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Friday, May 18, 2007
Hard to believe 'honor killings' still happen
ATLANTA, Georgia -- It's nice to be back in Atlanta. I used to work out of the CNN headquarters every weekend, and tonight we will broadcast from here.

My book "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival" just came out in paperback. The response to the book has been amazing. I've received hundreds of letters and emails from people about the book, and it's very moving to know my words have resonated with them. There is a new chapter in the paperback version of the book updating some of the stories I've worked on since the hardcover version was published. I hope you like it.

Tonight on the program, we're going to talk about "honor killings." That's where family members kill relatives, almost always female, because their actions shame a family. It's an ancient tradition that's still going on today.

A recent case that caught our attention happened in Iraq. A 17-year-old girl fell in love with a boy and paid for it with her life. She was stoned to death while people cheered and took pictures with their cell phone cameras. The video is disturbing... (Watch a report on the Iraq stoning death investigation)

It's hard to believe that something like this could happen in 2007. We've seen stories like this before, most notably in Pakistan, but this does not just occur among conservative Muslims. In this case the girl was Yazdi, an ancient Mesopotamian faith. Yazidis look down on mixing with people of other faiths. The boy she fell in love with is a Sunni Muslim. She was killed a month ago.

Today, four people are in jail for the stoning and police are looking for at least four more including the girl's cousin who is described as the "main killer." In addition to the Iraq story, we are going to air a report I did on this issue while I was in Turkey last November.

Also tonight, we're going to talk about the mounting political pressure on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Senate Democrats are pushing for a no confidence vote and even some Republicans, including Senator John McCain, are putting pressure on Gonzales to step down. Is it only a matter of time? If so, what is he waiting for? We're keeping him honest, comparing what the attorney general has said to what the facts are now known to be.

That's it for now, but as you know if you read our blog posts, a lot could change before 10 p.m. I hope to see you then.

-- By Anderson Cooper

Posted By CNN: 5:35 PM ET
It's amazing how woman are treated in most parts of the world. I see how far woman have come in Western culture over the past few decades but it's not enough. Woman here in the US and also Europe have it good and I think we forget that sometimes. Maybe we need to stand up for those women that don't have a voice.

I truly believe woman are behind a lot of social changes in our world and now we women here need to help other woman around the world, not only in the middle east but also in Africa and Asia.

Thanks to 360 for keeping the plight of woman in the headlines! The more we know about these horrible stories the more woman and men that can stand up and demand this kind of stuff is put to an end.
Posted By Lisa, Tampa Florida : 5:50 PM ET
The first time I watched this footage, it was shocking. And the second time, I was almost physically ill. What's hard to believe with these "honor killings," is that they are no longer hard to believe -- just hard to watch, and, impossible to understand.

-Lily, Vancouver, BC
Posted By Lily, Vancouver, BC : 6:04 PM ET
It blows my mind that these "honor killings" still are happening today! What I want to know is what are the police really doing about these killings? And where were they at when this killing occured? Did they just turn a blind eye since I would imagine the police are of the same or similar background? I'm really looking forward to this report to see if any of my questions are answered.

BTW...Welcome to HOTLANTA!! My stomping ground!!
Posted By Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 6:08 PM ET
Why don't you come right out and say that almost all "honor killings" are carried out by Muslims who have an extremist interpretation of Islamic law. There's a tiny percentage for other reasons, but from all the reference reading I've done on this subject, 99.9 percent are by extremist Muslims.

Thanks for keepin' it honest. Will you please add a Chicago stop on the '07 book tour?...
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 6:14 PM ET
It's hard to believe that public stoning is still practiced today. And the fact that people were using cell phone cameras to document it is even more deplorable. However, it is good to see that the police are on the side of the victim and that someone will be made to pay for the crime. I wonder, when the stoning was done; if the family of the girl felt any guilt or sorrow at the loss of their child or did religion get put over and above a mother's love.

As for Gonzales, his antics in getting the wiretapping extended beyond the expiration date were truly deplorable. This whole administration seems to think they are above the law and will to anything short of throwing a tantrum to get what they want, even rushing to the hospital bed of someone who is ill. I really can't wait for November 2008.
Posted By Marcia Warren, MI : 6:17 PM ET
It's completely unfathomable how anyone could justify these horrific "honor killings". Hopefully, if more people become aware of this atrocity serious efforts will be made to eliminate it. Thanks to 360 for covering this issue.

