Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?

When a husband murders a wife or daughter in the United States and Canada, too often law enforcement chalks the matter up to domestic violence. Murder is murder; religion is irrelevant. Honor killings are, however, distinct from wife battering and child abuse. Analysis of more than fifty reported honor killings shows they differ significantly from more common domestic violence.[1] The frequent argument made by Muslim advocacy organizations that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam and that it is discriminatory to differentiate between honor killings and domestic violence is wrong.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year for dishonoring their families.[2] This may be an underestimate. Aamir Latif, a correspondent for the Islamist website Islam Online who writes frequently on the issue, reported that in 2007 in the Punjab province of Pakistan alone, there were 1,261 honor murders.[3] The Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization focusing on women’s empowerment, found that the rate of honor killings was on track to be in the hundreds in 2008.[4]

There are very few studies of honor killing, however, as the motivation for such killings is cleansing alleged dishonor and the families do not wish to bring further attention to their shame, so do not cooperate with researchers. Often, they deny honor crimes completely and say the victim simply went missing or committed suicide. Nevertheless, honor crimes are increasingly visible in the media. Police, politicians, and feminist activists in Europe and in some Muslim countries are beginning to treat them as a serious social problem.[5]

9 comments to Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?

  • Chickadee

    the “honor” killing ends the life of the girl but not that of the chap who knocked her up or of her killer. Understand any of this? Not me. Way way too caveman for this century, imo – well, make that for the past couple of thousand centuries.

  • justadood

    that ‘it takes 2 to tango’…

    But if they get that concept, then it’s automatically the woman’s fault? hmmmmm….very Biblical, but too easy. Smells like somebody too lazy to find the facts.

    Dunno if you’ll ever see the world emerge from the patriarchal backlash to the older ‘Earth Mother’ religions….we’ve been buried there for the past 4000+ years, with no sign of improvement yet.

    i>-5.75,-4.05
    “God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” — Robin Williams

  • adrena

    that there is a connection between the treatment of Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay and Honor killings? Did you know that cavemen and cavewomen were equal? It will all become crystal clear in my essay.


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • adrena

    Such thought gives me hope yet.


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • dk

    http://jezebel.com/5146666/objectum-sexuality-when-relationships-with-inanimate-objects-become-intimate

    I just stumbled across this on AOL. my goodness, the damage abuse causes. and here I thought I’d seen it all.
    …well, they seem happy, so who am I to judge? I guess I wouldn’t kill them for it, but cripes, I might kill whoever abused them in the first place. It could just be an aspect of the Asperger’s, seeing as how there are so few of them.
    what we need is a good circus side show explaing how these things come about. right, we have AOL :)


    albatross

  • Tina

    Those poor women, although they think they are fine. I found this article from last spring:

    ‘I married the Eiffel Tower’

    Meet the woman whose emotional needs are met by a 1,000ft iron monument – and the other unlikely lovers giving new meaning to the term ‘solid relationship’ The Independent


    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau

  • Chickadee

    What a way to find out that Eiffel Tower is a two timer. I shoulda known. It never calls. It never writes.

    I am soooo distraught!

  • dk

    you are just wrong, wrong, wrong.
    that’s fucking hilarious


    albatross

  • Raja

    No sex please: An asexual life

    Andy is young and healthy – yet he’s never experienced physical desire. And there are thousands more like him.

    The Independent, By Olly Bootle, March 17

    At 21, Andy Holland is happy, easy-going and interested in the same things as most university students. With one notable exception: Holland is not attracted to women, or to men. In fact, he has no desire to have sex. And in this, he is not as unusual as we might assume.

    The first crush that Tessa Barratt had was on a Transformers toy called Rat Trap. “He was my first heart throb,” she says. The shelves in her bedroom are lined with models of Transformers. Playing with them now, laughs as she admits, “I don’t know how I fell in love with a rat.”

    Barratt is now 22. But she’s not that much closer to having what most people would consider a normal, loving relationship: she’s still a virgin.

    “It’s hard to imagine what would push me to having sex. I’m not afraid of sex, it’s just not something I want to do. That’s probably why I delve into the world of science fiction and Transformers, where sex isn’t an issue at all.”

    Barratt calls herself “asexual”, and says she’s very different to the many people who decide to abstain from sex for religious or moral reasons. “Celibacy is a choice, asexuality is an orientation. It’s not something you choose to be, it’s something you’re born as.”


    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

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