Government still failing on ‘honour’ killings


by Rumbold
13th December, 2007 at 8:48 pm    

Despite all its rhetoric about protecting women, the government has yet to fully come to terms with the steps necessary to reduce the number of ‘honour’ killings. However, it is not just the government at fault, but the state apparatus, which cannot seem to comprehend what is needed. The following story about an Iranian asylum seeker illustrates this point:

“FARAH barely raises her voice above a whisper. She has learned to keep quiet, keep herself to herself – and, besides, she doesn’t have many people to talk to. As she awaits the outcome of an appeal against her failed claim for asylum, the 26-year-old lives alone in a small flat on the 12th floor of a tower block in the north of Glasgow. She’s pretty, smart and speaks fluent English, and as we talk, her thick mascara only just manages to stay in place despite tears that seem never more than a blink away.

“I feel as if I haven’t slept for seven years,” she says. “Every day you are just waiting for something to happen, waiting for them to take you away or detain you or arrest you or send you back. It’s like a hell. When am I going to find my life?”

As a teenager in south-western Iran, Farah’s life was fairly straightforward. She finished school, started college and met a boyfriend. Then it all began to fall apart. She was arrested for sitting on a park bench with her boyfriend in the middle of the afternoon, and then again soon afterwards, for being unaccompanied in her boyfriend’s house.

Hardly the worst crimes in the world, but under sharia law, Farah faced 20 lashes and ostracism from the community. Worse, she was afraid no one would stop her father killing her to restore the family’s honour. Seven years on, the last words her mother spoke to her are still clear in her memory. “Get as far away from your father as you can,” she said. “Even if you are starving on the streets, do not come back to Iran.”

Her mother arranged her escape and after 20 days and nights in the back of a lorry, Farah finally arrived in Britain. With no windows in the dark container, she didn’t know where she was going and, when the journey eventually came to an end, no idea which country she had arrived in. “After the journey and all that had gone on before, I just felt finished,” she says. “I didn’t think things could get any worse, but they have. It just gets more and more harsh.”

Farah has repeated her story many times to lawyers and immigration officials, who, she tells me, fail to grasp the reality of the threat of honour killings in her country. Before she secured the flat in Glasgow, she was homeless for several months. Now she gets by on £35 a week. Not permitted to work or study until her appeal for asylum is decided, her life has effectively stopped since the day she was arrested in Iran. “I say to the Home Office time after time, ‘I don’t want to come here and take your money. I don’t want to beg, I don’t want to cause trouble. I just want to work and be good. I just want to stay here and stay alive.’ ”

It has taken Farah some time to come to terms with the cold, damp climate and the cultural differences but, slowly, she has started to integrate into her new society. And, although she misses her family, there are glimmers of hope in her new life. She has friends now and she can share with them some things that were not allowed in Iran. Her love of clothes and make-up forms an innocent bond with friends here – but back at home it was forbidden. “Life is so different for young women in Scotland. It is so much freer than it is in Iran.”"

This is not an isolated case of state incompetence. The infamous Banaz Mahmoud case saw Banaz turned away by a police officer (who was later recommended for promotion), despite expressing her fears that she would be murdered by relatives, as she subsequently was. There has also been a reluctance to pursue murderers and their accomplices once they have fled from the UK, with suspects from the Punjab to Kurdistan staying beyond the reach of justice. If you are white and you are murdered and your killers are abroad, there will be a big effort to find them, but not if you are brown. Astonishing, authorities in Kurdistan offered one of the suspects for extradition to the Crown Prosecution Service, who declined. Presumably they were too busy investigating Channel 4.

The government needs to understand that it is not enough to lock the murderers and accomplices up for years. We could institute 100 year sentences and we would still have ‘honour’ killings in this country. Though the murderers do not want to go to jail, and often plead not guilty, they are willing to risk prison to ‘cleanse’ what is their warped minds represents a stain on their family’s ‘honour’. More money needs to be given to women’s groups who house and protect potential victims, and the police and bureaucrats should be trained in how to deal with those who fear that their lives are at risk from their family or in laws. How one affects a cultural shift in the ignorant murderers I do not know, but I do know that assisting women who may be at risk must reduce the numbers dead from this heinous crime.

This is not a partisan attack, this is an attack on a destructive mentality which sadly seemingly prevalent in the state, and which has contributed to the deaths of young women, as well as a failure to bring their killers to justice.

How can anyone murder their own children? It makes one dearly hope that there is a Hell.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,British Identity






292 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. douglas clark — on 13th December, 2007 at 10:19 pm  

    I am completely scunnered with the way that folk fleeing for their very lives – for that is what Farah is doing – are treated by bureaucrats. It is, I would hazard, coming from our political elite. The laws and the rules around this are a complete nonsense and designed to play a statistical game. Iraq Interpreters, anyone?

    I fear that Leons’ point on your other thread about a legacy agenda from the extreme right is maybe quite near the mark here too.

    I do not recognise myself any more in the actions that the state is taking, allegedly on my behalf. This case should have been closed off ages ago and the woman allowed to get on with her life. This government is becoming small minded and small spirited in pursuit of what? Triangulation? And I wouldn’t expect Her Majesties Loyal Opposition to be any bloody better. At least I can vote SNP. And hopefully, eventually, so can Farah.

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=3313198

  2. Desi Italiana — on 13th December, 2007 at 10:23 pm  

    I’m waiting for someone to bring up the Mughal Empire and how the resurgence of a Vedic Empire will correct honor killings…

  3. douglas clark — on 13th December, 2007 at 10:27 pm  

    Desi I,

    Yup, any time now….

  4. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    Just to anticipate someone attributing to every social evil on this planet to the Mughal empire, honor killings have been prevalent at one time or another in:

    1. Southern Italy. In fact, not too long ago in Sicily, a man was absolved of any responsibility if he killed his unfaithful wife.

    2. China, Korea

    3. Latin America (mostly Brazil, Argentina, and Columbia).

  5. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:44 am  

    Desi I,

    I’m off to bed, but you could probably include the UK, the USA and a lot of other countries in your attribution list, especially if you see honour – we had this debate a while ago, and there is nothing honourable about it – murders as to do with cross cultural relationships. And the business of stopping it.

  6. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:46 am  

    “you could probably include the UK, the USA and a lot of other countries in your attribution list”

    Yes, I know about that, but our Vedic soldiers will say, “Most of those are UK Muslims!” If you point out that there are some Sikhs in the UK (and US, and Canada) who have done this, they will say, “It’s because of the influence of the Mughal Empire!”

    So I put examples of honor killings where the Mughal Empire wasn’t prevalent. And in the case of Latin America, it was never part of any Islamic Empire.

    And yet they have honor killings.

  7. Sid — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:49 am  

    I blame it on postmodernism myself, Desi. And the Mughal Empire as well of course.

  8. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:50 am  

    Bhery interesting link:

    http://tiny.cc/y1Hs7

  9. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:51 am  

    Sid:

    “I blame it on postmodernism myself, Desi.”

    And here, you and I part. I blame it on post-structuralism.

  10. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:20 am  

    Just reading through the first few replies on this thread illuminates how people dance round the subject of ’Honour killings’;
    Well they do it in Italy
    Yup Brits and Americans too.

    Lets be honest here. The people we really are pointing the finger are Muslims.
    Racist,Islamophobic or just plain facts..
    Yes the fairer sex are victims in every society. Men for some reason just can’t help but say they are sorry and will never do it again when they lash out in anger.
    But the case for Islamic honour crimes is somewhat more different.
    We are talking about a society that finds the killing for the loss of face as acceptable.
    That is where the main distinction between Islamic mores and Non-Islamic mores lie.
    I’m not saying that every Muslim male wants to kill his female kin. But the fact remains most Muslim males will not allow their females the freedom that non-Muslim females take for granted in the UK never mind the rest of the world.
    And before any of the girls take me to task and say I am incorrect. Answer me this.
    How many Muslim girls in the UK not only date but marry Non-Muslims. And of those that do how many fear for their lives?
    This isn’t about the other faiths, so please no Hindu or Sikh diversions.
    Honour crimes bollocks, it’s religiously inspired cultural murder.

  11. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:38 am  

    “But the case for Islamic honour crimes is somewhat more different.
    We are talking about a society that finds the killing for the loss of face as acceptable.”

    Not sure if you have a reading problem or not, but what part of “Honor killings in Latin America, China, and Italy” do you not understand? The definition you have provided falls under “honor killings”. Those exist in the areas I pointed out.

    “Yes the fairer sex are victims in every society. Men for some reason just can’t help but say they are sorry and will never do it again when they lash out in anger.”

    Such apologies for violence against women. And I presume that you are not Muslim, so it goes to show you that some non Muslims can have a forgiving attitude towards men who commit violence.

  12. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:39 am  

    “Honour crimes bollocks, it’s religiously inspired cultural murder.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

  13. The Hoosiers — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:51 am  

    pounce, you seem like a fake put forward by Desi Italiania. It’s so obvious.

  14. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:29 am  

    The Hoosiers wrote;
    “Pounce, you seem like a fake put forward by Desi Italiania. It’s so obvious.”

    For Christ’s sake is that the best you can do, character assassinate me.
    You remind me of my dentist when I popped in for a check up and he asked if my watch was real? Why yes I bought it at Goldsmiths in Brent Cross you can ask them if you like?.
    P.S
    Love your album.

  15. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:38 am  

    Desi Italiana wrote;
    “Not sure if you have a reading problem or not, but what part of “Honor killings in Latin America, China, and Italy” do you not understand? The definition you have provided falls under “honor killings”. Those exist in the areas I pointed out.”

    Hey before we go off topic the lead article is about the UK, an Iranian asylum seeker and Islam. The last link
    http://www.stophonourkillings.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2243
    Is mainly about Islam you went off topic not I.
    Before you castigate me on my reading abilities how about looking in the mirror.

  16. Refresh — on 14th December, 2007 at 3:25 am  

    Ponce, that last link does actually support Desi Italiana’s point. From that webpage you will see images and links highlighting cases of murdered women and includes Dua and Surjit. Dua, a Yazidi teenager, was stoned to death for falling in love with a Muslim and Surjit was a Sikh.

    Its an excellent website, and I hope in time it will have enough resources to document and seek justice for all ‘honour killings’, from around the world.

    I also noted your in-bred (or perhaps even genetic) need to defend violence against women. For that reason I anticipate you signing their online petition would be disingenuous.

    Perhaps you might want to re-visit that link?

  17. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:06 am  

    There is an interesting bit of video on that web site – hi Joanne! – here:

    http://www.stophonourkillings.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2246

    There is something wrong with that story. The authorities seem to have taken the couples story to heart, to the extent of providing new identities, etc. What is not at all clear is why the authorities did not prosecute her family. It is surely a criminal act to threaten to murder someone, or to offer a contract on someones life, is it not? I was left with the bad taste in my mouth that the victims of this were still living in fear and that the idiotic parents were not. Her parents ought to be rotting in jail.

  18. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:09 am  

    Hoosiers:

    “pounce, you seem like a fake put forward by Desi Italiania. It’s so obvious.”

    C’mon now, I’m not that creative.

    Pounce:

    “Before you castigate me on my reading abilities how about looking in the mirror.”

    Before Pouncing on Islam, why don’t you read the link that you pasted here and check out the non-Muslim cases, as Refresh suggested?

  19. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:15 am  

    A little bit related to honor killings (obviously, stretching the “honor killings” definition):

    I’ve been reading many, many stories about men who are killed because they marry women who are outside of their “community.” More specifically, it’s Muslim men who are murdered by police, parents, etc because they married Hindu women:

    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39956

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,501020408-221195,00.html

    http://www.soas.ac.uk/honourcrimes/News&Analyses_articles.htm

  20. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:40 am  

    25 year old Canadian Punjabi woman killed by her uncle at the behest of her mother because she, as a Jatt, married a rickshaw driver in Punjab:

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2003/10/05/mom_gave_long_distance_order_for_honor_killing_police_say/

  21. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:56 am  

    “because she, as a Jatt, married a rickshaw driver in Punjab”

    Apologies- she was killed because he came from a poor family, not because he was not Jatt.

  22. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 9:11 am  

    Yes, I know about that, but our Vedic soldiers will say, “Most of those are UK Muslims!” If you point out that there are some Sikhs in the UK (and US, and Canada) who have done this, they will say, “It’s because of the influence of the Mughal Empire!”

    So I put examples of honor killings where the Mughal Empire wasn’t prevalent. And in the case of Latin America, it was never part of any Islamic Empire.

    Of course, there is a fallacy in your argument, where you are incorrectly assuming that the consequence follows the cause (non sequitur). You are trying to disprove “Mughals influenced honour killings” by disproving “(All) honour killings are influenced by Mughals”, where the latter is demonstrable false, but is not equivalent as the first one.

    What would be useful is to look at the statistics of violence against women between North and South, and between different religions across India. Perhaps then we will come to a better understanding.

