Culture Of Life: Collaboration

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

11 comments for “Culture Of Life: Collaboration

  1. March 21, 2005 at 11:43 pm

    Hyp-hyp-hypocrisy

    Just a few links regarding the Terry Schiavo case…

  2. March 22, 2005 at 7:02 am

    Bush’s Culture of Death sould be the Left’s new mantra.

  3. March 22, 2005 at 3:52 pm

    that really angers me. I was never for the war, nor do I think it was originally motivated by any sort of moral underpinnings. but since we are there, and the ugly side of fundamentalism is showing its face, i do feel a certain moral calling to help remake islamic society. i guess it’s none of our business, but truly that story is sickening, and will do more to cast these scrappers in the barbaric light they deserve to be seen in.

  4. March 22, 2005 at 4:54 pm

    The woman in this story died for woman’s rights in Iraq. I am sure she would want you to join me in attempting to bring battered women’s shelters to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the women’s programs the USAID is funding in those countries. I am writing under this entry because I want feminists to know about this effort; I want them to come to my blog and leave a comment so I can contact them; and I want them to write about this subject on their own. I would have sent a letter to to this site’s owner but could not find an e-mail address here. Not being a techie I do not understand everything about the way this site works so I am just leaving this info in the hope it is the right thing to do.

    Afghanistan Regional Women’s Centers are being built at this time and Funded by USAID.

    You Can:
    Influence the “Office of Women’s Initiatives” in the US State Dept. to include battered & abused women’s shelter/villages in their funded regional women’s centers in Afghanistan (and eventually Iraq).

    Tell Our Government That Abused Women’s and Children’s Shelters Must be Part of these Regional Woman’s Centers.

    Tell them to alter the building plans to include a complex which is fenced, gated and guarded, first by the US military and subsequently by an Afghan women’s militia/police, trained by US forces to do the job.

    Tell Our Government that eventually, the women’s police force can investigate and enforce the secular family law and crimes against women. This is a culturally appropriate security system for Muslim countries emerging from theocracy.

    Domestic violence and abuse victims are at this time confined to prison with their children. PLEASE HELP THEM. The Afghan and Iraqi women need support from U.S.feminists to make domestic violence and abuse shelter villages happen.

    The USAID is constructing regional centers for women’s initiatives in Afghanistan right now, four are already built.

    Use your power, your art, your writing, your friends network, to influence the Office of Women’s Initiatives to use USAID money to construct battered women shelter villages. Instruct them as to why these shelters must be protected (first by the US soldiers and eventually by an indigenous all women’s police force).

    Believe it or not there are two women’s militia in the area plus Kurdish women are being trained to protect their borders so this is not an off the wall idea. So it would only take a few more steps to construct transitional housing there in the regional centers, surrounded by walls to house domestic violence and abuse victims who are at this time confined to prison with their children.

    They can build prisons so they can build protected compounds.

    Please write articles and letters to influence the strategy planning in the US State Dept. Write Letters to Editors – write articles and write newspaper columns.

    Most of all write to Charlotte Ponticelli at Hovanecsc@state.gov or write on the State Department Form. If you have the patience to go online in the web chats with Ponticelli, do that.

    Please help with this effort. Believe me, if not we as feminists no one will do this and we will all regret it in the future. I am frantically aware that we have only three years left to change things so much that Afghan and Iraq women will be able to take over and carry on without U.S. assistance.

    Read the US State Dept Fact Sheets on my blog and my comments on them. I have the US State Dept. fact sheets listing the women’s program on my blog in blue type – wherever you see GREEN TYPE those are my criticisms. Reading them will help you to become familiar with the current programs.

    Below in the archive list are titles you should read to become informed. Click on Jan., Feb, and March to find the titles.

    Click – ” The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council” This is an Introduction to the programs in Afghanistan – see my criticisms in green.

    Click – “A Feminist Questions What the US claims to be doing to Help Women in Afghanistan” In this post, in the introduction, I have a link to “DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?” be sure to clink on that link and read that story which was the basis for my writing to Ponticelli .

    Then click: “Founding Mothers — Next Steps in Post-Election Afghanistan and Iraq” This is the International Woman’s Day transcript. They brought all the women they are working with to DC and this is what they have to say. My comments are in green. Almost at the very end, I screamed with delight as a women brought up the women’s prison which I have been writing about and the shelters which I have been writing about. (And which I need you to write about.)

    See Also: “USAID Announces $2.5 Million for Afghanistan Women’s Ministry “(This is the funding for the regional centers)

    You might also want to read on my blog 3/1/05 “Women for Women ??????” A new survey of Iraqi women showing 90% support the “invasion” and are hopeful about the future. Far different news then the left has been giving us as to the feelings of these women. I think it is ironic that the left feels free to speak for women they never noticed before.

    Look at this:
    http://www.unifem.org/filesconfirmed/2/283_at_a_glance_trust_fund.pdf
    Seven million dollars spent by the UN trust fund to eliminate violence against women AND NOT ONE SHELTER BUILT. Like the oil for food scandal I think we need the media to investigate the waste of these funds. None of this money is being used to actually protect women from domestic violence.

