Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Her name was Aisha, and they stoned her to death

The headline is this:

Rape victim, 13, stoned to death by 1,000 men in stadium

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow's crime was to be raped and then report it. After being attacked by three men her family went to the Al-Shabab Islamist militia to report the crime. She was detained and accused of adultery. No effort was made to identify or arrest the rapists.

Despite reports that she was 23 years old, Aisha was actually 13. "She hadn't even reached the age to be married," her distraught father said.

People in Kismayo say they live in constant fear of the Al-Shabab, but not everyone was content to watch a "clearly distressed" girl being stoned to death. Some people tried to intervene. The gunmen fired shots; one man was wounded and an eight-year-old boy was shot dead. The militia later apologised for his killing.

After the execution a man called Sheik Hayakalah told a radio station: "The evidence came from her side and she officially confirmed her guilt," he said. "She told us that she was happy with the punishment under Islamic law." Aisha's father said his daughter had begged for her life. It is illegal under Sharia to convict a 13-year-old of adultery.

This is what happenes in lawless, destabilized, failed nations. What passes for law is the greatest injustice. There is no purpose served, no social need rectified, no harm to others avenged in an act like this: a cruel murder of an abused child. Imagine being the person who looks at her unhappy situation and believes that it is she who must die in distress and pain. Imagine thinking that some God demands it. Imagine being "right" with a God that would demand it.

Well, I couldn't. Even allowing such a God could exist, that might consider a victim equally tainted by an act of sin, even allowing that God was the Creator of a universe, and even allowing anything good that God may have made:

I would oppose such a God. Such a monster could be no "god" to me, because god or no god, I hold that there is such a thing as justice, and that isn't it.

As it happens, here is only the work of men. Vicious men, helpless against the lawlessness of their world. Terrified, in that even the evidence of crime so shames them that they meant to swallow it up with stones, like hiding the proof of their failure. But nothing was healed by that--only a life destroyed. The life of a young woman who could not hide her victimhood. In a sane world, sympathy with her plight would've moved adults to try and find the one who victimized her, and to try and heal her wounds. What persists in Somalia, however, is something horrendous: an entire people so victimized that this seems like an answer to some.

And that, too, is the work of mere humans. No monstrous God, just monstrous policies.

I find it tremendously sad.

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