Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cleansing dishonour

This week's Arab Times story:

: A bedoun father strangled his 18-year-old daughter Thursday night while she slept in her bed. The ‘honor-killing’ at their residence in Jahra took place when the runaway daughter returned home after spending two weeks with a man. The ‘boyfriend’ and girl were earlier arrested by the police and the man confessed to having molested her. “A person came to Al-Wafa Police Station Friday morning and requested to meet the officer in-charge,” say security sources. On being granted a meeting with the concerned officer the man reportedly said, “I have washed away my dishonor and killed my daughter who soiled my family’s name in the community.” The man allegedly told the officer his daughter had run away from the house two weeks earlier with her boyfriend and spent all that time with him before they were found by securitymen.

A case was registered against the boyfriend who confessed to ‘molesting’ her several times, confirm sources. The accused is currently in police custody, they add. Continuing his saga, the father said, “I received my daughter from the police station and also signed a note not to harm her.” During the past few days, however, he said he “could not stop thinking of how to cleanse the dishonor brought about by her behavior to myself and my sons.”

Pointing out his sons were “embarrassed to even go out of the house.” the father explained, “the looks and comments from neighbors whose outlook towards my family changed were driving us into a shell.” Some relatives, too, started staying away from the house, he added. “I decided to kill her without knowledge of my sons and entered her room with this intention,” the man stated in his confession. “When I found her sleeping, I put my hands around her neck and without feeling regret or guilt I kept a stranglehold on her, until five minutes later, I realized she was dead,” he continued.

“I then went to my room and cried for her and my sons,” stated the man. “In the morning I arrived at the police station and from there contacted my son and told him I had killed his sister,” he concluded. Following the man’s confession, the officer in-charge together with securitymen and Criminal Evidence personnel rushed to the location and found the girl lying dead on her bed, state sources. The corpse was referred to the Forensics Department which in their initial report confirmed the cause of death as being “due to strangulation,” they add. The corpse was referred to the Forensics Department for further investigation and the man and his sons were referred to the Public Prosecutor for interrogation.

"Bedouns" are the stateless tribal people that weren't settled enough to get citizenship when various Arab countries were formed. Actual Kuwaitis don't do this kind of thing, it's a throwback to the real tribal past. Several things curious to the Westerner stand out:

1. The boyfriend is charged with molesting the girl, even though any sexual activity was probably mutually consenting. Basically, this guy fucked up the old Bedoun's property (one marriagable daughter), so he has to get charged.

2. The man killed another human being because he'd been made to look bad in front of his neighbours. I wish all those Green Party members who think the world was so beneficent before industrialism fucked it up would get a grip on just what pre-industrial tribalism was all about.

3. The cops had a good idea what was coming (they made him sign a paper guaranteeing her safety), but still had to hand her over to him, despite her being an adult by Western standards.

4. This guy could strangle his own daughter and spend five minutes killing her (300 seconds staring into the face of one of your own family while you brutally murder them - would you be up for it?) "without feeling regret or guilt". How broken is that? It's interesting that this is a minor story in a local newspaper - because the local attitude is "Bedouns, they don't know any better". It's a poor lookout for the human race I reckon.