Du’aa’s mother blames Sheikh Sulaiman for allowing the mob to grab and brutally kill her daughter. The video evidence shows that Du’aa was dragged straight from the Sheikh’s house to be stoned to death in the village marketplace.
"He sent her out as a defenseless young girl," Du’aa’s mother asserts.
A London Times interview with the Sheikh reveals his overall condoning of the murder. Although he says on the record that the method of execution was not preferential, his words are no doubt carefully chosen given the widespread exposure the videos have brought to this specific honor killing.
According to the Sheikh, "Honor is a big thing here and each one deals with it differently. It was down to her family to cleanse her shame. Maybe kill her with one bullet, electrocution, any manner, but not through this awful stoning."
He continued, "There is no father who does not love his daughter. When a father kills his daughter to wash away their family shame, it breaks his heart to do so. But fathers are obliged to do this, otherwise they will be ostracized."
Can you believe these words…in this century?
Can you believe that they are being communicated to a major news organization by a man of the cloth, a religious leader?
Can you imagine your pastor saying such a thing?
It is this type of spiritual leadership, set in this type of spiritual climate and culture, that causes such things to happen with shocking regularity in Iraq and across the Middle East.
The London Times article stated that, according to a 2007 mid-year report from the Human Rights Ministry (HRM) in Northern Iraq, "598 women have been burnt, beaten, shot, strangled, thrown from tall buildings, force-fed with lethal drugs, crushed by vehicles, drowned, decapitated or made to kill themselves so far this year, exceeding the 553 recorded for the whole of 2006."
Perhaps some of those methods would have been met by more approval by the Sheikh.
Keep in mind that the statistics above are just for Du’aa’s region alone, Northern Iraq, and for just the murders that were ultimately determined to be honor killings.
Dalia Dzay, the Head of Research Studies at HRM, reportedly told the London Times that, "The perpetrators are simply finding new ways of achieving the same grisly end, for instance by forcing women to set fire to themselves so that their deaths looked like accidents with cooking fuel."
Some sources put the true statistics on honor killings in Northern Iraq as high as three killings per day.
What’s in store for a culture that is driven by ‘honor’ to kill its teenage daughters?
In these areas, the scarlet letters of shame are also applied to the children of unapproved unions, the kids that have been abandoned by their parents to avoid such ‘disgrace.’
These children are waiting to be loved and accepted.
These children are the agents of change that can break down these satanic strongholds of false reputation and honor.