Anderson, congratulations on the success of Dispatches from the Edge. This is a book that I've read several times and yet still find it as moving and illuminating as the first time I read it.
Posted By Fay, Vacaville, CA : 6:19 PM ET
On Gonzales, I believe he is waiting for something- perhaps for the media to shuffle away, bored. Because, really- the coverage is the only respectable thing about this whole mess. It's still shocking that, night after night, there is still intelligent conversation about what dribble that man is paraded out to regurgitate in front of the senate, house, and press. I'm surprised Jeffrey Toobin hasn't had a conniption over all this (or maybe I missed it).
Can the government truly be this disorganized? How can anyone allow this man to appear in court so unprepared? I fully understand that he's not going to be telling the truth any time soon, but it can't be too hard to fabricate even more lies, can it? It's still 2007, right?
After watching the Gonzales coverage and hearing what President Bush has to say about it, I feel especially insulted. How stupid does he think Americans are? Surely we’re not on par with him.
I watched the stoning footage hugging my knees to my chest. I don’t know which is worse- that footage or how easy it was to type more about Gonzales. There are just no words for “honor killings.” Good luck garnering some for your program tonight.
Posted By Kayli, Tulsa, OK : 6:25 PM ET
Your reports from Africa are so stirring and I was glad to see that you devoted an hour to the mysterious continent last night. I had recently reviewed all of your reports from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a project encouraging my fellow classmates to act. Without information it is impossible to make a difference. "Dispatches from the Edge" was such a wonderful book and the follow-ups to your stories have been great.

I was shocked to learn of this stoning. It amazes me to see what one human being can do to another. I was glad to hear that arrests had been made-- people need to be held accountable for their actions.

As for Gonzales-- that's someone who needs to be held accountable. He has lied about his actions and succumb to bouts of selective amnesia. It seems to be the one thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on, so it is time for him to go.
Posted By Kimberly Miller, Lancaster, PA : 6:37 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
Honor killings are so sick! YES! It is really difficult to believe that this goes on in 2007! It is just like you said last night about the men with AIDS in Africa. They rape children because they still think that sex with a virgin is the cure! Such injustice and suffering in the world! We compound our suffering by victimizing each other. We have a lot of work to do!
I am anxious to read Dispatches From the Edge in paperback. Congrats! I throughly enjoyed the hardback. . several times!
It sounds like a good show tonight. I'll have to catch the re~run or podcast as I will be out. Sorry about your tivo!
Thanks for the blog. I always appreciate and enjoy your writing!
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 6:47 PM ET
I will never comprehend the mentality that says one kills a female relative because she has dishonored the family. I don't get the Higher Power that allows that one. I don't get how in this day and age women are still treated as subhuman in the name of anything. And then to have to audacity to take pictures of this with a cellphone? Good grief.

How does one change a mindset, a religion, a belief system that women are less than? How does a woman gain respect from those who don't see her worth? This reminds me how far we as a human race still have to go in valuing every person on this planet. I am so spoiled as an American woman. I am so fortunate to be loved and respected by the men in my life. I hope we do all get it one day. Stoning in the 21st century is just beyond ridiculous. The world community just needs to say enough is enough and hold these people accountable for these atrocities. That's the fantasy anyway.

Awesome job on the book...
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 6:49 PM ET
From our cultural perspective, it seems unbelievable that a young woman would be stoned to death for falling in love with the "wrong man". However, doesn't it make you wonder other countries view our "open society"? I turn on the t.v. or look at magazines and can't miss someone talking about their recent exploits. I would imagine as backwards as we think some cultures are for honor killings, they must think we are all out boozing and having sex with everyone we meet!
Looking forward to the show tonight!
Posted By Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 6:53 PM ET
Truly sad and horrific to say the very least. There is no honor in killing a young girl for no other reason than because she has (had) a friend of another faith. It is safe to say that children and women have no advocates in those countries. Something was left out when those killers were taught the "word." Something called compassion and respect for life...and loyalty to your relatives. We will all pay for our sins...Dua Khalil's cousins will have quite a debt. The only good thing is that little Dua is in Heaven right more pain, no more betrayal, no more stones.
Posted By Karen Omaha Nebraska : 6:54 PM ET

What’s going on in this world? How can someone stone a family member, someone they are supposed to love and protect? I don’t get it. Stonings, killings, wars, mean-spiritedness: Where is the love?

Thanks for reporting on these difficult, not always palatable subjects. When I see something so terrible, I just want to go home and hug someone, or do something nice for someone.

(btw, Anderson, Boulder Colorado is a beautiful place in the summer, and we have great independent bookstores here, in addition to the Big Chains. Please don’t forget about us small town book readers; won’t you come to Boulder for a book signing?)
Posted By Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 6:58 PM ET

Oprah has said on more than one occasion, that the first thing American women should do in the morning when they wake up is to thank God that they are a woman living in the USA at this time. To give thanks that we do not have to suffer like women do in other countries. The most sickening thing about these honor killings is that the men in the woman's own family are doing the beating and stoning. The last thing they see in this life is the face of their own brother or father holding the stone or stick.