  23. Refresh — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:52 am  

    I don’t know Ravi. I have feeling that Desi Italiana was trying to circumvent the debate from turning into Muslim/Islam thing. Don’t forget this has happened each time we’ve debated honour killings on PP.

    I usually end up with a sinking feeling whenever someone brings phrases or words like strawman, Godwin or non-sequitur into a thread. I have that feeling now.

  24. Galloise Blonde — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    Hi (it’s me, Joanne!) Thanks for all the linkage. I spoke to some police officers working on the Banaz case recently and I’m convinced they are doing the best they can to extradite the suspects from Kurdistan, it’s just that there is no treaty and Kurdistan’s status as a semi-autonomous region is problematic. I’m sure they’ll be facing justice in due course, but I guess they just need to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

  25. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    I agree with Refresh. Desi Italiana was trying to head off the usual “‘honour killings are Islamic” comments. Though I do not have stats to hand, it is fairly clear that ‘honour’ killings are prevalent in some areas (like Kurdistan), and less so in others. The fact that these happen in Hindu, Sikh and Muslim families suggest that if there is any religion involved, it is an attempt by the murderers to legitimise their actions. ‘Honour’ killings are cultural, not religious.

  26. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:20 am  

    “I usually end up with a sinking feeling whenever someone brings phrases or words like strawman, Godwin or non-sequitur into a thread. I have that feeling now.”

    Do you have that feeling when your opponnent is caught in a logic fallacy, or your sinking feeling only applies when the fallacy is on your side? The fact remains that no one defended that all honour killings are influenced by Mughals, so to bring up other countries is totally irrelevant. Because it really doesn’t discredit the theory that Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India. In fact, by bringing Italy and South America, you are just engaging in whatabouttery.

  27. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:22 am  

    Honour’ killings are cultural, not religious.

    I totally agree with this.

  28. Galloise Blonde — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    PS I’m sorry I have a busy day away from my computer, I probably won’t be able to respond to anything on this thread for ages.

  29. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:14 pm  

    It is also useful to focus on what honour killings are: that the family is “forced” to kill a member of his family (usually a daughter or a son) for not complying with the social norms. That is, the only way to regain social standing is by killing the perpetrator of the “shame”. Hence, this is far more perverse than “passsion killings” because society is also a complice. The fact that such things happen in Britain show how communities are completely shielded from others, including the mainstream one.

    Multiculturism is indeed a double-edged sword.

  30. Naomi — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:21 pm  

    I agree it’s definitely not religious but it shouldn’t be attributed to one particular culture either. Honour killings have happened in Christian, Sikh, Hindu and Muslim backgrounds around the world.

  31. Sid — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:21 pm  

    So the Great Mughals are also the root cause of honour killings now? Holy shit!

    Maybe if I stick around long enough we’ll find out that the Kennedy Assassination, the death of Martin Luther King, 9/11, Diana’s death are all the result of the Great Mughals.

  32. Indy — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    In the Arab world the concept of honor killing has it’s roots in the the 1752 B.C ‘code of Hammurabi’ and dates as far back as the Assyrian legal code of 3000 B.C., wherein men who committed rape were punished themselves (indirectly) with the rape of their own wives.

    Globlization may have changed many things but to this day the condition of women in many societes remains as hopeless as ever. In the Middle Eastern countries and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, hundreds of women are murdered every year by their family members in the name of preserving the family honor. It is difficult for anyone to get precise numbers on how many victims the phenomenon of honor killing has claimed.

    The murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished, and the concept of family honor justifies the act in the quaint legal system of these primeval societies. Women are regularly shot, strangled, and stabbed. Fathers, brothers or uncles on a regular basis are committing hideous murders.

    This is one of the greatest human rights abuses carried on by individuals against other human beings with full legality and approval of governments in these countries.

  33. Sahil — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    Sati anyone? Maybe the Mughals also introduced that.

  34. Sofia — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    so would we put crimes of “passion” in the same basket as “honour” killings..and if so..shall we root out the historiography of the former?
    It all seems a little pointless, as it will bring you no closer to dealing with the here and now…and as a progressive blog, I think this is what we should be focusing on.

  35. Cabalamat — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    Astonishing, authorities in Kurdistan offered one of the suspects for extradition to the Crown Prosecution Service, who declined.

    The CPS officials involved should be sacked, or better still charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

  36. Deep Singh — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:51 pm  

    “I’m waiting for someone to bring up the Mughal Empire and how the resurgence of a Vedic Empire will correct honor killings…”

    Where is our RSS man? Oh, I see he has made plenty of references to Middle Eastern Islamic Countries and their treatment of women.

    Perhaps he could address the issue of female infanticide in India?

  37. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    Refresh writes;
    “Ponce, that last link does actually support Desi Italiana’s point.”

    Oh how subtle lets start name calling. ‘Pounce’ is the name of my cat for your interest.
    But going to your attempt in which to try and prove me wrong . What part of this statement of mine didn’t you understand.
    “The last link Is mainly about Islam you went off topic not I.”
    Does my use of mainly encompass everything about Islam or maybe does it accept that there are other players. You do yourself a discredit by trying to put words in my mouth. But pray tell me what is it with you and subtle digs.
    “I also noted your in-bred (or perhaps even genetic)”
    Is your initial reaction always to throw abuse at somebody who writes something you don’t agree with. Tell me what does that say about you?
    If you wish to communicate then please do, but by sticking your fingers in your ears, stamping your feet and calling people names highlights an immaturity that is better left in the schoolyard.

  38. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    Desi wrote:
    “Before Pouncing on Islam, why don’t you read the link that you pasted here and check out the non-Muslim cases, as Refresh suggested?”

    And sir I point once again to what I wrote in front of that link.
    “The last link Is mainly about Islam you went off topic not I.”
    Oh yes ref that link, I didn’t search for it. It’s embedded at the end of the original article.

  39. Jai — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

    I have my own thoughts on the origins of honour-killings within some quarters of subcontinental culture, but am not interested in opening that particular Pandora’s Box due to reasons which have already been stated by some other commenters. However, I fully agree with Ravi’s post #22, especially the second paragraph. One shouldn’t make sweeping generalisations or opportunistically use this as an opening for yet-more Muslim bashing, but simultaneously one shouldn’t be excessively politically-correct if this obscures the truth in relation to this practice being more prevalent in some communities than in others. The actual facts should be examined, regardless of how unpalatable they may be. This is the only way to facilitate a more honest analysis of whatever cultural factors or community-specific norms and dynamics are motivating such behaviour.

    The government needs to understand that it is not enough to lock the murderers and accomplices up for years. We could institute 100 year sentences and we would still have ‘honour’ killings in this country. Though the murderers do not want to go to jail, and often plead not guilty, they are willing to risk prison to ‘cleanse’ what is their warped minds represents a stain on their family’s ‘honour’…..How one affects a cultural shift in the ignorant murderers I do not know,

    Well, there are some potential solutions which are similar to the measures I suggested on the female infanticide thread a little while ago:

    1. Prosecute absolutely everyone connected with the murder, to the maximum extent of the law.

    2. Create a national/international “honour killings” register. Ending up on this register impacts the perpetrator’s educational and employment prospects, government benefits, international travel/chances of successfully securing visas, the works.

    3. Re-name “honour killings” as “domestic murders” or “domestic assassinations”. Honour has zero to do with it.

    4. If you really wanted to be as heavy-handed as possible, you could strip the perpetrators of their British citizenship and remove their right to residency in (or even to visit) the UK or any other country in the EU.

    5. Treat it as a mental health issue and take the appropriate measures. A willingness to kill a family member purely to assuage one’s ego and allegedly salvage one’s standing in the “community” is indicative of a psychopathic mindset, and should be dealt with accordingly. A stretch in prison may “cleanse” the stain on the family’s honour as per Rumbold’s article, but indefinite incarceration in a mental institution most certainly will not.

  40. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:33 pm  

    I’ve noticed that a few people will always defend radical Islam and its mores by character assassinating their target.
    These people who do so have no problem calling all Americans “Evil’ and refer to ‘The demise of the American Indian, Hiroshima, the Slave trade, The invasion of Iraq,Ab Grab and Gitmo’ as the cornerstone of their viewpoints.
    The same applies to the UK and its links with Ireland, The Empire, Israel, and Iraq.
    The reason why those subjects are brought up is because in those two countries people are allowed to discuss the ugliness that prevails in their name. In other words we are allowed to air our laundry in public. That isn’t reciprocated with the faithful. Any attempt in which to question facets of the faith are instantly shouted down as racist and attempts are made in which to disable the subject usually by saying it isn’t so.
    Tell me why is ‘Islam’ so off limits?
    Going back to the subject at hand.
    In the UK it is illegal to murder women, In Islamic countries the laws usually support the murder of the fairer sex for honour. That is what this topic is about. Saying it isn’t so. That others do it and so we are all equal highlights a denial of accepting the truth.

  41. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

    “I’ve noticed that a few people will always defend radical Islam and its mores by character assassinating their target.”

    The problem pounce is that you are an Islamophobe: you actually don’t distinguish between radical Islam and other different expressions of Islam. In fact, you see them as one homogenous group – and a menacing one – for a fact. Your post #10 makes you a troll. I mean, when you write things like “But the fact remains most Muslim males will not allow their females the freedom that non-Muslim females take for granted in the UK never mind the rest of the world.” shows that you are really an ignorant not only about the muslim world, but the non-muslim world as well. Examples abound which shows that when it comes to violence against women, religion means nothing – it really affects all communities. However, the West does take violence against women more seriously and therefore more cases are reported and prossecuted. But to say that religion makes you automatically more violent against women is offensive, and has nothing to do with the “fight against radical Islam”.

  42. Sahil — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    “Tell me why is ‘Islam’ so off limits?”

    Who said it was? However you only ever seem to focus on how Islam is the reason for every type of evil on this planet. As others have said, Islam has no monopoly on so-called ‘honour’ killings. As Jai already said, we should not be politically correct about this abhorrent practice but lets all look at all cultures where this practice occurs instead of trying to equate only Islam with ‘honour’ killings.

    Jai #39 great points. I would however wonder how the penalties can vary across 1st degree murder. But I do get the issue with the passport. The number of people who break UK law and then run back to their countries to avoid prosecution is pretty amazing. Maybe people who very privy to info that could have stopped the murders should also be prosecuted, this could possibly encourage more people to step forward. This entire area needs and entire shift in mentality, which is going to be a loooong task unfortunately.

  43. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    Galloise Blonde:

    “Hi (it’s me, Joanne!) Thanks for all the linkage. I spoke to some police officers working on the Banaz case recently and I’m convinced they are doing the best they can to extradite the suspects from Kurdistan, it’s just that there is no treaty and Kurdistan’s status as a semi-autonomous region is problematic. I’m sure they’ll be facing justice in due course, but I guess they just need to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.”

    Well, you are the one who does all the work on this. I just cut and paste it (basically). I hope that you are right about the Banaz extradition, but I have little faith in the CPS after a string of idiotic blunders (Channel 4, charging a child who made a racist comment, not prosecuting anyone over ‘cash-for-hounours’). Keep up the good work please.

    Sofia:

    “So would we put crimes of “passion” in the same basket as “honour” killings..and if so..shall we root out the historiography of the former?”

    The problem with labelling ‘honour’ killings as crimes of passion is that often the murder is not spur of the moment, but has been planned by the murderers for some time (the Banaz case is a good example). There is often a cold rationality about such murders, unlike impulsive ‘crimes of passion’.

    Jai:

    “One shouldn’t make sweeping generalisations or opportunistically use this as an opening for yet-more Muslim bashing, but simultaneously one shouldn’t be excessively politically-correct if this obscures the truth in relation to this practice being more prevalent in some communities than in others. The actual facts should be examined, regardless of how unpalatable they may be. This is the only way to facilitate a more honest analysis of whatever cultural factors or community-specific norms and dynamics are motivating such behaviour.”

    I agree completly. If I thought this was a Muslim trait, I would say so- believe me, political correctness would not hold me back. However, I honestly believe that ‘honour’ killings are cultural, not religious. Religion for the murderers is a cover, not an inspiration.

    “Well, there are some potential solutions which are similar to the measures I suggested on the female infanticide thread a little while ago.”

    None of your points are bad, and if they helped a bit that would be great, but I still do not believe that harsher punishments deter these people. I agree with your fifth point, that such murder is indictative of a deeply-warped mind, but they would still go for the murder whatever the risks.

    Pounce:

    “Tell me why is ‘Islam’ so off limits?”

    It is not, but people are just pointing out that the same thing happens in other religions as well, which suggests that it is a cultural issue, rather than a religious one.

  44. pounce — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    Ravi writes;
    “Your post #10 makes you a troll..But the fact remains most Muslim males will not allow their females the freedom that non-Muslim females take for granted in the UK never mind the rest of the world.” shows that you are really an ignorant not only about the muslim world, but the non-muslim world as well.”

