Jesus.

From UN Dispatch:

Last week, 13-year old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was stoned to death in Somalia by insurgents because she was raped.

Reports indicate that was raped by three men while traveling by foot to visit her grandmother in conflict capital, Mogadishu. When she went to the authorities to report the crime, they accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death. Aisha was forced into a hole in a stadium of 1,000 onlookers as 50 men buried her up to the neck and cast stones at her until she died.

When some of the people at the stadium tried to save her, militia opened fire on the crowd, killing a boy who was a bystander.

15 thoughts on “Jesus.

  1. shani-o November 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm Reply

    I heard about this on NPR last week. Authorities claimed she admitted to committing adultery, and they didn’t actually reveal how old (or rather, young) she was until after the public stoning. They said she *wanted* to submit to the local religious law which punishes adultery with death.

    Which is utterly infuriating.

    Crimes against children seem to be de rigeur in Somalia. And considering this country hasn’t had a national government in nearly 20 years, I’m still wondering who’s to blame.

    Obviously the local authorities are at fault directly. But indirectly, Somalia is a land of many local rulers and no overarching authority, so is it the fault of the AU for not getting involved more quickly and comprehensively? Or is it the U.N.?

    As an aside: this is the number one reason why I can’t get behind religion. The misogyny it engenders is sickening.

  2. glory November 13, 2008 at 3:23 pm Reply

    I read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The picture that she painted of Somalia is so scary that this story didn’t shock me – I already knew from Ali’s book that the extremists over there are aptly named. In their culture, raped girls are filthy and she would have been an abused pariah in abject poverty for the rest of her life had she lived. Believe it or not, it’s possible that she preferred death to that fate, but then again, if so, she might not have told the authorities of the attack.

  3. Grump November 13, 2008 at 3:57 pm Reply

    Its real easy for some folks to blame religious zealots, but the real problem is the lawlessness that is so pervasive because of the lack of government and well-maintined authorities due to the war. I had to take a refresher course over at Wikipedia. You know shits bad when your old Somali countrymen want to fight you with Ethiopia backing them up!

  4. Ralph H. Manningfield November 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I blame three things–ignorance, male chauvinism (which you will find in hefty doses in any holy book), and lastly, poverty. Funny thing is the first two usually lead to the last one.

    I just wish that one day we as a people will rid ourselves of these awful religions. It would be a much better place without them. All they do is divide us. But really, they are manifestations of our inferior minds. We talk a good game about how intelligent we are in relation to other species, but in actuality we are vastly inferior. We are a tribal species by nature, so I guess we’re doomed.

  5. glory November 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm Reply

    “These awful religions”? If a bunch of atheists or Christians had stoned that child, neither atheism nor Christianity would be blamed in this country, it would be cruelty, lack of empathy, and hatred, among other reasons. Why then does your argument, Mr. Manningfield, come back to religion, after saying it’s ignorance, chauvinism, and poverty? History shows us that those three damaging elements survive just fine on their own without holy books. You are right – we are a tribal species. If it weren’t Islam being used as a tool of violence, it would be skin color or something else.

  6. Ralph H. Manningfield November 13, 2008 at 6:20 pm Reply

    I must first apologize, for my original post was a bit meandering and glory, I do agree with the idea that if it’s not religion than it will be something else that divides us. However, my major problem with religion is that, unlike say skin color or sexual preference, it is not magically endowed at birth. It is something that is taught. If your parents are Catholics, odds are you’ll be a Catholic, and it is very likely that your kids and they will be Catholics. It is a never-ending cycle, but as long as we exist on this planet we will have these religions which do no more than serve outdated views of male/female relationships and reconciling with the inevitability of death. At their core, that’s all they do.

    Really, here I go being all meandering and ish, because holy books are all over the damn map one can pick and choose what ancient rules they wish to follow and which not to. Hence, the heinous acts like the one we are currently discussing. If we just follow a couple of basic laws everything would be okay. But when we wrap them up in a confused muddle of ancient books and deities things get a bit messy.

    To say anything about these holy books is definitive is to say that pizza is a definitive representation of the four food groups. Ouch, my ass hurts after pulling that one out!

  7. glory November 13, 2008 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Without getting into a useless and off-topic argument about the definitiveness of holy texts, the point is that religion can and is used effectively as a tool by some people for divisiveness and other things that are harmful to society. Religion is not the root of the problem, but a tool with which people act out. Sometimes the acts are heinous, but not always, and depending on the culture you’re discussing, not often. It depends on the people wielding the tool, so blame the people, not their tool. Religions and their texts vary, but societies all over the world have dangerous fallibilities.

