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  • Long investigation article on ‘honour’ crimes


    by Sunny
    7th September, 2010 at 11:14 am    

    The Independent today has a long article by Robert Fisk on ‘honour’ crimes against women across the world.

    A 10-month investigation by The Independent in Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank has unearthed terrifying details of murder most foul. Men are also killed for “honour” and, despite its identification by journalists as a largely Muslim practice, Christian and Hindu communities have stooped to the same crimes. Indeed, the “honour” (or ird) of families, communities and tribes transcends religion and human mercy. But voluntary women’s groups, human rights organisations, Amnesty International and news archives suggest that the slaughter of the innocent for “dishonouring” their families is increasing by the year.

    Most of it focuses on women across the world, but there’s also the UK cases:

    And, of course, we should perhaps end this catalogue of crime in Britain, where only in the past few years have we ourselves woken to the reality of “honour” crimes; of Surjit Athwal, a Punjabi Sikh woman murdered on the orders of her London-based mother-in-law for trying to escape a violent marriage; of 15-year-old Tulay Goren, a Turkish Kurd from north London, tortured and murdered by her Shia Muslim father because she wished to marry a Sunni Muslim man; of Heshu Yones, 16, stabbed to death by her father in 2005 for going out with a Christian boy; of Caneze Riaz, burned alive by her husband in Accrington, along with their four children – the youngest 10 years old – because of their “Western ways”. Mohamed Riaz was a Muslim Pakistani from the North-West Frontier Province. He died of burns two days after the murders.

    Scotland Yard long ago admitted it would have to review over a hundred deaths, some going back more than a decade, which now appear to have been “honour” killings.

    It’s an excellent piece worth reading.


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    1. Lydia Forsyth — on 7th September, 2010 at 11:30 am  

      Yes, let’s kill this cult called Islam. Women have suffered enough at the hands of these barbarians.

    2. Ellie Mae — on 7th September, 2010 at 11:39 am  

      Did you even read the article? It’s pretty clear that it isn’t about demonising Islam.

      If that’s your first reaction to reading a piece like this, you are a barbarian - religion doesn’t come into it.

    3. Naadir Jeewa — on 7th September, 2010 at 1:07 pm  

      “In Jordan, women’s organisations say that per capita, the Christian minority in this country of just over five million people are involved in more “honour” killings than Muslims – often because Christian women want to marry Muslim men.”

      “In one of the most terrible Hindu “honour” killings in India this year, an engaged couple, Yogesh Kumar and Asha Saini, were murdered by the 19-year-old bride-to-be’s family because her fiancée was of lower caste.”

      All together now:

      Patriarchy not religion.
      Patriarchy not religion.
      Patriarchy not religion.

    4. Refresh — on 7th September, 2010 at 1:21 pm  

      ‘It’s an excellent piece worth reading.’

      Without a doubt!

    5. Ellie Mae — on 7th September, 2010 at 1:23 pm  

      Well said Naadir.

    6. Shamit — on 7th September, 2010 at 1:32 pm  

      Excellent post Sunny.

      And @1: are you blaming Muslims for attrocities committed by Hindus and others?

      Killing your loved one for family honour is a cultural issue and definitely not a religious issue.

      And I think Naadir got it spot on. So get your blinkers off people.

      Excellent article by Fisk too.

    7. halima — on 7th September, 2010 at 3:38 pm  

      Good article and I always read Fisk. He is streets ahead on most issues.

    8. Kulvinder — on 7th September, 2010 at 4:01 pm  

      God i have to admit, given the relentless horror described, it was difficult to finish reading that. A much needed article.

      Theres a nugget of optimism in the fact these types of murders weren’t uncommon, in living memory, amongst people we’d now consider to be ‘western’. Karen Tintori wrote about the same horrors that were kept hidden in her family secrets. Those attitudes were largely overcome in Sicilian-Americans and there is hope that with constant exposure it can be overcome elsewhere.

      As noted above its easy and misguided to frame these crimes as part of the ‘muslim community’, and there are plenty within the Sikh and Hindu ‘communities’ who’d like nothing more. It avoids introspection and allows misogyny to go unchallenged.

    9. Phil Hunt — on 7th September, 2010 at 4:15 pm  

      @2 Ellie Mae: religion doesn’t come into it

      Really? Are you saying that if we did a statistical analysis, then the probability of someone committing an honour killing is the same regardless of religion? I strongly suspect that not to be the case. I also cannot recall a single case of an atheist honour killer.

    10. Kulvinder — on 7th September, 2010 at 4:28 pm  

      nb one very very important case that Fisk missed out and that im deliberately highlighting to pre-empt the usual trolls suggesting the entire site is ‘anti sikh’ (obviously Dalbir comes near the top of that list)

      The SGPC is a hugely influential organisation (well committee) that ‘oversees’ Gurdwaras. The first woman to be elected as its president was Jagir Kaur.

      Around ten years ago her daughter was murdered in what is widely suspected to have been an honour killing, she was implicated in that and is currently waiting to be tried (the Indian courts in general and Punjab’s in particular are glacial in terms of bringing prosecutions).

      I don’t wish to align myself with idiotically boorish ‘it isn’t only men’ brigade, but the notion of honour goes deeper than patriarchy. Its more about an entrenched mindset that views both boys and girls (though the latter in particular) as commodities to be exchanged. You’d be surprised at how many women would sell their own children for social standing.

      Anyway Jagir Kaur was re-elected a few years ago despite those allegations.

      Speaks volumes about the judgement of those involved, eh?

    11. Kulvinder — on 7th September, 2010 at 4:36 pm  

      Really? Are you saying that if we did a statistical analysis, then the probability of someone committing an honour killing is the same regardless of religion? I strongly suspect that not to be the case. I also cannot recall a single case of an atheist honour killer.

      This is a myopic point of view. The murders aren’t committed ‘in the name of religion’ but in the name ‘of honour’. That honour can and does express itself in a wide variety of ways other than religious belief eg tribes/castes/ethnicity.

      You may not recall a single example of an atheist honour killer but there are plenty of examples of honour killings that occur despite the fact all involved share the same religion.

    12. RezaV — on 7th September, 2010 at 4:54 pm  

      Oh what a mire of cultural relativism.

      Exceptions do not prove a rule.

      ‘Honour’ killings are NOT a Christian phenomenon. They’re NOT a Western European cultural phenomenon.

      These murders are only found, to any significant extent, within certain Third World cultures: in Africa, the Middle East and particularly the Indian Sub-Continent. Its proponents are found mainly among (a small minority) of Muslims although it also occurs to some extent within the Sikh and Hindu societies.

      And the reason they occur here is ONLY because of the fact that those ‘minorities’ exist within the ever-increasing numbers of people from those specific cultures who live here in parallel societies thanks to the insane ideology of multiculturalism.

