For the honor of the regimented
Barbara Hans of Der Spiegel describe the national debate in Germany over the "honor killing" of an Afghan immigrant teenager who was stabbled 20 times by her brother for going out on a date.
Who in general, is one's brother? And why is Germany engaged in a "national debate"? The girl's relatives were interviewed after she was killed.
"Maybe he did it out of love," Moral's cousin Mujda said, when asked why Ahmad stabbed his sister that night. Mudja O. gave an extensive interview to SPIEGEL TV following the crime, discussing the stabbing and her cousin's possible motives for the killing. "We spoke to him and he told us, 'My sisters are my life. She should be put away before anything happens to her. The last sentence that we heard from him was that he loved his sister."
Mujda's comments are enough to wring blood from a stone and the phrase "he did it out of love" will doubtless figure prominently in the brother's trial, where he will be accused of the crime of simply being a Muslim. After all, rivers belong where they can ramble. Eagles belong where they can fly. Some have got to be where the stabbing is for free. Gotta have my corner of the sky. But before we give the brother a pass, Der Spiegel informs us that:
It was not the first time Ahmad, who worked in an auto parts store, had come to the attention of the police for violent acts, either. In police circles, he was known as a serial offender, constantly in trouble for beatings and even stabbings. Morsal had even tried to get charges pressed against her brother with the police after he repeatedly attacked her, but she later withdrew them.
Who then, was Morsal's brother, apart from Ahmad? The hoary old story of the Good Samaritan implies that there was no one who fit the bill.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn in Jericho and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
"The one who had mercy on him." What justice is there in a world, Dostoevsky asked, when a child can be left in a freezing outhouse by a cruel, sadistic father while the child beats his little fists against the icy, stinking door, crying "Jesus! Jesus"? Or where a donkey can be flogged by a drover until he staggers sideways to his death?
In all of Germany who was listening to that teenage girl's cries? There was 'honor' in the house that night. And not a bit of love, whatever Ahmad says.
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