This story takes place in Nazareth, Israel, which these days is majority Muslim. And it sheds light on the fact that one motive for honor killings is sexual possessiveness by adult male relatives.
This case isn’t all that unusual apart from its conclusion.
A 16 year old girl in Nazareth was raped for months by an uncle and nephew pair related to her. Their ages were 51 and 17, respectively. The abuse went on for months, leading the girl to try and commit suicide. She was hospitalized several times, but the uncle and nephew team threatened that they would kill her if she told anyone what was going on.
The uncle had offered to marry the girl, even though he was 51 and had children of his own. Finally she became engaged for a second time (Yes, she’s 16) at which point the uncle, who lived next door, found out about it. He knocked on her window at night, when she opened it, he threw acid in her face.
According to her mother, “She opened the window a little and told me she wanted to let in some air. She was lying on the bed with her head turned to the window and asked me to close the door. At around 23:00 my daughter heard a voice, and before I could get to her room she rose and acid flew into her face. She yelled: ‘Mom, I’m blind, I’m deaf!’. She said the girl’s condition is difficult. “She has not seen in three months and only then will we know what happened to her vision. I hope that Allah will save it.”
The girl has been in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital on a respirator with damage to her lungs and face. The doctors have been attempting to save her eyesight.
The mother has denied that her daughter was raped, saying her daughter was tired and dazed while being examined. “She didn’t understand what the investigators said to her. The issue of rape will cause us great harm, especially to my daughters. The police should wait until my daughter is released from the hospital and from this emotional crisis caused to her and then they will be able to speak to her freely and confirm every word she says, but to come and speak about rape is unacceptable to us.”
This is typical also because being raped will make it that much harder for the daughter and for her other daughters to marry, as in the Muslim world, the onus of blame for rape is generally put on the woman for having inappropriately attracted a man, and by extension on her upbringing at home.
Families are pressured to cover up rapes because it only damages the marriage prospects of that daughter but creates the impression that the other daughters are “loose”.
According to her however, both she and her daughter refused the marriage request from the uncle. “It is inconceivable that a man of this age marry a 16 year old girl,” the mother said.
Due to Israel’s wacky criminal justice system, the case is only partly being unsealed now and the defendants are still unnamed and many details are missing. But there is enough out there for the Israeli tabloids to have sketched it out.