    13. Kulvinder — on 7th September, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

      They’re NOT a Western European cultural phenomenon.

      Were it up to me, i’d have banned you from the site by now as your posts are tediously trollish without being illuminating.

      Yes lets have rant #634562345234 about multiculturalism/immigration/religion; we’ve never heard it before.

    14. Rumbold — on 7th September, 2010 at 5:18 pm  

      ‘Honour’-based violence has long occured amongst white Xian Europeans (read Stuart Carroll’s book for a good overview on it in Early Modern France, for example). It is true that it is shifted to non-European areas in recent centuries. And it is a cultural practice, though religion is sometiems used to reinforce/justify the murders, and religious figures (as the article shows), can play a part in legitimising the violence.

    15. Ellie Mae — on 7th September, 2010 at 6:15 pm  

      Phil Hunt

      What Kulvinder said.

      The relevance of religion to honour killings is that it is the excuse used to justify the action. If religion didn’t exist, human beings would find another excuse for oppression and violence.

      Religion is the reason for honour killings in the same way that self-defence was the reason for the Holocaust - the most easily available excuse.

    16. Dalbir — on 7th September, 2010 at 6:23 pm  

      nb one very very important case that Fisk missed out and that im deliberately highlighting to pre-empt the usual trolls suggesting the entire site is ‘anti sikh’ (obviously Dalbir comes near the top of that list)

      Button it you irritating twat.

      I’ve never tried to ‘cover up’ stupidity from Sikhs. If I’ve been critical of others, I’ve never restrained myself from directing it towards individual Sikh people or the community as well. Besides, I thought this forum is meant to have somewhat of an ‘Asian’ flavour? If so, it certainly isn’t coming from you, unless this ‘flavour’ entails constantly crying and bemoaning the terrible burden of being Asian and it’s inherent unfairness to you. It’s like watching a crap 1980s Grange Hill plot.

      I don’t wish to align myself with idiotically boorish ‘it isn’t only men’ brigade, but the notion of honour goes deeper than patriarchy.

      At least you have this much sense. For that, I thank God. Seriously.

      Speaks volumes about the judgement of those involved, eh?

      I can’t fathom out much of the idiocy that goes on in the quom these days. Lack of decent role models plays a big part I imagine. That fucked up, annoying conservatism that frequently stops Sikhs from debating or even speaking of ‘problems’ between themselves (I believe) helps perpetuate issues by providing an environment for unrestrained growth after the initial manifestation.

      That social standing point is probably a very important one. Social standing is something that many of the families you speak of obsess about. Especially the numerically dominant peasant Sikh community. Women can be worse then men on this front. Economics also. Maybe we need more social welfare type stuff for the elderly? So they aren’t terrified of being left to fend for themselves in later life (assuming this is a motivating factor?) On reflection, even that is impossible as most Panjabi Sikhs believe being left in the care of strangers is likely to lead to abusive situations.

      I’m asking why we don’t we talk about that ego that refuses to live humbly and pushes for ostentatious demonstrations of wealth (especially say at daughters weddings), for a sense of well being?

      Most, if not all of these problems seem to stem from excessive hankaar (false pride) and ego to me? If that is their root cause, we need to tackle them at this level in addition to other ways (i.e. through legislation/legal recourse).

      It’s a strange thought, but I’m wondering how much of this shite occurs just because the people involved want to avoid being sneered at? hhhmmmm…

    17. Kisan — on 7th September, 2010 at 8:57 pm  

      Haryana is a state that aside from Delhi suburb Gurgaon has an extremely backwards religious attitude and a massive problem with honour killings. I was signed up to a yahoo alert for ‘honour killings’ and a big percentage of the stories happened there.

      In Haryana the women cover their heads a lot and are treated as possessions of men. Casteist tribal type of societies that demand marrying according to religion, caste or tribe are most likely to engage in honour killings.

      I guess stoning adulterers to death is a type of ‘honour killing’ sanctioned by sharia giving a type of religious basis to honour killing in Islam. I think ancient Hindu principles involved gory death for adultery too giving some kind of religious underpinning there also. Christianity and Judaism too pre-enlightenment had I think gory suggestions to do with adulterers but nowadays have moved a bit forwards.

      I think these type of killings are most common where people take their religion more seriously although the other factors (caste, family honour, tribal honour, avoiding conversion to competing religions) are big factors.

      The ‘honour’ defiled is usually religious, caste or tribal and the women (and sometimes men too) are killed to bring back honour to the family.

      This is also linked with the pride and upstanding based on the above factors.

    18. Rumbold — on 7th September, 2010 at 9:05 pm  

      Dalbir:

      Most, if not all of these problems seem to stem from excessive hankaar (false pride) and ego to me? If that is their root cause, we need to tackle them at this level in addition to other ways (i.e. through legislation/legal recourse).

      Yes- good points.

    19. Shatterface — on 7th September, 2010 at 9:54 pm  

      ‘You may not recall a single example of an atheist honour killer but there are plenty of examples of honour killings that occur despite the fact all involved share the same religion.’

      The fact religious people also kill members of their own religion doesn’t mean it isn’t religiously motivated.

      AND CAN WE STOP CALLING THESE ‘HONOUR KILLINGS???

    20. Shatterface — on 7th September, 2010 at 9:58 pm  

      ‘The relevance of religion to honour killings is that it is the excuse used to justify the action. If religion didn’t exist, human beings would find another excuse for oppression and violence.’

      That’s an incredibly reactionary argument: that people are inately violent and just looking for an excuse.

    21. Arif — on 7th September, 2010 at 10:05 pm  

      It is hard for people who are used to living in relatively atomised societies to imagine what comes over the people who committed the crimes in the article.

      I don’t think it is cultural imperialism to call it evil. I think evil is how I’d assess it too. But I’d put it in the framework that Zimbardo discusses: http://www.lucifereffect.com/

      In tightly knit communities, a bit like in a Big Brother house, small issues can easily get blown out of proportion. The importance of keeping standing with all the people watching and judging you can seem inescapable and turn our values inside out. How many of us stand as individuals against the pressures of group conformity even in less socially regulated societies?

      If one macho version of honour/dishonour is all you have known and all you ever expect to know, it seems like reality. The abstract honour becomes visceral - basic to your security and your self-respect. And each time a (de)value is practiced the stronger it becomes - so it is a culpable failure for officials, the law, and those who claim leadership in those countries and communities and don’t prosecute vigorously.

      Maybe the International Criminal Court should have jurisdiction over such systematic killings with impunity, but at the moment the fact that these are not part of mass killings means it doesn’t count as a crime against humanity.

      In the short term, there are organisations like UNIFEM who could be providing safe-houses and consciousness raising in these countries. And it is an issue which is what International Women’s Day should be all about. And the media, following Fisk, can tail the supposed honour with a greater shame (though this is a risky tactic). Does anyone remember shaja be saiya (Pakistani drama on an honour killing), very powerful at the time, but the pressure should be kept up in the media, as TV screens can give an everyday reality which can change what we think other people think.

