My hopeful heart absurdly believed that they will not kill Mrs. Abbas; never. Still, they killed Mrs. Margaret Abbas too. The reason was apparently her opposition to the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. But, don't believe it. For if it were true, they would have not killed her out of the blue, but would have used her to betray invaders. This was what I thought; so does Dr. Tahsin Abbas, her husband and all those who know that it is not nationalism or ardor, but brutality that has brought these people to this point.
Margaret who was nicknamed as Madam Abbas by Baghdad's citizens was an Irish woman from Dublin. Thirty three years ago she was one of those women whom Joyce describes in Dubliners; na´ve and chaste, humanist and faithful, like rural people. When 22, she met a young Arab, Iraqi, Moslem man. They studied together and married and despite all the objections, this Irish blond girl converted to Islam and wed Abbas. A couple of years later, Abbas returned to his homeland, with Margaret following him; without any dispute; they settled in Baghdad where she lived to the end of her life. In a radio program, one of her friends said she regarded Baghdad as her home, because once she opened her eyes and came to know the world, she was in Dublin only for ten years and spent the rest of her youth and adult years in Baghdad. Neither the eight years war with Iran or the invasion of Kuwait, nor the American attack on Iraq made her leave this country with the passport that revealed her origin. Instead she founded a charity organization, helping oppressed Iraqi women and children. She acted like their representative, as in the case of the first American attack on Iraq in 1991 when she announced her relentless position against this assault on many TV programs broadcasted in those days; shouting at Americans and calling them barbarians, reminding the world of Iraqi defenseless women and children. She became active in this second war too, devoting her time to defenseless children and women again. She was their hero this time.
Nobody remembered her original homeland anymore. Madam Abbas was now a genuine Iraqi. She stayed in Iraq during bombardment, in those mortal days of Iraq; until last month when the news of her kidnapping was released. Those who knew her, including foreign journalists who had heard her serious opposition to US led military attacks with their own ears; those children who had forgotten their orphanage by virtue of her presence; women who had found a job and a piece of bread or a roof over their heads by virtue of her efforts in establishing civil institutions in this regard; none of these people believed the news of her kidnapping; until her picture was broadcasted asking Tony Blair to take out his military forces from Baghdad. [This emphasis on Baghdad and not Iraq, betrayed the true face of her kidnappers, their religion and nationality.] In those films, she merely repeated all the things that she always said, but this time horrified, worried, tearful. That is why specialists assured the world with a smile that because of her sympathy with her kidnappers she would most probably be safe. Common sense suggested that her life could not be in danger and she was kidnapped only because her kidnappers wished the world to hear them. With the passage of time, Iraqis started to walk in the streets of London and Dublin with her photographs. In interviews held with them, some said how much they are indebted to her. 'Just a mistake,' it was said. Therefore, British Moslems who had sent a group to Iraq, the month before, to save Mr. Bigley's life in vain, did not consider it necessary to do the same. It was impossible for the people of Baghdad to kill her, for after thirty years she was indeed an Iraqi citizen now.
Until Algerian TV, broadcasted the film in which a man with covered face shot a few bullets at Madam Abbas. Her husband Tahsin could not believe it. Shocked and amazed, he sat in front of cameras and said, I think this is film is fake. We can imagine that he was remembering thirty years ago when this girl came to Baghdad because of her love for him. And how easily she turned into an Iraqi! She learned their language and stayed in Iraq during bombardment and war. Now, what could he say to their children and Margaret's sisters?
When ten thousands Iraqis have been killed so far, it is hard to cry just for one of them. But here, this is not the question of calculation of kilos and numbers and quantity. Surely, the life of all human beings has the same cost. But this story has another side that goes on in the world of today.
