On February 12, 2009, Muzzammil Hassan educated police that he had actually beheaded his wife. Hassan had emigrated come the United says 30 years back and, after a successful banking career, had started Bridges TV, a Muslim-interest network i m sorry aims, according to its website, "to foster a higher understanding among many cultures and diverse populations." Erie County ar Attorney frank A. Sedita III told The Buffalo News that "this is the worst kind of residential violence possible," and also Khalid Qazi, president of the Muslim publicly Affairs council of Western new York, told the brand-new York write-up that Islam forbids such residential violence. While Muslim advocacy establishments argue the honor killings are a misnomer stigmatizing Muslims for what is simply residential violence, a problem that has actually nothing to do with religion, Phyllis Chesler, who just completed a study of more than 50 instances of phibìc American respect killings, claims the evidence suggests otherwise. — The Editors
Background and Denial
Families that death for honor will threaten girls and women if they refuse come cover their hair, your faces, or your bodies or act as their family"s residential servant; wear assembly or west clothing; pick friends from another religion; date; look for to obtain an advanced education; refuse an arranged marriage; seek a divorce from a violent husband; marry against their parents" wishes; or act in methods that are taken into consideration too independent, which might mean anything indigenous driving a auto to security time or living far from home or family. Fundamentalists of plenty of religions may expect their ladies to satisfy some but not all of these expectations. However when females refuse to perform so, Jews, Christians, and also Buddhists room far more likely to shun fairly than killing them. Muslims, however, do kill for honor, together do, come a lesser extent, Hindus and also Sikhs.
The united Nations population Fund estimates that 5,000 women space killed each year for dishonoring their families.<2> This may be an underestimate. Aamir Latif, a correspondent because that the website Islam digital who writes typically on the issue, reported that in 2007 in the Punjab province of Pakistan alone, there to be 1,261 honor murders.<3> The Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization concentrating on women"s empowerment, uncovered that the price of honor killings was on track to it is in in the hundreds in 2008.<4>
There space very few studies of honor killing, however, together the an ideas for together killings is cleansing alleged dishonor and also the families do no wish to bring further attention to your shame, so carry out not cooperate v researchers. Often, they refuse honor crimes fully and say the victim simply went lacking or cursed suicide. Nevertheless, honor crimes are significantly visible in the media. Police, politicians, and feminist activists in Europe and in part Muslim countries are beginning to treat them together a major social problem.<5>
Willingness to attend to the trouble of honor killing, however, does not extend to countless Muslim advocacy teams in north America. The well-publicized denials of U.S.-based advocacy groups are ironic provided the debate in the middle East. While the spiritual establishment in Jordan, because that example, claims that honor killing is a relic the pre-Islamic Arab culture, Muslim Brotherhood teams in Jordan have publicly do not agree to controversy the Islamic religious imperative to defend honor.<6>
Yotam Feldner, a researcher in ~ the Middle east Media research study Institute, estimates a psychiatrist in Gaza who explains the honor killing culture as one in i m sorry a guy who refrains from "washing shame with blood" is a "coward who is not worthy of life ... As much less than a man." Therefore, the is no surprise that the Jordanian penal code is quite lenient towards honor killers. While honor killing may be a practice that source in the pagan, pre-Islamic past, modern Islamist interpretations of religious law prevail. As Feldner puts it: "Some necessary Islamic scholar in Jordan have also gone more by heralding honor crimes an Islamic imperative that derives from the "values that virility promoted by Islam.""<7>
Islamist advocacy organizations, however, argue the such killings have nothing to perform with Islam or Muslims, that domestic violence cuts across all faiths, and also that the phrase "honor killing" stigmatizes Muslims whose behavior is no various than that of non-Muslims. Because that example, in an answer to a well-publicized 2000 respect killing, SoundVision.com, an Islamic information and products site, published an write-up that argued,
Four various other women were eliminated in Chicago in the same month ... They were white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian ... Islam is not responsible because that
In 2007, after ~ Aqsa Parvez was murdered by she father in Toronto for no wearing hijab (a head covering), Sheila Musaji created in the American Muslim, "Although this absolutely is a situation of domestic violence ... "honor" killings space not only a Muslim problem, and there is no "honor" involved."<9> Mohammed Elmasry, that the Canadian Islamic Congress, likewise dismissed the problem. "I don"t want the general public to think the this is an Islamic worry or one immigrant issue. It is a teenager issue," he said.<10>
Indeed, refusal is rife. In 2008, after Kandeela Sandal to be murdered for honor by her father in Atlanta since she wanted a divorce, Ajay Nair, associate dean that multicultural affairs at Columbia University, said the media the "most South eastern communities in the joined States" enjoy "wonderful" relationship within your families and also said, "This isn"t a rampant problem within South eastern communities. What is a problem, i think, is domestic violence, and also that cuts across all communities."<11> In October 2008, Mustafaa Carroll, executive director the the Dallas branch that the council of American-Islamic relations (CAIR), dismissed any Islamic connection to a prominent Dallas respect killing, labeled thus by the FBI, arguing, "As much as we"re concerned, till the engine is proven in a court of law, this is
Case studies imply otherwise.