      It is difficult to know what we can do with our anger which can make a positive difference. But we all have a part to play, even outside those communities and their particular hysterias. Zimbardo claims that an anonymous society is no innoculation - but one thing that helps is if people feel special and valuable in themselves, and are encouraged to challenge injustices, are expected to be personally accountable for “corporate” actions etc.

      It’ll be a long struggle.

    22. Ellie Mae — on 7th September, 2010 at 11:57 pm  

      Shatterface

      It’s not reactionary to know that the human heart is capable of both extreme beauty and extreme ugliness.

    23. KJB — on 8th September, 2010 at 12:48 am  

      I don’t wish to align myself with idiotically boorish ‘it isn’t only men’ brigade, but the notion of honour goes deeper than patriarchy. Its more about an entrenched mindset that views both boys and girls (though the latter in particular) as commodities to be exchanged. You’d be surprised at how many women would sell their own children for social standing.

      This is a very important point and one that I have made over and over to people. Women are the committed foot-soldiers of the patriarchy in most Indian communities, even if men are its principal beneficiaries, which is why HBV will probably be more difficult to stamp out than it has been in Europe. Indian nationalism is also central to the problem, and I would imagine that other nationalisms around the world have probably caused similar problems for women, being as they are conservative.

      Had no idea about that Bibi Jagir case and likely wouldn’t have known otherwise, ta for linking to it.

      It’s a strange thought, but I’m wondering how much of this shite occurs just because the people involved want to avoid being sneered at?

      Likely, about 90% of it. The fear that people have of being ‘disrespected’ is really something else. To return to what Kulvinder was saying about commodities, often, especially among diasporans, people derive value from all the wrong places (‘respect’ from other members of the community, in a manner not unlike teenagers in gangs) rather than from personal worth through interests and/or career, or genuine religious conviction (or whatever else). That’s partly why so many women fuel the continuation of the cycle.

      Maybe we need more social welfare type stuff for the elderly? So they aren’t terrified of being left to fend for themselves in later life (assuming this is a motivating factor?)

      This is a good point - the authoritarianism of Indian familial structures really doesn’t help in creating any sort of progress. You can even see it on the Sikh Channel many a time, when young Sikhs get frustrated about not being listened to enough. The utterly bullshit notion that ‘boys will stay and look after you, while girls become part of another family’ really needs to die as well. It’s no secret that women are much more likely to end up caring for relatives; even just on an anecdotal level, I know of parents who were effectively defrauded, and then held hostage, by their adult son because they were among the many who believe that backwards shit.

    24. Soso — on 8th September, 2010 at 3:31 pm  

      Those attitudes were largely overcome in Sicilian-Americans and there is hope that with constant exposure it can be overcome elsewhere.

      Sicily spent several centuries under Arabo/Muslim occupation.

      And some historians speculate that the sicilian mafia is ultimately a product of that same occupation.

      Even islamist websites like “Islamonline” acknowledge that there’s a really big problem with honour killings in muslim countires.

      Although, and this is to be expected, they adamantly deny it has anything to do with the religion.

      They’re even up front about the figures, arguing that official estimates don’t even come close to the true numbers of killings.

      Pigs can sometimes fly!

    25. Kulvinder — on 8th September, 2010 at 6:53 pm  

      Sicily spent several centuries under Arabo/Muslim occupation.

      And some historians speculate that the sicilian mafia is ultimately a product of that same occupation.

      A large portion of the planet was under British and European colonial occupation for centuries; many historians speculate that the root cause of a significant number of the world’s present problems lie in that colonial occupation.

      Its really up to you, either be consistant and hold ‘western europe’ and/or its ‘culture’ accountable for whats happening in the present or stop trying to grasp at straws and link everything to islam.

    26. Refresh — on 8th September, 2010 at 7:09 pm  

      Soso, I genuinely question whether you have any interest in the victims, as they seem to serve a better purpose as justification for your bigotry. But what do you make of a live one?

      You remind me very much of Lindalotte (aka Julie Burchill) on Guardian talkboards, where she seemed to justify all manner of dispicable ill (usually from 50,000 feet) on muslims - always forgetting that while she claimed to defend the muslim sisterhood, she was happy to kill their children.

    27. Don — on 8th September, 2010 at 7:22 pm  

      I may have posted this link before, but I’d be interested in hearing opinions on it. Particularly from Refresh and Kulvinder.

      http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/TOXICVAL.HTM

    28. deemz — on 8th September, 2010 at 8:37 pm  

      Islam isn’t the root cause of patriarchy/sexism/honor culture in muslim cultures where it exists, however these cultures use Islam to reinforce and give divine sanction for the patriarchy/sexism/honor culture.

      Islam’s fault in this matter from a “modern” perspective is that it has not reformed its more chauvinistic notions which are used to justify violence against women and to abolish these practices which often (arguably, of course) go against what Islam teaches (coerced/forced marriages for example).

      In regards to honor culture, it’s all about not showing weakness. I don’t know how many of you on the other side of the pond are familiar with the HBO Show, where the character Marlo rages at the news from his crew that his name was mocked in the street: “My name is my name!!”

      Well it is the same thought process found in cultures of honor, where your family name is your “weight” and any perceived slight or tarnishing demands action or else you will be seen as weak, and your weakness will be exploited.

      I agree with Arif that this is difficult to understand from a modern western perspective, and also that it represents a collective failure on the part of the community’s leaders, and the governments of countries where such practices exist not to work against it.

      Being an atheist, I’m not religious at all but being practical and looking at realistic ways to end the practice of honor killing/violence in Islamic cultures, religion will have to play a central role. When I look at Islam, I don’t believe it necessarily has to encourage the kind of tribalism that is at the heart of this behavior and that actually Islam encourages the kind of individualism that can move the community away from such practices. In Islam there is no concept of “honor”, such that the actions and deeds of individuals are not tied to that of the family or clan, which is at the root cause of honor killings. If anything Islam teaches that individuals are responsible for their actions alone, and does not reflect on their family or tribe. If muslim leaders can encourage their followers to move more towards this line of thinking, I think it would help a great deal. I’m not sure about Hinduism but I see nothing in Sikhism that would contradict this kind of movement either.

      If Islamic leaders can focus on making the values of “individualism” and “no compulsion” the focus of their teachings, I think it would work to cure a great many ills in muslim communities. Is that asking too much?

    29. Refresh — on 8th September, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

      Don,

      Its a long piece. Meanders a bit. First 30~40% was written by a twerp, seeking to draw clear divisions between what he could safely say is a ‘progressive’ definition of honor (sic), and the ‘other’. So he claims for himslef and his all that he could later go on to claim as a success.

