Tag Archives: honor killings

The pain of others

For the 6.1.2014 post

 Credit to Patricia Polacco via Ken Jackson (facebook)

 

I had only one pregnancy, with only a slight complication. My daughter had her first child a little more than five months ago, with a complication more unsettling than mine. But in the end, we have been fortunate enough to have healthy babies who joined our lives filling them with precious love. Pregnancies of only internal interferences. Utterly welcomed ensuing births. And we both are a child of a parent or parents, defined by their irreplaceable love for us and for each of our children.

Then there was the very young Farzana Parveen, who was carrying a child as well – out of love by choice, the connector that matters most between human beings and has been time-tested again and again in different forms and extents. She, too, was the child of parents, assuming to have been brought to life also out of love. Yet, not at all as fortunate to be loved by them without condition. For her choice in marriage to and her pregnancy with Mohammad Iqbal, she was murdered by the same hands that must have at least once held her with love. And her senseless, brutal death, was – as claimed in the news – for the sake of the family’s honor.

The world-wide dilemma regarding this distorted sense of honor is not anything I want to dwell on today. I am merely trying to raise one question: What we, as co-humanity-occupants, can do in the face of such tragedies. Blame the involved society? I have. Get angry? I have. Feel sad? I have. Write about it, one pen at a time in order to raise awareness and accordingly, to inspire the will in others to react; spread the word; organize in the model of countless international organizations that exist for this or that cause; lobby to contribute to the formation of a world-wide regulation to hold accountable any society that excuses its barbarisms under the disguise of  “traditions”; …; …?

I know this issue is not solvable as easily as I have just made it sound like. Still, the idealist in me is convinced there is something to be done beyond keeping silence over such gruesome affairs destroying human lives. Even if it means to merely share a post, a link, a commentary, or a poem on electronic platform – our century’s seemingly most effective venue to reach masses across the world, I will continue to do so. I want to hope you will agree with my conviction: each of us possesses the power to mediate anything good that happens around us. To materialize such influence against the anti-thesis of good can be no exception.

 

honoring a mother-to-be,

another “honor” killings prey

 

in the hope-filled dreams for our children

we were once one – we had always been

living the privilege of a fertile womb

for eons in its rightful haven

with promise to a love-offspring

you are no longer

i met you again in your tragedy

the butchery of your blossoming life

and the one inside you to care for and adore

the internal pump on my left thus burnt at its core

the same times though in a different place

may have left intact your youthful grace

i mourn your brutally wasted self

for i wish to have been a kin to you

long lost, from afar

one who arrived in time to keep  your final breath ajar

(Draft, 5.31.2014)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As always, I wish you a beautiful Sunday – however you may define beauty for your lives, and look very much forward to your next visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Poetry, Reflections

What has violence gotten anything to do with celebration?

Two days ago, some countries acknowledged, some others rejected once more the United Nations International Women’s Day (IWD).  Cultural entities around the world coincided their fertile grounds for violence against women with the supposed celebration of their female populations. South Africa and India became two of the most adored objects of the media, Celebrating International Women’s Day due to “recent cases of violence against women” on their soil.

In the honor of IWD, seven injustices women around the world meet became newsworthy yet once again.  Among them, China, India and Afghanistan attained considerable attention.  Sex-selective abortion and infanticide brought China and India to the news, while Afghanistan, this time, competed in the list due to its lack of education rights for its females.  Lesser crimes against women in relatively wide-spread coverage included no rights to drive in Saudi Arabia, far fewer rights in divorce in Egypt, restricted land ownership in Lesotho, media coverage discrepancies in Latin America and gender pay gap in the United States.

With a substantial leap from concerns over equal pay for both sexes, selected world media leaders took us to a brief tour in one of the exclusive districts of Istanbul, in quest of a public gallery constructed in commemoration of IWD following the increase in “honor killings” of women in Turkey.  The displays consist of newspaper clips of stories of women murdered by the men of their families, i.e. husbands, divorced husbands, fathers, father-in-laws, brothers, brother-in-laws, uncles, etc. A large banner reading “There is no excuse for violence against a woman” functions as the onset of the news program, Beyoğlu’nda ‘Kadına şiddetin bahanesi yoktur’ sergisi.

At the risk of being ridiculed – in view of the above-mentioned violence’s scope, I claim that even one hand constitutes a brutal act when used to slap someone regardless of that strike’s force. So is using pepper spray on unarmed, non-violent, nonthreatening, defenseless people, as the following video, Kadınlar gününde kadına biber gazı documents.  The clip makes history on Turkish lands since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – on International Women’s Day, nonetheless.  For, the Islamist Erdoğan administration uses police to stop women in Hatay, Turkey with pepper spray from voicing their demands for anti-violence against women in a peaceful walk.

An image from a critically-claimed cinematic production, “Osama” enters the memory:

Wasn’t it mere water, after all, that the Talibani had used on women to dissolve their quest for work to survive in their man-less households? Before ordering their murders without trial on the slightest suspense of their “misbehavior”?  On behalf of Islam?

Let us have a quick fact-check against the backlash of at least a few of the relevant teachings of the Kur’an regarding some of the hereby summarized crimes against women: Driving?  There is – as to be expected – no mention of it.  It, thus, has no connection to Islam when Saudi Arabia or elsewhere is concerned. Rights in divorce? Equal for both genders, with a clause to more heavily support the woman; especially, if she is expecting or already a parent. Right for education? Equal for both genders.

Celebrating women? What an impossible feat as long as distortions, misinterpretations, misconstructions, de-constructions, or reconstructions of religious texts reign over humanity when at least the three “main” world faiths are concerned!

 

Related Articles and Images:

Joyce Stevens. “A History of International Women’s Day”

Women Watch. “History of International Women’s Day”

Women Watch. “A Promise is a Promise. Time for action to end violence against women. UN System Observances for International Women’s Day 2013”

Women’s Day. Picture images from around the world

“7 Injustices Faced by Women Around the World”

“Turkey celebrates int’l Women’s Day”

“Pain, not joy on Women’s Day, says Turkish pop icon”

“Turkish Women Underrepresented In Politics”

The Kur’an

International Men’s Day Global Website

About International Men’s Day

Definition of “violence” in English

Definition of “violence” in Turkish

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Filed under Reflections