It is stories like these that lead me to despair at the future of humanity. A 17-year old Kurdish girl falls in love with a Sunni boy from a nearby village. She is ambushed, and then stoned to death… as the police stand by, and as the crowd takes videos with mobile phones. Download the videos here.
I thought for a long time about whether I should watch these. In the end, I am glad I saw them, because I think we all too often keep such stories abstract, perhaps to shield ourselves from highly unpleasant truths. The visceral quality of the videos is a reminder to all of us that for large parts of the world, we have not progressed one jot since Spinoza’s time (q.v. the deWitts’s gruesome ending).
What would Spinoza have done? My gut reaction upon seeing the videos is to “exterminate the brutes”, but alas my rational self recognizes that the more likely scenario, were I to have placed myself between the mob and the girl, is that the brutes would have exterminated me. The horror, the horror.
The only consolation? That it appears, at the moment, that “honour” killings are deemed barbaric by the West. It’s a good reason to agitate for western notions of militant tolerance, don’t you think, lest we lose this enlightened perspective? The Dutch, this time round, seem to be at the forefront of this process. Time to move to Amsterdam?
[Update: An Amnesty International statement on the killing of Du’a Khalil Aswad. Worth mentioning that Du’a’s murder is not an isolated event. What sets it apart is that it was filmed.]