Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Words

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

This has been a hopeful week for me. Barack Obama's election was thrilling because it promised a change from the devastating policies of the Bush administration, and renewed my faith in the ability of the American people to make an informed decision.

But news like this leaves me distressed beyond words.

The New York Times reported today:

The United Nations said Tuesday that a Somali stoned to death by Islamist militants after she had been accused of adultery was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped while visiting her grandmother.

In the first such public killing by the militants in about two years, she was placed in a hole and stoned to death on Oct. 28 in a rebel-held port city, Kismayu, in front of a crowd, after local leaders said she was guilty under Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran.

Witnesses said at the time that the victim had been a 23-year-old woman.

The girl was stoned to death by 50 men in a stadium, in front of a crowd of about 1000 spectators. None of the perpetrators have been arrested.

It's appalling that this girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was killed for a "crime" that she did not commit, that she was in fact stoned to death because her body had been violated. But why she was killed is not the point. This would be a devastating violation of human rights even if she had engaged in adulterous, consensual sex. Aisha's death is unspeakable because these men felt that, under Sharia law, they had the right to publicly take her life. Because under their interpretation of the law, women are not human.

This is why we need feminism.


At November 11, 2008 at 6:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this shows the backwardness of the Islamic cultures prevalent in many parts of the world. It is good that you acknowledge this conflict between the two political "little guys" beloved by the Left - women and Islam. Now can we have feminists acknowledging the huge gains for women's rights that the US occupation has brought in Iraq and Afghanistan?


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