Domestic Violence versus honor Killing
Domestic violence is a significant problem in the united States. Between 1989 and also 2004, 21,124 women passed away at the hand of an intimate; 8,997 men died in residential violence during the same time period.<13> because the U.S. Department of righteousness does not catalogue the victim"s or murderer"s age, religion, ethnic background, or immigration status, it is not feasible to understand what ratio of these killings space honor-related.
Unni Wikan, a society anthropologist and also professor in ~ the college of Oslo, specifies honor killing as "a murder brought out as a commission from the extended family, to regain honor after the family members has been dishonored. Together a rule, the simple cause is a rumor that any kind of female family member has actually behaved in an non ethical way."<14> While honor killings are just a minority of complete domestic violence in the unified States and Canada, they constitute a distinctive phenomenon. (See Table 1.) A 2008 Massachusetts-based study found that "although immigrants make up an estimated 14 percent of the state"s population,
Lenore Walker, author of The Battered mrs Syndrome,<16> agreed that fundamentalist immigrants control and patrol their women very closely. "Given the strictly rules, there room a the majority of things to death them for," she said. Walker evidenced the difference between the victim-perpetrator in honor killings and ordinary residential violence:
In ordinary residential violence involving Westerners, the is rarely for brothers to kill sisters or for male cousins to death female cousins. And also while kid abuse wake up in which fathers might kill infants and also children, the is an extremely rare for Western fathers to kill teenage daughters.<17>
Other inequalities exist. Walker observed that Western men are much more apt to kill small boys 보다 girls in your family. "Women through postpartum depression death their babies, and also men might kill babies by shaken baby syndrome," she explained. She did not "know of any batterers that are assisted to walk the killing by your brothers or cousins or other family members. Occasionally, the man"s relatives may be in the house when the killing goes down, but that is rather rare in my experience."<18>
The press has actually reported a variety of honor killings in the united States, Canada, and Europe. These instances show the killings to be primarily a Muslim-on-Muslim crime. (See Table 2 and Table 3.) The victims are mostly teenage daughters or young women. Wives are victims but to a lesser extent. And, unlike most Western residential violence, respect killings are carefully planned. The perpetrator"s household may warn the victim repetitively over a duration of years that she will be eliminated if she dishonors her household by refusing come veil, rebuffing an arranged marriage, or coming to be too Westernized. Many important, only honor killings indicate multiple family members members. Fathers, mothers, brothers, masculine cousins, uncles, and also sometimes even grandfathers commit the murder, however mothers and sisters might lobby for the killing. Some mothers collaborate in the murder in a hands-on means and may assist in the getaway. In part cases, taxi drivers, neighbors, and mosque members avoid the targeted mrs from fleeing, report her whereabouts to she family, and subsequently conspire to thwart police investigations.<19> very old relatives or minors might be preferred to command the killing in stimulate to limit jail time if caught.