    Again the character assassination bit. This inability to look in the mirror really grips me. Without knowing anything about me you castigate me as ignorant or should that be arrogant towards Radical Islam. I’m trying to debate the subject of Honour crimes in the UK which are predominantly ‘Islamic’ in nature. If so called intellectual people like you go on the defensive when ever ‘Islam’ is mentioned pray tell me what does that say about debate.

  45. Ismaeel — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    Pounce,

    if you want to debate you need to supply evidence for your arguments, without that it will simply be assertions.

    So please please please prove that honour killings in this country are predominantly Islamic in character.

    Please prove that there are official laws in any Muslim country justifying honour killings.

    Prove that honour killings are Islamic in character by providing some scriptual reference or even some statements by Islamic jursits.

    Your opponants have provided ample evidence that honour killings happen in all types of cultures including the English culture, it is not sanctioned by any religion to the best of my knowledge and certainly not mine.

  46. bananabrain — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:32 pm  

    perhaps this wouldn’t be such an issue if the cultures concerned got to grips with the idea that people have to be allowed to get DIVORCED from time to time.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  47. Ismaeel — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

    And seeing as you link to a site showing how an Islamically based government is campaigning against the practice of honour killing in Turkey and the Imams are given khutbahs describing it as a sin, it seems you seem to know what you are saying is nonsense.

  48. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 2:39 pm  

    “Without knowing anything about me you castigate me as ignorant”

    I can assure you that my judgement is solely based on what you have written.

    “I’m trying to debate the subject of Honour crimes in the UK which are predominantly ‘Islamic’ in nature”

    It is true that the stories reported show that “honour killings” stem predominantly from Islamic communities. But it is equally true that not all Islamic communities (and I do hope you realise that there are several different Islamic communities in the UK – some of which don’t require the use of veil) do not engage in that sort of backward behaviour.

    So, I ask you this pounce, if “honour killings” is an intrinsic islamic trait as you claim, those communities that never engaged in that practice – are they unislamic? Or is it the case that different islamic communties have different cultural backgrounds (even when they originate from the same country)?

  49. The Common Humanist — on 14th December, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

    People, People, People,

    Can we not all come together and agree that in primitive patriachical cultures women can often be in danger for ‘transgressions’ that in the civilised world aren’t????

    TCH

  50. The Common Humanist — on 14th December, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    And before people kick off, if you think issues of ‘honour’ justify taking a life then you are not civilised, irrespective of your culture/religion etc. You are a barbarian. You are a small weak fraction of a man.

    TCH

    p.s. I am sure no one is jsutifying on this thread but I felt I needed to get that off my chest.

    p.p.s. If there is anyone out there brave enough to come to PP and attempt to justify it I would be fascinated to read said attempt.

    p.p.p.s. I clearly haven’t read all the thread!

  51. Sid — on 14th December, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    bloody mughal, anyone?

  52. Jai — on 14th December, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I agree with your fifth point, that such murder is indictative of a deeply-warped mind, but they would still go for the murder whatever the risks.

    Maybe not, but in many cases the shame and subsequent social ostracisation (within their “community”) resulting from having a close relative officially diagnosed as a clinical psychopath and therefore admitted to a psychiatric institution would serve as a considerable deterrent to those who would support and/or cover up the potential murderer’s actions.

    It’s one of those weird quirks in some quarters of subcontinental society that having a mental illness is regarded as being “worse” (and more shameful/embarrassing) than being a raging, belligerent thug with severe anger-management issues. People will often admit that someone closely affiliated with them is prone to anger — including extreme anger — but they will go to considerable lengths to dismiss or hide the fact that the person concerned is actually suffering from a psychiatric disorder.

    Depending on how lucid the perpetrator’s worldview actually is within the context of their psychotic minds, the actual/potential murderer would also suffer a greater “loss of face” himself/herself. Compared to the faux-bravado and machismo of being willing to go to prison to “remove the stain on their family honour”, there is nothing to boast about in the case of being labelled as mentally ill and forced to undergo relevant psychiatric treatment instead.

    *********************

    Pounce,

    This inability to look in the mirror really grips me.

    As his name clearly indicates, Ravi Naik is not a Muslim and the “mirror” is therefore completely irrelevant to him. You should be aware of this if you are an Asian person, as you claim to be.

    Which is a good point — what regional/religious background are you from exactly ? This is not a trick question — the answer will help to put your comments into their proper context.

    I’m happy to go first — I’m British Asian, of North Indian origin, and am a Sikh.

  53. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    Ravi:

    “Of course, there is a fallacy in your argument, where you are incorrectly assuming that the consequence follows the cause (non sequitur).”

    See no. 23 and 25– They both got what I was trying to do.

    To say that honor killings didn’t happen during the Mughal era is incorrect, as is it to say the following:

    1. honor killings don’t happen in countries where the majority is Muslim

    2. honor killings don’t happen in countries where the majority is NOT Muslim

    And yet, ofcourse, we’ve got our Vedic Jawans asserting that every single thing wrong on this planet is due to the Mughals. You see this in the comments, don’t you?

  54. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    And BTW, how come no one has discussed honor killings in Brazil, Argentina, and Columbia? That makes me really curious, because here we have an example of countries that are not a part of the “Muslim World,” so to speak, and the Mughal empire was no way in hell near Latin America. Actually, honor killings was even a part of the law in Brazil (if I remember correctly) and people have been fighting to get that changed….

    And also, I feel for the guys who get murdered as well. For me, it’s equally atrocious when both a male and female get killed in the name of “honor” in any shape or form.

  55. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    Ravi:

    “The fact remains that no one defended that all honour killings are influenced by Mughals, so to bring up other countries is totally irrelevant. Because it really doesn’t discredit the theory that Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India. In fact, by bringing Italy and South America, you are just engaging in whatabouttery.”

    I’ll tell you what’s “whatabouttery,” Ravi. Asserting something like, “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India.” Where is your back up for this? Don’t quote laws or whatever. Give concrete details and show how this affected women in the subcontinent on a daily basis IN PRACTICE.

    And then saying that it’s irrelevant to bring in Italy and South America, when it’s clear that even if the Mughal empire had those influences makes no sense. At this point, the Mughal empire IRRELEVANT to me since there is clearly something more than just religion at play here.

  56. The Common Humanist — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

    “Vedic Jawans”

    Lets keep George Lucas out of this……….

    I’ll get my coat!

    TCH

  57. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:37 pm  

    Ha :)

    Ok, so last comment on these Mughal discussions.

    In beating a dead horse over and over again by continuously trying to dissect “Mughal influences” in terms of the treatment of women, poverty, caste system, etc; what are we to do with that? Like, are we going to find someone tied to these Mughal emperors/kings and prosecute them? Will the finding that the Mughal Empire is the root of honor killings etc STOP honor killings, practice of the caste system, and so on? Will it help us understand honor killings globally, inequalities? IMO, the answer is no. Violence against women (and men) in the name of all sorts of things has been occurring everywhere, in and out of the “Muslim World” (I hate that geo-political coinage, btw). Of course, it’s important to contextualize honor killings (to look at the justifications, laws, and the socio-cultural and well as socio-linguistics that are used to justify and perpetuate honor killings) of a certain geographic location, but to keep harping on the Mughal Empire and Islam is completely inaccurate and unhelpful.

    Ok, I’m off now.

  58. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:43 pm  

    honor killings in Brazil, Argentina, and Columbia? That makes me really curious, because here we have an example of countries that are not a part of the “Muslim World,” so to speak, and the Mughal empire was no way in hell near Latin America.

    Desi Italiana: the fact that the Mughal empire did not influence Americas, does not mean that they did not have a negative influence in India when they governed. In any case, the burden of proof lies in the person that said that the Mughal empire was a negative influence.

    But your defense is similar to saying that Indian political parties are not corrupt, because they had no power or influence on Brazillian politics, which are corrupt.

    “Actually, honor killings was even a part of the law in Brazil (if I remember correctly) and people have been fighting to get that changed….”

    This is really news to me. Care to ellaborate? Are we talking about recent History?

  59. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    “I’ll tell you what’s “whatabouttery,” Ravi. Asserting something like, “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India.” Where is your back up for this? Don’t quote laws or whatever. Give concrete details and show how this affected women in the subcontinent on a daily basis IN PRACTICE.”

    I am not asserting anything about the Mughal empire, except pointing your logic fallacy (#58). You wanted to discredit the assertation “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India” by saying that they never have any influence in South America. What does one thing have to do with the another? Are people that stupid to say that all honour killings are influenced by the Mughal Empire?

    Am I missing something?

  60. Don — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

    I think TCH’s point in #49 is worth spending some time on.

    Obviously the term ‘honour killing’ is ill-chosen, but we need to distinguish between simple domestic violence carried out by a brutal or deranged individual and those killings which are sanctioned by all or part of the family and are seen as being approved by the community and in some cases given legal dispensation.

    The law allows for these killings in Jordan, Syria, Morocco and Haiti. Until relatively recently it was legal in Iraq, Brazil and Columbia. In Pakistan the practice of agreeing compensation with relatives of the victim makes a mockery of the criminalisation of the act as the family are usually the prime movers behind the murders.

    (Sometimes the law distinguishes between premeditated murder and crime of passion pace the Napoleonic Code, sometimes it allows the killing of any female relative, sometimes only a wife. These distinctions seem scarcely relevant, the legal system effectively gives men the power of life and death over ‘their’ women.)

    So what do these societies have in common?

    Not a shared religion, certainly. Although the role of religiosity itself should perhaps be scrutinised. Where the absolute authority of the male is not only the social and cultural reality but is embedded in the religious beliefs of the community. Where the teachings of scholarly immams and subtle theologians have rather less impact than the daily preachings of the misogynistic, narrow-minded and often semi-literate local god-botherer. Where culture and religion are so thoroughly intertwined that the distinction becomes an academic exercise.

  61. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:35 pm  

    This is really news to me. Care to ellaborate? Are we talking about recent History?

    Yes, it was only in 1991 that ‘honour killings’ was outlawed in Brazil. Before that, it was used as defense, even though it was never part of the legal code. Here is the article from that time.

  62. halima — on 14th December, 2007 at 6:43 pm  

    So what do these societies have in common?

    An instrumental value for women’s lives I’d say, women are seen as instruments for defending honour of wider social unit – family or the nation.

    It’s not just about a lack of value and respect for women, but almost a fetish to use women as a window to defending/upholding social norms. I don’t know when or why people started to invest so much meaning to the status of women in society – on the one hand it’s amazing that the easiest way to insult anyone is to insult his/her mother so the role of the mother figure stays sancrosact – but on the other hand, we are equally happy to condemn women if they deviate from the role of mother .. Kinda like original sin, idea, perhaps so I’d agree with Dons and others, that it is not a phenomenon in Muslim societies but a more fundamental view of how women are associated with something weak that dilutes the moral character of a family/village, nation etc – and these units need defending against.. I think we used to have honour killings all over Europe once – did they call it witch-hunts and practiced and sanctioned by the Catholic church..

  63. Jai — on 14th December, 2007 at 7:03 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    With all due respect, for a Gujarati Hindu you are becoming awfully defensive and borderline hysterical in response to perceived slights against the Mughal Empire. Just an observation. Whatever is motivating this — nostalgia, fondness for the perceived glamour of India’s Mughal era, a wish to prevent unwarranted attacks against Muslims en masse, a reaction to the anti-Muslim Hindutva-type right-wing attitudes common amongst many Hindus in the US, or something else entirely — it’s now beginning to distort your judgement and has resulted in multiple lengthy unjustified diatribes against Ravi. Incidentally, I think that — based on posts #58 & 59 — Ravi is managing to keep a much cooler head than many others would have done under similar circumstances.

    Take it easy, and I am saying that as a friend.

    *****************

    Personally I think that a more constructive course of action right now would be a focus on practically dealing with honour killings instead of engaging in finger-pointing (re: jumping on the bandwagon and attacking Muslims/India/etc); however, “root cause analysis” is an understandable approach too — to some extent — particularly as, in the case of the UK, honour killings do occur more in some communities than in others. You don’t get many Patels and Shahs trying to kill their wayward daughters or trying to book them on one-way tickets to India in order to get them married off to some stranger against their will, for example.

  64. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2007 at 7:41 pm  

    “it’s now beginning to distort your judgement and has resulted in multiple lengthy unjustified diatribes against Ravi. Incidentally, I think that — based on posts #58 & 59 — Ravi is managing to keep a much cooler head than many others would have done under similar circumstances.”

    Jai, I do understand Desi Italiana’s position that blaming everything on one particular aspect of Indian history to be both simplistic and unhinged. I just think her defense was clumsy. I know very little about the Mughal empire and its impact in India, but I must say I have some admiration for Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, in particular the way he understood that no religion has the monopoly of truth. And how he tried to incoorporate elements of different religions to his beliefs. Did he persecuted Sikhs?

  65. Don — on 14th December, 2007 at 7:54 pm  

    halima,

    Thanks, I agree with your point that the perception of women as instrumental rather than as autonomous humans is at the root of this problem.

    Also the way in which female children are, in some societies, seen as a form of currency. Once their ‘purity’ is called into question they are damaged stock; even worse, they lower the value of their siblings and other kin.