Please come to No Cal for a book signing. I thought your memoir was awesome and it is on my top 10 lifetime reads right there with Pride and Prejudice. However, since I already plunked down my hard earned cash on the hardcover last year, I will find a comfortable chair at my local Borders where I bought my book and read the new chapter there. Have fun signing books .
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 7:03 PM ET
Hey Anderson - falling in love is supposed to be the best thing that can happen to you in your life. Dying for love may sound romantic, being stoned for it is despicable."Honor killings"? I don't see the honor in it. I never thought I'd say this, but maybe those jailed for this stoning should receive the same punishment!

I look forward to watching the program tonight, but I don't know that I can bear watching this segment again. I just kept thinking of how she must've felt; the pain, humiliation, feeling utterly alone and abandoned. If we accomplish anything in Iraq, I hope it's wiping out this practice.

Have a safe trip home!
Posted By Christina, Windber, PA : 7:07 PM ET
I watched the stoning video when it first came out this week. I was just so unreal and reminded me of the book The Lottery. Unfortunately this was not a work of fiction. Although I am fully aware women are treated as chattel in many areas of the world (and some places here at home!), I don't think I could actually fathom what is happening in these countries until I saw the video. The fact that authorities stood by and allowed it to happen was as disturbing as the video. In my opinion, the authorities and bystanders are just as guilty as the men throwing the stones. Stoning, raping, giving wives to new husbands for minor infractions, can this really be 2007?

On another note, Anderson I was able to have a copy of your paperback shipped to me by Hudson's because there is not one in the airport here and I really wanted to get the new chapter and DVD. They told me they had been overwhelmed with requests. Maybe you should consider making the DVD available in other bookstores? I am also happy to report the customer service they provided was amazing. The book was delivered to my door in 3 days! I love the DVD, it really compliments the book.
Posted By E.M. SLC, Utah : 7:09 PM ET
I do wish that people would stop referring to these murders as "honor killings". There is nothing honorable about any of this. It is a good thing to be an honorable person, and it's sad to see such a desperately-needed concept soiled this way.
Posted By Rachel, Austin, TX : 7:20 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Welcome back to the blog!

Although I emailed you on May 10 about the new paperback version of "Dispatches From the Edge," I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has not purchased it to do so, I really enjoyed the added afterword, you did a nice job of bringing the reader up to date on what you have done since the hardcover was released. The DVD that comes with the special edition is fabulous and it is a must for anyone who loves "360!"

I was horrified by the video of the stoning death of Dua Khalil! It is impossible to understand the mentality of a culture that would allow this type of crime to be committed. Like the atrocities in Africa you and Jeff talked about on last night's "360," this is just another example of how women are still considered less than equal in some parts of the world. It is sadly ironic that although these people stood around cheering this primitive act, they used their modern cell phone cameras to record it! I will be interested in seeing your report tonight.

The story of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales seems to get more complicated with each passing day; I look forward to your update.

I hope you are enjoying your stay in Atlanta!

Until tonight,
Jo Ann
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 7:27 PM ET
I also watched in horror the footage of honor 'killing'. In reality, it was nothing more than a gang lynching justified by racial/religious prejudice and a family that lacked the courage to endure some level of public scorn. There was nothing honorable in what happened at all.

My first thought that this could only happen in a Muslim country. But then I realized there was little difference between that and a public lynching in Waco, Texas in 1921 or even the atrocities committed during the Nazi Holocaust. Many countries have similar shameful events and practices.

It is only when good people stand up and lead those countries away from the practices of persecuting the weak to the practices of protecting them that 'honor' is truly found.
Posted By Jon, Houston, TX : 7:35 PM ET
Anderson: Congrats on the launch of the paperback version of your book!

This particular "honor killing" story reminds me of the "stop snitchin" mentality. Basically look the other way. It's sad that no one had any guilt towards a 17 year old being brutalized and killed. However, the video did get in the hands of the media so someone in the crowd had a conscience even if it was after the fact.

Cultural beliefs and the subsequent behaviors associated with them are the hardest things to change. Looking forward to the report.
Posted By Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 7:39 PM ET
How can you compare what the Attorney General said since he can't remember anything he said or did. I almost feel sorry for him he's such a joke!
Why would you be amazed at the respose to your book Anderson, it's a great book and with the added chapter and DVD, well worth buying the paperback.
Hope to see you in Canada someday.
Posted By Bev Ontario Canada : 7:41 PM ET

I was wondering when you'd report this story, I saw the footage of this horrific injustice a few days ago, Dua Khalil was dragged in a head lock , this barbaric act , primitive and so under reported still remains alive in this culture, I can't get Dua's little body laying in a pool of blood out of my mind, the recent update as to arrests will be insignificant unless those responsible are put to death. Nothing rule's the heart, Dua's death should not be in vain, she died a slow blow by blow death. It will take a monumental effort to bring justice to this innocent and beautiful little girl.

