Monday, August 15, 2005

Romeo and Juliet, Muslim Style

Romeo and JulietFrom Barcepundit to Dhimmi Watch to The Scotsman, we rewind the film to ascertain the real motive for the murder of Stephen Vincent.

And I hate to say this, I hate it ….because I didn’t have the courage of my convictions when I read of his death. Some little nugget of intuition said “this is about the woman, this is about the woman…” But I ignored what I knew at a visceral level because there was no information. I know; I looked. It was hard to even get her name. It was infuriating that she might die without a name.
     An American journalist who was shot dead in Basra last week was executed by Shiite extremists who knew he was intending to marry his Muslim interpreter, it has emerged.
Steven Vincent was shot a week before the planned wedding to Nouriya Itais and had already delivered a $2,500 dowry to her family.
    In America, his death was taken as retribution for his article. But in London yesterday, British officials pointed out that the police in Basra believed it was retribution for his affair.
"We warned him to look after his security in a more professional manner than he was doing," said the official.
The couple were found by Iraqi police after being shot by their captors. Medics managed to save Ms Itais.
So what does "looking after his security in a more professional manner" mean, precisely? That he should've spirited Ms. Itais out of the country before marrying her? Probably so. He must have known the penalty for a kaffir marrying a Muslim. Surely he did?

Stephen Vincent was knowledgeable about Islam and about Muslim customs. He knew Iraq. But he was led by his heart and it got him killed.

As they say, follow the money -- in this case right to the dowry. But first, follow your heart. Turns out mine was right. Dammit.

Don't you wonder now if her family was complicit in this? My intution tells me thay had the $2,500.00. Were they willing to lose a daughter?

Yeah...follow the money and trust your gut.

Two more questions: what do you think Ms. Itais is doing right now? Shakespeare killed her off but the Iraqis let her live. Do you think they are letting her live in peace?

8 comments:

cathyf said...

It will take a lot more evidence to convince me. Vincent was married, and his blog entries take the form of letters to his wife. Maybe he gave $2500 to his colleague's family, maybe not, but if he did we can all imagine excellent reasons for him to do so that have nothing to do with romance. Most people in this world who see a great need will give what they can to help out, and not expect anything in return. Not everyone is like UN peacekeepers.

Islam takes as a given that men and women cannot simply be friends, colleagues, have business relationships. That men do not act to protect women without getting a sexual relationship in return. Don't base your judgements about Vincent upon Islamic assumptions.

cathy :-)

Goesh said...

allah will not be pleased with shooting instead of stoning in this case, that a muslim woman spoke with an infidel sealed her death from day one - there just were not enought stones on hand at the time, so they got shot instead -

Dymphna said...

cathyf--

Yes, I wondered about his blog at the time. If what you say is correct, I hope his wife will come forward with some information.

I would also like to know the fate of his translator, and if she has been enduring the usual "honor" shunning...or worse.

Do you have any idea why a man as knowledgeable as this would hire a female translator in such an ugly environment? Surely they both knew it would draw the attention of the crazies...which pass for normal in the more extreme Shi'ite environment.

Do you think the two of them simply concocted the story in order for him to be able to work in Basrah without fear that they would be harmed?

The whole story simply doesn't make sense from a number of angles. And the damn Brits know more than they're saying.

Of course, to dig out the story, you'd need another Stephen Vincent to go in and actually report -- boots on the ground -- rather than observe from the safety of the Green Zone.

If you hear anything, please let me know. Especially I'm concerned about the fate of the woman. In Morocco she'd be in prison. See my update on a post at Neighborhood about that.

The "journalist" in question was a real sleazebag and I'm not comparing him and Mr. Vincent -- what's at issue is the fate of the women.

The Gift of Fear

I'd appreciate any further news you have. Meanwhile, I'll check the three sources which carried the story.

Dymphna said...

goesh--

they were dragged from the hotel so they had some help with their kidnapping.

And Allah is such a cartoon figure he doesn't come into this very much. What kind of god keeps killing off the women?

tagryn said...

Well, however titillating this angle on Vincent's murder may be, I haven't seen a credible source yet that confirms he was planning to marry her. Some speculation-on-the-speculation (i.e. gossip) I've read elsewhere posits that any marriage plans between them were so that the translator could immigrate to the U.S., and it was done with the knowledge of Vincent's wife.

I don't know if I agree with the assessment that the kidnappers "let her live." Could as well be that they left her for dead, but weren't thorough in finishing the job.

nellodee said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/07/wirq107.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/08/07/ixworld.html

Dymphna said...

tagryn--

The facts in this case aren't "titillating." One person is dead and another, who knows? Please look at the story from the Telegraph. The URL is in nellodee's comment.

If you're right that the killers botched the job then she's a dead woman walking. At least when she can walk again...she's still in hospital. Which might be why she's still alive.

"There is the possibility that this was an attempted 'honour killing', related in some way to the relationship he had with his interpreter. But it does not fit the pattern of honour killings as it is usually the woman who dies."

The article goes on to describe some of Mr. Vincent's careless behavior. Reading it, you wonder if he was losing contact with his very mortal surroundings. The Greeks called it "hubris"...I guess we call it tempting fate.

Anyway, his wife seems to have agreed to this deception to get the woman out of Iraq.

The story will unfold in its own good time...

unaha-closp said...

Conspiracy theory alert.

The journalist was investigating murders carried out by the local police force in revenge attacks against old Baathists by the newly powerful Shia, this probably caused his death. But with this "honour killing" rumor gaining currency it is possible for the local cops (the murderers) to arrest some religious extremist patsies to blame the death on. No one likes extremists, no questions will be asked.