All Afghan immigrant Morsal Obeidi wanted to do was integrate into German society. Her reward for wanting to be part of German society? Her own brother killed her for bringing shame upon the family.
At age 16, all Morsal Obeidi wanted was to live the way other girls in Germany do. She paid dearly: Obeidi’s brother stabbed her 20 times. Her murder has sparked a renewed debate in Germany about the failure of many immigrant families to integrate into Western society.
Morsal is buried one week after her death. In the morning, the women wash the body, cleansing it of its earthly sins, in keeping with tradition.
The teenage girl’s thin body is covered with stab wounds, evidence of the knife that was plunged into her torso. The women wrap the body in linen and lay it into a coffin made of a light-colored wood.
At noon, six men lift the coffin to their shoulders and begin walking, leading a procession of 200 men and women dressed in black. Ghulam-Mohammed Obeidi, the father — who lost his daughter and now, more than likely, his son in a single night — is at the center of the group. They walk along a path that leads to the new Muslim section at the back of a cemetery in Hamburg’s Öjendorf neighborhood, to where a group of construction workers stand leaning against an excavating machine. The women stop as the men carry the coffin to the grave, which is lined with boards, a rectangular hole in the ground with pale sand piled up around its edges.
This is where the story ends, with the body of a stabbed girl being brought to her grave. Her name was Morsal Obeidi, and she was 16. Born in Afghanistan, she died a few days ago, in a parking lot in Hamburg.
In the years between her birth and her death, Morsal Obeidi tried to lead the kind of life she believed was correct, the kind of life other girls in her school led. Perhaps she was trying to do precisely what politicians and social workers are constantly encouraging immigrants to do: to become integrated.
A Life in Two Worlds
But her parents and her family — especially Ahmad, her oldest brother — were an obstacle to integration. In the end, Morsal Obeidi was torn apart by the need to live a life in two worlds, and by the daily struggle to be the kind of person she wanted to be.
Morsal met with Mohammed, her cousin, on the evening of May 15, a Thursday. They were sitting in a McDonald’s restaurant. Morsal had only been back in the city for a few months, after a prolonged visit with relatives in Afghanistan. It was spring in Hamburg. As they ate, Mohammed thought about the plan that he was keeping a secret from Morsal. It seemed harmless enough. Mohammed said later that Ahmad, Morsal’s brother, had asked him to bring his sister to the Berliner Tor train station. “He said to me: ‘I want you to meet Morsal today. Then walk to the Berliner Tor with her. But don’t tell her anything. I just want to talk to her.”
It seemed harmless enough.
Another innocent victim of islam, as it continues its assault on all things Western.