We would have liked to save you, Saman

No cultural relativism can justify the acceptance of religions or cultures in which women are subjected to men by law, in an odd citizenship. Feminism must be unequivocal on this point.
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(in memory of Nadia Riva)

Saman was killed by her family for refusing a forced marriage and for wanting to live as a non-Muslim Italian girl.

It would have been nice if, like Malika, a fundraising campaign had been started for you before you disappeared. Unfortunately, however, your story and your call for help did not reach the right ears and perhaps they would not have even noticed.

It would have been nice if you had been free to run away from home to leave your family behind and choose your own future.

You have to forgive us Saman, every day we see how so many of us are abused, raped, kidnapped, threatened, blackmailed, humiliated, silenced, mistreated, censored and killed and we feel powerless in the face of this selfish and blind society that continues to use our bodies and our names to maintain inequality and to snatch from us women even the last shred of dignity.

They have not even given you time to live as a woman of age and have decided to deprive you of your autonomy as an adult. The only thing we can do now is to tell your story, in our own way, to do you justice.

Saman Abbas, 18 years old, 'disappeared' more than a month ago from Novellara, Reggio Emilia, where she lived with her family. In her last message she warned her boyfriend: 'If you don't hear from me for 48 hours, call the police'. Thanks also to the testimony of her 16-year-old brother, the police have reconstructed what is unfortunately considered to be the definitive version of what happened -the search continues for the girl's body -the parents' flight to Pakistan, the disappearance of Saman's cousins and uncle.

The media talk about the Pakistani origins of Saman and his family. Instead, it hesitates to refer to the Muslim religion, as was also the case with Malika.They preferred to blame the parents' intolerance of their daughter's homosexuality on an all-Italian homophobia, without considering the weight of the family's cultural and religious roots.

After having Opposed to the forced marriage planned by her parents in Pakistan, Saman had already fled in December. and was living in a shelter in Bologna. She returned home on 11 April only to get her documents back. Saman had already complained to the Carabinieri about her parents' pressure and their refusal to give her passport. Despite extreme difficulties, Saman had tried to get to safety.

It was not enough to save her life. Returning home for a couple of weeks, her determination to be free was definitively punished. The brother testifies to the close supervision by his mother all the time to prevent her from leaving again. Of Saman he says that he was "a Muslim who did not behave like one'.

Avremmo voluto salvarti, Saman

Danish Hasnain, Saman's uncle, 33, is accused of killing her. He was known as a violent person who was referred to as ".bring order' in the Pakistani community in the area. Danish Hasnain is now wanted throughout Europe, while two other men, 34-year-old Nomanulhaq and 29-year-old Ikram Ijaz, Saman's cousins, have already been arrested.

A family business, a problem solved with speed and coldness, a feminicide carried out as if it were a normal daily practice, with effective organisation and no second thoughts. A feminicide commissioned by Saman's parents who, according to the brother's testimony, they acted "reluctantly", as if they were "had to be done..

Some accuse "the current laws on citizenship and residence permit to constitute a further difficulty in the already complex paths of escape from the contexts of patriarchal violence". "The written and signed consent of the husband or father is required to obtain citizenship, even in reported cases of gender-based violence".

The Minister of the Interior Lamorgese announces: 'More paths to integration with Islam'. The tone remains conciliatory. But experience shows that hesitating in firm condemnation puts women at risk. Every feminicide happens at the hands of a man in a relationship with the victim, but one cannot accept on the grounds of tolerance a religion that inferiorises women and restricts their freedom.

It is impossible to remain indifferent to the fact that the different laws for men and women. That among us live many women forced to respond to a behavioural code that subjugates them to men, with the indifference of institutions. Sharia cannot be tolerated as a parallel law.

NUDM puts Saman's case on the same level as the 45 other women killed by men in Italy. But one cannot overlook the context in Saman's case. Swould erase the reality that you have experienced.his daily struggle with two parallel worlds, Italian law outside the home and Islamic law inside the home. Nudm mentions Tiziana Dal Pra - Founder of the native and migrant women's association Trama di Terre, which opened the first shelter for girls who refuse forced marriages in Bologna in 2011: "Girls who flee forced marriages want to choose how to live, self-determination, love. Saying that their goal is to follow the 'Western model' does not help to understand reality. The problem is not culture, but the denial of rights.

But in this way we risk losing contact with the reality of the victims of this violence.

As he stated Maryan Ismail in a recent meeting with RadFem Italy, women coming from an 'eastern model' have the law at their disposal, should they want to report. But as we have seen State laws are not a sufficient barrier to the violence of Islamic patriarchy. As if cultural relativism were not enough, NUDM also used Saman's case to sponsor Zan's bill against homobi-transphobia.

Feminism must denounce and condemn any system, religion, belief or custom that subjects women to physical, psychological, economic, institutional and emotional mistreatment and places them in a position of inequality with men.

When law and faith are one and create unbreakable codes, coexistence with the legislation of host countries becomes very problematic, and women's freedom is under threat in many European countries.

To deny the existence of customs and traditions that keep women in a position of subordination, or even to welcome and celebrate them as one does the hijab or other types of clothing that conceal the female body as impure is to deny the existence of customs and traditions that keep women in a position of subordination. contribute to keeping these women in a state of submission.

It is no longer possible to reconcile the freedom of women with systems that consider women as the property of men, not only in the imagination but also by law.

Sara Punzo

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Much of the news published by Feminist Post you will not read elsewhere. That is why it is important to support us, even with a small contribution: Feminist Post is produced solely by the voluntary work of many people and has no funding.
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