It's impossible to simplify the complex nature of honor killings by labeling it a religious or cultural disease. No one can make a case that honor killing is a religious issue because there is no justification for it in the Qur'an or Sharia and it occurs in all religions.
If honor killings were strictly a Muslim issue, how can it be explained that such murders are virtually unheard of in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, and in Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy mosques and the most conservative Muslim country? In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that not only are Muslims responsible for only a portion of honor killings but the killings are committed on a global scale that includes Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and people of no faith.
It's also impossible to argue that it's a geographical or cultural phenomenon because these murders transcend all cultures. And it's not even a gender issue since many women are complicit in the planning and execution of the murders and that many victims are men. Amnesty International says that that "females in the family - mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, and cousins - frequently support the attacks. It's a community mentality."
Given that honor killings are a global phenomenon and not isolated to Muslims, how do critics justify their anger toward only one group? They can't, but it won't stop them from letting the facts get in the way of their agenda.
We live in a society that labels and demonizes certain groups to justify their hatred. Americans, in particular, have a nasty habit throughout history of targeting specific groups – from the American Indian to Japanese-Americans to communists and now Muslims – to justify their fear and anger. There is no logic to it. It makes no sense. But it makes people feel as if they are helping their country by attacking perceived enemies.
January 7, 2008
Rob Wagner at 13 Martyrs has come out with another solid post, this time about The Myth of Muslim Honor Killings. If you're not reading Rob's blog on a daily basis (or haven't put him on your RSS reader, as I have), you're missing out on some good writing. Some excerpts from his post: