It’s the Media, Stupid

by Circle or Line

No, honor killing in the West is not – yet – the biggest problem in the world. Rather, the issue – as always – is the media. Let’s take this nice and slow.

Experts have agreed that honor killings, which dominated headlines after the grisly family murder in Canada, are driven by cultural and tribal reasons and are not sanctioned by Islamic teachings.

“There is nothing in the Quran that justifies honor killings,” Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in England, told CNN.

“There is nothing that says you should kill for the honor of the family.”

Nice choice of words. Quite correct. Nothing in the Quran justifies honor killings. It’s just been interpreted to say that if you do happen to, you know, kill your family, there should be no consequences for your actions. Robert Spencer:

A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

But it’s not “honor killing”, it’s not it’s not it’s not it’s not lalalalalalalalalala …

Naomi Lakritz:

“Were Shafia murders `honour killings’ or domestic violence?” asked a headline in Monday’s Toronto Star. “Canadians are debating how to correctly describe the Shafia murders – is it domestic violence or honour killing?” the story began. It quotes, among others, Laura Babcock, president of a communications firm called Powergroup, who tweeted: “Killing women and girls because they are female is femicide NOT Honour Killing.”

The United Nations Population Fund says 5,000 women lose their lives in honour killings each year around the globe.

Hm. Well if the U.N. says 5,000 I’m sure that’s reliable.

And while some westerners pussyfoot around, afraid to use the term “honour killing,” no such reticence exists among women in the countries where these crimes occur. The Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights group based in Islamabad, Pakistan, chronicled 382 cases of honour killings and 356 cases of domestic violence in that country from January to June 2011. Honour killings made up 8.6 per cent of the violence against women in Pakistan, slightly higher than domestic violence at eight per cent. Also on the list were abduction (26 per cent), rape (nine per cent), acid throwing (0.49 per cent) and burning (0.34 per cent). In Sindh province, among 819 crimes committed against women in the first six months of last year, 155 were honour killings, Aurat reported. The women in these societies use the term “honour killings.” Why shouldn’t we?

In a preface to a 2011 report entitled Cases of Femicide In Lebanese Courts, produced by the Lebanon-based women’s rights organization, KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, the group’s director Zoya Rouhana, in speaking about the atmosphere around honour killings, writes: “Indeed, this very silence is a form of violence in itself.”

Hey that’s raziz!

Another voice of reason here.