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.

Deadly Withdrawal

Gordon Brown is pulling troops out of Iraq. I can hear the cheering. Those who opposed the Blair coalition with the Bush Administration are cheering. That includes the Shi’ite militias in Basra. Like the misguided Left and Right and Centre in this country, no one wants troop withdrawal more.

I mean, the killing of Christians, especially Christian women, is pretty easy already. As reported in The Times:

In the past five months more than 40 women have been murdered and their bodies dumped in the street by militiamen, according to the Basra police chief. Major-General Abdul-Jalil Khalaf said that some of them had been killed alone, others gunned down with their children. One unveiled mother was murdered together with her children aged 6 and 11.

As long as they wear hijabs and publicly act like they believe that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, they are okay. Why should Christians be allowed to live in accordance with their faith, after all? Many of the politicians supporting troop withdrawal, including those in Government, aren’t so keen on Christians practicing their faith in this country, so there is really no surprise that they are willing to leave Iraqi Christians out to dry.

Admittedly, in terms of southern Iraq, that means their corpses are left out to dry, but voters back home don’t think about that. These are people who are literally sacrificed for the sake of poltical expediency. Once the troops levels are reduced, the militias will be completely unchecked in their reign of terror.