Leaving Islam



An Honor Killing; A Mother’s Lunacy

by Bruce S. Ticker

Members of the People-Who-Pity-the-Poor-Palestinians Club would probably grasp 13-year-old Rofayda Qaoud and draw her to their bosom if they knew what happened to her.

I hope they would, except that Rofayda’s mother did not give them the chance.

Rofayda was raped by her two brothers and impregnated in the West Bank town of Abu Qash, outside Ramallah. I suppose that advocates for the Palestinians would have been aghast. It’s bad enough that Israel brutally oppresses the poor child; now this. Of course, they would conveniently ignore the fact that her brothers are Palestinians themselves.

When this incident was reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer last Friday (November 21), I mentally contrasted how American society would have responded to Rofayda’s victimization as opposed to what the Palestinians did about it. Some of you can guess where this is leading.

Her brothers, who are much older, 22 and 20 years old, are now serving minimum 10-year sentences in a jail in Jericho for statutory rape of a relative, prosecutor Yousef Tarifi told the Inquirer.

So far, so good. We would jail them, too.

American families would also react differently. The backward families would be in denial and treat it like it never happened. More advanced families would do what they can to help her. She would likely be getting therapy.

In the Qaoud family’s circle, relatives and friends would not talk to them. Rofayda’s older sisters’ husbands would not let them visit.

Her mother, Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud, recalled, “I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family’s honor.

So, on the night of January 27, the mother of nine entered Rofayda’s room armed with a plastic bag, a razor and a wooden stick and told her, “Tonight you die, Rofayda.”

As the child pleaded, “No, mother, no,” Qaoud wrapped the bag tightly around her sixth-born child’s head and sliced her wrists. She struck the child on the head with the stick after she went limp.

An honor killing is no rarity in the Arab world, where women are punished if a female’s reputation for virtue and virginity are perceived as sullied. One apparent difference here is that it is a female relative who killed her. Usually, it is a male relative who is called upon to commit an honor killing.

I would not paint with a broad brush, claiming all Arabs conduct themselves this way. In fact, some Palestinians who feared this might occur sought to prevent it, according to the Inquirer article. However, honor killings in the Arab world have been frequently documented in major newspapers. Queen Rania of Jordan has made it a priority to end honor killings in her country.

With this kind of tradition, how would a Palestinian state deal with honor killings?

The mother turned herself in and was released pending the resolution of her case after four months. The prosecutor said she is likely to be sentenced to three to five years in prison, because her effort to protect her family’s honor mitigates the crime of premeditated murder, which carries a death sentence.

You can’t be too harsh with them for that. It sounds like their version of an insanity defense.

However, no issue is made of the fact that she still lives with her three youngest children, who are at home. Here, child-welfare authorities would be on the case and a family court judge might order the kids into foster care.

The reaction of her 9-year-old daughter, Fatima, to all this: “My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people. I love my mother much more now than before.”

Smart girl, if she thinks she had better say that.

Bruce S. Ticker
Arutz Sheva News Service






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