Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Danger of Complacency

I (WE) are very fortunate to live in the country that we do. I am free to practice what ever religion I want. Hell I can stand out at the end of my driveway naked and holler at the top of my lungs "I'M A PRACTICING WITCH". And other then horrifying a few neighbors and possible causing blindness in one or two others nothing will happen to me. It's easy to forget that there is a large part of the world that is not like that.

Today I discovered that on April 7th of this year, seventeen-year-old Dua Khalil Aswad, of Northern Iraq, was pulled into a group of men–some of them family members, who then beat and stoned her to death. The ordeal took about thirty minutes, and though the police witnessed the event, they didn't intervene. All this was recorded on camera phones by several members of the "audience". Dua Khalil was of the Yazidi faith, and she was seen in the company of a Muslim man that her family believed she intended to marry. She was brutally murdered to preserve the "honour" of her family.

Because it's no longer enough to be a decent person. It's no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I've always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I'm beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red. ~Filmmaker Joss Whedon

As a response there is an anthology being planned for release in April 2008. Nothing But Red takes its title from that description of Aswad's murder and was conceived as a response to Whedon's plea. It will be an open-format anthology of responses to Aswad's death and the topics raised by Whedon in his post, which will also be included in the volume. Essays, short stories, poems, photographs, drawings and other kinds of literary or visual arts will be considered for inclusion. Submissions will be open from August 1 to November 1, 2007. Further information on submitting work can be found at

Now I have to go hug my daughters, tell them I love them again, and remind them that they can be what ever they want when they grow up.


Bob said...

An odd post of funny and horrendous.

Stoning is a long-accepted punishment in the arab world for things that we enlightened societies don't quite see as wrongs. Kind of puts our own history of civil rights for women and races in a different perspective.

Naked proclamations in the street might, however, get you a misdemeanor charge, not altogether warranted, either.

FeyRhi said...

I'm a bit of an odd person. Truthfully, I often hide behind humour when I have to deal with something that I am uncomfortable with. When I was younger I suffered from nervous giggles, meaning if I was in deep shit for something, I started laughing. Not because I wanted to be disrespectful, I could't help it. it usually got me in more trouble.

This story had a profound affect on me, either from being a woman or the mother of daughters I don't know which. It's not just the story, it's the fact that the cell phone video is available on the internet upsets me as well.