Wednesday, June 20, 2007

‘Honor Killings’ Becoming
Common In UK

With deadlines and being away on vacation, I certainly neglected The Times Observer. With things calming down, and me almost winning my battle with jetlag, there will be more columns.

But while on vacation in Japan, I saw this interesting story in The Daily Yomiuri. A Muslim father in Britain decided to punish his 20-year old daughter for being with a man who didn’t come from their native Iraqi village. The punishment? Death.

Yes, Mahmod Mahmod, 52, was found guilty of murdering his daughter, Banaz Mahmod, in an “honor killing.” Her “crime” included using hair spray, adapting to Western ways, ending an abusive arranged marriage and falling in love with someone who didn’t come from the same village.

And according to the article, there are a number of “honor killings” by Muslims who practice Sharia, a strict Islamic law. The article could not be found on The Daily Yomiuri’s Web site, but was located on NBC 5 Dallas, Tex., news station’s Web site.

Sadly, this reminds me of another honor killing that I read a few years ago, which I just recently found here. A Palestinian mother murdered her daughter because the young girl was raped and impregnated by her two brothers. The mother wanted to restore her family’s honor.

I’ve been very fortunate that my Muslim friends have a 21st century way of thinking when it comes to women. I simply can’t understand how those practicing Sharia can find a raped woman, held against her will, to be guilty of anything. And yet, what really baffles the mind, they find the rapists innocent. (At least, from what I can gather.)

But it’s just not rape or dating someone from the wrong neighborhood that a young girl can “use” to shame her family. A Muslim Kurdish refugee living in Britain a few years ago was given a life sentence for honor killing his 16-year old daughter because she brought shame upon the family by dating a Lebanese Christian boy.

And this is an increasing problem! We have an international space station above us. NASA is planning to place a human on Mars. We have cell phones that not only take pictures but videos. Most of the world believes in the pursuit of happiness, especially America, where the idea is only 230 years old. So how can we have people running around, thinking it’s the 13th century and it’s perfectly acceptable to murder their own children?

The one thing that keeps nagging at me is this: How can we win the war on terror against radical people who don’t even care about the safety and lives of their own children?