This post contains graphic descriptions of violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Compared to the 50-something prophet Muhammad’s marriage to a 6-year-old, 39-year-old Lebanese Muslim Rabih Ahmad’s marriage to 19-year-old Rudayna Melaab shouldn’t seem all that shocking by comparison. The marriage wasn’t even reported to have been arranged, which is bizarre for a union in the Islamic community. The wedding was performed by the sheikh of Ahmad’s mosque.
The couple eloped together, with Melaab’s parents firmly content that she had married a fellow Druze (sect of Shia Islam) Muslim. However, Ahmad was no Druze – he had lied. He was actually a Sunni. Melaab’s parents caught word of this and were furious. They invited the couple, who were now living together, to visit them for dinner and reconcile.
As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, there was no reconciliation – we’re dealing with Muslims here, after all. Melaab’s brother and father kidnapped Ahmad and dragged him to the town square. There, they stripped him and repeatedly kicked him before one pulled out a knife and severed his penis. After inflicting that grievous wound, Melaab’s father and brother weren’t done – they used the knife to slice open his sack before impaling each of his testicles. Ahmad was left in the square to die – and woke up in a hospital bed.
He told police and news reporters the entire story of what had happened. “They cut it off to set an example,” he said. Honor-related violence is common in Islamic communities, where such a thing as marrying someone of a different branch of Islam can be as severe as a capital offense. Since the attack, Melaab and her family seem to have vanished.