    For more info, check out the State Department’s Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues

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  6. jam
    March 22, 2005 at 6:51 pm

    Charles – it angers & sickens me too. immensely. and you probably know this, but i felt it needed saying anyways.

    “we” (you & i & many others) are not there. the US government & military is there. and the only thing they desire from Islamic society (of any stripe) is compliance & obedience. in any case, there’s alot of society to remake right here at home as regards violence against women.

    nice blog, btw, Doc! i liked the story about color perception alot. congrats on the Guardian pick.

  7. March 22, 2005 at 7:17 pm

    But we in the US have shelters and the legal right not to be beaten here. It will not kill us to reach out to help women who do not have any human rights. Women who are now slaves of the patriarchy. Because ALL women are stronger when there is no place in the world that women can be held in slavery.

    If we, as feminists, do not help them, no one will but the Republicans. And when the Republicans are gone, then the horror returns? No, this is something that all feminists should take on and not allow anyone to divide us against the global sisterhood for we are a caste, and the rising of women everywhere means the evolution of the human race.

  8. jam
    March 22, 2005 at 9:17 pm

    Virginia Rose Ray says: If we, as feminists, do not help them, no one will but the Republicans. And when the Republicans are gone, then the horror returns?

    and the Republicans are helping them how exactly?

    and earlier: You might also want to read on my blog 3/1/05 “Women for Women ??????” A new survey of Iraqi women showing 90% support the “invasion” and are hopeful about the future. Far different news then the left has been giving us as to the feelings of these women. I think it is ironic that the left feels free to speak for women they never noticed before.

    you think that’s ironic? then you might want to re-read that survey. it doesn’t say anywhere that 90% of Iraqi women “support the ‘invasion'”… talk about feeling free to speak for others (acttually, i’d call it “putting words in their mouths” but let’s not quibble)

    by the way, here’s some Iraqi women leftists who have been speaking out on Iraqi women’s rights long before you were… and gee, they’ve provided shelter services for over a decade. is there a reason why you aren’t supporting them? y’know, besides the fact that they’re uppity leftists…

  9. March 23, 2005 at 12:21 pm

    What a joke – shelters for who? Syrian and Sunni terrorists who killed the woman that started this thread and tried to make it seem as if the fundamentalist did it? I eagerly ran over there to meet women who had established shelters. There are no shelters and there are hardly any women. I urge all readers to follow jam’s link and pay close attention to what the left’s idea of woman’s liberation is globally.

    I began organizing in 1972 with women , in a break with the left because they said our issues were personal – not political. There were more important issues which had to be achieved first.

    They are still doing it – they are still anti-woman’s rights because they don’t get it. They are set on their political objectives and although they try to make it seem as if they understand women’s issues in order to use women ( they use the words, equality , woman’s rights , secularism, etc) they actually mean only their class and their kind, in the middle east that means, our tribe, our party.

    Those who do not agree have to be forced and killed. They cannot work in a democratic body with others not of their class and kind, they cannot participate in elections with them – they have to kill the “other”, kidnapped them, terrorize them and rape them until they submit to the left’s version of an ideal state. In that society women’s rape becomes institutionalized with no avenue for organizing to change things because there is no respect for the “other’s” human rights. It ends with a Saddam Hussein and fascism.

  10. jam
    March 24, 2005 at 9:06 am

    Virginia, what in the world are you talking about? do you have anything to back up what you’re saying here?

    What a joke – shelters for who? Syrian and Sunni terrorists who killed the woman that started this thread and tried to make it seem as if the fundamentalist did it?

    you’re saying the shelters are used only for Syrian & Sunni terrorists? got some evidence for that?

    I eagerly ran over there to meet women who had established shelters

    you eagerly ran where exactly? you’ve been to Iraq? you’ve met with the women who’ve set these shelters up?

    There are no shelters and there are hardly any women.

    so, i guess you have been to Iraq. and apparently Iraq has hardly any women? what?

    I began organizing in 1972 with women

    just women generally or do you mean Iraqi women or what?

    They are still doing it – they are still anti-woman’s rights because they don’t get it. They are set on their political objectives and although they try to make it seem as if they understand women’s issues in order to use women

    they, they, they… who are you talking about?

    to the left’s version of an ideal state. In that society women’s rape becomes institutionalized with no avenue for organizing to change things because there is no respect for the “other’s” human rights. It ends with a Saddam Hussein and fascism.

    the left, the left, the left – do you have any idea how vague a term that is? who are you talking about?

    p.s. so, i take it you weren’t able to find that part of the survey that said that Iraqi women support the invasion, huh? guess that makes it just you supporting the invasion. so, what, do you call yourself an imperialist feminist? how does that work exactly? actually, maybe you could describe a good case example. how about Fallujah? maybe you can describe to me how the US “presence” in Fallujah has helped the women of that city (the ones that aren’t dead, of course).

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