      He goes out of his way to find a term he wishes to see become mainstream, and muddies the debate on picking an arabic term. That bit surprised me.

      He is almost apologetic when he dabbles and then dismisses the spanish idea of honour. And yet right there he had the bullseye (no pun) - a society under Franco’s heel was behaving in a similar way. He pretends its a miracle that all that is past and in such a short space of time. Forgetting (and this applies to Portugal too) that the EEC ploughed billions into the Iberian peninsula. And broadened its horizons.

      He could have readily concluded autocratic states do not allow free-expression and use all the levers at their disposal, especially social levers which invariably affect the relationships between man and woman, to maintain control. And of course if you can keep women at home, in their place, there isn’t the added burden of delivering an economy capable of supporting double the workforce. The twerp could have used a little more of his intellect and compared it with pre-war and post-war propaganda right here. Putting women back into the kitchen.

      But coming back to the thrust of his argument, which he only really gets into latterly, he is talking about a ‘vibrant’ free-market (US) economy which can only survive if we continue to embrace individualism. He does give a nod to the possibility of individualism only surviving whilst there is a ‘vibrant’ free-market economy.

      With regards the topic of this thread, he is illuminating very little. I would have more interest if he could recognise that shooting of fellow pupils, ex-work colleagues are a part of the same continuum.

      There were other aspects which I found myself agreeing with, but only in isolation.

      If he had gone on to argue for a properly functioning state which itself upheld the law on behalf of its citizens then I would have agreed. And upholding the law isn’t necessarily cheap, especially where the police can be subverted due to chronically low wages.

      In situations like that it falls to the individual to uphold their inner convictions of right and wrong; only then do you survive as a people. Think Mexico.

    30. Dalbir — on 8th September, 2010 at 8:50 pm  

      @27

      What you’ve highlighted there is a text book example of how Eurocentric arseholes like to try and fish in troubled waters and use whatever opportunity they get to beat other societies around the head about their failings whilst conveniently masking their own ‘evils’.

      As reprehensible as honour killings are, the erstwhile Northern Europeans mentioned in the link have their own (quite recent) history of imperialistic and colonial rape, murder and enslavement and exploitation to think about. Not to mention the unwanted mass disruption to societies that they caused and still continue too, through idiotic, ingrained complexes of being some sort of global ‘heroes’.

    31. Katy Newton — on 8th September, 2010 at 9:32 pm  

      I also cannot recall a single case of an atheist honour killer.

      What balls. Religious people don’t have a monopoly on murder. Open a newspaper, turn on the TV or look at the news online and you will see plenty of stories about men right here in the UK - white men, not religiously motivated - killing their spouses or girlfriends because they believed they had cheated on them. Perhaps their families don’t get involved but the sense of entitlement and outraged pride that these men have is not significantly different from that in religiously-motivated honour killings.

    32. Refresh — on 8th September, 2010 at 11:04 pm  

      ‘ingrained complexes of being some sort of global ‘heroes’.’

      I wish it was as benign as that.

    33. Kulvinder — on 8th September, 2010 at 11:11 pm  

      Don,

      lol, its a pretty vague attempt to explain ‘western dominance’; and it shows some irritating misconceptions that Americans tend to come out with.

      Theres a tendency for americans to look at ‘northern europe’ as being the example of progressive intellectualism (contrast and compare to his attitude to that ‘thared med’). This is possibly because quite a few of them are descendants of germans and wish to link american prosperity ‘back to’ germany, but in all honesty, i think theres more than a degree of racist stereotyping at work.

      I’d argue that subconsciously they view ‘north europe’ as being ‘whiter’ in a physical sense (blond haired blue eyed) and project that as being the pinnacle of progressiveness.

      In reality of course the exact opposite is true. The last 3000 years of european history is dominated by the various Mediterranean powers. The lands we call Greece, Italy and Turkey was where ‘europe’ was founded and the ‘northern europeans’ inclusive of celtic, german, and scandinavian tribes were the uncivilised and emotionally rampant hoardes that were to be kept back at all cost.

      If you think thats a tad too judgemental about the way americans view europe, ask the next one you meet whether they consider the spanish (for example) to be ‘white’; from personal experience quite a few tend to have (pejorative) racial stereotypes about hispanics which they then project onto the spanish.

      They grow up with racial and ethnic definitions that don’t really make much sense in a european context.

      As such its very difficult to take seriously any analysis on the comparative lack of “honor” or “feud” mentality in northern europe culture when no mention is made of the social makeup of the visigoths, vandals, vikings, highland clans etc.

      If his central argument is northern europe lacks thar and is therefore ‘better’; id like to know which timespan hes specifically talking about, as most of history says the exact opposite.

      All that aside and to echo dalbir its tiresome and banal to tsk at the failings of the muslims/arabs/non ‘westerners’/darkerpeople and to make lazy assumptions about why that is so.

      I could mirror his argument to make some stupid point about how ‘northern europeans’ are inherently control freaks how that inevitably leads to the subjugation and genocide of people they oppose, but it’d be racist wouldn’t it?

    34. Dalbir — on 8th September, 2010 at 11:26 pm  

      @32

      Why don’t you spill the beans then?

      Don’t be scared.

    35. Refresh — on 8th September, 2010 at 11:43 pm  

      Its the rehabilitation of imperialism as a force for good. Something that right-wing historians such as Norman Stone have been pushing for a long time.

    36. Dalbir — on 9th September, 2010 at 1:08 am  

      I could mirror his argument to make some stupid point about how ‘northern europeans’ are inherently control freaks how that inevitably leads to the subjugation and genocide of people they oppose

      No you couldn’t. You haven’t got the bollocks for straight talk like that. You’re only brave at whining about your own people with your self loathing, pitying, extravagant shit.

      Plus you haven’t got the foggiest…..white supremacist bastards only understand that kind of blunt talk. It’s the best way to shut them up. One could even go further and hope, just a bit, that there may be a tiny chance that the counter arguments actually causes some sort of cognitive breakthrough for some of the idiots. But this is all lost on you.

      In any case, fuck off and stop using my name please.

    37. halima — on 9th September, 2010 at 1:30 am  

      ” the sense of entitlement and outraged pride that these men have is not significantly different from that in religiously-motivated honour killings.”

      Well said, Katy. Seems to be the root of lots of violence in individuals, and groups - the idea that they are insulted, offended, angry, is justification to take another’s life. I’d rather be insulted, offended, angry, upset - if that would protect another person’s life - and especially if the person at risk of violence is someone intimate to me.

    38. halima — on 9th September, 2010 at 1:50 am  

      I was also interested in Japanese ideas of honour/shame.

      Broadly speaking, cultures and countries can be divided into those that are based on guilt, like Christian countries, and those that are based on shame.

      Guilt obviously comes from the idea of sin, that people left to their own devices, are sinful. Shame/honour, is driven by the idea that we feel accountable to others for our actions, and our view of ourselves is in relation to our society, others, not just our individual conscience. On this definition, it would appear as though societies driven by guilt are more religious than secular.. Empirically, this may not be the case.

      The reason for bringing this comparison up between guilt and shame is to illustrate how shame in Japanese society leads to violence against the self - self harm and suicide, whereas as shame/honour in other places ends up with violence committed against others.

      Cultures based on shame in my view ought to follow the Japanese model - the idea of the community and society working as a positive virtue. How, it ends up with honour killings has got to be worst form of distortion of honour based value systems I can imagine, and presumably can only be explained by the gender based differences and the position of women and men in the world.

    39. Refresh — on 9th September, 2010 at 2:23 am  

      I was hoping that we didn’t get into too many details as far as that article was concerned. It does not merit it. That said, I was puzzled by his invocation of the Japanese guy with a shrine in his office, atoning for his sins against the Chinese. Here he goes out of his way to ‘forgive’ those sins and yet we know there is significant resistance to Japan apologising for its actions. And note that the groundwork being laid for the forthcoming apology is based on the growing economic power of China and not shame.

      So in a way the shame only applied if it was for an action or omission within your own group and not a people you view as inferior.

      That of course, is historical. My experiences of Japan and its people has always been positive. And similarly China and the Chinese.

    40. Sunny — on 9th September, 2010 at 3:06 am  

      I also cannot recall a single case of an atheist honour killer.

      honour based violence is cultural than religious. There are plenty of secular / atheist Hindus in India who have been known to do this.

      Soso:
      Sicily spent several centuries under Arabo/Muslim occupation.

      And some historians speculate that the sicilian mafia is ultimately a product of that same occupation.

      hahah! that is some desperate bigotry.

    41. Jennifer — on 9th September, 2010 at 6:34 am  

      Strange though, isn’t it, that the only legally sanctioned killing of ones children or ones children’s children is Sharia Law.

      I am assuming that this law originally came into being when sons used to fight their fathers for power - was it not Saladan that executed his sons because they had plotted against him.

      Given the fact that rulers could kill their children for disobedience it does not take much to see the link between honour killings of daughters who do not submit to their father’s decrees.

      Patriarchal yes, but certainly only legalised by Islam.

    42. Shamit — on 9th September, 2010 at 10:02 am  

      Jennifer - Have you read the Old Testament?

      The Old Testament - Especially Leviticus allows you to kill your children for disobeying you. So, its not really a Sharia problem is it.

      As many commentators have rightly argued here - this is a cultural issue and not a religious issue. I do however agree that this has a lot to do with patriarchy.

      But lets not make it only Islam’s problem - it is a problem that permeates through all religions. Catholics in Latin America to Hindus In India and many in between. So, why choose Islam only?

    43. zak — on 9th September, 2010 at 10:55 am  

      having had some indirect knowledge of the samia sarwar case, the bit about Nadir i didn’t know about..i did know he had to quit the army ..someone told me he had been targetted/killed as well..at least that is not the case.

      The irony/tragedy is that her fathers marriage wasn’t arranged ..it was in fact a “love marriage”

      He is still very much around and active in business circles http://www.scci.org.pk/formerpre.htm

    44. zak — on 9th September, 2010 at 10:58 am  

      http://www.dawn.com/2004/05/16/local17.htm

    45. Eric Clyne — on 9th September, 2010 at 11:14 am  

      A Review of the Comments is interesting.
      The Topic is HONOUR KILLING. That is the murder each year of tens of thousands of human beings.

      So,what are many of the commentators concerned with - inter-ethnic bickering. In other words - expressing bigotry and prejudice, concealed with a mask of educated civility.

      And, it appears that if you choose not to bicker inter-ethnically, you can show off even more education and point out how Westerners did the same thing in the not so distant past.

      Premoderns kill each other for breaches of codes of honour and loyalty which arise out of relations of subordination. That culture of subordination takes precedent over, and cannot be reconciled with secular rule of law.

      Moderns have abandoned this clan/kith and kin culture of subordination and moved into a social environment governed by rationally-composed rules. This transition (still under way) has taken centuries.

      Premoderns and Moderns have to learn to live alongside one another. Many, perhaps all, individuals are a bit of both.

      British citizens, who live in part in a premodern culture are going to find themselves emotionally driven to defend the indefensible.

      People are being killed out of hand. To stop this means each individual finding the courage to explicitly reject premodern subordination within their own family. You want to talk the Modern talk, then walk the Modern walk.

      Western literature and history is filled with individuals doing just that. It wasn’t handed to us on a plate. Our forebears fought tooth and nail to reject being subordinated. Your turn.

    46. Dalbir — on 9th September, 2010 at 12:12 pm  

      British citizens, who live in part in a premodern culture are going to find themselves emotionally driven to defend the indefensible.

      People are being killed out of hand.

      Again, another example of what I highlighted before. Eric, I mean it isn’t like your so called ‘modern’ culture hasn’t resulted in God knows how many deaths in front of our very own eyes through bullshit wars, based on lies and greed now is it? This isn’t in any remote past either. So maybe you should think twice before bringing on the condescending stuff huh?

      So whilst ‘Anglo-supremos’ (and their subordinated minions) may be able to dress it all up in fancy words and an aura of solemnity, they cause as much needless death as any other - if not more. This doesn’t okay what goes on with HBV, but the fact should at least curb your holier than thou shit.

      For the rest of you ‘effniks’, whether you embrace or resent your identity, I hope you notice the clear way certain people (yes, I mean certain white people), try to use our own reflective debates and self examination to jump in with their own agenda to try and subordinate and portray us in a negative light. A technique that we now know certain elements of Anglo society has been perfecting since around the late 1700s as per Dalrymple.

      Critical self examination by a society is a good practice but failing to acknowledge, recognise and counteract the obvious opportunistic reaction one gets from closet supremacists is stupid.

      Maybe, just maybe, there may well be a case for the argument that we shouldn’t air our dirty linen so openly in public because of the aforementioned, attempts by the usual suspects to twist things for their own nefarious agendas? Just a thought.

    47. Eric Clyne — on 9th September, 2010 at 12:27 pm  

      Wow. Dissociated anger with a tinge of racism. I was on topic. Can’t talk about everything. You are off-topic and doing little more than insulting me.

    48. Shamit — on 9th September, 2010 at 12:50 pm  

      Eric -

      “British citizens, who live in part in a premodern culture are going to find themselves emotionally driven to defend the indefensible.”

      The vast majority of domestic violence against women in the UK happen in White households.

      So am I to assume that most whites in the UK live in a premodern culture. Your assertions @45 is laden with racist tinge so your holier than thou approach @47 sounds like “pot calling the kettle black”.

      Saying that I do not agree with Dalbir.