Seldom is residential violence celebrated, also by its perpetrators. In the West, wife batterers are ostracized. Here, there is vital difference in honor crimes. Muslims who commit or help in the commission of respect killings check out these killings as heroic and even see the murder as the fulfillment of a religious obligation. A Turkish research of prisoners found no social stigma attached to honor murderers.<20> when advocacy institutions such as CAIR denounce any type of link between honor killings and also Islam, plenty of sheikhs quiet preach that disobedient women must be punished. Couple of sheikhs condemn honor killings together anti-Islamic. Honor killings room not stigmatized.
Table 1: Differing features of honor Killings and also Domestic Violence
Table 2: phibìc American respect Killings, Successful and Attempted
Legend: M = Muslim; S=Sikh
In these cases, the average period of the victims was 21.5, and 10 of the 14 to be daughters. Importantly, an ext than fifty percent the cases connected multiple perpetrators. Nor is over there a far-reaching difference between honor killings in north America and Europe. No the average period (20) no one the portion of daughters as victims in the European instances is significantly different from those in the north American cases. (See Table 3.)
Table 3: European respect Killings
Legend: M = Muslim; S=Sikh
In both phibìc America and Europe, family members members carried out honor killings with excessive violence—repeatedly stabbing, raping, setting aflame, and also bludgeoning—in an ext than fifty percent the cases. Only in serial-killing-type scenarios room Western females targeted with comparable violence; in these cases, the perpetrators room seldom family members members, and also their victims are frequently strangers. In spite of the obfuscation that Muslim advocacy groups, these case studies present that respect killings are quite unique from residential violence. No all honor killings are perpetrated by Muslims, but the overwhelming majority are. Ninety percent that the honor killers shown in Tables 2 and 3 were Muslim. In every case, perpetrators watch their victims as violating rules of religious conduct and act there is no remorse.
While the sample size is small, this study says that honor killing is increasing in phibìc America and may correlate v the numbers of first generation immigrants. The trouble is diverse however originates with immigration from majority Muslim countries and regions—the Palestinian territories, the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Iraq, bulk Muslim countries in the Balkans, Bangladesh, Egypt, and also Afghanistan. Pakistanis accounts for the plurality. The typical denominator in each case is not society but religion.
Conflict of social Moralities
The problem the West deals with is complex. Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus see honor and also morality as a cumulative family matter. Rights are collective, not individual. Family, clan, and tribal legal rights supplant individual person rights.<21>
In these groups, intellectuals and elites handicap the absorb of immigrants showing up from nations where honor is a communal virtue. Because that example, accusations the Islamophobia stymie discussion and policy formulation once policymakers look for to deal with problems occurring amongst Muslim immigrants. Still, there room legal interventions underway in Europe, home to in between twenty and also thirty million Muslim immigrants and their descendents, as opposed to perhaps four million in the joined States and also Canada.<22> Honor-related violence is, therefore, much more visible in Europe 보다 in north America. In 2004, Sweden organized an global conference on respect killing, calling because that "international cooperation" ~ above the issue. Conference participants concluded:
Violence in the surname of honor must be battled as an problem to women"s enjoyment of human being rights. Interpretations of honor together strongly connected with woman chastity should be challenged. It can never be embraced that customs, traditions, or spiritual considerations space invoked to prevent obligations to eradicate violence versus women and girls, including violence in the name of honor. Violence against women have to be handle from a rights-based perspective. ... Actions should it is in taken in the locations of legislation, employment, education, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Respect for women"s enjoyment of human rights is intrinsically attached to democracy. Global conventions have to be incorporated into nationwide legislation.<23>
There have due to the fact that been local conferences in England, France, and Germany. British law enforcement has started to hide women in a program indistinguishable to the U.S. Commonwealth witness defense program.<24> good Britain has passed legislation to empower police to rescue British female citizens whose households have kidnapped and also forcibly married them versus their will, generally in Pakistan; the police will certainly return them to Britain if the brides inquiry it. Over there is a one-of-a-kind police unit that deals with the forced, arranged marriages of children.<25> A new movement has also arisen in England, "One regulation for All. A Campaign against Shari"a legislation in Britain," introduced by Maryam Namazie, an advocate opposed to honor killing and other honor-related violence. She has launched this motion to oppose the usage of Shari"a courts since they discriminate versus women.<26> Additionally, schools in the Netherlands have been asked to be "more alarm to honor violence,"<27> following research performed for the ministry of Integration.
