Omissis on Malika

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Malika's story is horrifying, that's for sure. When expressions such as "I'll cut your throat.things are going very badly indeed. They are probably customary expressions when running domestic violence. And violence against women is an incredibly widespread phenomenon. Only this time, unlike usual, the verbal violence was recorded and broadcast online and on TV.

Malika Chalhy has a brother called Samir, her father's name is Aberrazak (Moroccan origin). Her mother is Italian.. He shoots a photo with the whole family veiled: the photo is real - taken from the father's FB profile - it is not a fake, but women wear the veil at a festival. We do not know whether Malika's family is a traditionalist Islamic family. We do know, however, that all media have deliberately omitted to mention that Malika's father is of Muslim background.

It may be that this (difficult) has nothing to do with the family's behaviour towards the girl. It may be that the origins offer a significant key to understanding.

Even more than the terrible, visceral and angry words of the mother, the following are striking brother Samir's threats: 'I'll cut your throat', 'you're a cancerous lesbian'. Nowadays it is quite difficult for a young man in his twenties to react in this way to the news that his sister is homosexual. He may feel bad, be perfectly indifferent or sympathise with her. That kind of reaction speaks of a culture of control, possession and domination that is quite unusual in our part of the world today, among brothers and sisters (it was not so in the past). So of a robustly patriarchal attitude, which relates to the duty to save the honour of the family, transmitted patrilineally and guaranteed by the women of the house who are forced to pass on 'values' and genealogical self-sexism. But here we are moving into the realm of hypotheses.

Staying with the certainties: Malika was treated horribly; the media deliberately chose not to talk about the origins of the family. An ideological choice which is very similar to the silence on 'ethnic' rapes in Northern Europe: the Swedish police itself admitted that it had long kept silent on sexual violence by young immigrants in order not to offer arguments to the xenophobic right. Also in this case it is considered more appropriate and more correct to target generalised homophobia than the culture of patriarchal domination.

But the story of Malika, who rightly rebelled, may perhaps resemble that of the Pakistani-Brescian Hina Saleem more than it appears, killed by her father with the help of relatives because she had an Italian boyfriend and wanted to live like all her friends: 12 years after her death her brother Suleman removed the photo from her tomb at the cemetery because she appeared 'too naked' in that image. She could, I say, but theThis hypothesis must be taken into account. And it cannot be taken into account if, against all deontology, the media conceal part of the news, we might even say censor it, so as not to go looking for trouble and not to appear culturally incorrect.

Omissis su Malika
Hina Saleem

From internal' crossbreed (father from the north, mother from the south), my life and my body have been a battlefield between a violently patriarchal culture, paradoxically embodied by a mother who was herself a victim and a rebel, and a decidedly more open culture that my father, the son and grandson of already emancipated women, was the bearer of. I know those dynamics intimately, and I recognise them every time with deep pain.

Maybe Malika is a victim of homophobia, and is well suited as a symbol of the battle for the Zan ddl -which should focus on this and leave gender identity alone-. Or maybe things wouldn't have been so different if Malika had had a male boyfriend who didn't like her at home. Perhaps, more routinely - and it's all part of it - Malika is a victim of male domination, the kind that fills statistics and in its 'naturalness' continues not to make the headlines.

Marina Terragni


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