    All I know about the Mughals I have learned either through links from here or through the writings of Dalrymple so I have no worthwhile comment to make, but as we have established that this problem is/has been prevalant in so many cultures throughout history and geography is it really helpful to keep returning to that single issue?

  66. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2007 at 7:58 pm  

    Look, the Mughals had no impact on ‘honour’ killings. They did nothing to encourage or restrict the practice. This whole Mughal/’honour’ killings debate is based on no evidence, trust me.

    Jai:

    Good point. It does seem that prison is no cause for shame, but maybe an institution would be.

  67. Don — on 14th December, 2007 at 9:15 pm  

    Jai/Rumbold,

    No, please. Not the mental institution to enforce ethical judgements. That does not win the argument and pathologises a widespread attitude. If the ‘stigma’ is attached by the ‘other’ it must surely be no stigma at all.

    I think the distinguishing factor about the crimes we are talking about is that they are not seen as unreasonable by a significant part of the community to which the killer belongs.

    Having a court appointed doctor declare the bastard barking would mean nothing, he’d still be seen as having restored ‘honour’.

  68. Sid — on 14th December, 2007 at 9:25 pm  

    This whole Mughal/’honour’ killings debate is based on no evidence, trust me.

    Yeah but it’s stupidity mileage is endless. I’m hoping Muzumdar will elaborate in another spittle-flecked mad rant on the theme soonest.

  69. Don — on 14th December, 2007 at 9:28 pm  

    I’m hoping he won’t.

  70. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:19 pm  

    Jai:

    “it’s now beginning to distort your judgement and has resulted in multiple lengthy unjustified diatribes against Ravi.”

    First off, why do you think I am unleashing rants against Ravi? I simply responded to his comments, and I’ve responded to others. Apologies if they seemed like a rant, but they were anything but. I’ve been shooting comments at anything that is addressed to me or catching my eye but not with malintent(also, I was posting really quickly because I had to be at a job interview).

    “With all due respect, for a Gujarati Hindu you are becoming awfully defensive and borderline hysterical in response to perceived slights against the Mughal Empire.”

    Ok, Jai, on a serious note:

    1. Please don’t box me in based on my region of origin and religion. Actually, this comment of yours offends me for some reason– I don’t know exactly why, but it does.

    2. “Borderline hysterical on any perceived slight…”

    Now it’s my turn to say “with all due respect.” Don’t you think this is a bit rich? Unlike some people who go off on anyone who mentions Sikhs and Sikhism, I am not getting “borderline hysterical.” I’m just frustrated and find it pointless to rave at Mughal kings from hundreds of years ago.

    Look- I said this before in the other thread- I’m starting to get the feeling that folks who keep digging up the Mughal period are doing this for two reasons: one is to absolve any responsibility about things that are being done today by US. This is a way to deny any sort of agency– that people who do things like honor killings is because they were influenced by some nefarious Mughal kings, and that it’s not “really” a part of our “culture”, blah blah. The other is to deflect the actual nature of these killings and what can be done to rectify this, and how we can change things. It’s easier to rant and conjecture stuff about the Mughal empire than talk about the cases that are occurring today. Let’s pretend that the Mughal empire brought every imaginable evil that rakes the subcontinent right now. Is that going to change anything? Let’s tell a bunch of Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis, “Hey! Dowries, facial acid burnings, torture, sex trafficking, and honor killings come from the Mughal Empire! So stop it!” And then everyone stops!

    P.S. Not sure if this observation means anything, but I’ve noticed that the male commentators always descend into the depths of Mughal history and find a lot to say about it when the subject of female violence comes up but rarely anything about actual violence facing women today .

  71. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:28 pm  

    Ravi:

    “Jai, I do understand Desi Italiana’s position that blaming everything on one particular aspect of Indian history to be both simplistic and unhinged. I just think her defense was clumsy.”

    I actually have lost your argument against what I was saying… Based on what do you say is my defense “clumsy?” Maybe I wasn’t clear about what I intended to say, but Refresh and Rumbold seem to get it so I wasn’t being all that inarticulate…

  72. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:31 pm  

    Ravi:

    “You wanted to discredit the assertation “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India” by saying that they never have any influence in South America.”

    Ahh, I see what you think I said. Actually, I never said that anywhere. Maybe in your head you think I said that because you are fixating on whether Mughal empire had a negative impact on women or not, but I didn’t say that anywhere.

  73. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:36 pm  

    “Not sure if this observation means anything, but I’ve noticed that the male commentators always descend into the depths of Mughal history and find a lot to say about it when the subject of female violence comes”

    The above is inarticulate: those who keep the Mughal empire as touching stone for discussing caste, violence against women,k etc happen to be male commentators, but by no means are all the male commentators falling into this trap.

    I have to give props to Sid, Refresh, Rumbold, Douglas Clark, etc.

  74. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:44 pm  

    Ravi:

    “I know very little about the Mughal empire and its impact in India,”

    Sweetie, if you have very little knowledge about the Mughal empire and its impact, how can you be so adamant and also strongly oppose my “defense” (which, again, you have imagined yourself and not based on anything I said?)

    Anyway, even if you “know” about the Mughal Empire to the extent that some commentators here say they do, you don’t really “know” the impact, especially since it was centuries ago. Unless we travel back in time, it is very hard to assess just how much all those dynamics touched people daily, in how many numbers and to what degree. Even today with all the awareness, technology, production of knowledge etc we have, it is difficult to assess the impact of so many things and come to a consensus, precisely because you can’t know for sure how much of what effects whom, why, and how. Don’t trust me? Just read a few academic journals and see scholars slinging mud at each other for not assessing the effects of everything “properly”.

    BTW, interesting how some continuously refer to the Mughal Empire as something wholly unincorporated and foreign in the subcontinent.

  75. Sid — on 14th December, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

    Desi, I think you kicked seven colours of shit out of a dead horse in #70. cruel but great fun watching.

  76. Desi Italiana — on 14th December, 2007 at 11:14 pm  

    Sid,

    The thing I am most proud about in #70 is that I learned how to use italics. Now I don’t have to resort to capsizing words when I want to underline something, which is good, because in the past people thought the CAPSIZING meant that I was ranting when I wasn’t :)

  77. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2007 at 12:42 am  

    Jai,

    From first principles, I have to agree with Desi Italiana here. It matters not a jot whether ‘honour killings’ had origins in some Empire or not. What matters is stopping it in the here and now.

    Rumbolds’ original post was directed at the failures of the UK government to take appropriate action in the UK. We seem to have veered a long, long way away from that topic.

  78. Ravi Naik — on 15th December, 2007 at 1:36 am  

    You wanted to discredit the assertation “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India” by saying that they never have any influence in South America.”

    Ahh, I see what you think I said. Actually, I never said that anywhere.”

    Yes, you definitely said it in post #6 and I quote “they will say, “It’s because of the influence of the Mughal Empire!” So I put examples of honor killings where the Mughal Empire wasn’t prevalent. And in the case of Latin America, it was never part of any Islamic Empire.
    And yet they have honor killings.

    “Sweetie, if you have very little knowledge about the Mughal empire and its impact, how can you be so adamant and also strongly oppose my defense”

    Because as I have explained in so many different ways, your reasoning (#6) is incredibly clumsy. I am not saying that the Mughal empire had or didn’t have negative impact in India because I don’t know much about it. What I am saying is that YOU wanted to discredit the affirmation “It’s because of the influence of the Mughal Empire!” by bringing up South America.

    But what happens in South America has absolutely nothing to do on whether Mughal empire was a good or bad influence in India. Nothing at all, so your response to the anti-Mughal troll has absolutely no value.

    Never mind. This has nothing to do with the actual topic or Indian History, but basic logic reasoning. I guess apart from Jai, I am the only who cares about it.

  79. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 1:57 am  

    According to Rumbold’s article:

    “Her mother arranged her escape and after 20 days and nights in the back of a lorry, Farah finally arrived in Britain.”

    That is really striking that her mother was complicit in her protection, because often times, the women in the family (usually the elders)condone such practices.

    ***

    Jai:

    “2. Create a national/international “honour killings” register. Ending up on this register impacts the perpetrator’s educational and employment prospects, government benefits, international travel/chances of successfully securing visas, the works.”

    That’s a very good idea, though judging from the way international law and national laws do (or rather don’t) synchronize, that seems a long ways. There are not even national/international laws to effectively deal with human trafficking and a lot of transborder issues, and that is a huge problem. So I guess it depends on the priorities of governments (and then they will have to work out extradition treaties and flesh out how much they are willing to negotiate their “national sovereignty” in the name of protecting women).

    ***

    Here’s an informative report by Amnesty. I’ll cut and paste some snippets here:

    “So-called honor killings are part of a community mentality. Large sections of society share traditional conceptions of family honor and approve of “honor” killings to preserve that honor. Even mothers whose daughters have been killed in the name of honor often condone such violent acts. Such complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property without personal worth. In addition, communal acceptance of “honor” killings furthers the claim that violence in the name of “honor” is a private issue and one to be avoided by law enforcement.”
    __

    “Although “/women/honor” killings are widely reported in regions throughout the Middle East and South Asia, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions reported that these crimes against women occur in countries as varied as Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom. In September 2000, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that as many as 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year in so-called honor killings by members of their own families.”
    ___

    “So-called honor killings are based on the belief, deeply rooted in some cultures, of women as objects and commodities, not as human beings endowed with dignity and rights equal to those of men. Women are considered the property of male relatives and are seen to embody the honor of the men to whom they “belong.” Women’s bodies are considered the repositories of family honor. The concepts of male status and family status are of particular importance in cultures where “honor” killings occur and where women are viewed as responsible for upholding a family’s “honor.”
    ____

    “So-called honor crimes occur in societies in which there is interplay between discriminatory tribal traditions of justice and statutory law. In some countries this is exacerbated by inclusion of Shari’a, or Islamic law, or the concept of zina (sex outside of marriage) as a crime within statutory law.”
    ___

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/Stop_Violence_Against_Women_SVAW/Honor_Killings/page.do?id=1108230&n1=3&n2=39&n3=1101

  80. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 2:01 am  

    Ravi:

    “Yes, you definitely said it in post #6 and I quote “they will say, “It’s because of the influence of the Mughal Empire!” So I put examples of honor killings where the Mughal Empire wasn’t prevalent. And in the case of Latin America, it was never part of any Islamic Empire.

    And yet they have honor killings.”

    Where on earth are you reading what I wrote that I want to prove that the Mughal Empire didn’t have any negative impact on women???????????? I wanted to prove a point that you cannot attribute everything to the Mughal Empire and so I drew attention to the fact that honor killings happen elsewhere! Is that eluding you somehow??

    Ravi, you just made me keep commenting back to you for something you are conjuring up on your own and claiming I said something when I never did. Please read better the next time.

  81. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 2:03 am  

    Ravi:

    “But what happens in South America has absolutely nothing to do on whether Mughal empire was a good or bad influence in India.”

    That was my fucking point!

    Dude, you are chasing your own tail!

  82. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 2:10 am  

    In case someone is interested in Kurdish women against honor killings, link below:

    http://www.kwrw.org/kwahk/

    Jesus, there is so much to honor killings that you could write as many books to fill a library. But I’m really glad that there is a growing awareness, and most importantly, people organizing on this issue.

  83. halima — on 15th December, 2007 at 6:30 am  

    There are many sensationalist books out there on the topic which is disconcerting but one I’ve found that discusses it well, and looks at violence against women in many different countries in one collection is this :

    ‘Honour’: Crimes, Paradigms and Violence Against Women (Paperback)
    by Sara Hossain (Editor), Lynn Welchman (Editor)

  84. Ravi Naik — on 15th December, 2007 at 11:55 am  

    “Where on earth are you reading what I wrote that I want to prove that the Mughal Empire didn’t have any negative impact on women????????????”

    In post #6, of course. Because when someone implied to you that Sikhs’s honour killings were influenced by Mughals, one would expect that YOUR rebuttal would contradict directly that instance (e.g. Mughal empire did not have any negative impact on Indian women), or just tell the troll that he needs to prove it. Instead, you went to prove they are not responsible for all honour killings (look South America), but that does not mean that they are not responsible for some or none, in India where they governed. So you didn’t contradict the anti-Mughal troll at all. But now you are saying that you were not trying to contradict him in the first place. Ok, doing smalltalk is also fine. My apologies.

    Let’s just say that we agree that I am being pedantic here, and seriously derailing this thread.

  85. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2007 at 1:08 pm  

    I’d have thought it was stating the obvious to assume that anyone with an Internet connection and able to find a forum like PP to discuss this sort of issue is at least going to have one thing in common:

    honour killings are wrong

    It doesn’t actually matter a monkeys what the background is, whether it is social or cultural or just a form of insanity. There is no excuse for it, and there never was, never is, nor ever shall be. What is important is to stop it.