U.S. Regulation enforcement has actually made tremendous progression over the last fourty years on problems related come violence versus women. However, there space not yet any shelters for battered Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh girl or ladies who are afraid that they will be murdered because that honor. A regular shelter for battered ladies does no specialize in respect killings, nor are there any type of provisions because that foster families—Muslim or otherwise—who can defend girls targeted for murder by their biological families. Doubters would oppose any kind of such intervention, however, together a type of cultural oppression, for countless victims may have to forfeit their identities in stimulate to continue to be alive.
It will certainly be more daunting to save adult Muslim women from honor killing since an adult immigrant may not have any kind of regular contact with world outside her instant family. Only if she survives injuries that require medical attention will certainly she have call with strangers who may shot to aid her rescue herself.
Religious education may additionally be necessary. According to this study, 90 percent of respect murders in the West are committed through Muslims against Muslims. The perpetrators may interpret the Qur"an and Islam incorrectly, either because that malicious factors or simply since they are ignorant of more tolerant Muslim exegesis or conflate local customizeds with religion.
Here, Muslim-American and also Muslim-Canadian associations can play a role so long as they stop obfuscation and recognize the religious roots that the problem. Now is the time for sheikhs in the joined States and also Canada to state there is no qualification the killing daughters, sisters, wives, and cousins is versus Islam. A variety of feminist lawyers who work with battered ladies have attributed pro-women sheikhs through helping them enormously. Sheikhs should publicly identify, condemn, and shame honor killers. Those sheikhs who stand up to doing so have to be challenged.
As with worries relating to terrorism, law enforcement and also civil servants have to be mindful of i beg your pardon Muslim ar activists they look for to engage. Numerous self-described civil civil liberties organizations—CAIR or the Islamic society of north America, because that example—lean towards more radical interpretations the Islam. Teams such together the American Islamic Congress and also the American Islamic Forum because that Democracy support for sex equality and human rights, <28> but due to the fact that their efforts against radicalism antagonize Saudi Arabia and other sources of funding, they often lack resources. Given alternative funding, they can be willing to assist in an initiative to education Muslims versus honor murder.
U.S. And also Canadian immigrant authorities should additionally be mindful of the issue. Lock should inform potential Muslim immigrants and brand-new Muslim citizens the it is against the law to to win girls and also women, the honor killings space crimes, and also that both the murderers and also their accomplices can and will it is in charged. Cultural equivalency will provide no excuse together it periodically does in much more permissive societies such as an excellent Britain and the Netherlands. As long as Islamist advocacy groups continue to obfuscate the problem, and government and police officials expropriate their inaccurate versions of reality, women will continue to be killed for respect in the West; together murders may also accelerate. Unchecked by western law, your blood will certainly be ~ above society"s hands.
Phyllis Chesler is emerita professor that psychology and also women"s researches at the Richmond university of the City college of new York and also co-founder the the combination for women in Psychology and also the nationwide Women"s wellness Network.
