Dua Khalil honor killingI have a boyfriend and my family does not want me to have sex with him. They say I am too young and so is he. (Kissing and hugging are fine, but hands must always stay above the waist.) They want me to be older, to be in love, and to be safe when I do choose to have sex. Maybe I will wait until I am married and maybe I won’t.

If I were to have sex at my age, they would be disappointed in me and angry with me. If I stayed out all night, I would definitely get grounded, lose internet access, and probably have a thousand new chores. But they would NOT kill me and NEVER let other people kill me because of sex, even if I had sex with a person of a different religion.

It is different in the middle east. There, girls can be stoned to death for having sex too early and with the wrong people. Look at what happened to Dua Khalil, a 17 year old in Northern Iraq. (She is the girl in the photo above.)
According to CNN:

Authorities in northern Iraq have arrested four people in connection with the “honor killing” last month of a Kurdish teen — a startling, morbid pummeling caught on a mobile phone video camera and broadcast around the world.

The case portrays the tragedy and brutality of honor killings in the Muslim world. Honor killings take place when family members kill relatives, almost always female, because they feel the relatives’ actions have shamed the family.

In this case, Dua Khalil, a 17-year-old Kurdish girl whose religion is Yazidi, was dragged into a crowd in a headlock with police looking on and kicked, beaten and stoned to death last month. (Watch the attack, and what authorities are doing about it Video)

Authorities believe she was killed for being seen with a Sunni Muslim man. She had not married him or converted, but her attackers believed she had, a top official in Nineveh province said. The Yazidis, who observe an ancient Middle Eastern religion, look down on mixing with people of another faith.

National Geographic estimates that thousands of women and girls are killed every year, because their families value family honor more than the lives of the women and girls.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of women are murdered by
their families each year in the name of family “honor.” It’s difficult to get precise numbers on the phenomenon of honor killing; the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished, and the concept of family honor justifies the act in the eyes of some societies.

Most honor killings occur in countries where the concept of women as a vessel of the family reputation predominates, said Marsha Freemen, director of International Women’s Rights Action Watch at the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda. In countries not submitting reports to the UN, the practice was condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has been reported in Iraq and Iran.

But while honor killings have elicited considerable attention and outrage, human rights activists argue that they should be regarded as part of a much larger problem of violence against women.

. . . .

The practice, she said, “goes across cultures and across religions.”

Complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property and the perception that violence against family members is a family and not a judicial issue.

“Females in the family—mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, and cousins—frequently support the attacks. It’s a community mentality,” said Zaynab Nawaz, a program assistant for women’s human rights at Amnesty International.

Some organizations that are fighting to stop this violence against girls and women are UNICEF and Amnesty International.

UPDATE: You can also sign this petition and find out more from STOP Honour Killings.

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.