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But the problem was probably not the fact Rola’s boyfriend was a Greek Christian and was married, but rather that she had decided to establish her independence by entering a relationship in the first place. Rola told Bild her violence-prone father had already attacked her once before just for having Internet contact with a man.
“When I had a problem, I could talk to him about anything,” she said. “Only not when it concerned boys. That was taboo. When I was 20, he attacked me with a sword, because I had exchanged emails with someone from England. My mother was able to get between us in time.”
Rola’s situation is not uncommon among young Muslim women in the West. Like most normal women, they want to choose the way they live their lives, which often includes the freedom to choose their own boyfriends and husband. But in order to satisfy this freedom drive that most people take for granted, many such Muslim females must cut off all connection with their families, live an underground existence like in an American witness protection program, and even risk their lives to honor killings at the hands of vengeful relatives and clan members.
The problem in these women’s culture is that there is no concept of individuality, a fundamental Western precept. A person, especially a woman, is not allowed to establish an identity outside of her religion, culture and clan. Many Muslim men believe they also have a religious-based right to control women, especially their chastity, which is of the highest importance in their culture, since the family’s honor is so dependent on it. As a result, even a rumor that a woman had contact with a man could be her death warrant.
Honor murder is not an insignificant problem in Germany as elsewhere in the West. The Federal Crime Office (Germany’s FBI) registered 48 honor homicides between 1996 and 2006 with an additional 22 surviving attempted honour murders. Most victims were young Muslim women, the youngest being a 14-year-old married Muslim girl.
For his part, Rola’s step-father told the court he only wanted to say two words to his step-daughter before her bout but felt “demeaned and humiliated” when the security guards barred his entrance to the dressing room. Once there, he said he “felt threatened” when she raised her boxing glove-enclosed hand. But in a pathetic case of blaming the victim, while reloading his gun and with his step-daughter lying wounded and bleeding on the floor, Hachim El-Halabi yelled: “You have ruined everything. Now look what you have driven me to.”
Incredibly, the prosecution is only asking for a sentence of six years and ten months for El-Halabi, who will learn his punishment later this month. Germans complain about their “snugly laws” for serious crimes but their complaints are obviously falling on deaf ears.
The security guards and Rola El-Halabi all had to undergo emergency operations for their wounds. Rola was in a wheelchair for several weeks, fulfilling her father’s prediction. Her injuries will not allow her to resume her ring career. When the judge asked the former double world champion how her wounds were healing, Rola held up her damaged right hand and showed she could no longer close it into a fist, which caused her to start crying. Her step-father, one German journalist reported, then had his lawyer pass her a handkerchief.
“She declined it,” he wrote.
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