There’s no honour in ‘honour killings’


It’s been reported that honour-related crimes are ‘rapidly rising’ in the UK.

Clearly, there will be a rise of violence against women with the rise of political religion and Sharia law. When Islamic law itself deems that women and girls are the source of chaos and fitna and calls for the punishment of those who ‘dishonour’ or commit ‘crimes against chastity’, a corresponding rise in ‘honour’ killings shouldn’t be surprising. The rapid raise also has to do with the good work of women’s rights groups like IKRWO, which have exposed the matter. The higher numbers are also because crimes are now being recorded as ‘honour-related crimes’ when they weren’t before.

Moreoever, Banaz Mahmoud’s case was instrumental in bringing things to a head here in Britain at least.

She had complained to the police on at least 4 occasions, including a day before she was brutally murdered. In fact, after one such instance where she had escaped one of their attempts to kill her, the police accused her of being drunk and did nothing.

Her boyfriend recorded her recounting her father’s attempt at killing her, which was used in convicting him and her uncle. All this because she fell in love with the ‘wrong’ guy. Here’s more about her case:

Now that the statistics and facts are available, we need to start holding those responsible to account and part of that is holding Islamism and Sharia law accountable for the rapidly rising crimes against women in Britain and elsewhere.

Here is some background on the case of sweet 17 year old Du’a Khalil stoned to death for love in Iraqi Kurdistan…

As an aside, the term ‘honour killing’ has caused a lot of confusion as honour is generally seen to be a positive term. I think this is due to mistranslation. In Persian, for example, there is a word for honour as something positive and another word ‘namus’ which is used to describe honour killings (ghatl e namusy). ‘Namus’ actually means chastity so honour killings would more accurately be described as chastity killings.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter what we call them. As long as we put and end to them. And if we’re going to begin to do that we need to start siding with women and girls rather than culture and religion.

As I have said many a time before, rights are for people, not cultures, religions or beliefs…

Comments

  1. fredbloggs says

    I can’t help but feel that there has been a “hands off” approach by the UK police in the past few years. It could be interpreted as cultural over-sensitivity, or unwillingness to get involved, in the same way that the police used to be (and possibly still are) loathe to become involved in “domestic” disputes.

    One law for all. Unambiguous. Assertive.

  2. keansimmons says

    Maryam, Banaz Mahmoud’s father and uncle, Mahmoud Mahmoud and Ari(?) Mahmoud were convicted of murder in her case. Have they been sentenced yet? If not, what length of sentence is typical for honor killings in the UK and how long do perpertrators usally serve?

    You wrote: “As I have said many a time before, rights are for people, not cultures, religions or beliefs…” and “Now that the statistics and facts are available, we need to start holding those responsible to account and part of that is holding Islamism and Sharia law accountable for the rapidly rising crimes against women in Britain and elsewhere.” How do we hold Islamism and Sharia law accountable? Pressure through publicity about the kind of dehumanizing effects it has upon those who adhere to it thus, hopefully changing public opinion?

    Would you consider the Mahmoud brothers to be Islamists or are they just ordinary Muslim men?

    • says

      Of course the Mahmoud brothers are ordinary men not Islamists as far as I know but Islamism helps to increase crimes against women. It’s like the example of the death penalty in the US. States that have the death penalty actually have more violent crimes taking place in them than those that don’t. Laws that allow state-sanctioned murder in the US’ case or violence against women only helps to increase violence by ordinary citizens too. Of course the father and uncle have to be held accountable but so does Islamism and sharia law, which is my point. Holding them responsible and accountable means not excusing sharia courts here in Britain, banning them, not allowing cultural relativism and moral relativism to take precendence over people’s lives, saying it’s not racism to defend Banaz and people like her and that citizens have equal rights irrespective of their background… I think as a society and world we need to be intolerant of the intolerable. BTW Banaz’ father and uncle got life; her two cousins got over twenty years. The heavy sentence is also a relatively new development as previously men would get reduced sentences due to cultural reasons – whatever that means…

  3. David D.G. says

    Maryam,

    First, I want to say that I only recently discovered your blog here and began reading it, and that I applaud your excellent work. The injustices that you write about are horrific, and one of the best long-term strategies against them is to keep them held up to the light of day so that we don’t ignore or forget them.

    Second, I have a question about a news article I came across (http://gulfnews.com/news/world/pakistan/pakistan-gang-rape-victim-mukhtar-mai-gives-birth-to-baby-boy-1.944416), and hoped that you could explain something about it as well; I would have preferred to send this to you in an email, but I don’t see any direct contact information provided here.

    The question is, basically, “WTF?” If I’m reading the offhand description of background events correctly, a Pakistani village council actually sentenced this woman to be gang-raped (which means that they also would have to either be, or appoint, a group of rapists to carry out the sentence), and not even for anything that SHE was alleged to have done, but for something her young brother was ACCUSED of doing — not even proved, apparently. (And this alleged “crime” of his was that of “having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan.”)

