Basra, Iraq – The Guardian reports that Leila Hussein, the mother of honour-killing victim Rand Hussein, was shot and killed as she was walking with two women activists to meet a contact to take her to Amman, Jordan. Leila Hussein drew her family’s ire when she refused to support her husband’s decision to murder their daughter for entertaining a crush on an American soldier. Leila Hussein’s sons had also participated in the brutal act, and did not support their mother in her escape.
Hussein’s husband had previously boasted to the media that the local police had fully supported him. And while Basra law enforcement officials have told the press that Leila Hussein’s defiance had nothing to do with her murder, that this was a routine spat of sectarian violence targeting the women activists, their own role in this story makes their statements suspect.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Leila Hussein was being made an example of. This wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last time, in today’s brutalized Iraq. The activists who were trying to help Hussein escape are receiving threats as well. Any woman who does not submit to her role as a passive piece of human garbage is a potential target in a patriarchal society scarred by years of violence.
Please note that the authors of Jezebel can help you donate money to the Basra activists, if you contact them. We hope to have more on this story. Until then, may God rest the souls of the innocent. There is nothing more that I can personally can say in the face of such tragedy.