Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A Hybrid Marriage Between Modernity and Brutality! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Has the crime committed a few months ago against the young Iraqi Yazidi girl, Doaa [Khalil Aswad], really taken place again? This time it is alleged that a girl was stoned to death in Syria by crowds that believed they were avenging what was her defiled honor. Seeking to purify that so-called desecrated honor, she was stoned to death; a frail body that surrendered to its fate just as Doaa had in north Iraq.

The answers are not decisive or conclusive but what is certain is that there is video footage in circulation around Syria via the Internet and mobile phones. The source remains unclear while the content reveals the scene in which a girl is being stoned to death. Various Syrian websites have stated that the crime took place in one of the Syrian governorates.

The footage has been met with mixed reactions; some believe that the disclosure of these images is linked to international conspiracy theories, while others maintain that killing girls in the name of honor is something that does indeed take place but not in such a brutal manner! So this means that killing women is normal and possible but that the discrepancy lies in the method of execution – not over the notion of killing itself!

Aside from the cultural and ethical complexities stirred up by honor killings, the dissemination of two instances of footage in which girls were victims of stoning is a matter that causes great concern and necessarily requires deep contemplation.

Technology has advanced to the degree that today we can access places that were previously out of reach – this is a reality.

Nowadays, we have visual documentation of crimes that were once only known to those who had witnessed these atrocities. And because of this we are able to discuss a plethora of images that document horrifying realities of the internal affairs that unfold in our societies.

However, inasmuch as we may attribute these developments to the advancement of technology; we still cannot help but feel that it is a lethal and grave humanitarian tragedy.

Mobile phones cameras were used by people who were fully aware of what they were doing. These people documented the incident and rushed to spread and broadcast it using the Internet – in fact, some of these people were implicated in the killing.

The outcome is a hybrid marriage between modernity in its most innovative and developed sense (technologically speaking), and between the most ancient and barbaric sentiments in human consciousness. This has spawned a hybrid reality in our lives, especially since we are not referring to individual cases, but rather to a general public awareness wherein many people had participated.

But there is more: Recording and documenting incidents of this kind is still incapable of delivering the issue to the public opinion domain. Issues such as honor killings; violence and abuse remain incapable of penetrating into the heart of our public life.

The parameter of the margin we designate for humanitarian issues has expanded, but politics will always remain to be at the core, and one that grows stronger every day, in our part of the world. Our states suffer the absence of morality.