Archive | February 2013

Domestic Violence and Honor Killings against Men Reach Unprecedented Heights in the Middle East


 A referendum to introduce a law which would oversee stricter tougher sentences for women who have killed their brothers and sons for bringing “shame” to their families has been rejected for the forth time in the People Democratic of Thulmestan.

Representative Habibulnas’ attempts to sway the General Council’s decision continue to fail and he has been accused of promoting vice and trying to obliterate the practice of Honor Killings. Habibulnas urged the shura council to consider increasing the punishment for women accused of killing their brothers and sons in the name of Honor. In a televised interview, Habibulnas reiterated his demands and vowed to “stand firm in the face of other representatives who have so far blocked the attempt to introduce tougher sentences for women who have killed their brothers and sons for bringing “shame” on their families.” He is urging the government to introduce a special tribunal to hear honor killing cases against men, but a parliamentary alliance has so far blocked all attempts to change any articles of the legal code, especially article 69, a “crime of passion” defense, which is commonly used and gives reduced sentences to women who claim they committed violence in the fury of the moment.

 Thousands of terrified men gathered in Sahat Al Mathloomeen, joined by Rights Groups who want to change laws amounting to legal impunity for women involved in honor killings, in support of the proposed referendum, after the body of 18 year old Haitham Elmustaq was found stabbed to death in a deserted field in an apparent Honor Killing crime resonant of the hundreds carried out on young men all over the country.

 “My friend was 18 when he was killed. All he did was befriend a girl online and meet her at a coffee shop. They did not have sex. They did not even kiss. But his sister would not believe him. She just killed him,” Kahldoun Zadi broke down in tears, holding a “Justice to Sameer” banner with his slain friend’s picture on it.

 “Something has to be done,” Marwan El Hamayra, from Sult in Jordan said in a phone interview from an undisclosed location. Marwan has been in hiding ever since his sister found out that he lost his virginity one night, when a woman attacked him in a side lane and forced him to have sex with her. “I was raped. I fought back, but she overpowered me. I ran away from home. I knew what was waiting for me there. I would be killed.”

 Marwan El Hamayra’s sister, who never stopped looking for him to wash the family’s shame, burst into his hiding place right after our phone conversation, and, aided by an angry aunt who held his arms down, slit his throat. The two women then walked proudly into the police station and turned themselves in. They were released after serving two months in a minimum security prison.


Dead Skin

Dead Skin

 I carried you around

Like stratum corneum

A layer of dead skin

Itching to be exfoliated


With cotton balls

Moistened with scented oils

 How my skin glowed

When they dropped you

In the waste basket

At the dermatologist office

And ran my credit card

To pay for the 30 minute facial

The time it took

Between lugging you around

And closing the lid

On you

A few blackheads

And some ingrown hairs

 My epidermis?

I was politely informed

You never got that deep.




Operation Rescue God

If God truly existed inside churches, I would have begged him to turn me into a wooden plank and nail me to the floor so all his worshippers would step on me in His name.

If He existed inside mosques, I would have begged him to turn me into a mat and glue me to the floor, so the foreheads of the believers, their palms, knees, and toes would find me there, waiting for their prayers.

If God existed inside synagogues, I would have begged him to turn me into oil so I would forever burn in the sockets of candles, mingling with the tears and supplications of His chosen people.

 If He existed inside a Buddhist temple, I would have begged him to turn me into miles of  red cloth and wrap me on the shoulders of monks sashaying at His feet, endless in His capacity.


I looked for God there, but I didn’t find Him.

 I found Him in the eyes of a laborer, hiding from the August midday sun in Dubai, stealthily sipping water from a plastic container in Ramadan.

The fear-stricken look of a desperate God. A terrified God, emaciated, abused, nameless.

 I found Him in a lock of hair escaping from under the headscarf of an 8-year-old girl in Yemen, dead in childbirth. Ripped. Bereaved. Silenced.

 I found Him in the limps littering the streets of Bagdad. Severed. Decaying. Rotting.

 I found Him in the clenched fists of a jailed black boy, holding on to the bars, waiting to be executed. Unkempt. Forsaken. Forgotten.

 Rescue me, God pleaded.

Rescue me from the mullahs and priests and rabbis and swamis. Set me free.

Reporting Live from Heaven


This morning, when Archangel Gabriel went to God’s throne to receive the daily task list, God was not there.

This was the first time EVER that God had left his throne. And EVER in God’s time is a very very long time.

God had disappeared without leaving a note, directions, or orders.

No one up in heavens knew where God had gone.

There was a sense of loss, confusion, and fear among the angels.

And because Gabriel did not have God’s direct command to search for him, he did not.

Had he done so, he would have found God weeping in a cave on a mountain in Mecca, searching between the cobwebs and the rubble and all the dusty layers of centuries bygone for the actual message he had sent to earth.


You see, God did exist. He lived up there in the seventh heaven and had a throne surrounded by winged creatures who flew up and down between heavens and earth and every once in a while delivered an occasional message or two to those individuals God had chosen to call prophets. But then the messages got all mixed up, screwed up beyond repair, and there was a point where no one, not even God himself, could figure out what was going on.


So many things have gone wrong that for such a long time He had fought an urge to just finish off the human race, euthanize it, or may be just order a sweeping lobotomy operative to take place and eradicate all evil from earth.

 But he didn’t.

And now, there was a very pressing question on God’s mind as He sat in a corner in the cave pondering. He wanted to know when exactly, and how, did he say that if a man raped his five year old daughter, burnt her, tortured her some more, sodomized her, and killed her, he, the man, should not be prosecuted, charged, or killed; but, on the other hand, if an underage exploited abused maid is accused of causing the death of a child, who might or might not have suffocated on his own bottle, she should be beheaded?
Crime and Punishment? All in the eyes of the believers.

And what bothered God as he sat in that desolate corner is the wording. He is so good with words. Infallible. Which words could he possibly have used to convey that erroneous message?

In which surah did he add those dictates? Which verse?

Try as he could, he could not remember.

 “What did I do wrong?” God was weeping, pulling his hair, banging his head against the rocks. Bleeding.

He no longer believed in Himself.


And then He became quiet. He sat in the cave and decided never to leave. He was afraid. He knew what would happen if he stepped outside. The bearded mobs in the mosques below would accuse him of apostasy and behead him.

He knew. He created them.