Last week international news agencies reported a crime that took place on the island of Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine. The crime was of a young girl aged 19 who loved fashion and who recently ranked 7th place in a beauty pageant in Crimea.
Katya Koren was just like any other girl her age – she was dreaming of her future, and was taking definitive steps in making it happen. Sadly, Katya’s future was cut short when three young boys, aged 16, 17 and 18 stoned her to death. One of the three young boys claimed that it was a justified murder, as Katya Koren had ‘violated the laws of Sharia’ because of the way she dressed -- fashionably, not even provocatively. Crimea is comprised mostly of Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, with the prominent religions being Christianity and Sunni Islam. It is considered to be a democratic country in Europe, meaning that this crime could happen in any European capital where the country is comprised of different nationalities and religions. In other words, this crime could happen in every European country. These young boys in Crimea, like other Muslim youth in Europe and in the Middle East are exposed to the modern world daily. They see modern programming and use social networking technology such as Facebook, and yet, they chose to kill this beautiful young woman. Where did these boys receive such a monstrous education on values and punishment? I will not understand this new democratic revolution in the Middle East if Muslims around the world do not demand justice to be served and these young boys to be arrested and go to trial for so horrendously misinterpreting the values of Islam. The new face of democratic Islam encourages young people to choose freedom – but what happens when that freedom comes with a price? Katya Koren chose to express herself and her identity and she was murdered for it. Now we must ensure that these boys are prosecuted. These boys abused the laws of Islam and took an innocent girl’s life because they did not consent to her freedom and her choice – and now they should remain in prison for the rest of their lives so that they will no longer live with the freedom to choose.