I heard tonight from my friend who has been trying to help the young Muslim woman in danger (the one I wrote about last night). If you missed that earlier post, the subject is a young woman from a Muslim country who is living in the United States. She is not an American citizen, but is here on a visa. Her family back home has demanded that she return and enter into a marriage against her will. And here in America, her family members have threatened to kill her if she doesn’t submit. My friend has been trying to help her escape this situation. I wrote last night on the blog to ask you readers for ideas on how to deliver this young woman, whose name I do not know, from her tormentors.
And you responded, both on this blog and (more often) in private e-mails to me, offering assistance. I passed on all that information to my friend, who warned me last night that the young woman was terrified of being killed by her family, but also terrified of what defying them would mean: being alone and penniless in a foreign country, with no guarantee that she would be granted asylum, and even if she were, no confidence that she would ever be able to feel safe from honor killing. The young woman faced an agonizing choice.
She has made a decision. My friend wrote to me, and asked me to post this for you all:
I spoke with the young lady at length. Please understand there are far more factors than Rod has been able to disclose here. After much consideration and prayer, the young lady feels the most responsible thing she can do is return home and submit to her culture. I truly wish I could give you the details which led to this decision because if you knew them, you would realize this is not the coward’s way out. This is a strong, courageous young woman choosing to give up her freedom to protect others.
I would like you to know she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, encouragement, and love from complete strangers, and I lost count at how many times she said thank you. She asked if I would continue to pray for God to either change the options in the situation or send her a husband who sees her as God does and treats her with honor and respect.
I have to say in working with women in violent situations, I have seen many submit to their abusers. I have never seen one submit with more courage, strength, or honor than I am witnessing with this young lady. If it is possible to consider someone heroic for returning to a violent situation, then she is a hero.
Thank you for your hearts, generosity, and wondrous compassion. You are beautiful people.
I can tell you this: the country to which this poor woman is returning is an American ally, and a place where murders and other atrocities are common against women, non-Muslims, and Muslims who do not fit the majority’s idea of what a Muslim should believe. My heart is so hardened against that country and its ways now. If you can know the heart of a nation by the way they treat their weakest and most vulnerable, then this is a wretched people.
I know, I know. We are barbarians in our own very American way, as I point out almost every day in this space. Still, my God, at least we don’t do that to our women. Again, I don’t know the name of this poor woman, or the names of her immigrant relatives in this country who physically abused her (my friend saw the evidence) and who are terrorizing her into accepting a living death, but I hate that America granted citizenship to such monsters. We had better open our eyes to the sort of people we let into this country. Bastards like these men, with their cowardly code of honor killing, should stay abroad, macerating in their own filth.
I trust my friend, who knows far more facts than I do about this case, and who is herself a woman of great courage integrity, and a fighter, when she says that she stands by this young Muslim woman’s choice to sacrifice herself. But she does not leave for some weeks yet, and I will be praying for a miracle that delivers her from the fate her family has decreed for her. I am not yet giving up hope that she will ultimately take the underground railroad that many of you wrote to me offering to be a part of.
This gets to me. It really, really does.