1st off, thanks to c.i. for last night's 'Talking post on Iraq, registered sex offender Scott Ritter, the programs that promote him and much more' - i just did not feel good. sorry.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Wednesday, February 8, 2023. The hate merchants will destroy us all as they target LGBT+ persons, as they target women, as they target everyone that they can get away with smearing.
The editorial board of THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER and THE RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER notes:
At the end of the day, North Carolina’s so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights isn’t really about giving parents more control over their child’s education. It’s about telling LGBTQ kids, especially trans kids, that they don’t matter. That is the impact, whether Republicans originally intended it to be or not. But it’s certainly intentional now, considering they have ignored the many parents, community members, experts and advocates who have voiced concerns about the bill over the past week. They voiced the same concerns last year, when Republicans first brought the bill to the floor.
As GOP lawmakers fast-track the bill through the Senate and onto the House, they’ve been careful to frame it as common sense legislation. According to the bill’s sponsors, the provision that bans instruction on sexuality or gender identity in most elementary school classrooms only exists to ensure “age-appropriate instruction.” A requirement that schools notify parents when a student asks to change their name or pronouns — or if there are changes in their “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being” — is supposedly just about communication and transparency. The reality is far more grim. As experts have pointed out, forcing teachers and school administrators to out kids to their parents against their will is dangerous. Oftentimes, students who are questioning their sexuality or gender identity just need someone to confide in, and school may be the only place where they feel safe enough to do so. Not every parent is supportive of their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and having a supportive teacher or coach who can affirm their identity can be life-saving.
Yes, in the United States, the war against the LGBTQ+ community continues.
Even US President Joe Biden had to acknowledge it last night in his endless, never-ending State of the Union Address:
Let’s also pass the bipartisan Equality Act to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.
Our strength is not just the example of our power, but the power of our example. Let’s remember the world is watching.
43 words. In a speech of 7, 223 words. Call it an afterthought. I guess if you're really generous, you can quote Joe using the construct from a song in YENTYL as 'gay friendly' or 'gay adjacent'?
"Where is it written," Joe wondered, "that Americans can't lead the world in manufacturing again?"
Where? Just tell him where. It all began, the day Joe found, that from his Oval Office window, he could only see a piece of sky . . .
You know, Joe had more to say in that MEET THE PRESS segment when he was vice president and spoke of marriage equality. In an overly long speech that cribbed Streisand, Bernie Sanders and so much more while acting as though policies Joe Biden had actively promoted in the Senate for years were policies he'd never even heard of, you'd think he could have spoken of the real horrors facing the LGBTQ+ community today.
GLAAD made sure to highlight it.
Sorry, GLAAD, but I don't see anything that great about a brief aside to the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community or using them as an easy applause getter.
And around the world, closed minded hate merchants attempt to destroy the right to thrive. Tiba al-Ali was thriving in Turkey. Was. She was killed by her father -- again, as I've said before, 'alleged'? No, he went to the police and confessed. He killed her. Amy Goodman summarized it on DEMOCRACY NOW! as follows:
In Iraq, human rights groups are demanding justice for Tiba al-Ali, a 22-year-old YouTube star who was killed by her father last week. The two were reportedly in a dispute involving al-Ali’s decision to live alone in Turkey. She was visiting Iraq when her father strangled her to death. Rights advocates are calling on the Iraqi government to enact legislation against gender-based violence, as no current laws criminalize domestic violence. This is activist Hafsa Amer speaking from a protest in Baghdad Sunday.
Hafsa Amer: “Tiba is a famous person, well known on social media. Just as there are many women who don’t have a voice and who can’t make their voices heard, we are here to represent the voices of oppressed women, the victims who don’t have a voice.”
So why did he kill her? Religion gave him his excuse -- a perverted belief that he was the judge and jury and the agent of a higher power. You see that crazy in many religious idiots who confuse hate with love. It's an 'honor' killing. That's when these psychos kill someone to protect 'honor.' Of course, Tiba was killed but her rapist wasn't. She was killed. He killed his daughter. He didn't kill his son -- the man who raped her. But that's how these psychos behave.
