A loving father
Read it and scream.
For Abdel-Qader Ali there is only one regret: that he did not kill his daughter at birth. ‘If I had realised then what she would become, I would have killed her the instant her mother delivered her,’ he said with no trace of remorse. Two weeks after The Observer revealed the shocking story of Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, murdered because of her infatuation with a British solider in Basra, southern Iraq, her father is defiant. Sitting in the front garden of his well-kept home in the city’s Al-Fursi district, he remains a free man, despite having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his student daughter to death. Abdel-Qader, 46, a government employee, was initially arrested but released after two hours. Astonishingly, he said, police congratulated him on what he had done. ‘They are men and know what honour is,’ he said.
What honour is – something that makes it not only acceptable but actually praiseworthy to stamp on, suffocate, and stab to death a 17-year-old girl who is your daughter, a girl who hasn’t killed anyone or hurt anyone but has simply developed an affection for a male person.
It was her first youthful infatuation and it would be her last. She died on 16 March after her father discovered she had been seen in public talking to Paul, considered to be the enemy, the invader and a Christian. Though her horrified mother, Leila Hussein, called Rand’s two brothers, Hassan, 23, and Haydar, 21, to restrain Abdel-Qader as he choked her with his foot on her throat, they joined in. Her shrouded corpse was then tossed into a makeshift grave without ceremony as her uncles spat on it in disgust.
Oh, god, it’s so ugly I can’t stand to read it. I can’t stand it I can’t stand it – this world where men get together to murder women then treat them like garbage then spit on them. It’s so ugly. The hatred, the contempt, the disgust – for a young girl – their own relative. It makes me crazy.
‘Death was the least she deserved,’ said Abdel-Qader. ‘I don’t regret it. I had the support of all my friends who are fathers, like me, and know what she did was unacceptable to any Muslim that honours his religion,’ he said…’I don’t have a daughter now, and I prefer to say that I never had one. That girl humiliated me in front of my family and friends…I have only two boys from now on. That girl was a mistake in my life. I know God is blessing me for what I did,’ he said, his voice swelling with pride. ‘My sons are by my side, and they were men enough to help me finish the life of someone who just brought shame to ours.’
Men enough? What does he mean men enough? Because it took strength? No – she was down, her father’s foot was on her neck, they were three against one. Because it took courage? No – they were in no danger. What then? That men are supposed to hate women enough to kill them for no good reason, apparently.
He said his daughter’s ‘bad genes were passed on from her mother’. Rand’s mother, 41, remains in hiding after divorcing her husband in the immediate aftermath of the killing, living in fear of retribution from his family. She also still bears the scars of the severe beating he inflicted on her, breaking her arm in the process, when she told him she was going. ‘They cannot accept me leaving him. When I first left I went to a cousin’s home, but every day they were delivering notes to my door saying I was a prostitute and deserved the same death as Rand,’ she said. ‘She was killed by animals. Every night when go to bed I remember the face of Rand calling for help while her father and brothers ended her life,’ she said, tears streaming down her face.
And that’s just one of many.