Tuesday, May 13, 2008

UPDATED: My E-mail to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs re: Rand Abdel-Qader

Update: Wouldn't you know it, my e-mail was bounced back as undeliverable. However, if you go to this page, there is an electronic form you can submit, so I copied my e-mail message into it and submitted it.

Below is the e-mail I sent to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Rand Abdel-Qader at press@iraqmofa.net.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you may know, it has been reported recently in the news that a 17 year old Iraqi girl named Rand Abdel-Qader was murdered by her father Abdel-Qader Ali in what is popularly known as an "honor killing." To the best of my knowledge, this man remains free and continues to draw a salary from his government job.

I wish to convey in the strongest terms possible my sense of outrage at this crime. To allow this reprehensible excuse of a man to remain free sends a message to Iraqis that their women and daughters are disposable objects whose lives are without any individual worth.

Therefore, I respectfully call upon the Iraqi National government to (1) bring Abdel-Qader Ali to justice for the murder of his daughter, and (2) to support grassroots organizations throughout Iraq to promote public information campaigns to fight against cultural attitudes that sanction "honor killings", a term which I might add is an oxymoron, as there is no honor in murdering a defenseless woman or teenage girl. Furthermore, assistance, including housing and security, must be provided for Iraqi females who are at risk from their family members.

I thank you for your consideration and eagerly look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

In addition, I will prepare a letter to be sent via snail mail to the Iraqi Embassy in the United States tomorrow night. As before, I will let you know if I receive any response. I will also do some research to see if there are any organizations in Iraq that exist that try to promote women's rights and speak out against honor killings and I will certainly share anything I find with my readers.


tina FCD said...

Very good letter.

Anonymous said...

The STOP HONORCIDE! campaign was launched on Mother's Day 2008. The goal of the campaign is to prosecute honorcides to the fullest extent of the law. We want honorcide to be classified as a hate crime and we advocate for every existing hate crime legislation to be amended to include honorcide.


Anonymous said...

Tommy, it's really lovely to come across your blog and see you do more than just complain about these crimes.

Some other suggestions for people who might want to act:

1. Write to your congressional representatives and the president about your concerns and tell them you want some meaningful portion (25% or more?) of our aid to such countries to be tied to concrete, measurable, sustainable improvements in human rights. We are part of the problem, because we fund some of these regimes.

2. While you're at it, ask what is being done to enforce all the international human rights agreements and covenants some of these countries have signed with us. Last time I looked, Jordan, for example, was in violation of 17 of them, just on dishonor killings alone. Where is the enforcement, and why are we consistently choosing partners that don't hold up their ends of the bargain?

3. I'm wondering how bad it has to get before the international community does for the women of the world what it did for blacks in South Africa during apartheid. Economic sanctions worked very well in that situation. We boycotted companies that did business with South Africa, and that went a long way toward breaking the scourge of apartheid.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"