Increase in Honor Killings in Western Nations
There has been a massive increase in the reports of honor killings of mainly women and girl children in Western countries including the UK, the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
So-called "honor killings" are homicides carried out by members of the victim's immediate family where dishonour and shame have been perceived to have been brought upon the family by the actions of the victim.
This may include:
- women who have committed adultery, or who have been suspected of having an affair
- girls and young women who adopt the customary style of dress and clothing of their peers in their adopted country
- girls who refuse to participate in arranged marriages
- girls or women who have been the victim of rape
- girls who have a boyfriend deemed unsuitable by their family
- young women who have babies out of wedlock
- girls who engage in heterosexual acts outside of marriage
- boys who engage in homosexual acts
- women who seek a divorce, even if her husband is physically violent towards her
- sometimes, women who serve the dinner late
- women who stand too close to strange men in public places
Honor killings are not religious
Most honor killings throughout the world are carried out by people who have a Middle Eastern or southern Asian background.
Acts of extreme punishments for women who were not completely chaste and obedient pre-dates most of the world's religions.
In 1,600 BC, such killings were common among ancient Romans, and indeed in all patrilineal societies of which there were many.
Other ancient cultures and societies which practised honor killings include:
- North American Native tribes
Since the introduction of the world's religions, today's honor crimes are revealed among followers of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
The problem is cultural.
Patrilineal societies are cultures where man is everything. Women are only there to produce more men. The word patriline literally mean "a father's line", and the whole world at one time followed this ideology.
Sons inherited titles, property, power, money and more importantly, carried the Y-DNA moledule of his father.
The presence of the X-DNA molecule from the mother was actually unknown until the 19th century!
Even today, in many Western cultures, a women takes her husband surname after marriage, as do their children.
As more and more people from the Milddle east and Asia flee northwards to escape despotic regimes in their own countries, so more of those host nations are seeing so-called honour killings.
In the UK alone, honor crimes have risen at a horrifying rate, now estimated to have reached more than 3,000 cases a year. In 2010, 2,823 cases were reported to police, according to the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO).
Many go unreported and therefore undetected.
Even out of those that are reported, police find it very difficult making inroads into learning what actually happened because the family themselves will obstruct the police and back up each others' lies.
Hundreds if not thousands of young people, usually girls, simply disappear every year, and schools do not follow up their absences from class.
On the rare occasion that they do, they are told that the girl has returned to her family's native country where of course, she is never heard from again.
- Two Articles on Honor Killings
Hundreds, if not thousands, of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family "honor." It's difficult to get precise numbers on the phenomenon of honor killing; the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished,
- Alarming number of \'honour attacks\' in the UK as police reveal thousands were carried out last yea
At least 2,823 incidents of 'honour-based' violence took place last year, similar to the death of Banaz Mahmod, pictured, who was strangled by her father in 2006.
- Forced Marriage and \'Honor Killings\' Happen in Britain, U.S Too - The Daily Beast
Forced weddings and ‘honor’ killings are no longer just a developing-world issue. By Michelle Goldberg.
- Honor killing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a fascinating read into the history and culture of honor killings which could shed some light onto the fact that these types of domestic violence are on the rise world-wide.
First time an English court has ordered an adoption to prevent a murder
Baby Q was born our of wedlock to her student mother in 2010, and is now in the caring hands of adoptive parents, at her mother and grandmother's request.
Within the devoutly Muslim family were real fears that the baby's grandfather would murder not only the baby, but her mother and grandmother, should he find out that his unmarried daughter had given birth to a married man's child.
At birth, the baby was whisked away, and it was only when the child's father found out about her that he commenced legal proceedings at London's High Court to have the baby given to him and his wife to look after and bring up.
However, at the Court of Appeal, it was decided it would not be in the baby's best interests to be re-united with her natural father, and that she was safest remaining with her adoptive parents.
The tragic case of 20 year old Banaz Mahmod
Banaz Mahmod from South London had a boyfriend who her family considered unsuitable. She knew her life was in danger when her father approached her in a threatening manner at home. In her fright, she crashed through the nearest window and escaped.
When later interviewed by a policewoman she confessed her fears, named who she thought was going to kill her and pleaded for help.
Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and she was instead threatened with being charged for wasting police time and for causing criminal damage to the window.
A day later, she was dead, strangled at the hands of those she named as being her aggressors to police.
Her father, uncle and cousin were later charged, convicted and are spending life in prison.
Laura Wilson, 17
In a frightening new twist the whole 'honor killings' shame,17 year old Laura Wilson was murdered after having an affair with two Pakistani men.
In 2007, then aged 13, Laura appeared on popular the UK talk TV show "Jeremy Kyle" where it was revealed that even at such a young age she was 'out of control' while being sexually groomed by Asian men.
Police in the UK have warned young girls to be on their guard against this. Many Pakistani men do not see white women as real people, only as sexual objects.
Laura gave birth to a baby to one man when she was 16, but he denied responsibility. She then embarked on an affair with another, but when his mother found out, she attacked Laura with a shoe and called her a "dirty white bitch".
The next day her battered and stabbed body was discovered next to a canal. The catalyst for her death appears to have been the 'dishonour' she brought upon her boyfriend's family.
Sentencing Ashtiaq Asghar to life imprisonment, Lord Justice Davies described him as a man who see white girls as easy targets and not human beings.
The book "Shame" by Jasvinder Sanghera
The UK's Forced Marriage Act
In 2007, the UK Parliament passed the 'Forced Marriage Act' designed to protect young girls from being married off to strangers in foreign countries at an age below the British legal age of consent.
This is thanks in part to Jasvinder Sanghera's book "Shame".
