For sweet Du’a

Deeyah just reminded me that yesterday was the anniversary of Du’a Khalil’s stoning in Iraqi Kurdistan. Here’s my speech marking her murder at a conference some time ago:

And here’s sweet 17 year old Du’a last moments – brutally murdered in the name of honour by a mob whilst police stand by merely for loving the wrong boy:


We mustn’t ever forget her or the many others who face honour-based violence and honour killings across the globe.

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. [Read more…]

Muslim music artist and activist speaks out against honour killings

Norwegian born music producer and activist Deeyah, in association with friends, volunteers and supporters, starts an online place of remembrance for victims of honour killings.

Deeyah is a critically acclaimed singer, composer, music producer from Norway and a prize winning human rights activist. 

Born to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi descent, Deeyah encountered harassment throughout her music career and knows first-hand what it feels like to be threatened for stepping outside cultural ‘norms’.

Having worked within human rights for many years Deeyah is passionate about protesting against killings in the name of ‘honour’ – where young women are murdered for making decisions about their life including choice of marriage partner, education, divorce, clothing and the expression of sexuality:

Today honour killings are seen across religious communities and are not limited to one group only. The oppression and violence against women in the name of honour, culture or religion is rife around the world in strictly patriarchal societies and communities. Honour killings take over 5000 lives a year. 

The perpetrators of these honour motivated crimes want all signs of the lives of these young women to be completely wiped out– almost as if these young women never existed in the first place. Through MEMINI, we humbly hope to do our small part in acknowledging the existence of these women and honouring their memory”. –Deeyah

MEMINI is an entirely volunteer driven initiative where wonderful individuals are helping by donating their time to help support this online place of remembrance. MEMINI is dedicated to keeping the memory of these women alive and we invite you to join us in our mission.

Please help spread the word about MEMINI.  We are always looking for writing and research volunteers, if you would like to join us, please email MEMINI.