Pharmacist Zeena Qushtiny was dressed in the latest Western fashion and wearing a sparkling diamond necklace when she was taken at gunpoint from her pharmacy in Baghdad by insurgents.
Her body was found 10 days later with two bullet holes close to her eyes.
She was covered in a traditional abaya veil preferred by Islamic conservatives with a message pinned to it saying: “She was a collaborator against Islam”, according Qushtiny’s family.
Qushtiny was the mother of two young girls and a divorcee. She was a popular professional in the capital and respected for her work but was considered by radicals as being an insult to Islam.
She was also working for women’s rights and was advocated greater democracy in Iraq according to her friends and colleagues. She was considered an outspoken activist by radicals and her dress was seen as being too extravagant for Iraq.
Women activists have been suffering since the last war in Iraq because of calls for improved rights and equality with men in this Muslim country, according to a report by the local Women’s NGO association.
During Saddam Hussein’s regime, women could dress less conservatively in the big cities and would not be punished, according to female activists.
But now women say they are no longer safe and decapitated female corpses have begun turning up in recent weeks with notes bearing the word “collaborator” pinned to their chests, according to Colonel Subhi al-Abdullilah, a senior police investigator.
This is a culture of life.
HT: Rox Populi