A few observations: Right now the eyes of the world are focused on Nigeria’s despicable Boko Haram terrorists and the hundreds of innocent schoolgirls they’ve kidnapped and threatened to sell. That’s good and I hope each one of them is rescued and safely returned to her family, but a way needs to be found to prevent it happening again.
Over the past couple of months much has also been made over a new so-called “documentary” about honor killings, which is a favorite topic of certain groups & individuals, as is FGM. They make money selling books & films about these things.
In LGF’s Thursday night/Friday morning overnight thread this week, someone expressed approval of the Beverly Hills City Council having condemned the government of Brunei for its harsh Sharia laws that include stoning to death for homosexuality or adultery. The City Council also urged Brunei”s sultan to sell his ownership of the famous Beverly Hills Hotel.
Yet if you look at Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, you’ll see that he’s a shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s and News Corporation and currently has (or in the past has had) investments in several other American & European properties & companies. Strange how no one seems particularly upset about that, despite Saudi Arabia’s harsh fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, it’s Sharia laws, or it’s contribution of 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers.
What about our ongoing relationships with Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, India, Myanmar, etc.? All these places have severe problems where women are concerned regardless of the presence or absence of Sharia—honor killing, acid attacks, domestic abuse, FGM, human trafficking, the list goes on and on… Yet we don’t put down our collective foot and demand that if our tax dollars are going to continue going to some of these places, or if we’re going to continue having business and diplomatic relations that benefit them, then some of these heinous practices need to stop. We could, but we don’t.
In a few days or weeks everyone will have forgotten about the current crop of horrors and moved on to the next outrage selected for us by the media & political activists, and concern trolls will dutifully leave their droppings all over Twitter and the political blogs.
Why is our attention span so short? Why do we allow ourselves to be so easily distracted from things we claim to be deeply concerned about? Either we’re lying to ourselves or we’re being manipulated. Or maybe a little of both.
We need to stop allowing politicians and anti-Muslim activists to turn these critically important issues into circus sideshows that benefit and enrich the activist groups & individuals, but do little or nothing to provide real help to women, children, and other at risk groups. And we need to be more resolute about not feeding the trolls, no matter how friendly they may smile at us.
We say we’re oh-so-very concerned about terrorism. Okay, guess what? As long as the world is not safe, neither are we. How many people died or were injured in terrorist attacks in non-Western countries last month, April 2014? Do you know? 151 dead, 355 injured. How about in terrorist attacks in the West? Zero, because there were no attacks. And that’s “only” terrorism, not any of the other horrors that most of us are lucky enough to never have to worry about. For example:
AMMAN, Jordan — Batool Haddad, a Christian girl from the northern Jordanian village of Khirbet Wahadneh, kept relatively quiet about her interest in Islam, mentioning it probably only to her sister, who also kept it to herself.
But when Haddad converted to Islam after attending a lecture by a Saudi preacher, according to local reports, she told her sister, who this time told their father, who told his brother. On April 30, the two men took Haddad to a local forest.
Beating her first with a stick, they then used a 40-by-50-centimeter (15-by-20-inch) rock, fracturing and crushing her skull and killing her, said Ali Shotar, the forensic pathologist who examined her body. She was about 22 years old.
Haddad was one of four women killed last week in Jordan in a shocking succession of unrelated murders that has highlighted one of Jordan’s more taboo topics: so-called honor crimes. […]
A volunteer at a local Jordanian activist group, No Honor in Crime, explains:
Haddad “made a personal decision that defied norms,” she wrote. “Her murder was a reaction to her act.” Murder is the most extreme on a wide spectrum of acts that “impose limits on women’s movement, choices and bodies.”
Even if Haddad was not killed over “sexual honor,” her death is still a manifestation of a deeper problem, one where using violence to punish women for perceived disgraces is accepted.
Ironically, it is an element of Jordanian law regarding victim’s rights that is the one most frequently invoked which allows relatives to get away with killing female family members:
“When a citizen is murdered, the victim’s ‘personal’ right is transferred to that victim’s family,” Dajani explained. Since with honor crimes the perpetrator and victim’s family are usually the same, the family will “forsake the victim’s right,” thereby reducing the perpetrator’s sentence. […]
As you can see, honor killing is by no means an exclusively Muslim problem, nor is it even an exclusively female or Middle Eastern one—sadly, it’s something that spans both culture and religion, as you’ll find explained in the articles below.
It’s wrong no matter who does it, and it needs to stop.
Update 5/12/14: I would highly recommend reading this excellent article brought to my attention earlier this afternoon by wrenchwench:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Double-Bind of Muslim Women’s Rights http://t.co/nLkXU3wCjT
Honor killings haunt Turkey’s gay community - Al-Monitor, 2014
Thousands of Women Killed for Family “Honor” - National Geographic, 2002
Honour Killings By Region - Honour Based Violence Awareness Network (HBVA)
International Domestic Violence Issues - Sanctuary for Families