Thursday, 13 December 2007

Honour Killing across the Arab and Muslim world

Few weeks back The Guardian reported the honour killing story of Banaz Mahmod’s a 20 years old Iraqi Kurd. The British authorities are not willing to request extraditing the other killers who escaped to north of Iraq.

In my childhood days in Iraq, the early fifties, I used to hear stories about women who got pregnant due to rape incident or had premarital sex and subsequently got murdered by their fathers/brothers/close relatives. Normally the killer goes free regardless of the heinous crime. Those stories used to annoy me and instigate a deep questioning of such brutal social and cultural fabric and used to wonder: why people seemed to pretend that those crimes are acceptable to commit?; why people cannot expose the hideous nature of those crimes or condemn them? On the contrary we used to hear accounts of murderers strolling proudly the streets of their home towns and are admired by others for been brave enough to defend their honour. Admiration stems from a brutal idea labelled “Washing the shame”. “Washing the shame” is an old Arabic expression, still in use, in Arab, Muslim and other backward societies.

Friends telling stories of honour killings in Egypt despite their self-portrayal of being the elite of the Arab regarding social development! But then claiming elitism and having religious figures calling for the killing of Kafirs (non-believers) and the Jews is hardly an elitist.

As Guardian suggested that an effective way to stop honour killings is to demonstrate to the rest of society that those killings are punishable crimes and men mustn’t be proud of them or be misled by the sense of pride attached to those murders.

The United Nation or I should ignore the UN for its corrupt nature and focus on honest international groups and liberal nations to campaign for more effective intervention rather than thinking in terms of “cultural relativism” and nations’ sovereignty….Al Atar

1 comment:

ERS said...

Bravo, Al Atar!!!

I think, when basic human rights are at stake, there is no room for political correctness and cultural/moral relativism. To me, there is just no gray area where "honor" killings are concerned.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"


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