war in Iraq. Or perhaps I should phrase it more accurately: I have a bigger problem with propping up an Islamofascist regime where Christianity is illegal and evangelism or conversion (along with many other things) is punishable by death, than I do with propping up a regime that still has the potential for being an almost secular Muslim state where Christianity can still be practiced. As hope fades for the latter, my supports fades as well.

In the wake of 9/11 we (America and all our sympathetically outraged friends) needed some place to attack. You just can’t let something like that go unpunished. Even if you can’t find the actual culprits – or they deprived you of the right to string them up by killing themselves – somebody has to pay. The Taliban government of Afghanistan never attacked the US. It did allow the mostly Saudi-funded mostly Saudi terrorists a place to train, or at best didn’t actively get rid of them. However, it wasn’t a strategic ally of the US like other places they trained, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And never mind that the US Government funded the Taliban to push out the Soviets in the first place. No, Afghanistan drew the short straw.

And how dare the Taliban not give up power and walk away when they were told to do so by the US Government. Don’t they know that all countries are ultimately subject to the sovereignty of the United States, as there is no corner of the global that is outside “American interests”. Not that the US really wanted them to walk away. They needed to do some killing. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, and all that.

Even though the US wouldn’t have taken on the 6th most populous country in the world – and a nookular power to boot – the military dictator of Pakistan quickly made sure he was on the right side of the Administration. The Wahabist absolutist monarchy of Saudi Arabia, with criminal law and social policies virtually the same as Afghanistan under the Taliban, knew that oil is a much more important export than heroin so they were safe. No matter that they actually provided the funding for extreme Islam around the world. Yep, Afghanistan definitely drew the short straw.

It seems to me that the case of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh is being a bit misrepresented in the headlines. He hasn’t been sentenced to death for just downloading and reading an article on women’s rights. No, he actually gave copies of it to other people. Islam respects the freedom of conscience. Kambaksh is allow to think whatever he likes. His truly fatal error was in telling someone else what he thought. That cannot be tolerated in liberated Afghanistan.

And that’s what US, British, and a handful of other forces are fighting to preserve. Not the democratic freedoms of the US or Britain or anywhere else. Not your freedom of speech. Not your freedom of the press. Not your freedom of religion. And certainly not anyone else’s. Aren’t you proud?

Polygamy Legalised

Polygamy has been legalised in the UK.

While there has been no formal legislation and bigamy is a crime, Government ministers have decided that husbands of multiple wives can now claim extra welfare benefits. They have to have married the extra wives in a country that allows polygamy. In effect, sharia trumps Parliament.

In addition to extra income support, husbands with multiple wives can also get additional housing benefit, as well as council tax benefit. The is despite the 1988 Immigration Act, which a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions acknowledged to the Sunday Telegraph, “generally prevents a man from bringing a second or subsequent wife with him to this country if another woman is already living as his wife in the UK”. But as the newpaper also discovered:

“Entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience,” an immigration rulebook advises. “This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household.”

In other words, sham marriages aren’t okay, but sham divorces are. The divorced couple can continue to live together and continue to claim benefits as if they were married, while one of them is married to someone else, who is also living with them.

The Government is clearly willing to do what it has to do to appease Muslims, even if it means breaking the law.