    Would it be worth hazarding that honour killings are the most extreme example of a personalised racist / mysoginistic code imaginable? And that tackling that set of racist / mysoginistic assumptions might be part of the solution?

  86. Ravi Naik — on 15th December, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    Would it be worth hazarding that honour killings are the most extreme example of a personalised racist / mysoginistic code imaginable? And that tackling that set of racist / mysoginistic assumptions might be part of the solution?

    Douglas, I feel it is much more than racist and mysognistic assumptions – as Desi pointed out – men are also victims, and such occurences happen within the same ethnic background, but different economic and social classes.

    How do we stop these killings? It is very difficult to change the mindset of people who come from medieval backgrounds, who expect their children to conform or be killed for bringing shame to the family. What happened to just disowning your kids for marrying an outsider or being gay?

    There is little one can do, except raise awareness, enforce heavy economic and prison penalties for family members who partipated in the act, and remove the children from parents who commited such acts.

  87. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2007 at 8:45 pm  

    Ravi,

    Your last para.

    Whilst I agree with all of what you said, I think we need to go a bit further.

    For instance, I also agree with Rumbolds’ original post. We should be making places available for people to escape to and ensuring that police and bureaucrats are aware of the seriousness of the issue.

  88. sonia — on 15th December, 2007 at 8:47 pm  

    “I am completely scunnered with the way that folk fleeing for their very lives – for that is what Farah is doing – are treated by bureaucrats”

    dear douglas that is because you are feeling for her as a person, and you have that empathy.

    the whole point – and idea – of a state – for citizens, is to keep non-citizens out unfortunately, so technically bureaucrats, are – again unfortunately -following what they are “supposed” to do, which is to think of “entrants” as numbers, as cases, not as real people, because that would bring down the “system”. yes there is meant to be ‘room’ within immigration for asylum seekers, but the whole point is to ‘evaluate’ them, and not “empathize” with them as humans, who also want a life. All those people who dont want any more “strain on services” are thinking of a ‘mass’ of nameless people, not some individual that they can empathise with. this is i feel – the wider overall reason why individuals will of course end up in the situation as this girl has ended up. there are many stateless people in the world, all of them with similar heart-breaking stories but the “system” fails them, they are numbers, not humans, and they dont fit in the right boxes. its effectively the same way that we manage to bomb people : if we were witness to the individual lives that were destroyed, what would we think? would we try to stop our soldiers from killing then? or would we think of the “wider good”. its the abstract idea of the “wider good” that allows us to neglect the the importance of the individual that lets such stuff carry on. Do we think people at the Home Office are going to worry about the individual realities faced by Farah or someone else? No – because they have the good of the wider “collective” they think is important to look out for – which clashes with farah’s well-being, if they think too much about the farah’s of the world, they’d let “all sorts of people in” and effectively not do the job they’re meant to. they distance themselves from their “cases”. exactly the same thing with soldiers killing for their state, their country, they have to “divorce” themselves too. Or politicians, or all the people who support liberal interventions – they divorce themselves/or don’t know/dont want to know/the reality of the individuals day to day lives/deaths. Otherwise how could they carry on?

    its all fucked of course, that’s my point. but fundamentally

  89. sonia — on 15th December, 2007 at 8:48 pm  

    ..it is tied into the idea that people only have their human rights ‘nominally’ protected in the ‘country’ they belong to – this is the fundamental problematique. it doesn’t work for people who get into trouble and have to go away – because effectively they aren’t really recognised as human somewhere else. the state works for its citizens, that’s the problem.

  90. sonia — on 15th December, 2007 at 8:53 pm  

    p.s. Rumbold – your last statement –

    “How can anyone murder their own children? It makes one dearly hope that there is a Hell.”

    really? interesting you think so. I would say that the thought of Hell has been burned into many people’s minds, and is a good reason why families are able to turn on each other, when they fear the ‘right way’ has not been taken, and THEY are responsible, otherwise they too will be punished. Seems Hell as a construct is itself pushing people to do all sorts of nasty things, which you then hope it exists so they can go to Hell, interesting that.

  91. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 9:53 pm  

    Douglas:

    “Would it be worth hazarding that honour killings are the most extreme example of a personalised racist / mysoginistic code imaginable? And that tackling that set of racist / mysoginistic assumptions might be part of the solution?”

    In some ways yes, and in some ways no. In the story about the Indo Canadian woman who was killed at the behest of her mother and maternal uncle, her husband was also supposed to have died- except he didn’t.

    In those other stories where I stretched the definition of “honor killings” and pointed to the example of the Bengali Muslim man who was killed for having married a Bengali Hindu woman, I am sure that some notion of “purity” and “honor” played into that– that he “defiled” the Hindu woman, and as such, he should be done away with. Maybe this isn’t so for this particular story, but if you listen to people who believe in notions of purity and honor talk, you will realize that men who trangress the “lines” that they shouldn’t also pay a price.

    On the other hand, there is some very gender based. Women’s bodies are often the vessel of the entire “honor” of the family, and in extreme measures, even the honor of the “religious community” (including caste, not just religion), and the Hindutva actions point to that– they “capture” Hindu women who “married outside of the community” and then keep them as sex slaves, kill them, or remand them. But again, they don’t spare Hindu and Muslim men who have married Muslim and Hindu women respectively.

    Women’s bodies are more often than not the slates on which people write nationalisms, patriotisms, and so on.

    And women’s bodies are also the battleground on which scores are settled, debts are paid, and so on (but it should be pointed out that children- both male and female- are often traded in for debts, etc).

    Lastly, even when men are figured into the “honor” equation, there are more instances than not that they are actually let off the hook. I remember watching an interview of a Yemeni man who killed his sister who got raped. He said that “once a plate is broken, it is no longer a whole and valuable plate.” When asked what happened to the guy who raped her, it turns out that the brother didn’t think the rapist did anything wrong. What matters is that his sister was a “broken plate” and as such, discardable.

  92. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    Sonia, #89:

    Good point!

    I too hate how rights and liberties are tied to the nation-state, but the fact that this is the most predominant system.

    Because these rights are tied to a nation state (and hence, governments will not interfere with another government unless they want a “regime change” and/or want to bomb them, essentiallly shitting on any concept of a mutually recognized “national sovereignty,” but I digress),there are other problems vis-a-vis international law, which is probably one of the more effective mechanisms that could be used in situations like these. Unfortunately, there is very little way to implement and force governments all over the globe to abide to IL, since adherence is voluntary.

    One move my IL lawyers and UN folks has been to come up with “derogable” (sp?) wrongs which cannot be overlooked on the principle of national sovereignty, ie war crimes and torture.

    Extradition treaties and synchronizing them on subjects such as honor killings and protecting victims of would be good.

  93. Jai — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:11 pm  

    Ravi,

    but I must say I have some admiration for Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, in particular the way he understood that no religion has the monopoly of truth. And how he tried to incoorporate elements of different religions to his beliefs.

    Assuming you haven’t read it already, I strongly recommend you check out Michael Wood’s book “The Story of India”, as it has a lengthy chapter on the Mughal era and on Akbar in particular. Michael doesn’t shy away from the negative aspects of Akbar’s behaviour — particular during his younger years — but overall he’s quite glowing in his overall assessment of the Emperor’s character. He actually regards Akbar as being a more capable and astute leader than most modern-day world leaders. He also makes some interesting comments about “what might have been” if the open-minded, pluralism and lack of rigid Islamic orthodoxy had continued. As with the rest of the book, it also contains quite a few facts which I had previously been completely unaware of too.

    (Rumbold — You should also read the book for the section on Ashoka, since you seem to dislike him).

    Did he persecuted Sikhs?

    Apparently there was some antipathy between them during the earlier years of Akbar’s rule, but later on relations between them became very positive indeed. Akbar even visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar (it wasn’t “golden” at the time, obviously) and participated in the “langar” in the communal kitchen, eating the food offered whilst being seated next to all the other visitors, with no distinction between himself and the “commoners”.

  94. Jai — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:16 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    First off, why do you think I am unleashing rants against Ravi?

    I think Ravi’s explained the crossed-wires himself since my previous post, so I don’t need to expand on that.

    Unlike some people who go off on anyone who mentions Sikhs and Sikhism,

    No, I only do so if I think the other party’s point is unjustified. Please don’t create false allegations by extrapolating that and implying that I have any problem with someone else criticising or questioning Sikhs and/or Sikhism per se. I do not. In fact, if you were familiar with my previous remarks on honour killings, female infanticide, or domestic violence against women within the Sikh population — here on PP, on Sepia Mutiny, and (further back and most prolifically) on Sikhnet, then you would be well aware of how forceful and unbiased I am in these matters. However, if I think another party’s assertion is false, misguided, misinformed or otherwise unwarranted, I will speak out.

    It is clear that the incidence of successful/attempted honour killings within the British South Asian population is less amongst Hindus than it is amongst Sikhs, and in both cases it is noticeably less than it is amongst Muslims. As other commenters (including myself) have stated, one would need to review the specific cultural factors which result in this difference — Ravi’s post #22 says this extremely clearly indeed, and I would also add that analysing the specific socio-economic differences between the regional and religious groups would also be absolutely mandatory.

    With regards to the British Sikh population specifically, I have no reservations whatsoever in stating that the excessive alcohol consumption in some quarters combined with the streak of machismo (and the resulting patriarchal mindset) are undoubtedly major factors behind the misogyny which sometimes occurs. Reasons for this ? Typical human corruption + the impact of the martial aspect of Sikhism on “Sikh culture” when decoupled from the corresponding ideals which are supposed to balance and channel it + the moral degradation away from these values from Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s time onwards + the impact of the associated negative aspects of wider North Indian/subcontinental culture in general.

    See ? Not so difficult. And it’s not about “finger-pointing”, but about identifying the logical & historical sequence of events which have resulted in the present situation. I would hope that commenters from other backgrounds would be willing to be equally honest about the reasons for the misogyny and excessively patriarchal attitudes within their own “communities”.

    Either way, as you have said, as several other commenters here have said, and as I have already said twice now on this very thread, the most important thing by far is to identify feasible solutions to prevent modern-day honour-killings. However, it does not help matters if, in response to trollery (or perceived unwarranted criticisms of the Mughals), instead of ignoring it, you challenge the alleged offender to provide evidence to support their assertions, thereby adding to the off-topic arguments which will undoubtedly ensue. It also puts those of us who really do have the requisite level of knowledge about the Mughal era in a difficult position, ie. whether I should respond to your “challenge” and thereby further contribute to the derailing of the debate, or let it pass completely.

    I will continue this response in a separate post below, in order to prevent it from becoming too lengthy.

  95. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:18 pm  

    Jai,

    Not to be mean, but you really shouldn’t bother with another post. I’m not going to read it, to be honest. You’ve written a post on a lengthy discussion of your dynamics of being Sikh and the Sikh community, as well as the virtues of finding out what the Mughal Empire had to do with honor killings. Both points are irrelevant to me.

  96. Jai — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:22 pm  

    (continued)

    For the record, there is evidence in several Mughal Emperors’ own writings that a) they authorised large-scale forced conversions to Islam, at least during the early part of their reigns, b) that they were involved in absolutely brutal behaviour both on an individual level and in terms of large-scale massacres of local populations that attempted to resist their aggression; furthermore, as recorded in his own writings, Guru Nanak himself accused Babur of allowing his armies to engage in the mass rape of Hindu women, something which was still occurring by the time of Guru Gobind Singh and resulted in his injunction to his own soldiers to refrain from duplicating the behaviour of Mughal armies in relation to how they should treat Muslim women in response. So you can appreciate why some people would react very badly indeed to your forceful attempts to defend the Mughal authorities against criticism or (even if said in jest) statements such as “I love the Mughal Empire ! Hail the Mughal Empire”, particularly as Gujaratis were also on the receiving end of a Mughal war of conquest (from Akbar, in the case of Gujarat), which means that your own ancestors were impacted by those events, to a lesser or greater degree. There is a certain irony in the notion of a person repeatedly and aggressively leaping to the defence of the very group which was involved in the forcible subjugation of her own ancestors.

    And although some commenters definitely are exploiting this discussion in order to attack Islam and Muslims en masse – something which I also earlier mentioned as being a very nasty way to behave – it should also be apparent that others are referring to the impact of the Mughal era as a whole on attitudes within Indian society in relation to women; this doesn’t mean the Mughal Emperors themselves literally “signed off” the erosion of women’s human rights and male attitudes towards them, but it is naïve, misinformed, or disingenuous for a person to assume that the consequent massive influx of individuals (frequently at a very high-ranking level), ideas, beliefs, attitudes, cultural traits and norms from several Muslim-dominated regions to the west of the subcontinent did not have an impact on the areas of Indian society which were under Mughal rule (and which developed large local Muslim populations too), particularly in the northwestern “belt” from Kashmir down to Gujarat. Basically, what was already a relatively patriarchal society became very patriarchal indeed.