If life is a dream and we are all different personalities of a computer game, this game has both good and bad guys, like movies. Accidentally, the good ones are those who like American Western movies take revenge. But we should be careful. The one who kills a woman like Madam Abbas is not the bad guy of the story. George Bush is probably the bad one. These pseudo-beetles do not believe in the human game called morality and are like a virus that attacks computers to shut down the system. Virus does not think, does not have any ideals or ideologies, otherwise it would pay attention to people's birth-certificates. If it could think, it definitely knew how it could use this humanist woman to make the world hear its 'demands for justice.' But it can not think; it has no mind. To a pseudo-beetle, these things are merely a kind of amusement, diversion. He wants to kill. He wears a pair of loose trousers and he burps. Surely, you have seen him in films; carrying an R.P.G Gun on his shoulders, he thoughtlessly puts his steps on the stage in the hope of becoming somebody in the neighborhood and the city. For when he goes into the air with the bullet of the other one shot while sitting behind a computer, looking at him with a pair of ultra red glasses, his mother comes out from behind the curtains crying mournfully. This becomes an interesting scene of a movie photographed with real bullets and when it is shown to the whole world, some become 'supporters' of that loose-trousers-wearing man with an R.P.G on his shoulder and some become the fans of the other one. But who supports that covered-face man who shots at Madam Abbas? This is an interesting question, it seems.
Why interesting? Because the work of these lovers of violence leads the real peace-lovers and real anti-violence, anti-war people into a dead-end and make them apologetic for their deeds. If there were a little bit of thoughtfulness in that covered-faced gunman, he knew how he was serving the bad guys of the story.
War is bad. Shooting is bad. Manslaughter is a merciless sin. Persian poets even regarded sheep slaughter a merciless sin. But wars too, are under the rule of a kind of morality and mercy that distinguishes humans from pigs; and the eyes of pigs, like those of these pseudo-beetles are shut by mindlessness.
That's why in any commotion, there are also vultures and pigs. In this transparent world which despite the presence of all that hidden violence still regards man as the essential principle and opposes war and violence, it is obvious where the fate of those who absurdly try to call this violence ardor leads It is from this that we can realize why people like American Neo-conservatives regard invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as their religious and human task, vocation. They see these things and ask the world, should we leave them alone? And alas, even the humanitarian world nods in regrets.
Some twenty years ago, the openings of Kandou-aan Tunnel in the north of Iran were closed due to a serious snow storm and hundreds of cars were caught in it and many suffocated to death. I saw how some took a long breath and ran into the tunnel to save a child or an elderly from death, and I wrote about it at that time. I saw two people who died in this way. It was a strange scene. Regretfully, I also saw how some went in that tunnel to rob a watch or other precious things from the dead. It is easy to say it was poverty driving them to act as such. But it wasn't poverty. It was something greater, something that has accompanied humanity throughout the history of mankind. The pain and dilemma of these two different human species is that they have to live together. And god forbid when they are jailed in the same cell. Their pain and dilemma is that one should also think of the other who is bloodthirsty, murderous, and watchful not to lose the chance of robbing a watch from the wrist of a dead. Alas that in this world where people like Margaret- that is quite obvious to which human species they belong - fall in the hands of the other and die. Yet I tell myself that the girl who devoted her life to Baghdad did not die in vain. With her death, we can see more and more faces cursing violence and murderousness.
Now Margaret Hassan's plaque is pinned to the chest of fundamentalists; like that of Gandhi that is still pinned to the chest of Hindu extremists and that of Kont Bernadet and Eshaq Robbin pinned to the chest of Zionists and that of Sadat and tens like Sadat pinned to the chest of Islamic fundamentalists. And these plaques, not only will be counted on the Day of Justice, but are determining the fate of pseudo-beetles now and here as well. There are now not many people - except their own lot - singing in their miserable chorus. I just heard the voice of Dr. Abdollah, the head of English Moslem Society, shouting from the radio cursing fearfully those who killed Madam Abbas, saying "Where does Islam dictate such murderous deeds?"
... Payvand News - 12/1/04 ... --