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During my daily blog hopping, I was stopped cold by a reminder that this month is the anniversary of the so-called honor killing of 17 year old Du’a Khalil. Just like a year ago, I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the horrible fate of this young girl, barely older than my own daughter.

“There but for the grace of…” keeps going through my head like an endless loop.
If we had been born in a different place, and within a different religion, it could be my daughter being stoned to death–for the unforgivable sin of being young, female, and in love.

If we had been born in a different place, and within a different set of social and religious mores, it could be my son who may have felt it necessary to avenge the family honor by taking his sister’s life.

There are all sort of horrors in the world.

There is also good in the world. Let’s work to make the latter stronger, wider, farther reaching.

From the Nothing but Red Press Room page:

NEW YORK (04/07/08) — Nothing But Red, the anthology of literary and visual arts inspired by the impassioned plea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon in response to the “honor killing” of 17-year-old Du’a Khalil Aswad, is now available for purchase. Sales of the anthology, which is currently available in multiple formats at www.lulu.com/nothingbutred, will benefit the international human rights organization Equality Now.

“I’ve met some amazing people who’ve worked incredibly hard to put this book together over the last year, whether as contributors or volunteers,” said Skyla Dawn Cameron, originator and editor-in-chief of Nothing But Red. “We can’t change Du’a’s fate – but we can let the world know that there are people who still care. That’s where this fight really happens: with each of us, challenging ourselves to do something to make the world better.”

The 313-page collection, which can be purchased as a trade paperback for $15.95 or as a pdf-format e-book for $5.95, is being released on the one-year anniversary of the death of Aswad. An Iraqi adherent of the Yazidi religion, Aswad was stoned to death by family members and neighbors; her brutal beating and murder was captured in a graphic video and spread on the Internet.

Shortly after learning of the murder, Joss Whedon, creator of the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, penned an emotional response on the website Whedonesque.com. His post, which built from the topic of Aswad’s murder to the contemplation of misogyny’s transcendence of culture, religion and era, ended on an appeal to his fans to do something active to change the cycle.

“True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself…” Whedon wrote. “Her face was nothing but red.”

Taking its title from those words, Nothing But Red is a response to Whedon’s call to action, which is included as an essay in the volume. A full list of contributors can be found at nothingbutred.wordpress.com.

Equality Now was chosen as the recipient of the anthology’s proceeds due to Whedon’s public support of the organization and its mission to “[voice] a worldwide call for justice and equality for women,” as stated on Equality Now’s website.

Visit lulu.com to get your copy.


  • To see this once more, makes me cry all over again. How can people be so cold as to take someone’s life? That’s the question I keep asking myself. Those people gave no mercy to Du’a Khalil, and for that they should all be punished.

    It’s a sad world we all live in. And every effort in making it better helps.


  • Thank you so much, Azteclady, for blogging on this. I’m proud to be a contributor to the anthology. As soon as I read about it coming together, I had to submit to it.

    Every time I post about it, I start crying all over again. For Aswad and for many countless others.

    I hope it sells a mint. I hope it raises awareness.


  • I just can’t understand where the honour is in killing unarmed women and girls.


  • There are all sort of horrors in the world.

    There is also good in the world. Let’s work to make the latter stronger, wider, farther reaching.

    Well said.


  • […] Posted on April 11, 2008 by shilohwalker After a very insane week, this post over at Karen’s made me pause, made me reflect, made me think. “There but for the grace of…” keeps […]

  • Thank you for blogging about this. It’s so important to remember things like this.


  • […] but don’t know much about them or how you of all people might do something about it? Read this post by Azteclady over at Karen Knows Best; read Joss Whedon’s original 2007 post; and then pick up a copy of the book, Nothing But Red […]

  • Just reporting back, I followed the links above and sent an email about my concern about this issue to the Kurdistan Regional Government and received back a response from a Viahn Rahman who is the Global Website Director for the KRG. He said they don’t have any jurisdiction in the matter and the email should have gone to the Iraqi Interior Ministry instead. Now I’m trying to find an email for them.


  • God, this is important. Thanks for posting this, Azteclady.


  • I’m one of the NBR organizers, and I just wanted to thank everyone for spreading the word about the project–so far this week we’ve raised nearly $400 for Equality Now. All of the volunteers involved really appreciate the support. 🙂 Every blog helps!


  • *sigh* I saw this on Angela James’s blog, but I still haven’t updated my own. (Bad, Ann!) Doing it tonight.


  • ERS
    April 11
    7:51 pm

    Thanks, AztecLady, for blogging about this. I am also one of the contributors to the anthology “Nothing But Red.” If anyone would like to read my submission, it is posted in full at:


    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”


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