    So someone accuses a boy of doing something socially frowned upon — and, without even proving the matter, the village council decides to punish him by gang-raping his sister?!?

    My mind reels at this sort of insanity (as does my stomach). What sort of mentality creates a situation like this? PLEASE tell me that this is the most twisted that “justice” gets in Islamic nations; surely there must be an upper limit somewhere!

    ~David D.G.

    • says

      Yes I’ve heard of quite a few cases like this. It’s always the woman that has to pay the price. Even in cases of adultery and rape for example, the man involved usually gets a lesser sentence if any. It reminds me of an asylum case I worked on some years back of a mother whose child was sexually abused by the father. The ‘court’ in Iran told the mother that had she paid more attention to the father sexually, he wouldn’t have needed to abuse the child! BTW my email is maryamnamazie [@] gmail [dot] com.

  4. Mary2 says

    This person went to the police on four occasions and they did not act? Pleas tell me there is at least a police enquiry into their behaviour.

    • says

      Mary2, there was indeed a police inquiry, followed by an IPCC inquiry, neither of which were harsh enough upon one of the worst offenders within the police (in my opinion) but the death of Banaz has given an impetus for better responses within the force.

  5. Ex-Muslim says

    How does the Dua Khalil story relate to Islam? The family was Yazidi, the people cheering on the perpetrators were Yazidi. Her crime was falling in love with a Muslim boy. The chastity culture is found amongst Yazidis, Druize, Bahai and Christians too. I’m not saying Islam doesn’t have a role, because it does, but I think it’s more using convenient parts of Islam to justify a cultural practice. And evidence that Islam coming to a people doesn’t eliminate the jahiliya. It only incorporates it or strengthens it, or makes it part of itself. But jahil belongs to everyone, not just Muslims.

  6. says

    Dr. Mojab, a political refugee from Iran, is a University of Toronto professor and has just testified as an expert in honour killing and its relationship to “culture, religion, patriarchy and violence against women in the Middle East and the diaspora across the world.”

    She told the court: “What masquerades as ‘honour’ is really men’s need to control women’s sexuality,”

    The case involves the murder of 3 teens and the woman who raised them and the trial is on going. I have archived several news articles about the case, including daily reports from the courtroom, as well as a few dozen links to similar news reports around the world. See the following article:

    Victim in multiple ‘honour killings’ attempted to marry just weeks before her murder

    http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/2010/11/victim-in-multiple-honour-killings.html

  7. says

    Maryam, sorry to bother you with this but I can’t find a FTB administration contact info to report this. I just submitted a comment to your post There’s No Honour in Honour Killing, and at the same time selected the option for email notification.

    The confirmation email I received said it was from the blog Rock Beyond Belief, although it did correctly identify your article I was commenting on. I went ahead and hit the confirm button, which opened a new window showing my WordPress subscriptions and it shows I’m subscribed to Rock Beyond Belief for comment follow up for your article. Obviously, there is a glitch I thought I should report, but there was no where to report it but here. You can delete this, I just thought you might want to know about this.

  8. says

    Hello Maryam,
    Thanks for writing this – and for all the good work you are doing. As a libertarian socialist, I frequently find myself frustrated by people who claim to be progressive but who take reactionary positions on issues related to religion or culture.
    I wrote a short piece a while ago called “Why make a fuss about the murder of a brown-skinned Muslim girl?” regarding an ‘honour’ killing here in Toronto. It’s at:
    http://www.diemer.ca/Docs/RadicalDigressions5.htm#December162008

  9. Julia Gasper says

    There is also a tendency to report other forms of murder as “honour killings”. For example the murder in Taufgarten, Germany of a pregant 21-year-old woman by the father of her child. He did not want to pay maintenance and was angry when she told him about the laws in Germany. He tied her up, stabbed her countless times and was carefull also to stab into her womb. Yet it was reported as a honour killing just because he was a Muslim. (She wasn’t .)
    I am glad that Maryam Namazie is taking on the Guardianistas, because at the moment the left-wing in the UK regards it as “politically correct” to defend and apologize for oppressive islamic ideology. Anyone who questions this is instantly branded as “racist”.

  10. Julia Gasper says

    Ulli Diemer is so right abou the contradictory position of leftists who defend oppressive ideologies when found in islam – yet freely treat christianity with open contempt. The fashionable stance is to sneer at American Evangelicals and call them bible-bashers, but how many wives, daughters or concubines have they recently murdered? They are scared of being seen as “racist”, and insist on branding all criticism of islamic dogmas as “racist”.
    In effect we now hav blasphemy laws on behalf of Islam, but not on behalf of Christianity, Judaism or any other religion. It is OK to bash those publicly and in derisive terms.
    The law in England now forbids local councillors from holding “anti-gay” views, yet at the same time the Labour, Libdem and conservative parties all fall over backwards to recruit Muslim councillors.

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