This morning in the local newspaper there was a story about a seventeen-year-old Iraqi girl called Rand Abdel-Qader who was murdered a couple of weeks ago by her father and two brothers for the heinous crime of developing a crush on a British soldier. Apparently, "death was the least she deserved". Her father was arrested but released soon after by police who congratulated him on his actions. Here's the interview with her father that I read this morning.
I know honour killings aren't unusual. But something about this made me so angry. I voiced my opinions loudly to my father who reminded me that I should try to understand that other people have different beliefs. Which is probably a good principle normally...
...but I have absolutely no intention of respecting beliefs that would allow this. Have Rand's beliefs been respected, or her basic rights?
This is where I think postmodernism and relativism are just so useless. If Rand's father's beliefs are just as valuable as mine or hers, where does Rand stand now?
Okay, so if we want Rand's father and people like him to ever change their minds, we obviously can't browbeat them and say we're better than them and that they're just wrong. I know. But that doesn't mean I have to pay them lip service.
I can't help thinking how lucky I am to have grown up in a Christian home. How lucky I am to know Jesus. How superior the teaching of Jesus is to anything I've ever come across before. It sounds so... arrogant of me to say that but when I look at the world I can't help comparing it to Jesus. I'm no expert on ancient society but I would guess it's just as or more harsh on women in iffy situations as Rand's father was on her. And yet Jesus is seen throughout the gospels defending the defenceless, the women caught in adultery, the down-and-outers, the sinners, the victims of repressive societies, protecting them from men who would judge them, stone them, and belittle them. I love him for that and I don't ever want to stop being angry when women like Rand are tormented. But I also want to do something about it. God allows us anger - but he doesn't let us stew in it. How can I do something about the fate of women like Rand? I feel incredibly challenged.