Entries Tagged as 'honor killings'

Hirsi Ali: Honor Killings on the Rise in the West

June 2nd, 2011 at 3:19 pm 37 Comments

Islamic honor killings are making appearances in the West, cure and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is determined to do something about it.

Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation, an organization aimed at spreading awareness about honor violence and defending women’s rights through raising awareness and promoting legislative action.  The AHA Foundation is hosting an honor violence symposium in New York City on June 6. FrumForum talked with Hirsi Ali about the goals of the symposium and what honor violence means for western culture.

“The mission of the foundation is to protect the rights of women from militant Islam and tribal custom,” said Hirsi Ali. “What we would like to do is make professionals aware of the fact that some of these practices are growing in the United States.”

By ‘practices’, Hirsi Ali is referring to the multiple types of honor violence supported by radical Islamism such as forced marriages, honor beatings, female genital mutilation, and honor killings.  Dozens of other examples of honor violence are outlined on the AHA Foundation website.

Most Western government agencies categorize these acts as domestic violence, but Ali says that “this is a specific type of violence, and I think it is important to bring awareness to the people whose job it is to address these issues so that they know, you know, that this is a different form of violence. And that this is culturally sanctioned and religiously sanctioned.”

There have been cases of honor violence in the United States in the past few years that have attracted media attention.  In 2008, teenage sisters Sarah and Amina Said were shot and killed by their father in Texas because he believed they were becoming too Westernized. In 2009, father Faleh Almaleki ran down his 20 year old daughter Noor with his car because she refused to marry the Iraqi man he had selected for her. And, just this year, 20-year-old Jessica Moktad was murdered because her stepfather believed she wasn’t sticking to traditional Muslim customs.

FrumForum asked Hirsi Ali how widespread these honor killings have become in the West. “In no western country is there systematic counting of exactly, you know, how many girls are affected in this way, chiefly because it’s still taboo,” she said. “And so the choice that you then make is to not to talk about and not to connect the dots.”

Through some of her own research, however, Hirsi Ali found that in the UK, based on the number of women who go to police stations to ask for help, there are up to 1,000 forced marriages a year.  She also found that in a very small region in the Netherlands there were up to 16 honor killings a year.

“These are all criminal acts,” Ali said. “These particular crimes have to be tracked and the perpetrators have to be punished…This is pervasive.”

Hirsi Ali has high hopes for the success of the AHA Foundation’s efforts, and believes that the United States is the place to start: “Through awareness and education, hopefully we will be able to eradicate these practices in the US, and hopefully set an example for other countries.”

Abbas Wakes Up to Honor Killings

David Frum May 16th, 2011 at 10:36 am 18 Comments

As Palestinians attempt to invade Israel, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas suggests it may at last be time to punish men who murder their female relatives.

President Mahmoud Abbas has directed the judiciary to award the “utmost punishment” to perpetrators of honor killings, his secretary-general said Friday.

The announcement was made during a talk show on satellite channel Palestine TV to discuss the murder of 20-year-old Ayah Barad’iyya by her uncle.

Abbas’ secretary-general At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim telephoned the presenter and announced on air that the president had ordered a legal amendment to end leniency in courts for men who kill to protect “family honor.”

Director of Ma’an Network’s TV department and women’s rights activist Nahid Abu T’eima participated in the talk show. She had been campaigning for an amendment to the law, and burst into tears on air when she heard the announcement.

“This is a historical accomplishment to amend the 1960 penal law which belongs to the dark ages. Ma’an News Agency’s coverage has helped amend that law which human right groups have been trying to change for 15 years,” said Abu T’eima. 

A live transmission from Surif village, where Ayah Barad’iyya was drowned by her uncle in April 2010, showed thousands of residents applauding the decision. Many also burst into tears.

The university student’s body was found earlier this month in a deserted well three kilometers from her home in Surif, over a year after she was killed.

Her uncle confessed to police that he had tied her up and drowned her, with the help of three friends, because he disapproved of a marriage proposal she had been offered. 

Some Jordanian laws passed between 1948 and 1967 still operate in the West Bank. A Jordanian penal code from 1960, which commutes sentences for men who kill or attack female relatives accused or suspected of “dishonoring” their families, has never been repealed by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The PLC has been defunct since 2007 — following the internal Palestinian division — but rights groups have requested the penal code’s repeal by presidential decree. 

In 2009, Abbas promised to change the law by International Women’s Day in 2010, but the reforms were never made.

Maybe before launching attacks on its neighbors, the PA should complete the work of dragging its penal code into the 18th century?


Honor Killings are Always “Barbaric”

March 17th, 2011 at 6:00 am 13 Comments

Even if one tries, recipe it’s pretty hard to see Justin Trudeau as anything but something of a jerk.

Yes, ailment he’s an MP, view but that’s no excuse.

And he’s his father’s son, but his dad did positive things as well as goofy things like going to China and praising the humanity of Mao Zedong.

Even when he was PM, Justin’s dad wasn’t immune to goofiness – like his adoration of Cuba’s Fidel Castro and his curious view that the KGB was similar to our RCMP – or vice-versa. That was when he was in denial that the Soviet Union had subversive designs on Canada, contrary to evidence to the contrary.

But it’s doubtful if Justin’s dad would ever object to viewing so-called honor killings and female genital mutilation and spousal abuse and forced marriages as “barbaric,” as Justin did in his role as Liberal Justice critic.

Justin said that instead of calling these practices “barbaric,” the government’s booklet Discover Canada (to help immigrants to adjust to our peculiar way of life) should have used the term “absolutely unacceptable.”

Baloney. Why a euphemism to soften or justify disgusting and cruel practices masquerading as cultural traditions?

Justin has since backwatered – perhaps because a lot of Liberal MPs as well as Tory MPs found his indignation weird and misdirected.

In a radio interview Justin said he was “uncomfortable” with so-called honor killings being called “barbaric.”

Why “uncomfortable?” If not barbaric, what are they? Female mutilation, forced marriages and the rest of Sharia law are obscene by civilized standards, and to pretend otherwise is hypocritical and wrong.

Justin has now apologized. Postmedia News reports he emailed them: “Perhaps I got tangled in semantic weeds in my comments, particularly in view of the Conservatives’ cynicism on these issues. I want to make it clear that I think the acts described are heinous, barbaric acts that are totally unacceptable in our society.”

Sorry Justin, that’s not good enough. Maybe even “absolutely unacceptable,” to quote your initial view.

Just how are Conservatives “cynical” about honor killings and female genital mutilation? And what “semantic weeds” would these be? He now calls the practices “barbaric,” so why the complaint that the government pamphlet for immigrants uses the word?

“Cynicism” applies more to Justin’s reaction than to the Tories.

Surely, this is one issue on which most Canadians – especially elected ones – can agree. It’s pretty hard to see Justin’s dad objecting, but then his dad had done something with his life before entering politics and becoming PM to irrevocably change Canada.

And what does Justin mean when he opines that the publication in question “needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality.”

Oh? What sort of “neutrality,” one wonders, is there in opposing or condemning honor killings and such? “Neutrality” is the last thing needed in condemning such “barbarism.”

Anyway, Justin now regrets his impetuous outburst – but he’s still a jerk, and one who should give pause to those who fancy he’d be an ideal choice to someday lead the Liberal party.

Justin, it seems, has his mother’s brains, rather than his father’s.