    This was one of the reasons why I referenced your Gujarati background earlier; to varying degrees (depending on the specific region and community), Gujarat was also heavily impacted by the influence of Mughal rule and Islamic culture in terms of attitudes regarding women, including most levels of the local Hindu population. The effect is less these days but it was certainly still pronounced amongst many of the “grandparents’ generation” and, in rural areas and amongst more conservative families in general, also many of the “parents’ generation” too. Even if your own family’s ancestors weren’t heavily affected by this, I would have assumed that your exposure to (or at least knowledge of) other members of Gujarati society – particularly much older people — and history would have made you aware of this. I was somewhat surprised that this appeared to be not the case. Unless you think that customs such as “laaj”, gender segregation and so on were already established within Gujarat (and, by extension, the rest of northern India, particularly Punjab and Rajasthan) before any contact with Muslims. I would have to strongly disagree with you on that point too.

    Which leads me to my next point. You have directed this question to Ravi in post #80:

    Where on earth are you reading what I wrote that I want to prove that the Mughal Empire didn’t have any negative impact on women????????????

    The answer to this lies in your post #55:

    I’ll tell you what’s “whatabouttery,” Ravi. Asserting something like, “Mughals had a negative influence in the way women are treated in India.” Where is your back up for this? Don’t quote laws or whatever. Give concrete details and show how this affected women in the subcontinent on a daily basis IN PRACTICE.

    The bottom line is this, again as several commenters have already said. Whatever the origins, the problem is excessive patriarchy, the notion of women being “property” or at least under the control of men, and the notion of women per se being second-class citizens. So our fight is against these attitudes.

    The solution ? I’ve given several options already. But the root causes may vary according to the specific community and the socio-economic background of the perpetrators concerned, and it is necessary to be brutally honest in one’s analysis of these factors in order to be able to create effective counter-measures and effective solutions. So that is what needs to be done; the rest, to quote Kush T from Sepia Mutiny again, is just “Starbucks coffee-shop” theorising.

  97. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:23 pm  

    “You’ve written a post on a lengthy discussion of your dynamics of being Sikh and the Sikh community,”

    Actually, you haven’t. Sorry about saying that.

    But really, I’m not going to engage in some ridiculous debate where someone thought that an acceptable comeback was to resort to my region of origin and my religious upbringing. That this had absolutely nothing to do with what I am saying demonstrates to me that 1) you had nothing better to say except hit at a person’s affiliations and 2) that you would even think that this should play a role in what I was saying and 3) you’re coding my comments and views based on my religious background and region of origin. If it has nothing to do with the topic and the content of my comments, why bring it up?

    And lastly, my origins and religious upbringing do not cause me 1) to view everything through” Gujarati Hindu” lens and 2) to be parochial.

    Have a nice day.

  98. Jai — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:26 pm  

    You’ve written a post on a lengthy discussion of your dynamics of being Sikh and the Sikh community as well as the virtues of finding out what the Mughal Empire had to do with honor killings. Both points are irrelevant to me.

    If you don’t want an answer, then don’t accuse me of being unable to accept criticism of Sikhs and Sikhism and don’t question commenters’ assertions that the Mughal era had an impact on attitudes towards women. It’s as simple as that.

  99. Jai — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:39 pm  

    And lastly, my origins and religious upbringing do not cause me 1) to view everything through” Gujarati Hindu” lens and 2) to be parochial.

    My previous comments have made it clear that that’s not what I was asserting.

    However, if you have insufficient contact with people from your own background — or have insufficient knowledge of Gujarati history — to be aware of the extent to which their own cultural norms and customs in relation to expectations of female behaviour and their role in society were historically influenced by the politically-dominant Muslims before the colonial era and which (indirectly) continued into living memory, then it explains your previous questions.

    Again, this isn’t something specific to Gujaratis, but impacted all areas in the aforementioned northwestern Indian belt. So you should not misinterpret any of my comments as some kind of personal attack.

    Anyway, as I said before, all this is secondary. The primary focus should be on effectively counteracting cultural traits supporting and encouraging honour-killings. So let’s focus on that.

  100. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:47 pm  

    Jai:

    “for a Gujarati Hindu you are becoming awfully defensive and borderline hysterical in response to perceived slights against the Mughal Empire.”

    I mean, seriously, WTF? Now I know why I am so annoyed by this comment. It’s because you are ascribing me a set of politics and notions based on my origin of region and religious upbringing. What does this comment mean? That as a Gujarati Hindu I shouldn’t be “awfully defensive”? Unlike some commentators, I don’t view things through religious and regional lends- “Gujarati Hindu” lens in my case, whatever the hell that is supposed to entail. I am not parochial, sorry.

    That you would even bring this up shows that you yourself view things through your regional and religious affiliation. It’s not wrong that you do, but don’t think that for everyone else this is true. But your comment addressed to my being a Gujarati Hindu and what I’ve written here about the relevance of the Mughal Empire in this discussion is simply bullshit, nearsighted, and without depth.

    “If you don’t want an answer, then don’t accuse me of being unable to accept criticism of Sikhs and Sikhism”

    I don’t need to read your posts addressed to me as of late. There are numerous threads that spring to my mind , dating back a year ago, and jump down on anyone who says anything about Sikhs and Sikhism which you do not agree with. You can be very unyielding and dogmatic about your views. We all are to some extent on the Internet, but on the other hand, you will also post mini Ph’ds whereby you take issue with any interpretation that you do not agree with. But this is again, besides the freaking point of the whole discussion which is honor killings, though I guess for you, it’s pertinent to bring up my being a Gujarati Hindu, and understanding the “impact of the Mughal Empire.” And out of curiosity, why don’t you examine the impact of Sikhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Catholicism, and etc. on honor killings?

    P.S. I hope somewhere in your long, long posts, you provided a good and convincing reason as to why discussing the Mughal Empire is relevant to the discussion at hand, including Rumbold’s post on a woman from Iran and honor killings today, in the year 2007, 21st century.

  101. Desi Italiana — on 15th December, 2007 at 10:51 pm  

    Ahhh, I see. “Insufficient contact with my people” and if I were to have contact with my “people” I might be able to pull out the Mughal threads in the conceptualizations of women, society, etc. What makes you think I might not have “sufficient contact” with the motherland? And this is somehow supposed to help us….how?

    Right.

  102. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:01 am  

    as well as the virtues of finding out what the Mughal Empire had to do with honor killings. Both points are irrelevant to me.

    Ah, cosa dolce, for someone who could not stop talking about Mughal empire and honour killings since the beginning of this thread, in #2, #4, #6, #9… to now say it is irrelevant, well, aren’t you a gift that keeps on giving? :|

    Assuming you haven’t read it already, I strongly recommend you check out Michael Wood’s book “The Story of India”, as it has a lengthy chapter on the Mughal era and on Akbar in particular. Michael doesn’t shy away from the negative aspects of Akbar’s behaviour — particular during his younger years

    Brilliant. That will be part of my Christmas reading list.

  103. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:35 am  

    oh phooey you lot.

    anyway desi as you say in 92. yep. rights and liberties are very much tied to the nation-state. even whilst all these nation-states are allegedly adhering to UN Declaration of Human Rights on paper, and thus have to allow for asylum, the hapless state of refugees today shows up the reality of having to get through national immigration systems. Immigration systems, and officials upholding those systems, are trained to look at people who apply for asylum as potential illegal entrants and are always very suspicious. The fact that they ( and the daily mail reading public for example, amongst many others!) think anyone will come and give them a sob story to get in, to ‘get our jobs and our welfare’ complicates the whole issue of sticking to ratified agreements. always, the big fact of immigration as a political football looms over statesmen.

    This is the dominant system today, and alas, apart from a few people like yourself, on PP, elsewhere, there is little recognition of how it is tied into global governance problems

    also what you say in 91 “Women’s bodies are more often than not the slates on which people write nationalisms, patriotisms, and so on.” absolutely, and this is what needs to change.

    And granted the way some people are about their traditions and ethnicity, so touchy if any perceived insult to their ‘group’, their ‘traditions’, their ‘ancestors’, i wonder how much has actually changed. i remember not so very long ago, a discussion about black women dating asian men and asian girls dating non-asian men and boy was i suprised to see some of the views of some people. there was so much of an assumption that people ought to be marrying in their “groups” – which is in itself a fascist group domination idea as i see it, and then there was an idea that if girls weren’t , it was some kind of ‘fuck you’ to the group. Unless that kind of thinking is challenged, i don’t really see much change . The fundamental thing that needs to go is that the group controls who you are, and who you marry. And – that is a big challenge to many conservative societies.

  104. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:47 am  

    “insufficient contact with your own people”,

    jesus Jai, that was like the stuff you started on about kulvinder not being english, what’s with this shoving people in boxes? you sound like you think groups are bloody aliens. is this what growing up asian in blighty has done to you? if so, im suprised you’re not more against immigration. “keep everyone with their own people”.

    and plus, id like to add, across the subcontinent, all the religions have been used to oppress women, what i find amusing is hearing all these sikhs act so much more englightened than the muslims, all the muslims acting so much more enlightened than the hindus. let’s face it, across the board its been used very easily to keep people down. not much distinguishing between the religions. i find it funny how there are still so many religious people in the indian subcontinent, when its worked so well to keep people in their places and ‘their own people’.

    and leave off desi, you’re starting to sound like an old patriarch

  105. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:01 am  

    63. is a really offensive post jai. you’re sp turning into the hysterical ethnicist around here. take it easy why don’t you? is being sikh the be all and end all of your life? if so, that’s your business, please dont assume the same for everyone else here, and it would be useful to keep your presumptions about people’s ethnicity to yourself.

  106. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:12 am  

    p.s. this is interesting stuff isn’t it@ ..i found a link to the original black men/asian girls thread on Sepia Mutiny, i must say i found this comment rather revealing ( and very condescending! what an expert on relationships eh) to say the least:

    “…They also do it a) as a metaphorical middle-finger aimed at desi guys (for varying reasons, eg. they’ve had bad experiences with Indian/South Asian men), b) towards their parents (even indirectly, if their folks are unaware of the situation), c) as an ego-trip about how “unconventional” they are, as — from their perspective — it creates “outrage” from desi guys and more conservative desi women, along with generating kudos from similarly-minded desi women (or those who would like to get involved in such relationships but do not have the opportunity or ability to do so).”

  107. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:38 am  

    so, the way i interpret it, that highly dodgy comment i linked to above, is just an example of:

    -“Women’s bodies are more often than not the slates on which people write nationalisms, patriotisms, and so on.”

    with relationships being seen as a sign of conformity to “your people”.

  108. douglas clark — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:58 am  

    Sonia,

    Thanks for your comments @ 88, bloody hell, was it that far back!

    I dunno, I really don’t.

    I’ll put my cards on the table. I am actually in favour of the UK providing asylum to people who need it. It gives me a ‘feel good’ factor about the society we live in. Whilst folk are fleeing persecution I always thought it was a peculiarily British trait to say, ‘heh, come on in.’

    Well, it seems to me that what has happened is exactly and precisely what you say has happened.

    We probably promote the bureaucrats with the highest refusal levels. “Oh, Jimmy managed to send some asylum seeker back to Khazakstan, well done that man. He’ll go far.” It is managerialism as politics.

    And the yellow press sings the same sad song.

    Well, enough of it. It is not the GB that I want.

    There is almost no point in subscribing to the UN Convention on Human Rights if you are then going to devote your entire bureaucracy to circumventing it. There is almost no point in protesting, for the governments’ spin doctors will do the absolute minimum for, dare I say liberals such as ourselves, rather than the triangulated Metro man. As Dan Hardie is quick, and if it needs saying, right, to point out re Iraq Interpreters.

    We do need rules. But we need better rules.

    “This has been a thread derailment brought to you by dc enterprises, we apologise for not sticking to our timetable, but there was strange fruit on the line.”

  109. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 2:18 am  

    well said douglas ( you are an absolute dear..squeeze!) -

    “There is almost no point in subscribing to the UN Convention on Human Rights if you are then going to devote your entire bureaucracy to circumventing it.”

    precisely. and i do think, that like you, most people, when confronted with the human stories, also wouldn’t want people like Farah – for example turned away. ( see i’m not such a cynical old cow :-)

  110. douglas clark — on 16th December, 2007 at 2:27 am  

    Desi Italiana @ 91,

    Well, I was just hazarding at it! I was trying to get the thread back on track, and then I diverted it myself!

    I suppose if misogyny is a hatred of women, then killing their boyfriends might be one way of expressing it? My excuse, ’cause I don’t know a word that seems to cover hating nearly everyone.

    But I do agree with your other comments that it is largely women that directly suffer this shit.

    Your final paragraph was something else. That guy really hasn’t got a clue, has he? This idea of murdering victims rather than criminals is quite new to me really. Broken plate, indeed. Bastard.

  111. douglas clark — on 16th December, 2007 at 2:34 am  

    Sonia,

    Never thought you were :-)

    Else, I wouldn’t find myself agreeing with you so damned often!