Posted By Maritza, San Jose, Ca : 7:45 PM ET
Sadly, the tradition of "honor killings" lives on. My last boyfriend was Turkish. One night he shared the story that his last girlfriend,while he still lived in Turkey, was the victim of an honor killing. She had shamed her family by dating a man of another faith. Her father ordered her brother to kill her. Her family never spoke of her again. The family erased all evidence of her existence. My then boyfriend still feels immense guilt for her death. He shamed his family by expressing sadness and speaking of her. He continues to live in California and carries the additional burden that he is no longer welcome in his family's home in Turkey.
Posted By Kat, Moorpark, CA : 7:51 PM ET
Whether it is called "saving face" or "protecting the family name", initiating shame is a powerful and dysfunctional tool of abuse not just limited to the Middle East cultures. Acts of violence induced by shame are just another reason to beat, slap, kill, or humiliate women into submission.

But in the end, it is about power, the abuse of power. It is the rape of thousands of women in Darfur, honor killings in the Middle East, domestic violence in the US, or the marriage selection process by the rogue sect of Mormons in Arizona.

Thanks again for covering the absurdity of honor killings.

Anderson, congratulations on the release of the paperback, "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival".
Posted By Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 7:52 PM ET
I am haunted by this video. I am trying to comprehend how this could still happen in 2007. Watching this child die at the hands of men who should have been her protectors has brought out an anger that I didn’t know I was capable of. These men need to be punished severely sending a clear message to others who still believe this barbaric act should be allowed to continue. CNN please continue to report the progress in this case. This child deserves justice.
Posted By Vicki from Troy, Ohio : 7:54 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Paul Wolfowitz will be gone by the end of June. Surely Alberto Gonzales won't be far behind.

The average government employee is required to have ethics training at least once a year. Do political appointees EVER get any exposure to the notion of right and wrong when it comes to doing their job? They just seem to go about their business knowing their buddy, George, will stand behind them - as long as he can take the heat.

Anderson, I'm reading your book and your stories are very touching. Keep writing as well as doing the "TV thing". We all need to be exposed to the humanity out there and you have a great way of doing that. Take care.
Posted By Kay - Temple, TX : 7:58 PM ET
Yet again, as if the world doesn't already have enough evidence that women have no value in society- another reminder. I find it particularly reprehensible that in most instances of 'honor killings' the male relatives that were supposed to protect and chaperone the female are the ones who commit the murders. I suspect it's because they can't admit they allowed harm to befall her, or that they found she was a thinking being and not a piece of furniture. They cry these events are things of faith, they espouse to place great value on women- yet every action belies that. If honor killings were performed with male victims- well, how thoughtless of me- like that would happen. If certain countries wish to be taken seriously as capable of being respected in the world order- behaviors such as this need to cease, forthwith. These events do not paint a positive face on the men in these countries- only contempt for such brutal and archaic acts.
Posted By Sherri, Oroville, Ca. : 8:11 PM ET
Good thing they had cellphone cameras to capture the stoning, otherwise it would be hard to fathom that this happened in the 21st century. Which goes to show you how devastating religion is worldwide. If it weren't for religion, this girl (and many others like her) would still be alive, there would be no war in Iraq, there would be no Taliban or Al Qaeda, etc. etc. Who needs enemies, if your own family wants to hurt or kill you???

I also often wonder how different things would be in this country, if the president and congress members were elected based on their morals and ethics, rather than based on how much money they can raise and what church/religion they belong to.

Nice to see you blog again, Anderson. Good luck with your book signings! I hope to see you soon, too. Take care!
Posted By Monika, Eagar AZ : 8:33 PM ET
I was shocked when I watched the video this morning. Kicking and stoning to death a family member is BARBARIC(is there a more crude word ). I have read and heard about "honor killings" of women previously ..but reading about this one made me sick.She had to pay with her life just for falling in love? I am at a loss of words
May her soul rest in peace.

Good to hear you had amazing response to the book.
Posted By Pushpa, Tampa , FL : 8:47 PM ET
Anderson, did you forget the west coast for a book signing?? We read too!!
Posted By Wynona, San Diego : 8:56 PM ET
hello Mr. Anderson Cooper it's nice to see that your book came out very nice and now the paperback edition congratulations! I hope you'll have another book signing here at Chicago we are all waiting for you here! thank you and goodluck!

regards to all staff and crew of AC360 and to all people out there at Atlanta.
Posted By Jemillex Bacerdo Chicago, IL. : 9:01 PM ET
I enjoyed the new chapter of your book and I'm somewhat happy to know that "2006 was not so eventful as the previous year," which means there weren't many tragedic events.