      Killing or violence against one’s loved one based on a false sense of honour is a crime against humanity and goes against human rights.

      Individuals have rights whether the community agrees with it or not. And, it is absolutely okay for people to choose to marry or fall in love with someone which fucked up community leaders disapprove - and anyone who says otherwise is encouraging and abetting crimes against women.

      And it should be made public - every single incident should be made public and we as a society in Britain irrespective of colour, creed or religion must develop a support network for women who face violence from their loved ones. We have given too much credence to these so called community approach which is often used to subjugate women and deprive them of their rights.

      I am a British Asian and I am quite proud of that fact. And, I consider myself to be part of the entire society not just a microcosm of it.

      Both you and Dalbir fall into the trap of us vs them - I am not buying it and I think both of you are racists at worse or divisive at best.

      Our objective should be to find ways of eradicating domestic violence of all kinds and show some respect to women - we often and rightly too criticise the Taliban - but we should not hide our shortcoming under the carpet at the same time. When I say “we” I mean “we”.

      So both of you are in my book absolutely wrong.

    49. Shamit — on 9th September, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

      wish I was more proficient in using the edit function - apologies for the typo

    50. Arif — on 9th September, 2010 at 2:35 pm  

      I think deemz is on to something in terms of the practical importance of mufti giving more thought and expression on this issue. It is a bit glib to say “that is culture, not religion” all the time, but not make the strong case in religious terms for a) rejecting honour killings, b) punishing them.

      A quick google on the issue came up with fatwas basically saying honour killings are wrong, and some sites taking the issue very seriously: http://www.islamawareness.net/HonourKilling/

      That is a site which has a very traditional perspective and is strongly opposed to progressive strands of Islam (probably premodern from Eric’s perspective). But still its approach to this issue seems to me a very good example.

      How does such a message percolate into our communities, where religion is used and misused in the interests of patriarchy? Where liberating information is suppressed, the means of acting on it are blocked and the attempt to explore alternatives are stigmatised?

      I suggested that the media and State can provide such information, discussions, infrastructure and alternative values, but I think deemz has a good point that these could also be inserted by mosques - in khutbas, classes, campaigns following on from newspaper stories about honour killings. Mosques set a bad example when the turn inwards and close their eyes. Why do they do it?

      Firstly, mosques are often patriarchal themselves: they cater primarily to men and are run primarily by them and they don’t see anything wrong with that, so women’s inferiority is implicitly taken for granted as part of their religious practices.

      Secondly, they may assume that it goes without saying that honour killings are wrong, they have no clear interlocutor, they don’t believe they have to bolster the confidence of the congregation to oppose honour killings as no-one in the mass media seems to support it.

      Thirdly, issues raised tend to be dependent on the interests and preoccupations of particular imams and khatims, or responding to particular questions, and so the issue will only be raised by chance and be lost in the maelstrom of all the other exhortations that Muslims habitually tune out in getting on with our sometimes corrupt and often compromised daily lives.

      The effort of reforming these three habits might be what imams might call part of everyone’s personal jihad. And just saying that would be another part of legitimising the campaigns against patriarchal cultural habits.

    51. Eric Clyne — on 9th September, 2010 at 3:00 pm  

      Shamit: Why, in response to my comments do contributors drift or veer off-topic to talk about the evils of white imperialism, white wife-beating , white culture.

      Regarding white-wife-beating. Of course it is premodern. Vestiges of premodernity permeate every aspect of modern life. You want to talk about premodernity in white culture, we can do that. But whites rarely engage in honour killing., we can’t talk about everything all the time.

      And now, favourite of mine, a tune for all :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFTAApdSkeM

    52. douglas clark — on 9th September, 2010 at 7:35 pm  

      I’m not at all sure that this artificial dichotomy between ‘pre-modern’ and ‘modern’ really works for me.

      Where, exactly, is the dividing line.

      I’d have thought that Dalbir acknowledged that @ 30.

      ‘As reprehensible as honour killings are’

      before going off on one about how horrible everyone else is too.

      Does that remark make Dalbir a ‘pre modernist’ or a modernist? I don’t know…

      Although I do know that Dalbir’s complete inablity to stay on topic and do a whataboutery at every opportunity is getting quite wearysome. As is the notion that only people from within a particular community should be free to discuss it.

      I found this:

      Maybe, just maybe, there may well be a case for the argument that we shouldn’t air our dirty linen so openly in public because of the aforementioned, attempts by the usual suspects to twist things for their own nefarious agendas? Just a thought.

      pretty pathetic, to be honest, when most commentators around here are looking for solutions not finger pointing.

      Other than that, Shamit’s post @ 48 encapsulates most of what I would have had to say.

    53. Eric Clyne — on 9th September, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

      douglas, re your remarks:-

      Premodern social organisational are based upon a culture of subordination in which the greatest virtues are unquestioning obedience and loyalty from which honour derives. Modernity emerges from premodernity as rule-based systems mitigate the arbitrary power of patriarchs, lords and masters. Gradually these systems develop, and the notion of justice develop, further curbing arbitrary power.

      Modernity does not displace premodernity but is imposed upon it and gradually extended in scope and range.

      Contemporary discussions concerning whether children should be with parents or in care often have a premodern versus modern ring about them as parents rights over children tend to sound premodern, whilst rational, rule-based systems of authority in which individual rights are supreme sound distinctly modern.

      Identifying someone a modern or premodern is not that easy when all of us are a mixture of both.

    54. Dalbir — on 9th September, 2010 at 8:45 pm  

      when most commentators around here are looking for solutions not finger pointing.

      I wasn’t limiting my point to this forum but look…… almost immediately after the original thread was posted, exactly what I am talking about happened with finger pointing and talk of modern/premodern, itself loaded with barrels of judgment and condescension, appearing from particular sources - with barely concealed supremacist notions.

      When I made that point in your second quote, I was speaking pretty much rhetorically as a device to draw attention to the fact that there may be some substance behind the oft heard point of not giving a constantly seeking enemy (and that is what they are, like it or lump it), another easy opportunity to do what they do. The best way to describe the dynamics would be liken it to the relationship between Obama and Fox News. No matter what the former does, the latter will continue with its ‘anti’ agenda until they get called out for it, and then they will at best stay quiet for awhile before resuming ‘normal service’.

      Please realise, it was a rhetorical point, I’m not seriously advocating that we brownies go into dark, isolated caverns to discuss our knitty gritty in sworn secrecy.

      Regarding being ‘modern’ or ‘premodern’ - I’m both. All things to do with modern society aren’t fantastic nor are all so called premodern ideas/lifestyles inherently backwards or bad.

      Geddit?

    55. Eric Clyne — on 9th September, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

      Dalbir: I am describing - not prescribing. Both premodern and modern values are double-edged. Honour and loyalty in some contexts are great virtues. In others not so good. Capitalism is based upon modern concepts. Don’t get your knickers in a twist when someone expresses an idea you don’t like. Do you want discourse or not? These are brief comments not world-views - so we have to make allowances.