On the Sunday after Ali's death, Iraqi women's rights activists staged a protest in Baghdad. They called upon local authorities to better protect women and to finally enact domestic violence legislation.
But even if Iraq did have such a law, could it have saved Ali and the many others who have been victims of familial violence and so-called "honor killings" before her?
"I don't think a law would stop violence against women here totally but it might reduce it," Kholoud Ahmad, an Iraqi journalist based in Baghdad, told DW. "If people knew they could be punished for this, or if women in trouble even had somewhere to go, that would help," she said. "Right now, it really feels like there is no serious punishment."
Iraq doesn't have a law dedicated to dealing with domestic violence. In fact, its current laws offer multiple ways for anyone who does beat or kill a female family member to avoid prosecution.
Paragraph 398 in Iraq's penal code says that in a sexual assault, the case will be dropped, if the rapist agrees to marry the victim. Another part of the penal code, Article 409, says that if a husband kills his wife because he discovers she committed adultery, the maximum sentence is three years in prison. And Paragraph 41 says that "there is no crime if the act is committed while exercising a legal right." Legal rights in Iraq include "the punishment of a wife by her husband … within certain limits prescribed by law or by custom."
In a statement about Ali's death, the United Nations in Iraq urged the Iraqi government to repeal some of these articles.
"Iraq lacks a central and effective reporting mechanism for victims and survivors of domestic violence or sexual and gender-based violence," said Razaw Salihy, a researcher on Iraqi issues for Amnesty International.
To lodge a complaint of this kind, Iraqi women only have two offices they can report to and both are "not founded in law," Salihy continued. "Women and girls who report incidents to police stations inevitably have to go home as there is no referral system, meaning the majority will not report anything for fear of repercussions at home. There is nowhere for them to go," she told DW.
All of this is why it is hard to get genuine figures on domestic and sexual violence committed against women in Iraq. Official statistics on domestic violence cases that go to court in Iraq hover around 15,000 a year. But if these are to be believed, then the rate of this kind of crime per head of population is not actually all that high when compared to countries in Europe.
The killing has seemingly divided Iraqi social media, with the hashtags #Tiba_AlAli and #Tiba’s_Right in Arabic trending for days.
- Twitter user Ali Bey on Feb. 3 wrote that women should “behave or face the same fate as Tiba Al-Ali,” while another user, Aqil Badran, on Feb. 2 criticized those who are “upset over the killing of a girl who abandoned her family…to live with her boyfriend.”
- On the other side of the debate, influencer Omar Habeeb on Feb. 1 wrote that “some still perceive women as property whose life they can end.”
- Iraqi political activist Hasanain Al-Minshid held police responsible for having failed to stop the killing, “knowing that her life was at risk.”
The context/analysis: Ali is alleged to have on Jan. 31 been strangled to death by her father in his southern Iraqi home over a “family dispute.”
- Following her death, a series of unverified recordings of alleged conversations between Ali and her father surfaced.
In the recordings, a man claimed to be her father is heard expressing
dissatisfaction with his daughter living with her partner in Turkey.
- The recordings also feature the voice of a woman said to be the victim asserting that she fled to Turkey after being sexually harassed by her brother. The woman is also heard accusing her parents of knowing about the harassment and covering it up.
Ali is not the only female influencer in the country to lose her life to femicide over apparent “honor” as well as political motivations.
- As previously reported
by Amwaj.media, Iman Sami Maghdid—also known as Maria—was in March last
year reportedly shot dead by her relatives. The murder was described in
local media as an “honor killing.”
- In 2018, Iraq saw the mysterious deaths of model Tara Fares as well as beauticians Rafeef Al-Yaseri and Rasha Al-Hassan.
- While seemingly motivated by politics rather than “honor,” prominent female opposition activists Zahra Ali and Reham Yacoub were killed in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Available data suggest that “honor killings” have been a longstanding and recurrent phenomenon under successive governments in Iraq.
That last Tweet is from the UK Ambassador to Iraq. The United Nations and Amnesty International have also weighed in. The US government? Nah. Blame them and blame the lazy US press that refuses to raise this killing when attending press briefings.
The following sites updated: