02 February 2008

Honour Killings

I have been reading this piece about honour killings and what struck me most is that there is no honour in this sort of killing. Perhaps it is time these crimes were labelled for what they are, cold-blooded murder. Men saving face by killing their wives or daughters because they feel that they have been shamed is reprehensible.

There is simply no justification for it and the practice must be stopped, cold. If the communities themselves where honour killings occur cannot prevent the practice or hide behind some claim that this is culturally acceptable then the law should step in and protect those that cannot protect themselves and punish those that prefer to kill rather than lose face.

I am glad I was born where I was born and have the culture that I have. It would not have dawned on me and neither would it have mattered to the degree that I would have felt compelled to kill my sister or throw acid on her to disfigure her in order that she never leave the family if she were to associate with someone I disliked or heaven forbid chatted to some unknown bloke on her mobile phone.

Yet, what did dawn on me reading this article was the following, "men are like gold coins and women are like silk, if you drop a gold coin in the mud it can be polished but if you drop silk in the mud it is stained forever!"...

In the case contained in the article not only was the young women murdered in cold blood because she fell in love with a man other than the man that her family had arranged for her to marry. Yes folks we are indeed in the 21st century and the family had been resident in the UK for many years and yes they maintained the old traditions of arranged marriage.

I can understand arranged marriages and in this case the arranged marriage was a bad one but not all arranged marriages are. The problem here is that this one was bad and there was no recourse to get out of it and getting out of it caused the family to lose face or at least this is what they have claimed. This was made worse when the daughter fell in love with another man deemed to be of lesser status.

But the point is that not only was she murdered for causing her father to lose face but the perpetrators of this heinous crime raped and tortured her before killing her. Where is the honour in that?

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