Really? Was that the reason?
The article from The Observer currently making the rounds: a 16 year old girl in Iraq is killed by her father because she "fell in love" with a British soldier.
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.
Count the players: the father, two brothers, and some uncles. For completeness, she was kicked and beaten, then choked by standing on her, and then stabbed.
He was arrested, but released in two hours.
Abdel-Qader, a Shia, says he was released from the police station 'because everyone knows that honour killings sometimes are impossible not to commit'..The officers were by my side during all the time I was there, congratulating me on what I had done.'
Though I doubt anyone in this country would sympthize with this nut, there is a certain deference to the notion that some cultures have honor killings, as if that is sufficient explanation; as if merely abandoning that practice will solve the problem.
But what really is going on here? We can try to frame it in terms more real to us: pretend this is a Jewish family and the British soldier is a Nazi. Let's add that the Nazis have already killed this man's brother, and raped his sister; let's say that the Nazis even did this right there in front of the 16 year old girl-- yet she still falls in love with the Nazi soldier.
In this context, we can better understand the anger, the betrayal, the incredulity-- "how the hell could you...!!!" But none of this explains why he killed her:
'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.'
But what we can't yet get at is the humiliation. And that's where the fire is; that's why she was murdered. Everything else is smoke.
This is narcissism, bold and pure. It seems like it may not be because there are so many other people involved, but it is, institutionalized and mainstreamed.
The general problem with the narcissist is that he can't see the other, he only sees others in relationship to him. It's a movie, or a video game. It's Grand Theft Auto. Sure, the other characters are real characters, but what matters is you. You don't even have to be a good guy, or the best guy-- just the main character. It is impossible to conceive that any of the characters in GTA can have thoughts that aren't about him. "But it's a game, it's not like real life." No, to the narcissist, "real life" isn't real either, it's simulacrum. Every action is about him, positively or negatively.
That's why it doesn't matter to this nut what actually happened-- the article explains that the soldier probably didn't even know she had a crush on him-- and the father knows this. But what happened isn't relevant at all, what matters is how it impacts him. It would have been explicitly preferable to him that the 16 year old have sex with the soldier but no one ever could find out, then allow to be made public the possibility that such a thing could theoretically happen, even if it didn't. Denial is a psychological defense; reality is not.
That's why his mind-bendingly inane position on homosexuality makes complete sense to him:
Homosexuality is punishable by death, a sentence Abdel-Qader approves of with a passion. 'I have alerted my two sons. They will have the same end [as Rand] if they become contaminated with any gay relationship. These crimes deserve death...
Umm, why not just simply say, "my sons are not gay?" You wouldn't think to tell your sons not to have a gay relationship unless they were, in fact, gay-- and we can assume these kids are not gay; the solution to this crazy logic is that it doesn't matter if they are gay or not; he doesn't know, doesn't care, doesn't need to even think about it-- they don't have identities at all, only he has an identity, everyone else is an extension of it.
That's why he can say, with a straight face, that he has no daughter, that he never had one. Reality doesn't matter, her own identity doesn't matter, only his.
The article seems surprised that this man shows no remorse. That's not surprising at all: narcissists can't feel guilt. They only feel shame. Guilt means you know you are wrong, but the narcissist sees himself as above the law; he either makes appeals to a higher law, or thinks he better understands the spirit of the law as applied to the current situation ("Stealing may be wrong, but right now...")
Shame, however, means you are caught doing something wrong, and so people get to decide how to see you, and see you as less. This is the narcissistic injury. You can't convince the other person you are more than what they see. "Wait, it's not how it looks! I can explain-- why won't you let me explain?!" That's why narcissists aren't loners: they need the reinforcement of their identity from other people, as a bulwark against reality.
You may ask why I focus so much on narcissism, and it is precisely because of things like this. Flip the coin of narcissism and on the reverse is always violence. ALWAYS. Violence isn't always necessary, but it is always available. Institutionalized narcissism is necessarily the penultimate step to war.
Which brings us back to daughters. Women don't count for much as it is; when other people don't have identities, when what they do is always about you, then you can see why being in love with a Nazi, or British soldier, is such a huge issue. She didn't do it-- he did it. He's not banishing her-- "I'm never talking to her again!" -- he's making sure everyone knows he's not going to do it again.
In America, there's always an appeal to genetics as a mitigating factor. He does it, too:
He said his daughter's 'bad genes were passed on from her mother'.Except he isn't saying she is less to blame for her genetically predetermined behavior, of course, he's saying he is less to blame.
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.'
Of course not. It's his video game. How could you leave on your own volition? How did you get volition?
'Even now, I cannot believe my ex-husband was able to kill our daughter. He wasn't a bad person. During our 24 years of marriage, he was never aggressive. But on that day, he was a different person.'No, he wasn't a different person. She was. That's the whole problem with narcissists.