I felt sick to hear that stoning. Religious believe should promote good behavior and should make people lead happy lives. Can't people outside Iraq protest not to let it happen again?
Posted By Mio, Oita, JAPAN : 9:15 PM ET
Congratulations on your book. Maybe someday I'll be able to get a copy.

The topic about "honor killings" is interesting. One can wonder why this kind of traditions still exist. Sometimes I would think searching for answers why most abuses were done against "Eves". Name it, battered wives, sexually abused, discriminations in the work place. Is it because of traditons and circumstances or because they were perceived to have lesser voice and were not allowed to stand up.

Ellie Wiesel once said: "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views."

Our world is not silent, we have no right to be.
Posted By Beth Castillo, Manila, Philippines : 9:17 PM ET
Muslims and others in the Middle East decry our Islamophobia. Is it in wonder why some of us might harbor such sentiments when we read about and now see these brutal murders conducted in honor of Islamic of manhood? What manhood? If I've was a member of any one of these cultures, I would bow my head in shame.
Posted By Drew A., Loveland, OH : 9:35 PM ET
Glad to see you back down south again. Looking forward to your coverage tonight even though it will be hard to watch on the honor killings. Is it always the women that are killed? Are there ever any repercussions to the man?

Gonzales would resign if he cared about the country or ethics or honor. Bush should ask him to resign, but I doubt we will see that happen. Its sad when all you can do is count the days until the next election.

Congrats on your book. I have read it several times and have ordered a copy with the DVD from Hudson group and am quite looking forward to that. I'm glad it has been successful for you and wish you continued success in all you do.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 9:53 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
Honor killings are not honorable. Zero tolerance is the only way to begin to end this. Period.
P.S. Congrats on the paperback coming out. I guess you'll be signing another crop of books. More readers, more books sold...means writers cramp is about to unfold..Good luck on the book. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 10:33 PM ET
I find the use of the word honor ironic to describe these atrocities. There is of course, absolutely no honor in this and I wonder if the primitives that indulge in it (more irony with the cellphones videotaping away) have the slightest comprehension of how barbaric they are. I find it demoralizing that in this day and age, we humans find it so easy to take the life of an innocent with such gusto. Where is the compassion? These men are nothing but cowards. I'm certain that all humanity was hoping that one of those policemen might have drawn his revolver and fired a couple of shots in the air before the whole shameful affair began, but of course chivalry is a western concept... Why are we fighting and dying for these people?
Posted By Steve Lawrance Toronto Canada : 10:37 PM ET
Thanks so much for signing autographs in Atlanta! I unfortunately couldn't leave work today, but a friend was nice enough to pick up a copy of the book and get it signed for me!

I am currently watching the show and had never even heard of "honor killings" before, let alone knew they were so widespread. The video literally made me sick to my stomach. Even though we still have a long way to go in regards to gender inequality in this country, learning about how even security officers turn a blind eye to violent murders of innocent women makes me appreciate living here even more.

What, if anything, can ordinary people do to help?
Posted By LeeAnn E., student/paralegal from Roswell, GA : 10:59 PM ET
We are dying for and spending trillions for people who do not share our regard for life. They celebrate by firing rounds into the air which kill people when they land. We should simply annialate them all or mind our own damn business and leave.
Posted By Bob, seattle, WA : 11:13 PM ET
Dear Anderson,
Your program on honor killings cited the view that the Koran does not sanction them. It should be noted, however, that the Koran does treat women as inferior (p.62 and 64) and that polygamy and slavery of women is supported (section on the cow and the Imam). Is it any wonder then that Muslim women are confined to purday, are unable to go to mosques with the men or get an education in many Muslim cultures. Honor killings are just the next step.
This is what I've found in my reading of only a couple of chapters in the Koran.
Posted By Carole Francis-Swayze, Acton, California : 11:39 PM ET
The suffering women endure in these closed societies is staggering. After I watched the footage I was nearly in tears. I wondered how devistated and heartbroken was the mother of this child... who likely had to silently cook for, clean up after and feed the same monsters who murdered her daughter.

These idiots who recorded this with their cell phones ironically and luckily exposed the killers. Without a voice or exposure, women suffer. I hope these men are fully prosecuted.
Posted By Claire, Los Angeles : 1:02 AM ET
Hi Anderson, I watched the show tonight and saw the honor killing report. I had heard about this practice when you went to Turkey and found it appalling then. This time, the footage of the Iraqi girl being kicked and stoned to death literally turned my stomach. It's been two hours since I saw it, and I'm still in shock. "Honor killing" is an oxymoron; there is nothing honorable about it at all. I just don't understand how a society that generally forbids killing as morally wrong practices this horrible tradition. Thanks for covering this story once more and let's hope the international attention garnered as a result of all the news coverage puts an end to this practice to save other women from being victimized by this atrocity.

