Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Month: October 2008 (page 2 of 2)

Cultural differences: 'My daughter deserved to die for falling in love'

This story echos many others from the middle east as well as several recent stories from Germany and Texas.  While it isn’t wise to fall into the trap of painting our actions in the context of holy war, it seems a bit naive, given such extreme examples of cultural difference, to argue that there is not a clash of cultures going on, brought on by globalization, that undergirds the conflicts we’re struggling with.

For Abdel-Qader Ali there is only one regret: that he did not kill his daughter at birth. ‘If I had realised then what she would become, I would have killed her the instant her mother delivered her,’ he said with no trace of remorse.

Two weeks after The Observer revealed the shocking story of Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, murdered because of her infatuation with a British soldier in Basra, southern Iraq, her father is defiant. Sitting in the front garden of his well-kept home in the city’s Al-Fursi district, he remains a free man, despite having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his student daughter to death.

Abdel-Qader, 46, a government employee, was initially arrested but released after two hours. Astonishingly, he said, police congratulated him on what he had done. ‘They are men and know what honour is,’ he said.

Rand, who was studying English at Basra University, was deemed to have brought shame on her family after becoming infatuated with a British soldier, 22, known only as Paul.

She died a virgin, according to her closest friend Zeinab. Indeed, her ‘relationship’ with Paul, which began when she worked as a volunteer helping displaced families and he was distributing water, appears to have consisted of snatched conversations over less than four months. But the young, impressionable Rand fell in love with him, confiding her feelings and daydreams to Zeinab, 19.

It was her first youthful infatuation and it would be her last. She died on 16 March after her father discovered she had been seen in public talking to Paul, considered to be the enemy, the invader and a Christian. Though her horrified mother, Leila Hussein, called Rand’s two brothers, Hassan, 23, and Haydar, 21, to restrain Abdel-Qader as he choked her with his foot on her throat, they joined in. Her shrouded corpse was then tossed into a makeshift grave without ceremony as her uncles spat on it in disgust.

{Read it all}

The Avett Brothers- Murder in the City

Note: I just found another version of this song on the Avett Brothers web site. The live version I originally posted is below the more tag.

Update: both videos can be seen by clicking the link below.

Continue reading » One Message the Mountain Preachers Get Right

Good thoughts on living and ministering in a poor area of Appalachia:

I’m never sorry that I live in the midst of people who are clear that times are hard, poverty is normal, and God is exceedingly and abundantly good. We may quibble about how God intervenes and downright disagree about how to express that confidence in God, but I’ll never disagree that we should direct one another’s attention to the hope we have in God.

In the story of Jacob- which I’ve been teaching to my students- Jacob and Esau are able to say to one another: I have enough. They had been blessed by God. They had found peace. They were reconciled to one another. God had answered many prayers.

So they were able to say, “I have enough, because God has been good.”

{Read it all: One Message the Mountain Preachers Get Right}

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