Mon Sep 4th, 2006 at 07:44:26 AM EST
A few weeks ago, I posted a comment in an Open Thread about a Pakistani girl named Hina Saleem, living in northern Italy, who was killed by her father because she was dating an Italian man.
No one responded to the comment, which I chalked up to the thread having already died out.
But after listening to this BBC radio program about "honor killings" among minorities in Britain, it occurred to me that maybe my comment was simply old news, as they say.
There are few things that are more enraging to me than the fact that people kill their own daughters, sisters, cousins and granddaughters for "bringing shame" on their family by dating someone they do not approve of. And yet to my shock, I find out that this has been going on regularly in Britain for years.
What the hell is going on? What continent is this? What century? I thought this was atavistic stuff going on among savages* in Baluchistan, not among Europeans* in England and Italy (and other countries?).
Why have we not heard more about this? Is it because the media doesn't want to be accused of sensationalizing and inflaming a marginal and insignificant issue? Where the hell is the outrage? (Update [2006-9-4 23:34:6 by bruno-ken]: Migeru answers these questions in the last part of a comment below) Are Western societies going to allow this barbarism to occur within their own borders? Are the criminals being punished to the full extent of the law?
Adds a whole new dimension to Bend It Like Beckham for me.
Konnie Huq, the host of Asian Network Report, on which I heard this report, should be praised for bringing attention to this unspeakably shameful and unbelievable phenomenon.Love, "Honour" and Obey
Presented by: Konnie Huq
Promoted by Colman
*Update [2006-9-4 23:34:6 by bruno-ken]:
I should not have used the term "savages" to describe the people who practice honor killings, because it was inaccurate, and because it implies irremediableness. As abhorrent as this practice is to me, the term "savage" as applied to people
, as opposed to acts or behavior, implies total lack of rationality and socialization. But those who practice honor killings obviously have both. Though I still consider the act itself to be savage -- just as lynchings, aerial bombing of civilians, slavery, suicide bombings, etc. may be considered savage practices -- it does not follow that the people doing these things are "savages".
Furthermore, to call someone a "savage" based on their behavior may imply that the person has no hope of changing that behavior, and thus comes dangerously close to dehumanizing them and devaluing them altogether. For this reason, using the word was wrong, irresponsible, and unconstructive, and I apologize for having done so.
Samaira Nazir was a victim of honour killing. We reveal some shocking attitudes of young British Asians toward so-called "honour" killing.
In July 2006, 25-year old Samaira Nazir's killers were jailed for life. Her 21-year-old brother and teenage cousin murdered her for wanting to marry "an unsuitable boy". Campaigners say so-called "honour" murders in the UK are happening more often and that large numbers of British Asian women across the country are seeking help. Can you help The Asian Network Report examine why "honour"-based violence and abuse is on the increase? The police are trying to understand why these crimes happen - do you?
Shazia Qayyum works for Karma Nirvana, an organisation which supports victims of "honour" abuse. Her childhood friend was killed by her father for bringing "shame" upon him and Shazia herself is the survivor of a forced marriage. Listen to her story in full.