Take Care,

Edmonds, Washington

P.S. Wait, one more thing...(I was so affected by the Iraqi girl's story that I almost forgot to tell you...) I got my mom a copy of the paperback version of "Dispatches". She likes it and couldn't put it down! She wants to know when you will write another book. Thanks for signing both our books and thank you for all the work you do. Take care.
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 2:26 AM ET
I've heard about "honor killings", but I had never imagined what it was actually like. It was so shocking and seemed like "another world". Of course, each of us in the world has a different background, but it's hard to believe that family members stoned and kicked to kill her. Don't they have the word, "loved one"? Even I, as a Japanese, can understand it and have the word in Japanese.
Anderson, I'm moved whenever I read your book. I've been reading it over and over again. Thanks a lot for your great work!
Posted By Hiroko, Mie, Japan : 2:44 AM ET
It's so desperate watching a girl getting stoned to death. May God bless her. I wonder how her family and community can keep on living, knowing what they have done.
The civilized world is against honor killings. What breaks my heart is that people who support abortion are doing the same if not even worse sin. How can we kill our own baby? Is this not a murder?
Posted By Victor P, Bronx, NY : 2:47 AM ET
What you said was so true. For such an atrocity to still be happening, these people either feel they have religion or some ingrained tradition that backs them up to act as they do.
You know in this day and age it’s inconceivable that women and children still bare the brunt of whatever mad idea may it be religion, tradition or power struggle there are in this world. How old is the human species? How long have we been surviving on this planet? Have we learnt next to nothing?
Thank you for lending your voice to the women and children and also for those who are seldom heard in this world.
Congratulations on your new paperback release. Any chance of you coming to Asia for a book signing?
Posted By LaiPeng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 3:34 AM ET
The image of the girl being stoned was so disturbing that I could hardly watch it. But that is what is happening in this world.

Showing such a horrifying image will certainly make such a big impact that everyone on earth will be concerned about this issue.

I still cannot get rid of what I saw hours ago. Your story made me think what I can do to solve the problem of honor killing.

Again, I really appreciate your decision to broadcast that video all over the world.
Posted By Mio, Oita, Japan : 3:49 AM ET
I was deeply saddened to see the Iraqi girl trampled to death for such frivolous reason. It was even more difficult to comprehend how family members can turn on one of their own, and become participant in such ruthless act. It is one thing to outcast someone for not conforming to the norm and culture, but this is a collective act of murder.

For the sake of other women, I hope justice will be served.

It was difficult to watch, but it is important that you exposed this reality…..
Posted By Hanna San Francisco, CA : 4:39 AM ET
I have seen “honor killings" footage. It is pity that there was not a single mature person or kind individual at that time that can save the life of that 17 year old girl. Education system and culture should be blamed, because properly educated individuals will never do or participate in honor killing. It is unbelievable that honor killing can happen in this modern era. We have to revise our education system to fix the loopholes of society where honor killing is acceptable.

Subhash Janardhan Bhore, Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Malaysia.
Posted By Subhash Janardhan Bhore, Malaysia/India : 5:56 AM ET
I watched the report last night on this and it's barbaric that in this century people are doing this and getting away with it. Watching that crowd watch this happen without even attempting to stop it made me sick and sacred. And there are so many studies that prove you are actually less safe in crowds. But it seems like a lot of things have connections to differences in religious beliefs. If I'm not mistaken, this was the case here because she was involved with a Sunni and that was the problem for her family. It further confirms my belief that religion is not fit for human consumption. I've had a very bad week and seeing this at the end of a week that proved to me that people will continually refuse to put aside their prejudices and warped beliefs even in the face of truth has left me numb but fearful at the same time that the human race will extinguish itself one day through its own stupidity and lack of compassion.
But on a lighter note, I hope you enjoy your stay in Atlanta. My sister lives there and over the years I've grown to love it more than my own home.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 8:20 AM ET
What truly disturbed me about the video the 2nd time I saw it was how the crowd surrounding her were. It was as if they were at a sporting event cheering the people throwing the stones on. How anybody can act like that while someone is being hurt and eventually killed is beyond me. How can this be honorable to kill somebody for loving someone of a different faith? Is religion this unkind and judgemental? It looked more like a barbaric form of entertainment to these men and I hope all of them that were involved with the picture taking and cheering are arrested along with those who threw the actual stones.
Posted By Missy, Los Angeles, CA : 12:06 PM ET
Yazidis, not Moslems. It is an ancient sect from about 2000 BC. Are their customs influenced by the fact that they live in a predominantly Moslem society? I don't know. It's a horrendous crime, all the worse because so many people, including police, witnessed it and did nothing to help, just took videos with their cell phones. They are modern enough to have cell phones but not modern enough to value human life. Appalling.
Posted By Barbara, Los Angeles, CA : 2:32 PM ET
Some religions, for instance, Jehovah's Witnesses, those who practice a conservative or orthodox form of Judaism disaproove of an individual having a relationship with someone outside their faith. They believe that it is incompatible and will undermine one's value system. However, they do not go as far as taking someone's life for falling in love. Religions who murder an innocent woman for romantically embracing someone of a different religion, invalidate their faith and discredit their entire organization. Furthermore, if they claim to believe in and worship God, they blaspheme his name and bring reproach upon it. I wonder if they would have stoned to death a man who falls in love with a woman who is not Yazidi. It is truly disgusting. Have a great time at the book signing, Anderson, and hope to see you on Monday back in New York.
Posted By Mariela, New York, NY : 5:52 PM ET
This is like Romeo and Juliet in an insane asylum. In Shakespeare's writing, the star-crossed teenaged lovers whose families were enemies of each other, killed themselves because they couldn't be together. Their families, upon discovering their dead bodies, weep and wail. In the modern-day Middle East, the male family members of the 17-year-old girl kill her by kicking her and stoning her to death. What kind of father could permit such a thing?! Have they no love for their daughters or their wives (the girl's mother)? They must be totally cold and heartless toward women. Instead of behaving like parents who love their child, they prefer to murder their own flesh and blood. They seem to feel no remorse.
Posted By Nancy, Topeka, KS : 6:36 PM ET
Ah, you're back in my old neck of the woods. I grew up in Atlanta! Isn't is the best? =D