  112. sonia — on 16th December, 2007 at 3:07 am  

    douglas, heh.

    re: 110, i’d say it was ‘hatred of women who don’t conform to group norms’ and also coupled with, having such a rigid idea of what group honour/face is or isn’t bound up with. (i.e. control of female sexuality) its a very old ancient idea,can see it everywhere, kill the harlot, ( and the “dirty foreigner” she’s with (i.e. someone we didn’t sanction) that’s what i see it as: a violent expression of fury with those who ‘step’ out of the accepted boundary, to show them they are nothing in themselves. it also reveals, a deep fear of ‘foreign blood’ and ‘inter-marriage’ – why in case it might sully the blood of our pure ancestors! (as if.)

    That’s why – i think – people are not really happy to acknowledge the links between honour killings, and supremacist pride in one’s group. (and pathological fear of ‘other’ men taking away one’s women – shock horror! “they are defiled, better kill them anyway”.) Reveals a complete submission to male patriarchy and the idea that you are only a tool which your group reproduces its ‘pure lineage’ through, and what easily discarded ‘things’ women are – that you control, or toss.

    Disgusting, fascist, highly supremacist stuff.

    OOh problem is, certainly if you’re asian in this country, and you happen to go out with someone who isn’t, you will hear shades of ‘ticking off’ from soo many people who are ‘only thinking of your best interests’- i.e. your nearest and dearest – (e.g. ..”how can you even think of going out with that dirty white person who doesn’t wash their arse, chi chi, and oh you have let the ‘side’ down) shades which echo of the belief that one must only reproduce within one’s group. Which – i will say time and time again – is the big problem here. Oh yes, most of the time the disapproval isn’t expressed with murder, thank goodness. but still, that social disapproval – is the driver for these kinds of killings.

  113. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 6:40 am  

    Another aspect we haven’t touched on is how women are seen as the recepticle (sp?) of carrying the entire lore of “culture,” heritage, family blah blah blah. A common example that I have seen over and over again: when a Desi guy marries outside the group, parents might be a little hesitant and not entirely happy, but they are not too fazed. Whereas if a Desi woman marries outside, parents sometimes go buck-wild. Why? IMO, it’s because there’s the idea that whatever the male’s ethnicity and socio-cultural background is will somehow be the dominant if not domineering factor in children and their upbringing, whereas in the woman’s case, it seems that she’s just the receiving thing (for lack of a better word) of whatever is inserted into her. And they are not wrong about this: GENERALLY (not all the time), in “mixed” marriages of any kind- whether the religious backgrounds differ, ethnicity, nationality, etc- I’ve seen the father’s background dominate, which I think is mostly a result of the socio-cultural and familial pressure and structure. Another example that points to this notion is how non desi wives are more easily accepted than non desi husbands.

    Another incident that is telling is how one evening, “auntie” #1 was talking to auntie #2 whose son has a child with a White woman. Auntie #1 said, “why he is with her?” Auntie #2 said, “Because they have a child together.” Auntie #1 brushed this off. “Oh, that’s ok. He can still marry a desi and have a family.” She wasn’t being mean or intentionally prejudiced. She was just voicing a notion we take for granted: that for a guy it’s ok to step out of socio-cultural and religious boundaries, and even if he does, he is still intact. No one would have said the same thing, let alone think it possible, that a desi woman might have a child with a non-desi and then still be able to have a family and get married to a desi guy- “She’s ruined”.

    What do my stories illustrate? The ways we see a woman’s body as symbolic of ethnicity, religion, society, culture, family, and keeping the lineage “pure”. I think some of this plays into honor killings.

    Also, there is the factor of revenge in honor killings and propriety.

  114. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 7:02 am  

    Douglas:

    “I suppose if misogyny is a hatred of women, then killing their boyfriends might be one way of expressing it?”

    Hmmm… not too sure about that. You mean kill a dude by extension? I’m not too sure.

    “Your final paragraph was something else. That guy really hasn’t got a clue, has he? This idea of murdering victims rather than criminals is quite new to me really. Broken plate, indeed. Bastard.”

    If you want to know more about this story, throughout the entire interview, he was smirking as he recounted the story. I can’t remember another time when I’ve wanted to hurl something at the television.

    Sonia:

    “so, the way i interpret it, that highly dodgy comment i linked to above, is just an example of:”

    I had interpreted that comment as some sort of hang-up, never mind seeing women as slates :)

    But going to the IL thingy and what Douglas said about giving asylum, I agree with you. At the same time, it is a band-aid solution because those that can be helped are far and few; there are many women who may not even know exist but cannot get help.

    We need longer term change, and the only way that I see that happening is through education and the application of just laws.

    1. Education as it stands is quite atrocious, driven by religious ideology, nationalism, patriotism, etc which also emphasizes rote learning rather than critical thinking. Children must be taught that things such as honor killings, violence, and abuse against women and men is NOT acceptable. Not only, but that it is punishable by the law.

    2. In some countries, there is a dissonance between civil law and customary laws when the civil law is actually well written. Those who are supposed to be applying them consistently across the board do not at all, but rather, ply and subvert the law and become patrons of customary laws and social codes. The agents of the law must apply the rule of law and not the law of rule; the law must be changed to reflect something more civil and libertarian, close to the UN ideals IMO.

  115. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:12 am  

    “The fundamental thing that needs to go is that the group controls who you are, and who you marry. And – that is a big challenge to many conservative societies.”

    One of the differences between South Asia and Northern/West European countries is that your immediate family/primary society in this part of the globe is much smaller than the former (which may include aunts, cousins, and even neighbours). Which means, you as in individual have less control in South Asia than in here, because a lot more people are involved during longer periods of our lives.

    I do believe though that the fundamental problem here is the killing. Not all communities engage in this sort of practice even if they exercise a lot more control on its individuals. It is really hard for me to enter into that mindset. It would help identifying communities at very fine-grained level (e.g. socio-economical backgrounds) who condone this sort of thing, and make sure they are aware that you have far more to lose by doing this than if not. If communities are religious, than make sure these communities realise that it is against their religion to commit such acts on your flesh and blood (if applicable) – of course the government can do little, but spiritual leaders can help in this matter. The important thing is that we need intelligence to identify the profile of these communties (again – fine grained), in order to predict and help future occorrences from happening.

  116. Jai — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    It’s because you are ascribing me a set of politics and notions based on my origin of region and religious upbringing. What does this comment mean? That as a Gujarati Hindu I shouldn’t be “awfully defensive”?…..But your comment addressed to my being a Gujarati Hindu and what I’ve written here about the relevance of the Mughal Empire in this discussion is simply bullshit, nearsighted, and without depth.

    Completely wrong again. You repeatedly asked people to prove that the Mughal era had an impact on the mores of regions which fell under Mughal rule. I referenced your own background because I had assumed that, either via direct family experiences & anecdotes, via an understanding of the history of Gujarat, or at least via contact with other Gujaratis, you would have been exposed to these facts. Just like the rest of us whose ancestors also lived within Mughal-ruled regions and whose families were also thereby impacted by those events and the associated cultural changes.

    Now, if you don’t know enough about the more conservative aspects of Gujarati society & history — particularly the rural areas — to have an accurate understanding of how they were affected by all this, including in relation to attitudes towards women, then that’s fine and it explains a lot. However, don’t try to cover up your ignorance by turning things back at me and hurling strawman arguments about my allegedly viewing matters “parochially”. Which is definitely not the case.

    I don’t need to read your posts addressed to me as of late.

    How very convenient for you. It means you can ignore all the facts which contradict your stance and continue to submit posts which have no relevance to what was actually said.

    And out of curiosity, why don’t you examine the impact of Sikhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Catholicism, and etc. on honor killings?

    I already clearly set out the impact of Sikhism on honour killings in post #94 (third paragraph below the second red-font quote).

    With regards to the impact of Hinduism, Christianity and Catholicism, people belonging to those religious communities (and with a thorough understanding of their own histories) would be in a better position than I am to discuss that. You see, unlike some people, I have no problem simply saying “I don’t know”, or at least listening to other people when it turns out they know more about the subject than I do.

    More to the point, this thread is about honour killings in the UK. This does not happen very often (if at all) amongst Hindus, Christians and Catholics in this country. So, to paraphrase Ravi, discussing why honour killings occur amongst members of those religious communities (particularly in other parts of the world) is irrelevant to constructively addressing why they occur amongst some immigrant populations here in Britain.

    I hope somewhere in your long, long posts, you provided a good and convincing reason as to why discussing the Mughal Empire is relevant to the discussion at hand,

    Already done, repeatedly, but then if you actually read what people write here instead of viewing it through the prism of your cognitive dissonance and putting your own spin on it (incidentally, you’ve been doing the same thing to Ravi and you also did this to Deep Singh on another thread a few days ago) then you’d be aware of this.

  117. Rumbold — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    On Monday or Tuesday I am going to put up a piece which doubles as a Mughal open thread, so everyone can save their venom for then (cue comments about shutting stable doors).

    Don:

    “Having a court appointed doctor declare the bastard barking would mean nothing, he’d still be seen as having restored ‘honour’.”

    Perhaps. It all depends on whether such a judgement is seen as worse than going to prison.

    Sonia:

    “Really? interesting you think so. I would say that the thought of Hell has been burned into many people’s minds, and is a good reason why families are able to turn on each other, when they fear the ‘right way’ has not been taken, and THEY are responsible, otherwise they too will be punished. Seems Hell as a construct is itself pushing people to do all sorts of nasty things, which you then hope it exists so they can go to Hell, interesting that.”

    Interesting way of looking at it Sonia. It strikes me though that such vile attitudes occur not because of a fear of a deity, but rather because that is what their culture has always done. They fear their ‘community’ more than they fear their god, otherwise they would not want to murder their children, for no religion permits that.

    Jai:

    Mughal open thread- be there or be square.

  118. Jai — on 16th December, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    Sonia,

    Your recent posts addressed to me are so irrelevant to what my stance has actually been and what I have actually said that I’m not even going to bother responding to most of your allegations. It’s “whataboutery par excellence”, particularly as my previous remark at Kulvinder was specifically about ethnicity (as I clarifed at length later in that thread) and my disagreement with Desi Italiana (for the record, someone I regard as an online friend) has absolutely zero to do with her being a women. For you to accuse me of engaging in patriarchal behaviour here is not only a sly attempt to shut me up, it’s also incredibly insulting.

    And as for your taking a completely irrelevant and out of context quote from an old discussion on Sepia Mutiny — one which, at the time, I made clear was anecdotal and based on real-life people I knew who had made it extremely clear that they were engaging in that behaviour for all the self-destructive reasons stated, resulting in them destroying their own lives and wreaking havoc in the lives of people close to them — it’s a truly disgusting tactic for you to use. Particularly as I emphatically and repeatedly stated on multiple discussion threads during my entire stint on Sepia Mutiny that I believed the patriarchy, hypocrisy, misogyny and racism endemic in some quarters of Asian society (particularly in relation to relationships) is completely abhorrent, and I had loudly argued against multiple commenters there who displayed those twisted beliefs.

    Shame on you for stooping to such behaviour — and it’s even worse because, as evident from this thread and from multiple previous debates on PP (and Sepia Mutiny and Sikhnet, for that matter), I am forcefully against any kind of prejudice towards women (Asian or otherwise), their disenfranchisment, undermining of their human rights (which are identical to those of men, as far as I’m concerned), or patriarchal bullying of them. I have seen first-hand how destructive this can be on the target’s life — you have no idea.

    The tragedy here, of course, is that I actually completely agree with your comments about the horrendous patriarchy (unfortunately, frequently perpetuated by some of the more orthodox “aunties”, as you’ve frequently stated yourself) and “ownership” of women which is endemic in large swathes of Asian society worldwide, and that this is something which needs to be effectively dealt with. I have even given multiple suggestions as to how this may be achieved (and I fully agree with and support Desi Italian’s comments #113 & 114, along with Ravi’s post #115 — all 3 of those posts are 100% spot-on).

    But then, if you’d actually read my comments properly — all of them — and weren’t using this as an avenue to opportunistically attack me for God-knows-what reason, then you’d be well aware of that.

  119. Jai — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Jai: Mughal open thread- be there or be square.

    I’ll see what I can do, time-permitting ;)

    Interestingly, I was actually going to suggest this to you myself, since I’ve noticed that several threads during the past couple of days have taken a diversion into the Mughal era, with arguments ensuing. It was going to mention that it would be a good forum for people to thrash the issue out once-and-for-all, along with potentially slagging each other off to their heart’s content rather than disrupting other threads.

    Assuming that Sunny is okay with this, it may be a good idea to allow Mazumdar (or whatever username he chooses to use) to participate there too. He’s blunt as hell but he does effectively raise some difficult questions (even if he’s sometimes dead wrong).

    Also, his banter with Sid was really entertaining to read. Those two need to get a room ;)

    Apologies for inadvertantly playing a role in the partial-derailing of this thread, despite my best attempts to prevent it. The irony is that not only did I warn repeatedly that there was a danger of commenters potentially dwelling too much on the historical reasons for certain attitudes in some quarters of Asian society instead of focusing on the “here and now”, I’ve actually been one of the few people here who has explicitly given concrete suggestions about how to counteract honour-killings here in the modern-day UK.

