"Honor Killing" - what a retarded expression. Where's the honor in it exactly? Asia News reports that Hina Saleem, a 21-year old Pakistani woman, was murdered by her father in Brescia, Italy, "with the complicity of her entire family":
"Mohammed Saleem cut his daughter’s throat on August 11 because she refused an arranged marriage and instead wanted to integrate into Italian society. Not only did she work in a bar where alcoholic beverages were served but, worse of all, she had entered in a common law relationship with a 30-year-old Italian man. For her family, the scandal was too much to bear."
Her family buried her body in the garden of the parent's house. More details here. I hope the authorities give the Saleem family the Danish treatment. Arrest the whole damn family.
Monsignor Lawrence John Saldanha, archbishop of Lahore, criticized this murder and its general practice in Pakistan, but his language is rather weaselly:
“There is no justification of such killing for the sake for the family’s honour, It is an old and unjust feudal practice in Pakistan that denies women the right to make decisions on their own....this type of incident is earning Pakistan a bad name. People who go to foreign countries should accept to live in an international culture, adhere to international values based on universal human rights. And if they cannot adjust to international values and norms, they should come back to Pakistan.”
So it would be OK if Hina was murdered in Pakistan??!?!? Hamza Piccardo, the spokesman for the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII), has a boat load of weasel words himself:
"Sometimes the perception of oneself as a religious person, that is, of a punctual executor of a set of rites and the attachment to a rigid and decontextualised moral code push some Muslims to blindly wall themselves up, alienating themselves from the cultural reality surrounding them. It is certain that a couple cohabiting outside an proper Islamic marriage is considered by Muslim law and tradition to be a serious sin in the eyes of God (hadd), but it is also true that no school of Islamic rights, even the strictest, has ever allowed people to take justice into their own hands. In fact, the Sharia and Islamic law restored the custom of severely punishing all those who dealt justice independently or even those who accused their spouses without the support of four fellow Muslims to testify to the adultery."
I'm not impressed with the "restoration of justice" by sharia law. Piccardo continues:
(Concerning another motive for the crime), "it seems that the understanding people usually have of practising Muslims is strongly conditioned by a feeling of alienation, or incompatibility, with those which should be the values in Western society in which the defendant decided (but how freely?) to live. People still believe that a practising Muslim (and Mohammed Saleem is believed to be one) is obsessed by a scrupulous religious practice necessarily separated from considerations relating to tolerance, in the respect for personal decisions one doesn't necessarily agree with, forgiveness and the accompanying of an erring individual to help them correct themselves or convert themselves again. Nothing could be further from the truth, the features of forgiveness are in fact so important in Islamic ethics that God himself says 'My forgiveness precedes My justice....We will not stand around debating rampant Islamophobic themes (the enemy, because this is the image which must be communicated, must always be ugly, dirty and evil; why else would you wage war on him?)"
Tu quoque, let's deflect some attention from that murder, shall we? Italy is guilty of Islamophobia!!
I'm glad that western media is covering honor killings, but I wish they would pay as much attention to the thousands of honor killings that happen every year in Pakistan and other Middle Eastern and African countries. Like the woman I blogged about two weeks ago.