I saw the segment on "honor killings" on Friday, and it was horrible. I can't believe stuff like that still happens.

Take care of yourself, Anderson! =D
Posted By Claire J- Birmingham, AL : 8:44 PM ET
When a person’s life is not the very top value in a society, anybody could be killed in the name of whatever values are considered above it. This still happens all around the world in many different forms. The “honor killings” off course are one horrific example.
Posted By Cristina, Orlando FL : 9:03 PM ET
Although the footage of the "honor killing" was almost unbearable to watch I am so glad that 360 decided to bring the issue out into the light. Nothing can ever be done to help if things remain in the dark and unseen. I thank God all that time that, as a woman I was born in this part of the world. If the worst thing I have to deal with is a man making more money then me......I have it pretty well off I would say.

Anderson congrats on your book being released in paperback. It was a pleasure meeting you in Atlanta this weekend (Saturday). You are one of the most gracious, humble people I have ever met. I hope you enjoy the thing I gave you in the envolope, actually I know you will :) Thank you again
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 10:00 AM ET
It sickens me how people put islam in it, while its fully based on culture. Whoever say islam treats women inferior or any of that sort of ignorant talk, i challenge them to read the quran and see if islam has any sort of thing of killing of the women or 'honor killings'. As a muslim who is surronded with false media and believed most of it because i trusted it, i made it my goal to hear something about islam and research if its true what the media claims. And i read the whole quran just to read about all things related to women, and i found out that islam is the religion thats its book is the only one that respect women as humans. So I challenge all of you to go read the Koran and see if it does allow even one hint of honor killings. And the people out there they should try to differentiate between culture and religion, because they are both totally different.
Posted By Hadiya Monmouth Junction, Nj : 11:31 AM ET
It sickens me how people put islam in it, while its fully based on culture. Whoever say islam treats women inferior or any of that sort of ignorant talk, i challenge them to read the quran and see if islam has any sort of thing of killing of the women or 'honor killings'. As a muslim who is surronded with false media and believed most of it because i trusted it, i made it my goal to hear something about islam and research if its true what the media claims. And i read the whole quran just to read about all things related to women, and i found out that islam is the religion thats its book is the only one that respect women and their rights. So I challenge all of you to go read the Koran and see if it does allow even one hint of honor killings. And the people out there they should try to differentiate between culture and religion, because they are both totally different.

God Bless
Posted By Hadiya Monmouth Junction, Nj : 11:32 AM ET
Sadly, I can believe this phenomenon of so-called "honor killings" is alive and well. I live in Bangalore India, and almost every day I read in the paper stories of women being killed over dowry harassment. The family of the husband often hold down the wife while they pour kerosene on her and light her on fire. Usually it is the women of the household that do it! All this happens every day in India because the husband's family wants more money from the girl's family. She is nothing more than a commodity, a possession to thrown away when she is no longer convenient or worth her keep. We also see here that acid is thrown onto womens' face when they spurn the advances of men whom they have no interest in. These women are horribly disfigured and often die, all because some man believes he should have her.

the world is a sad, sad place
Posted By j. murthy bangalore, india : 11:39 AM ET
Hey Anderson, Loved the new addition to the book (that I have read twice and have referred back to on numerous occassions). If there is another book tour, please don't forget about us out here in the suburbs of Philadelphia!
Posted By Judy, Hatfield, Pa : 12:46 PM ET
No one has mentioned this.. but she was stoned AND had her clothes ripped off while it happened. So, the men who stoned her got a "free show" and probably a quick grope while they were doing it.

