No sympathy for murdered Pop Star
In most Muslim countries, it’s impossibly hard to be a woman. For starters, men have all the power, relegating women to the role of caretakers and not much else. Men also absolve themselves from any crime or misdeeds; if a husband beats his wife, she is to blame for not having been servile enough or not having been mindful enough of his moods.
It’s so nutty that when a rich Egyptian real estate tycoon paid $2 million to have his former lover killed, public opinion was still on his side. Suzanne Tamim was a Lebanese pop star who caught the attention of Hisham Talaat Moustafa, and when she decided to leave him, he had her killed. For many Egyptian women, her story is a cautionary tale of what happens when you defy the will of a husband:
She made him kill her, and she deserves it,” said Sherine Moustafa, a 39-year-old Egyptian corporate lawyer, an opinion that was echoed by every woman of dozens interviewed. “If he killed her, this means she’s done something outrageous to drive him to it,” reasoned Ms. Moustafa, who has no relation to the convicted businessman. Both her sister and mother, who sat next to her, agreed.
It obviously doesn’t help that Tamim dressed less than modestly and had taken a career most conservative women would disapprove of. Still, this level of callousness is shocking to our Western sensibilities, mostly because we can’t imagine feeling sympathy for the murderer rather than the victim. This is the power and control men have in the Middle East, and it’s not something that will change overnight. Considering how much Iran fears human rights and women’s studies (because these are supposedly “western” ideas that are incompatible with Islam), we can’t expect the situation to change in that part of the world for a long time to come. Fun, isn’t it?