    56. douglas clark — on 9th September, 2010 at 10:32 pm  

      Dalbir,

      Good reply. But don’t tell your granny how to suck eggs.

      As per the ‘modern’, ‘pre-modern’ dilemma, I think everyone is. Even the folk that would claim ‘modern’ as their definition of self.

      I probably would like to think I was, but then I have dark thoughts sometimes. So, it is probably not true, at least, not all of the time. So the ‘pre-modern’, ‘modern’ debate is a bit fucked, would you agree?

      Your points about the West aren’t germane to this thread, but they - ought to be - undeniable in a universal context. However there are other universal contexts that quite a lot of good people around here subscribe to very strongly to too. These are the folk I am loosely allied to. If someone says ‘honour killing’ is evil, then I’m with that. I’d hope, and I expect you actually are too.

      Seems to me.

      The point is that there is no need for competition - and I’ll get to that when I reply to Eric Cline @ 53 - but there ought to be co-operation.

      I am pleased that you don’t want to retreat from addressing these issues in a public space. For three reasons,

      Firstly, because a lot of folk that come here could feel excluded from talking about something that we should all care about.

      Shouldn’t we?

      Secondly, Dalbir, it doesn’t work to ascribe universal beliefs or ideas to any group. You are a heck of a guilty of that.

      I quite like people. They are interesting. There is no need to build barriers, whether on the basis of ‘honour’ crimes against women or for any other reason.

      Community loyalty perhaps. To me that is the biggest problem, but there you go.

      I do not know Shamit from Adam, and yet, there is a voice that works for me.

      Would you agree with that?

      Finally, this is hard graft Dalbir, I know where you are coming from. When I was young, if someone said ‘if you hate the fucking English, clap your hands’ then the whole gang did. It seemed to me then, as it does now, to be utterly and completely stupid.

      Did I hate Margaret Thatcher? Yes - with a vengance.

      Did I hate Conservative Politics? Yes - I did.

      But did I hate Mrs Smith, or Mrs Patel or whatever, no I didn’t.

      So, don’t blame Mrs Smith, nor Mrs Patel for recent UK Foreign Policy. They have had knowt to do with it and no voice in it either….

      In fact, none of us have.

    57. douglas clark — on 9th September, 2010 at 10:43 pm  

      Eric Clyne,

      You say:

      douglas, re your remarks:-

      Premodern social organisational are based upon a culture of subordination in which the greatest virtues are unquestioning obedience and loyalty from which honour derives. Modernity emerges from premodernity as rule-based systems mitigate the arbitrary power of patriarchs, lords and masters. Gradually these systems develop, and the notion of justice develop, further curbing arbitrary power.

      Modernity does not displace premodernity but is imposed upon it and gradually extended in scope and range.

      Contemporary discussions concerning whether children should be with parents or in care often have a premodern versus modern ring about them as parents rights over children tend to sound premodern, whilst rational, rule-based systems of authority in which individual rights are supreme sound distinctly modern.

      Identifying someone a modern or premodern is not that easy when all of us are a mixture of both.

      Och, I don’t know where to start, really I don’t.

      Ho, hum.

      Firstly, you original arguement on here wasn’t about any of that, now, was it?

      It was about this:

      Premoderns kill each other for breaches of codes of honour and loyalty which arise out of relations of subordination. That culture of subordination takes precedent over, and cannot be reconciled with secular rule of law.

      Moderns have abandoned this clan/kith and kin culture of subordination and moved into a social environment governed by rationally-composed rules. This transition (still under way) has taken centuries.

      Premoderns and Moderns have to learn to live alongside one another. Many, perhaps all, individuals are a bit of both.

      British citizens, who live in part in a premodern culture are going to find themselves emotionally driven to defend the indefensible.

      People are being killed out of hand. To stop this means each individual finding the courage to explicitly reject premodern subordination within their own family. You want to talk the Modern talk, then walk the Modern walk.

      Western literature and history is filled with individuals doing just that. It wasn’t handed to us on a plate. Our forebears fought tooth and nail to reject being subordinated. Your turn.

      And is that on some sort of assumption that all Asians are backward or subordinated? Or only some of them?

      Premodern in your definition?

      Get a grip.

      I am taking the words

      Your turn.

      as some sort of challenge to Asians that post here?

      __________________________________

      Well, sunbeam, you sure don’t know your audience.

    58. RezaV — on 13th September, 2010 at 5:27 pm  

      Jennifer

      “Patriarchal yes, but certainly only legalised by Islam.”

      I disagree. This “problem” is cultural and not religious. However, I don’t disregard the fact that religion has a significant influence of on forming cultural mores. That’s the reason this “problem” affects some religious groups more than others.

      It is very important to look at this “problem” as two separate issues that require different approaches.

      The first is when these violent acts and murders are committed in foreign lands.

      The second is when they’re committed here.

      Let’s face it, there’s not much we can do regarding the first example. These atrocities do not happen in isolation. They are the product of an entire cultural framework and state of mind within those societies. And a great many cultural (and even religious) attitudes and beliefs would need to change before families stop murdering their children in the name of ‘honour’.

      The second example however is within our influence. This is Western Europe. ‘Honour’ murder is not and has not recently been part of our culture. Neither have the various other foreign customs and practices that inevitably create the culture where these vile practices occur.

      Behind every ‘honour’ murder here, you’ll find one of these foreign customs and practices ‘gone wrong’:

      1. Arranged marriages and in particular international arranged ‘fetching’ marriages;
      2. First –cousin marriages;
      3. Dowry payments;
      4. Religious and tribal marriages.

      It is in our power, as a society, to proscribe some of these practices. I see nothing wrong with banning first-cousin marriages. We can also effectively prevent international arranged ‘fetching’ marriages by reintroducing the Primary Purpose Rule, even ‘beefing it up’ if necessary.

      Arranged marriage as a ‘default’ position in certain ‘communities’ has to be made socially unacceptable. Why? Because as long as parents feel that it is normal to arrange their children’s marriages, then there it is inevitable that some of those marriages will be coerced. After all, every forced marriage starts as an arranged marriage.

      Similarly, the culture of expecting dowry payments has to be made sociably unacceptable here. A major reason people get murdered is because large amounts of money have changed hands over an arranged marriage that’s ‘gone wrong’. This is particularly relevant to ‘fetching’ marriages where the promise of a British passport for the ‘fetched’ spouse enhances the dowry payment considerably.

      Finally, every school, must teach children that they have the right to date or marry whomever they wish to marry, regardless of the race or religion of that person. Religious institutions (especially mosques) should be compelled by law to prominently display notices to this effect.

