Friday, January 4, 2008

'Honor killing' not Islam's fault

The Crunchy Con says no in a post in which he evaluates whether the double murder of two teenage girls in Texas even was a so-called "honor killing":

Police have not used the phrase "honor killing" in talking about the murder of the two Muslim teenage girls in Lewisville, allegedly by their father, Egyptian immigrant Yaser Abdel Said, but there are signs emerging that it might be something like that. Today's DMN story says:

Police did say they are looking into the possibility that the father was upset with his daughters' dating activities.

Like, what? Were they dating non-Muslims? Were they behaving in any way that fits the well-established "honor killing" pattern we've seen among some Muslim communities in the West?

Channel 11 has a bit more detail in its report:

Sisters, Amina, 18, and Sarah, 17, were each shot to death. Friends of the girls say their father was Egyptian and critical of popular American lifestyles. ""He was really strict about guy relationships and talking to guys, as well as the things she wears," Kathleen Wong, a friend of the dead teenagers. "I'm definitely 100% sure that it was her dad that killed her."

Honor killings are present in Middle Eastern Muslim societies, but it seems that the religion is not to blame -- that it's a relic of harshly patriarchal culture. Muslim countries outside the Middle East don't really have these things, it appears. You also see it lingering in non-Muslim Mediterranean societies.

I agree that such familial violence is not endemic to Islam. There was, however, a disturbing "honor killing" in Canada last month that allegedly was motivated by a teenage girl's refusal to wear the hijab.

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