On April 7, 2007, a 17-year-old Iraqi girl named Du'a Khalil Aswad was stoned to death by a mob for falling in love with a boy outside her community and running away. Du'a was a Kurdish Yezidi, while the boy she'd fallen in love with was an Arab Muslim.
Shockingly, her dishonor killing was captured on someone's mobile, and the video was transmitted around the world through various media outlets, YouTube among them (rated XXX for violence. . .viewer discretion strongly, strongly advised):
Some of us who care about these things plan to honor Du'a's death anniversary on Monday. Two of my favorite groups of activists are:
1. The International Campaign Against Honour Killings (http://www.stophonourkillings.com/); and
2. Nothing But Red (http://nothingbutred.wordpress.com/).
The first group is comprised mostly of very committed volunteers. Among other things, they maintain a very useful, up-to-date, and informative Web site on the subject. Their current home page offers suggestions on how Du'a's death anniversary can be marked. And if any of you has some spare change, I'm sure those folks would appreciate a contribution of any size.
The second group is comprised entirely of very committed volunteers. Motivated by Du'a's appalling murder, they have spent the last year compiling, editing, and publishing an anthology entitled Nothing But Red, which will be launched on Monday, April 7th, Du'a's one-year death anniversary. You may support this effort by purchasing the book and knowing that all proceeds will be donated to Equality Now. In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the contributors to this anthology. And I will publish my submission here on poor Du'a's death anniversary.
If you don't have the time or the means to follow either of these suggestions, could you just take a moment of silence on Monday and put out a good thought for Du'a and people like her? Pray if you are a prayer, light a candle if you are a candle lighter (or an arsonist), just try to find a quiet space in your life in which to reflect on people who are suffering human rights abuses and show some gratitude for all that you have.
Causes Ellen Sheeley Supports
For All Women Foundation