"Try to Relax Here for a While Because They’re Going to Kill You Anyway"

This is an excerpt from a larger Asra Nomani piece on honor killings in the Wall Street Journal. It's quite a dark look at what life under Islamic mores is like for women.

In one particularly poignant chapter, Ms. Zoepf steps through the doors of a girls’ prison in Syria, where 16-year-old Zahra al-Azzo was jailed for being raped. (That’s right, they jailed her.)

The prison is a sort of holding facility for girls like Zahra who are at risk of being murdered by their families in a so-called honor killing. Yet there is little to protect the young women once they leave.

“One of the girls came to me, crying, the other day,” the head social worker tells Ms. Zoepf. “She wanted to go home and it’s an honor crime situation. I told her, ‘Try to relax here for a while because they’re going to kill you anyway when you’re released.’ It sounds cruel, but I needed to calm her down, to get her to behave sensibly.’”

Zahra was eventually freed from the prison in order to marry a cousin. Shortly thereafter, she was hacked to death in her apartment by her own brother—with the blessing of their parents. Zahra’s crime: “losing her virginity out of wedlock.” Her brother believed he was “washing away the shame” to the family.

The day of her murder, Ms. Zoepf chronicles, the girl’s family threw a party.

When you consider the problem of terrorism, it's important to remember that we are dealing with societies where dehumanization and murder of even one's own closest relatives is not an aberration. Expecting a culture where you throw a party for murdering your own daughter who had been raped to treat us better than they have, let alone to understand that killing is wrong, is just unrealistic.

Ms. Zoepf gingerly traces the roots of twisted practices, such as honor killings, to Islamic concepts such as fitna, or the “chaos” that is often connected to “temptation of a sexual nature.”

That accusation, incidentally, has also been directed from the Muslim world at the entire West.

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