  8. Ralph H. Manningfield November 13, 2008 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Here it is glory, religion is the blindfold. It is up to us to take it off. You can’t BLAME the blindfold. And religion is divisive by its very nature. Claims like “I am the Way the Light and the Truth. Nobody can come to the Father, except through me” do not suggest much tolerance or understanding towards those with differing viewpoints.

    Also, there are a couple of questions I have about religion. Here goes:

    Is religion ancillary or a manifestation of who we are as a people? In other words, are we hard-wired to “believe” or are religions merely pre-enlightenment philosophies?

    Now, I do not feel that this discussion veers from the topic at hand as the purveyors of this act use holy texts as their justification.

  9. Ralph H. Manningfield November 13, 2008 at 7:11 pm Reply

    Sorry, I misquoted the bible. It actually goes: “I am the way and the truth and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.” in John 14:6. Sorry.

  10. glory November 13, 2008 at 7:42 pm Reply

    I don’t have the answers you seek. Reasonable minds differ. My answer would be a mere opinion. Your statement, “the purveyors of this act use holy texts as their justification,” says exactly what I’m getting at. Heinous acts predate these texts. They can be accompanied with the words of a zealot… or not. Tolerant and peaceful societies should not turn a blind eye to acts like this, in the interest of protecting the helpless. But if we were to achieve the impossible and rid the earth of religion, what would our recourse be when, even after that task is done, disturbed people continue to rape, stone, and mutilate women and destroy the innocence of children? Intolerance towards people of faith would only get us so far. It’s troubling and dangerous that people in religious traditions teach intolerance to others. Yet it’s inspiring that there are many societies, especially in the West, where people who disagree about religion live with tolerance. Apparently, there are ways to get past the mindset of stoning “whores.” That’s the task – to find those ways.

  11. Jason November 13, 2008 at 8:05 pm Reply

    This is emblematic of the bugfuckery of religious thought. Don’t think–don’t feel for the other person–just follow my interpretation of this multi-thousand-year-old document. Listen to the hateful ideas we try to 1984 you into thinking it’s a “gospel of love” and follow it blindly, even if it means you kill a child for being a victim.

    Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ on a fucking popsicle stick. When your fairy tales kill, it’s time for new fairy tales. Or maybe reality.

  12. Ralph H. Manningfield November 14, 2008 at 12:28 am Reply

    In the west, for the most part, we have a laissez-faire attitude towards our religions. For a lot of people religion begins-and-ends on Sunday. They go in, sing a few songs, listen to the guy behind the podium pontificate, drop a few bucks in the plate, engage in some small talk in the lobby, go home. That’s it, no beheadings, stonings, or suicide bombers. Here’s a funny aside–terrorists should not be called religious fanatics, but more appropriately religious actualists. Like I said countless times about the holy books. For every do unto others as you want done to you there are hundreds of these: “Before your eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbor and he will rape them in broad daylight. You sinned in secret, but I will do this in the presence of all with the sun looking down.” (2 Samuel 12:11) “If a priest’s daughter defiles herself with a man, she disgraces her father; she must be burned alive with fire.” (Leviticus 21:9)

    Now the question is, does such indolence Westerners have toward their God warrant a trip to the big party in the sky? I’m not necessarily a believer so I cannot answer this question. The point I am trying to make is that we are not nearly as devout here as others are elsewhere. The only times the blowhards really make a dent is when they trample on the rights of others (i.e. gay marriage and abortion). Which is a bit hypocritical as I haven’t seen too many preacher’s daughters burned alive.

  13. BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet.blogspot.com November 14, 2008 at 6:04 am Reply

    If Americans think this can not reach our soil…they are truly deluded….

  14. shani-o November 14, 2008 at 9:58 am Reply

    Well, when I brought up religion (as an ASIDE, lol) I was thinking that pretty much all religions have some anti-woman issues (including innocuous-seeming Western Christianity). But I agree with glory — Islam isn’t at fault for this woman’s stoning. The people who sanctioned her stoning are.

    But more than that, I take issue with the AU and the UN, and in some ways, the U.S. for leaving Somalia to its own devices. “Injustice anywhere” and all that.

  15. glory November 14, 2008 at 10:53 am Reply

    I think that Somalia will only continue to get worse, just like the Rwanda/Congo situation.

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