Under this Act, young girls who are being forced into arranged marriages can be offered court protection which involves the taking away of their parents' passports and prevents them applying for new ones, to prevent the child from being taken out of the country.
Part of the Act also provides a special "Forced Marriage Unit", who can travel abroad and forcibly bring young unwilling brides back home.
Jasvinder Sanghera, the girl who escaped
The second youngest of 7 daughters in a Seikh family living in Derby, Engand, Jasvinder Sanghera knew what was coming when she turned 14.
She had watched her elder sisters being taken out of school one by one when they reached 14, and sent off to India to marry a man they had never met.
When the day came that her mother took her aside and showed her the photograph of the man she was to marry, she refused.
Despite being padlocked in her bedroom for many weeks. no-one from her school called to enquire about her absences.
Finally, she escaped and ran away.
Her parents immediately disowned her for bringing disgrace upon the family.
30 years have passed and Jasvinder has finished her education and rebuilt her life, but sadly her family refuse to have any contact with her.
In 1993, Jasvinder opened the charity, Karam Nirvana, dedicated to helping victims of forced arranged marriages and honor crime.
She says that in 2008 (in the UK), a massive 2,500 girls went missing from school during the summer vacations, and that those numbers have increased in the years since, and are expected to double this year (2011).
Some Other UK Honour Killings
15 year old Tulay Goran's Kurdish family discovered she had a secret boyfriend in 1999. She then disappeared from her London home, and it was quite some time later that police learned a family council had decided she had to die in a so-called honor killing, and her father was later convicted of her murder.
in 2002, 16 year old Londoner Heshu Yones's Kurdish father, Abdullah, slit her throat for having a Lebanese Christian boyfriend.
In Cheshire, 17 year old Shafilea Ahmed disappeared in 2003. 5 months later her decomposing remains turned up in a field. Her parents have been charged with her murder after friends confirmed she had fought against their wishes to force her into an arranged marriage in Pakistan.
- Honor killings and Turkey | Foreign Policy Blogs
You can't see her whole face but she is visibly upset as she breaks down. For the past eight months she has fled to five different cities in Turkey*. Both
- Europe Grapples with "Honor Killings" | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 23.06.2004
Police officials from EU countries met at Europol headquarters on Tuesday to discuss "honor killings," a disturbing problem on the rise in Europe's mainly Middle Eastern, Arabic and Asian immigrant communities. DW-WORLD.DE: German and European news,
- Worldwide Trends in Honor Killings :: Middle East Quarterly
To combat the epidemic of honor killings requires understanding what makes these murders unique. They differ from plain and psychopathic homicides, serial killings, crimes of passion, revenge killings, and domestic violence. Their motivation is diffe
European Honor Killings
In Germany in 2005,, Hatun Sürücü was killed by her brother for daring to leave the man she had been forced to marry, and for living like a German woman.
Hatun had adopted the Western way of life, she wore jeans and earrings, abandoned the hijab. She loved going out to the movies and dancing. In other words, she was just a normal young girl enjoying life.
A Kurdish Turk, she was shot in the head while waiting at a bus stop in Berlin, aged just 23.
Her brother was later jailed for just 9 years.
That same year, a further 7 honor killings made the German headlines.
Morsal O (pictured right), a beautiful 16 year old German-Afghan girl became the victim of an honor killing when her brother Ahmad Sobair O stabbed her 23 times in a car park in Hamburg, Germany, in 2008.
He accused her of 'impure, immoral conduct'.
Fadime Sahindal, a 26-year-old Turkish university student with a Swedish boyfriend, was murdered by her father in Sweden in 2002. He insisted she marry a man from Turkey.
Honor killers usually boys under 18
In Western nations, the usual perpetrator of honour killings, the father, is often not the one who carries out this horrific act.
Family council meets to decide who will murder the daughter/sister/aunt/mother, and often under-18 year boys are chosen.
This is because in many countries, these boys will receive a lighter sentence than their older relatives.
Indeed, in some countries, the 'coming of age', on their 18th birthday, their criminal record is wiped clean.
Many of those boys were co-erced into carrying out murder, knowing that if they refused, they would be signing their own death warrants.
The only way to discourage honor killings is for the courts to come down really hard on those condoning this practise, to send out a clear message that no decent society will tolerate this barbaric behaviour.
UN list of countries where honor killings have been carried out
Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in
- Great Britain
- United States
The Movie 'Bliss'
Other countries where honor killings are rife, but NOT reported to the UN include
- Saudi Arabia
"Bliss" is described as sdapted from internationally acclaimed author Zulfu Livaneli's novel, BLISS is an unconventional road movie in which the executioner of an honor killing and his victim go on a journey of self-discovery.
Honor Killings in the US - Fox News Report
Books about Honor Killings
Why is there an increase in honor killings in Western Nations
Experts have come up with various ideas as to why there has been a huge increase in honor killings across the Western Nations of the world over the past few years.
Some feel it may be due to a global rise in Islamic fundamentalism, which has turned even second or third generation young men back towards the ancient traditions which had largely been forgotten as they themselves embraced their new westernized ways.
As young women from those Middle Eastern and Asian cultures also support integration into their new societies, they increasingly want to get educated, choose their own husbands and mode of dress.
They want to be like their white peers, and chat to strangers on the streets, or in bars, clubs and cinemas.
A nice thing about thehijab is that those young women can actually enjoy greater freedoms than they could without their traditional headdress, as they are less likely to be recognised by the male members from their own community and family.
If a girl child in your school goes missing, consider the possibility that she has been sent back to a country she has never even visited to be forcefully married off to a stranger of her parent's choosing.
Lobby your politicians for a change in the Law to protect those young women.