<1> Citation for honor murders drawn from Ellen Francis Harris, Guarding the Secret: Palestinian Terrorism and a Father"s killing of his Too-American Daughter (New York: Scribner, 1995); James Brandon and Salam Hafez, crime of the Community: Honor-Based Violence in the U.K. (London: The Centre because that Social Cohesion, Jan. 2008), p. 13, 44; The Cleveland level Dealer, July 22, 26, 2000; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 13, 1999; CBC News, Apr. 22, 2004, Mar. 1, 2005; The Indian refer (New Delhi), Jan. 30, 2005; The oriental Pacific write-up (Vancouver, B.C.), July 24, 2003; Soundvision.com, Sound Vision Foundation, Bridgeview, Ill., might 6, 2002; The brand-new York daily News, July 31, 2002; Stabroek News (Georgetown, Guyana), Dec. 3, 2003; Canwest News organization (Don Mills, Ont.), July 8, 2008; The Rochester Chronicle and Democrat, Apr. 25, 2004, July 17, 2008; The Washington Times, Jan. 3, 2008; The Dallas Morning News, Jan. 6, 9, 2008; The Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2008; CNN, July 7, 2008; The daily Mail (London), may 2, June 12, 2007, Jan. 8, 2008; The Observer (London), Oct. 8, 2000, Nov. 21, 2004, June 20, 2006; The daily Telegraph (London), Jan. 28, 2002, Feb. 27, 2005; CNN.com, Oct. 2, 2003; BBC News, Sept. 30, 2003, may 4, Nov. 19, 2004, Apr. 8, 2006, Jan. 8, 2008; TechCentralStation (TCS Daily), Feb. 2, 2005; Time (European ed.), Oct. 11, 2004; CULCOM: social Complexity in the brand-new Norway, Feb. 17, 2006; Expatica (Amsterdam), Dec. 1, 2003, Apr. 27, 2005; The times (London), Nov. 18, Dec. 4, 2004, Jan. 21, 2007, Feb. 3, Mar. 29, 2008; HiA Report, humankind in action Foundation, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2006; Deutsche Welle Radio (Bonn), might 1, 2005; The Guardian (London), may 8, 2003, July 15, 2006, may 24, 2008; Stern magazine (Hamburg), Oct. 4, 2007; associated Press, June 27, 2006; The elevation (London), might 7, 2003, Feb. 21, 2007; The brand-new York Times, Dec. 19, 2004, Dec. 4, 2005, Aug. 26, 2006; The Evening traditional (London), might 14, 2007; United press International, July 3, 2003; The sun (London), Jan. 23, 2008; FOX News, Jan. 5, 2007; international Herald Tribune (Paris), Dec. 1, 2005; The daily Times (Lahore), July 3, 2004.
<2> "Chapter 3: finishing Violence versus Women and Girls: "Honor" Killings," The State of people Population, 2000, unified Nations populace Fund.<3> IslamOnline.net, Jan. 11, 2007.<4> The daily Times, Sept. 20, 2008.<5> Brandon and also Hafez, crimes of the Community, pp. 143-6.<6> Yotam Feldner, ""Honor" Murders—Why the Perps obtain off Easy," Middle eastern Quarterly, Dec. 2000, pp. 41-50.<7> Ibid.<8> SoundVision.com, Aug. 24, 2000.<9> Sheila Musaji, "The fatality of Aqsa Parvez should Be one Interfaith call to Action," The American Muslim, Dec. 14, 2007.<10> Fox News.com, Dec. 12, 2007.<11> CNN.com, July 9, 2008.<12> FoxNews.com, Oct. 14, 2008.<13> "Homicide fads in the U.S.: Intimate Homicide, 1976 -2005," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of justice Programs, bureau of justice Statistics, July 11, 2007, accessed Oct. 2, 2008.<14> Unni Wikan, "The honor Culture," Karl-Olov Arnstberg and Phil Holmes, trans., accessed Sept. 23, 2008, initially published as En Fraga Om Hedre (A question of honor), Cajsa Mitchell, trans. (Stockholm: Ordfront Forlag AB, 2005), accessed Dec. 12, 2008.<15> The Boston Globe, Sept. 12, 2008.<16> new York: Springer, 1984.<17> writer e-mail interview through Lenore Walker, Sept. 27, 2008.<18> Ibid.<19> Brandon and also Hafez, crimes of the Community, p. 94.<20> Today"s Zaman, July 12, 2008.<21> Wikan, "The honor Culture."<22> Daniel Pipes, "Which Has more Islamist Terrorism, Europe or America?" The Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2008.<23> "Combating Patriarchal Violence versus Women—Focusing top top Violence in the name of Honor," The sweden Ministry that Justice and also The sweden Ministry for international Affairs, Stockholm, Dec. 7-8, 2004, p. 51.<24> worldwide Herald Tribune, Hong Kong ed., Oct. 20, 1997; The Observer, Nov. 21, 2004; "So-called respect Crimes," Committee on Equal avenues for Women and Men, council of Europe, Paris and also Brussels, Mar. 7, 2003.<25> Brandon and also Hafez, crime of the Community, pp. 13, 44.<26> author e-mail v Maryam Namazie, Dec. 1, 2008.<27> Nederlands Dagblad (Barneveld), Nov. 19, 2008; Islam in Europe, Nov. 19, 2008.