A fun outing


Cellphone videos have appeared on the Internet showing an Iraqi mob stoning and kicking to death a 17-year-old girl after she offended her minority community by eloping with a Muslim man…In the video – on the Kurdish website Jebar.Info and rapidly spreading on the Internet – Aswad is shown lying in the road as men kick her and throw a large lump of rock or concrete at her head. Her face is drenched in blood but uniformed and armed officers of the Iraqi police stand by and do nothing to prevent the attack…At one point she struggles to sit up and cover herself, but a man kicks her in the face knocking her violently back to the ground…Members of a large crowd can be seen filming the murder on their cellphones, some of them shouting or kicking out at the cowering victim. Nobody tries to help her.

What a lovely, lovely, heartening story. How pleasant it is to know that a mob of men can stand around watching and even fucking filming a slight thin teenage girl being kicked and bludgeoned with rocks, and 1) not help her and 2) join in.

No actually it isn’t pleasant. It’s both horrifying and terrifying. It’s despair-inducing – to know that people can and do let stupid, trivial, unimportant rules or traditions or loyalties or ideologies override what ought to be natural pity and revulsion and fellow-feeling to the point that they can take pleasure in battering people to death.

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