Monday, November 17, 2003
ABU QASH, West Bank - Rofayda Qaoud - raped by her brothers and impregnated - refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder.Evidently Arab "honor" is measured by the amount of innocent blood on one's hands. This is a culture so sick in the head that I am at an absolute loss at even trying to think of ideas to cure it.
Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.
[Several paragraphs later]
While honor killings committed in the heat of the moment - for example, by a husband who catches his wife in bed with another man - generally carry a six-month to one-year jail term, Qaoud will likely be sentenced to three to five years in prison, Tarifi says. The fact she is a mother who was trying to protect her family's honor mitigates the crime of premeditated murder, which is punishable by death under Palestinian law, he adds.
The brothers are serving minimum 10-year sentences in a Palestinian jail in the West Bank city of Jericho for statutory rape of a relative, Tarifi says.
[Down to the final paragraph]
"My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. Leaning into Qaoud's arms, the little girl adds: "I love my mother much more now than before."(emphasis mine)