Sick Sick Sick Sick
Posted By Sheri, Austin, Texas : 2:13 PM ET
I saw the clip of the HONOR killing and it really sickened me. How could humans do this and watch it happen..I hope the ones responsible are caught and rightly punished. Makes me wonder what kind of world are we living in.
Posted By sherry, cleveland,oh : 2:21 PM ET
Regarding the "honor killing" in reference, the world at large should know that those atrocities do no happen solely in "backward" countries. They happen also right here in Europe. Last year in Germany a young Turkish girl was executed, following a family council, by the youngest male in the family. As required.
Journalists later went in the streets and interviewed young Turks, who, for the most part, kind of "regretted" that the girl was dead "BUT...the family's honor sometimes required harsh measures...etc...".
There is always a "but". And that scares me. And it should scare everybody because, where do we draw the line ? When do we have to say "STOP" to ancient cultural traditions ?.

Posted By Roger Bayet - Belgium : 3:03 PM ET
I guess a man who is a murderer is more honorable than, say, a woman who has been either been raped or simply had the bad luck of falling in love with the "wrong" person.

There are a lot of groups working to empower women through education and work; push for prosecution of these murderers; and educate people in general about the problem. I hope you will highlight some of these groups and what the solutions are. (I would try to remember the groups I had heard about or search online for them, but I am a little bit cranky right now as I am icing my possibly broken foot under my desk at work after having just arrived back late this morning from my travels for my brother's graduation; I know this sounds very selfish considering what these women go through, and I apologize).

For those interested in such issues, there are some articles on women's rights worldwide on (an interesting compendium of news on so many topics from around the world). You can also try and the linked organizations from

The capacity for cruelty never ceases to amaze me, especially when it is towards a family member one has supposedly loved one's entire life. I just don't understand the line between love and hate that makes this and other violent acts like domestic violence possible.

BTW: Is there anyone pressing to change the phrase so often used to something other than "honor killings"? This needs to be renamed to show what despicable acts-- completely devoid of TRUE honor-- these killings are.
Posted By Norah, West Chester, PA : 3:19 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
If I may suggest, perhaps you could make the sentence "In this case the girl was Yazdi, an ancient Mesopotamian faith" in italic and bold, or add "She WAS NOT a Moslem" also in italic and bold, to avoid people making naive comments and judgement on a certain religion. Next time you could probably make a special report on the differences between "religion" and "culture" :)
However it might be not good for media if it were stated clearly that she was not a Moslem--the news wouldn't have been "selling" :)

Siti Kartika
Posted By Siti Kartika, Jakarta, Indonesia : 6:23 PM ET
I saw the 'Honor killing' and it was extremely disturbing. I do hope that the media does not let this story die a silent death... do keep us informed about what happened with the murderers. Interview the mother, sister and other female family members.. neighbors, the boyfriends family... somehow build up some international pressure. Lastly apart from the murder, looks like she was raped or something as her pants were pulled off. These brutes need to be shamed..... Its so unfortunate that this happens in the background of religion. SHAME to all who believe in such beliefs and their DISHONORING humanity.
Posted By Radha, ATL, GA : 9:35 PM ET
Siti in Indonesia said honor killings aren't strictly Muslim -

It doesn't matter how the media slants it, honor kilings are rooted in Islamic extremism. Has anyone on this blog claimed that honor killings are condoned in the Koran? It doesn't matter whether honor killings are carried out in the name of personal pride or family honor or misinterpretation of one's religion, they are done by Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries. Can you link to one news report that shows otherwise?
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 1:30 PM ET
xtina - if you read Siti's post, you'd see that the one news report that shows honor killings are not always done by Msulims is the news report you are posting on!

In fact, this poor girl was killed because her non-Muslim family didn't like her going out with a Muslim boy. She was killed by a group of NON-MUSLIMS.
Posted By Lisa, Bothell, WA : 3:21 PM ET
Yes, I am grateful to be an American woman. But, in this society as well, to be a girl or woman is to be a victim. Most women experience at least one molestation before the age of 18. The victims of serial killings are usually women. Victims of domestic violence are usually women. Until the boys and men in America truly understand that woman are people who, like them, deserve respect as fellow human beings, we will continue to be victims.
Posted By Mary, Beaver, PA : 8:51 AM ET
hard to believe honour killings still happen?not if you live in pakistan!go to southern rural punjab and sindh and you'll find graveyards with unmarked graves.graves of all those who were killed in the name of have no idea what a shame it is to come a from a country where these things happen frequently and yet go unnoticed.the video was incredibly's sad it didn't come as a shock to me!
Posted By naurah,lahore,pakistan : 11:18 AM ET
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