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Monday, 10 August 2015

Death Before Dishonour

This pathetic story was sent to me by a friend who insisted I penned something about it. A man who went to a beach in Dubai with his family for some fun, preferred to see his daughter die than be dishonoured by having rescuers, who were strangers, to touch her.
While I did not express any surprise or astonishment at the story (because these are the sort of things I expect to arise as a result of religious beliefs) I would like to see someone leap to the defence of this man who was literally fighting for his beliefs, only in this case, he was not the one who had to pay the supreme price. What kind of jealousy would possess a man to be so protective of his daughter's 'honour' as to actively deny her life-saving assistance? What manner of faith or religious belief would cause a man to defend his daughter's dignity at the expense of her life? It reminds me of the many stories, and personal experiences, I have heard and had, respectively, about Jehovah's Witnesses who would rather let, and watch, their relatives die than allow them to accept a life-saving blood transfusion. While some of these Jehovah's Witnesses have refused the blood transfusion for themselves, others have refused to give this consent, and allowed their own children or spouses (usually, inevitably, wives) to die. I have donated at least two dozen units of blood and watched as most of them were used to save the lives of complete strangers.
A poser may be pertinent at this juncture: would it be better that the man's jealousy stemmed from an incestuous relationship with his daughter or his own religious beliefs? Right now, I am actually leaning towards the religious belief being the greater evil. Would any man allow his lover (even an incestuous one) drown rather than have strangers touch her and therefore dishonour her? This would bring us to the question of love. Did this man really love his daughter? Would any man who claimed to love his daughter, muslim or Jehovah's Witness, allow her to die just to uphold some drossy religious belief? I find it increasingly incredulous that such a thing could happen, but that is the sad fact we have been forced to face in the name of religion.
Islamic extremism is seen globally through the dastardly acts of ISIS, and Boko Haram in my beloved Nigeria. But today, I have seen another bewildering example of the evils of not just religion, but of Islam. Incidents like this will continue, along with honour killings of young girls, until we begin to scream from the roof tops the evils that religion has,  and continues to wreak in our lives.