They have made Noorjahan stand in a hole in the courtyard,
there she stands, submerged to her waist with head hanging.
They're throwing stones at Noorjahan,
these stones are striking my body.

Stones are striking my head, forehead, chest and back,
they're throwing stones and laughing aloud, laughing and shouting abuse.
Noorjahan's fractured forehead pours out blood, mine also.
Noorjahan's eyes have burst, mine also.
Noorjahan's nose has been smashed, mine also.
Through Noorjahan's torn breast, her heart has been pierced, mine also.
Are these stones not striking you?

They're laughing aloud, laughing and stroking their beards,
there are tupis stuck to their heads, they too are shaking with laughter.
They're laughing and swinging their walking sticks;
from the quiver of their cruel eyes, arrows speed to pierce her body,
my body also.
Are these arrows not piercing your body?

Note: tupi = cap. The poem above is based on a true story about a woman called, Noorjahan. She was the daughter of a landless peasant in Bangladesh. Her husband divorced her and later, she remarried. The religious leaders in her village one fine day declared that her second marriage was against Islamic Law. She was dragged from her house at dawn, buried up to her waist in a pit, and publicly stoned for alleged adultery. Having being humiliated and reduced to nothingness, she committed suicide by drinking insecticide. The poem was written by Taslima Nasrin, a Bangladeshi poet and translated by Carolyne Wright in the book, "The Game In Reverse."

I ask you... what gives the religious leaders the right to act as they did? Are their actions based on Islamic Law, our Eastern Culture, or perhaps a bit of both? I think we need to educate ourselves and fight the injustice!

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