In my journey and quest
Of being a loyal wife, a loyal mother
I found a husband who made me lose myself finally to death
and to whom nothing mattered more than his ambitions.
The most ironic kind of love was celebrated when a husband made his wife’s father and sons throw hand-sized stones at her. Each stone that hit her body as she bled was a tear from every eye which knew she was innocent. A, young 35 year old kind, beautiful yet simple woman, Soraya Manutcheri, was stoned in the square, in the remote village of Kuhpayeh, Iran in the dark year of 1986. What for? For a man who said “I can’t wait”. For a man whose unfulfilled ambitions, and hunger for power and money were bigger than even his wife, and for which he could go to any extent. Why did she pay such a price? Lack of women rights, or perhaps for being such a good person. Why was she tortured physically and mentally everyday by her husband? For the very reason, that some people have a stereotypical mentality of referring to this world as a man’s society. For the reason, that she was not financially independent, and secured. The most important point which needs to be reflected upon here is that, to what extent is any of this acceptable. Think over it. This article will revel upon the story of Soraya, the ideal kind of husband, the lack of women rights in the middle- east countries, and the act of stoning. This article should be read in my opinion to know the story of a woman as helpless as Soraya, to get the right kind of thought to save more women from becoming Soraya.
Soraya Manutcheri, an uneducated home-maker like many women in the middle-east, a one of a kind lady, a great mother, a good woman, a good wife who unfortunately was crushed by the cruel hands of an ill-fate. The countdown of her “cruel –end” began from the very moment she was married to Ghobran- Ali, an ill-motivated and over ambitious husband. He was a prison guard least bothered about his wife and two daughters due to his “male chauvinistic” mindset. After 20 years of a long marriage, his desire “for more” in life started over-powering him, and he showed his desire to marry a 14 year old kid called Mehri post divorcing Soraya without providing her with any financial security. And, when she denied his terms, he brought his “wild dog” side forward and framed her into an undue act of adultery by blackmailing Hashem for whom she worked. And, eventually got her stoned to death by everyone including her father. Even her tears did not stop him from doing this. What kind of a husband is that for god sake? No emotions? And, when this was not enough the local authorities did not even let her body be buried in a manner human enough (her bones were eaten by the dogs) and her death was finally celebrated by the localities. What a shame!! Even within their marriage, he used to beat her brutally on almost everything (from not listening to him for the “wrong things” he said to her raising a voice against the wrong he did), he used to make false complaint against her i.e.: she ignores him and so on. He even turned her two beautiful sons against her by persuading them for a better life in the city, e.g.: by persuading them for a better life in the city as revolutionary guards. Can a life be better like that by cursing your own mother? His ambition on a final note took him nowhere and he never got married to that 14 year old “baby” as her father was executed, and the deal was that if he saves the father then he gets to marry the girl.
Is this what an ideal husband does? Is this how decent people behave? Is this what he makes her go through? No. The “No” is a definite! This is how a beast behaves. Men who do this kind of brutality to the women who made his world, home, and gave birth to his kids are a shame to the society. Men who treat women as subordinates and willing slaves should be treated with no kindness, and also should not be allowed to be a part of the society. The ideal husband respects his beautiful wife. She is beautiful to him no matter what, after all she was the one who gave him a world as beautiful as he desired. He surely does not beat her or hurt her and neither lets anyone else hurt her at any cost. He understands her feelings, and protects them from the big bad world. He even does not let her interests being harmed, and is highly concerned about all her interests and health. He supports her against the world in thick and thin and fights for her. He even makes sure that he stands up for her, and never betrays her in any circumstances, rather makes her taste love as the food she always wanted to eat by providing her with the loyalty she deserves. He is the man who will help her achieve her goals and dreams. And, be something worthwhile in life and even give wings to her dreams. He will respect her views and their privacy and will try to build a level of communication and understanding wherein they have the ability to sort things out on their level. He makes a lot of efforts for his relationship by securing it in all ways. He trusts his woman he made vows of love to and knows her in and out and knows what she can do and what she cannot. He never victimizes her in any manner, or makes her go through a bad phase rather he teaches her the right things and gets her all the happiness she deserves. He steals the stars from the sky for her. He is also a friend and a confidant and never sacrifices her for his own ambitions. So, he can never be Ghobran-Ali. Hence, proven.
An act as evil as stoning can be nothing but condemned. The world has refuted stoning on many levels and through many angles. Not only the angle of women but homosexuals as well!! The international body of United Nations has a twin fold view on stoning as discriminatory and stereotypical because women are more likely to suffer from stoning, or get a sentence of stoning. There are a multiple women cases. From, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtani to Soraya Mantucheri to Sara Jaffar Nimat. Also, stoning in my perception is a brutal punishment and should be strictly channelised, for instance to rapists and murderers, and those who misuse law like Ali. Stoning as a punishment should be mostly banned as it is a very cruel penalisation, and is not universally acknowledged. The mechanism for capital punishment should be so strong and well- structured in a manner that it cannot be misused and that can be first done with complete education for women, by giving more rights to the culprit and the weak. And, by trying to psychologically tax those who are insensitive towards such acts!
The story of Soraya is an incident that belongs to each life on this planet. It is each one’s responsibility to ensure that another Soraya does not take birth. Another, Hashem does not take birth who due to fear refused to own up to the truth. Soraya will always be remembered, and she will help us remember how much more women need to be empowered. And, as well as to what extent the weak is subjugated by the strong, and how much more the weak needs to be empowered. The society needs to be very clear on one line, and i.e. laws are to protect people and are not meant to be misused for one’s own interests. Terrible, are those who see law as a stepping stone to achieve their selfish desires. It only shows their character, and what substance they are made of. Also, it is very important to divide resources in a manner which is balanced and not a concentrated division to reduce such criminal like thoughts as well as people. Balanced division of resources will also make the society more equitable. And, more equity shall lessen crime in society. Major institutions like World Bank, thereby, must intervene, make a plan of action and take up the task of balanced division of resources. This will do major good to the society. It’s high time the people of the Middle East countries start taking their women a lot more seriously and start changing their thought process. And, educate them and give them more rights related to education, property, and speech because the voice of women is not valued in such countries where as they should be. Because change begins at home and husbands in our society need to be very clear that in a marriage they must support and love their wives for all the right reasons, and that is the only thing which makes them a man genuinely.
It is time for some change! So, be that change, see that change, and make that change!