      People forget, that it’s in the area of inter-racial and inter-religious marriage where the south Asian communities prove themselves to be among the most racist and intolerant in Britain. Marrying your first cousin from your ancestoral third-world village is hardly a good example of celebrating ‘diversity’ is it? Nothing ‘diverse’ about that gene pool…

      We’re in this mess because of the insane and intellectually bankrupt ideologies of multiculturalism and one-sided ‘diversity celebrationalism’. You can’t ‘celebrate’ and ‘promote’ foreign cultures and expect that only the ‘nice’ aspects of those cultures will propagate in the UK.

      As we seen, again and again, multiculturalism gives us the ‘bad’ much more than the ‘good’.

      So enough ‘cultural sensitivity’. Britain has to start recognising and identifying what is ‘foreign’ and begin confidently asserting its own, Western European culture and values.

      Until it does, thousands of BRITISH girls will continue to be raped and murdered in the name of multiculturalism!

    59. left to right — on 13th September, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

      Interesting.

    60. Don — on 13th September, 2010 at 7:20 pm  

      I see nothing wrong with banning first-cousin marriages.

      Would that apply retrospectively?

    61. RezaV — on 13th September, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

      “Would that apply retrospectively?”

      Of course not.

    62. persephone — on 14th September, 2010 at 12:33 am  

      “ thousands of BRITISH girls will continue to be raped and murdered in the name of multiculturalism! ”

      So when do these rapists make clear their motivations – do they hail “I’m raping you in the name of multi-culturism” pre rape, mid rape or post rape? And when & how does the rapist verify that the nationality of the woman is british?

      And do the non british girls get raped for other reasons then?

      Or is this just another rabid & repetitive post.

    63. RezaV — on 14th September, 2010 at 9:26 am  

      persephone

      You’ve got yourself in a muddle. Perhaps my post wasn’t perfectly clear.

      When I’m speaking of British girls being raped, I’m speaking of those British girls who have the misfortune to have culturally south Asian parents, who for example, practice the south Asian ‘culture’ of taking them out of school and sending them to their dusty ancestral village in Pakistan where they are coerced and often forced into a marriage with some barely-literate first cousin who rapes them on their wedding night.

      That’s what I meant.

      And this is happens because the unholy alliance of lick-spittle sanctimonious white lefties and members of the nepotistic south Asian ‘’community’ refuse to address the cultural roots of the problem.

      For the whitey’s it’s all in the interests of ‘multiculturalism’, celebrating ‘diversity’ and not appearing judgemental or ‘racist’.

      Obviously, for those south Asians, it’s all about preserving their ancestral customs, making dowry money and funnelling relatives into Britain to join their burgeoning ‘community’.

      Is that any more clear?

    64. halima — on 15th September, 2010 at 10:05 am  

      Refresh,

      “And note that the groundwork being laid for the forthcoming apology is based on the growing economic power of China and not shame.”

      Interesting, I didn’t pick up on this, but if you are right, I imagine there’s still some hope for apologies of a different magnitude at a state level which the Chinese are waiting for …

    65. deemz — on 16th September, 2010 at 8:07 pm  

      I have this compelling need to defend my culture against attacks or the assumption that western european values are superior, even in aspects where I see a legitimate criticism. Why is this? Stockholm syndrome?

      I cannot justify forced marriages or honor culture’s most vile aspects…yet I have to ask these questions:

      Why is it automatically assumed that all or a majority of Britishi-Pakistani women that have arranged marriages are against the custom? Or that all or a majority of such marriages involve coercion or force?

      It is very possible that an arranged marriage does not involve “coercion” or force so why should it be considered socially unacceptable on the premise that in some cases it can be abused? Using that kind of logic sets a very bad precedent.

      In my mind, I can justify my community being hostile and resistant towards western integration and assimilation. While everyone should be aware of their rights, I see no reason why a community should promote the exercising of these rights like the right to “date” that goes against its core values. I agree that violence in the name of honour should be condemned but if a community/family wants to attach shame and shun people for their behavior and decisions, like marrying out or whatever, having children out of wedlock, leaving the religion, etc why shouldn’t they be able to (even if I don’t agree)? as long as it is within the limits of the laws?

      Ultimately, I’d rather my community do what it wants on its own terms for its own betterment through our own evolution, rather than be subject to external paternalistic intervention and laws to force assimilation.

    66. earwicga — on 16th September, 2010 at 8:45 pm  

      deemz - re your question in the first paragraph, I’ve been asking myself that same thing this evening.

    67. persephone — on 19th September, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

      Reza: “ every school, must teach children that they have the right to date or marry whomever they wish to marry, regardless of the race or religion of that person. Religious institutions (especially mosques) should be compelled by law to prominently display notices to this effect. “

      You seem to be the one confused from the above.
      Perhaps the same notices should be up in every church too but with a disclaimer at the bottom saying “this is not to be confused with your right to date/marry whom you choose”

    68. douglas clark — on 20th September, 2010 at 2:59 am  

      persephone @ 67,

      It seems to me that you are splitting hairs here, or that I have completely misunderstood the context. (It wouldn’t be the first time!)

      I’d have thought that everyone should be taught that they have ‘rights’, including the right to determine who they wish to marry. Whether that requires notices or not is moot. It just requires education, and us all to agree on what that education should be.

      It could have done many of the characters in Jane Austins’ novels a lot of good to know they had a choice.

      I assume I am completely missing the point :-)

      Added: Not that anyone has to exercise a right, simply that it ought to be there, in the background, sort of….

      Available to be hauled out and used in the event of someone kicking over the traces of a community prescription that is not a global one.

      I know what I mean, and I am not explaining it very well.

    69. douglas clark — on 20th September, 2010 at 3:31 am  

      deemz @ 65,

      I know what you mean when you said:

      I have this compelling need to defend my culture against attacks or the assumption that western european values are superior, even in aspects where I see a legitimate criticism. Why is this? Stockholm syndrome?

      You’ll probably be familiar with this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=MtIDVL-mF_E&feature=related

      Sorry, the video is a bit poor.

      It ain’t just you that has doubts….

    70. douglas clark — on 20th September, 2010 at 3:35 am  

      Fascinating failure to deliver.

      Well, on a test, I can’t. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that Trainspotting got it round and about right.

    71. douglas clark — on 20th September, 2010 at 3:56 am  

      Sorry about that interruption in service. This is what Trainspotting has to say about us Scots:

      I hate being Scottish. We’re the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference.

      Just saying.

    72. persephone — on 20th September, 2010 at 11:50 pm  

      Douglas @ 68

      Agreed as to rights.But I was querying the contradiction - ie in one breath reza says to teach people that they had rights but then tells them they had no right to marry cousins and to restrict that right within mosques too (hence my inclusion of churches)

      ” It could have done many of the characters in Jane Austins’ novels a lot of good to know they had a choice”

      Ah yes but left us devoid of some v entertaining literature.

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