  120. Jai — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

    Don (and Rumbold),

    No, please. Not the mental institution to enforce ethical judgements.

    Well, if someone is suffering from a mental disorder to the extent that they are actually willing to plan and/or execute the murder of a member of their immediate family (particularly in relation to the scenarios most commonly associated with honour-killings), then it’s not just a criminal issue but also a psychiatric one.

    The perpetrator is a clear and present danger to him/herself and to others due to their psychopathic illness, and should be dealt with accordingly.

  121. Rumbold — on 16th December, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Jai:

    “I’ll see what I can do, time-permitting.”

    Good. No Mughal discussion is complete without your observations, wrong though they might be (just kidding- sort of). Heh.

    “It was going to mention that it would be a good forum for people to thrash the issue out once-and-for-all, along with potentially slagging each other off to their heart’s content rather than disrupting other threads.”

    Nothing will ever be decided once and for all, but it will give people a chance to discuss issues without worrying about going ‘off topic’ (though I have no real problem with that).

    “Assuming that Sunny is okay with this, it may be a good idea to allow Mazumdar (or whatever username he chooses to use) to participate there too. He’s blunt as hell but he does effectively raise some difficult questions (even if he’s sometimes dead wrong).”

    Sorry, no can do. Whatever you think of him, he is currently banned, and so will be deleted if he emerges, so my advice is not to engage with him if he does, otherwise things will get really confusing.

    “Apologies for inadvertantly playing a role in the partial-derailing of this thread, despite my best attempts to prevent it.”

    No problem. As I said before, I don’t have a problem with going off topic (though this diversion was a bit idiotic as there was no evidence either way for the Mughal/’honour’ killings debate).

    Am off to watch Man U Vs. Liverpool.

  122. Galloise Blonde — on 16th December, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    Hi again, I hope you had a great weekend.

    Rumbold @ 43: I really thank you for writing this piece which is spot-on, I was just reporting the situation at the CPS (from a source I trust, at any rate) to add a little ray of sunshine on this rather depressing topic. The situation with the police is bad, but not universally bad. There are great and committed police officers out there, but there’s no guarantee of a woman, girl or man getting a decent reception. However, at least changes are beginning to be made within the police, and now the biggest challenges IKWRO face are deportations, lack of understanding of HK in asylum cases and No Recourse. The FMU doesn’t help in cases where the abductee is not a citizen, and this is a growing problem: we recently had a 14 young girl forcibly married to an elderly, handicapped man as a punishment for talking to boys on her mobile and they told us they could do nothing. Which is all evidence for Sonia and the nation state theory of who gets help, and who doesn’t.

    Iraq still provides for lessened sentences for HK, this law has only been repealed within Kurdish regions.

    Regarding the cases of Brazil, etc. Definitions of what is and isn’t ‘honour’ killing are not pinned down, but I think that most of these Latin American countries approved spousal, and not familial murder which I don’t personally classify as HK.

    The distinction as I make it is on practical grounds: arranging protection for an individual who is facing a premeditated, collective crime, with the potential for multiple aggressors, (hitmen in 1 in 8 cases) is a much bigger headache than protecting one individual from another. Although of course familial murder for ‘honour’ got a reduced sentence in Italy as late as 1980, and has roots, I think, in Roman Family Law.

    halima @ 62:

    So what do these societies have in common?

    An instrumental value for women’s lives I’d say, women are seen as instruments for defending honour of wider social unit – family or the nation.

    To state the obvious, they all have arranged marriage, (as well as an instrumental value for women’s lives and eveything else you say.)

  123. Siddharth — on 16th December, 2007 at 3:19 pm  

    Rumbold, classily done on #122.

  124. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    Victor Mullins – Muzumdar


    sid

    It is most amusing that you, of all people, seek to whitewash the crimes of the Mughal Empire with regard to the treatment of non-Muslims. Was it not you who wrote a scathing piece on an academic who denied the Pakistani genocide of Bangladeshis?

    If you were to read my piece properly you would see that it is a scathing attack on an academic who bases her position on shoddy scholarship, poor research and subjective bias. Any academic who is guilty of these deserves everything they get. The one I wrote that piece on (Sarmila Bose) is, in addition to all that, a genocide denier on top.

    I haven’t anywhere “whitewashed the crimes of the Mughal Empire” so stop projecting your silliness again (your track record of which is in a league of its own on this blog).

    Speaking of shoddy, I’m just overawed by arguments raised in not one but 2 PP threads, attempting to assign the blame of Voilence Against Women in India on the Mughal Empire. Carried on by various degrees of enthusiam by Muzumdar, Jai, Ravi Naik, Indy and others. I don’t need to revisit the arguments that have exposed the stupidity in that since Desi Italiana and Rumbold have already dealt with this pathetically idiotic assertion expertly. :)

  125. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    That’s Violence not (Father Ted style) Voilence Against Women…

  126. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    Carried on by various degrees of enthusiam by Muzumdar, Jai, Ravi Naik, Indy and others. I don’t need to revisit the arguments that have exposed the stupidity in that since Desi Italiana and Rumbold have already dealt with this pathetically idiotic assertion expertly.

    Heh. It seems you haven’t read the whole thread, but it would be nice if you did in order to make comments about people who took the time to write here.

    First of all, and I am sure it will come as surprise to you, Sid, I never mentioned my opinion about the impact of Mughal empire in India, in fact, if you look closer, I said I don’t know much about it. How about that!

    Second, Desi Italiana thought it was incredibly relevant to mention that the Mughal empire was not responsible for honour killings in South America, Italy and China – witness all her messages in the beginning of this thread – but then says that it is completely irrelevant for her their impact in India. One has to wonder why bring up the subject if you find it irrelevant or even hailing the mughal empire, but at no point can this be considered as expertly handling the issue. The only person who deserves such praise is Jai, and even if you don’t agree with his position (and I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said), at least he is willing to go deep on the issue, with his Historic knowledge – and I highly respect that.

    When I talked with my wife about this, she said she had read about this issue in a book called “Culture Shock!” written by “Gitanjali Kolanad”. Here is what it says:

    “To the extent that it is possible to generalise at all, North India, which came under the influence of a strong Muslim ruling class, is more feudal and patriarchal, and South India is more egalitarian. Tribal societies show the greatest gender equality, often more than in the West… High-caste women suffered the most from traditional practices that oppress women, such as purdah, sati, child marriage and the degraded position of the widow. Purdah, meaning “curtain”, refers to the custom of keeping women secluded. Although it may have been borrowed from Islam, it extended to the higher-caste Hindu families in North India.”

    You don’t have to believe what anyone says, but this is the sort of rational discussion one needs to engage to “expertly” handle the issue. It doesn’t help at all to dismiss these questions with logic fallacies and cheap rethoric, which is exactly what I have witnessed in this thread.

    I also don’t see “Mughals”, “Sikhs”, “South Indians”, “North Indians”, Muslims, Hindus, as the other, but as part of myself. We are products of History, had the chain of events be any different, we would not be here. If we acknowledge the great things the Mughals did for our country (Taj Mahal being one of them), what is so silly or hateful to see the negative side?

    Honestly, the lot of you need to grow up.

  127. Pounce — on 16th December, 2007 at 6:42 pm  

    Bloody hell go away for the weekend and the whole world writes a reply.
    If I miss anybody who wishes a reply let me know.

    Ismaeel writes at # 45;
    “So please please prove that honour killings in this country are predominantly Islamic in character.”

    Well for a start the main article is about the subject but just to panda to your disbelieving whims here is what a simple search on the BBC news site reveals;
    The results are chorological;
    The murder of Surjit Athwal (Non Muslim)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7002404.stm

    The murder of Uzma Rahan, and her 3 children (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6446757.stm

    The murder of Banaz Mahmod (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6722699.stm

    The murder of Samaira Nazir (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5179162.stm

    The attempted murder of Abdullah Yasin (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/5224106.stm

    The murder of Arash Ghorbani-Zarin (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/4520682.stm

    The attempted hit on Temple Jazac (Non Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4083909.stm

    Honour Killing? (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3524277.stm

    The murder of Sahjda Bibi (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/3169330.stm

    The murder of Heshu Yones (Islamic)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3149030.stm

    There are plenty more I haven’t listed as I just can’t be asked to find them. The murders of Caneze Riaz and her girls, That girl In Nottingham, the Pakistani women in London. Out of the above 2 are non Islamic. I’m sure that there are more, but for some reason I can’t seem to find them reported on the BBC. But the fact remains the vast majority are Islamic nature. Have you read them. Notice anything. The vast majority of the victims who died, did so in the most horrible manner. Not for them a quick death. No for them they had to be tortured. Now you can tell me until the cows come home that the vast majority of honour crimes in the UK are not Islamic in nature. Sorry to correct you, but they are.

  128. Pounce — on 16th December, 2007 at 6:56 pm  

    Jai writes;
    “As his name clearly indicates, Ravi Naik is not a Muslim and the “mirror” is therefore completely irrelevant to him. You should be aware of this if you are an Asian person, as you claim to be.Which is a good point — what regional/religious background are you from exactly ? This is not a trick question — the answer will help to put your comments into their proper context.”

    Hang on are you trying to say that debating ‘Honour crimes in the UK’ is dependent on the colour of your skin and you faith. That if I was white, I would be automatically barred from the debate. What does knowing the faith of somebody by his name alone have to do with the story. The last I looked Dhiren Barot wasn’t a Muslim name, neither was Richard Reed or Anthony Garcia.
    All you need to know about me is I am brownskinned, Have no foreskin, Have a muslim name and that I live in the UK and am a British Citiizen.

  129. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 7:45 pm  

    Ravi, no one is arguing that the Mughals had no negative/positive effects on modern Indian society. What the posters on the sensible side of this debate have pointed out is that the phenomenon of VIA in India is universal both across religio-cultural communities and backwards in history which makes it imprudent to ascribe to any one point in history as its root cause.

    The “Gitanjali Kolanad” quote you posted is irrelevent and a non-sequitur *in the context* of this discussion. VAW can be as prevalent in liberal/egalitarian/tribal societies as it is in feudal/patriarchial. Why not extend this silly argument to its logical:

    Was a there point in histroy of increased feudalism/patriarchial , in say Native tribal societies, that can be said is the root cause of VAW within them? I don’t think so>

  130. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 8:14 pm  

    Jai:
    “Also, [Muzumdar's] banter with Sid was really entertaining to read. Those two need to get a room”

    Jai:
    “[Muzumdar] blunt as hell but he does effectively raise some difficult questions (even if he’s sometimes dead wrong).”

    Are you sure its not you who wants that room Jai?

  131. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 16th December, 2007 at 8:48 pm  

    sidney

    scathing attack on an academic who bases her position on shoddy scholarship, poor research and subjective bias.

    Indeed; and anyone, like yourself, who claims that the Mughal Empire was a beacon of Enlightenment and tolerance – rather than an imperialist, racist (see Mughal autobiographies for references to the ‘black faced infidels’ who inhabited the sub-continent) and fascistic period of history – is also guilty of the above ‘shoddy scholarship, poor research and subjective bias’.

    Any academic who is guilty of these deserves everything they get.

    Exactly. But why limit it to academics? I say: extend it to Bangladeshi restaurant toilet cleaners, like yourself, who make such assertions too (just taking a punt).

    The one I wrote that piece on (Sarmila Bose) is, in addition to all that, a genocide denier on top.

    Are you also denying the genocide of non-Muslims by Islamic Imerialists (note: Muslim Ghazis had invaded the sub-continent centuries before the Mughals turned up and partook in their fare share of rapine, pillage and plunder)? If yes, then you are in the same category as Bangladeshi genocide deniers.

    attempting to assign the blame of Voilence Against Women in India on the Mughal Empire.

    Nowhere have I even mentioned violence against women. But then reading was always difficult for you, hey sidney?

    You had better run along, your Arab master wants his toilet cleaned.

  132. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 8:50 pm  

    Nowhere have I even mentioned violence against women.

    Then WTF are you doing on this thread?

    You had better run along, your Arab master wants his toilet cleaned.

    ooh, that’s told me.

  133. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 16th December, 2007 at 8:53 pm  

    I see that you have, yet again, failed to deal with the finer points of my argument. I shall take that as a sign of defeat.

    Your surrender is accepted.

    Now, any news on those ‘stats’ Bangla man?

  134. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

    Ravi:

    For someone who keeps ripping at me for lack of “logic” and being an opponent with a “non-sequiter” argument, you sure have a reading comprehension problem. These are the things that you are taking issue with:

    1. I said “Can you provide any back-up for saying that the Mughal Empire had bad effects on the treatment of women?” This, in your little mind, means that I was implying that the Mughal Empire did not have any impact (positive/negative) on women.

    WTF do I say this? Because I ask you to provide back up, this suggests that I mean that it didn’t exist?

    2. You say that I brought up Latin America to argue that the Mughal Empire had no effects on women in South Asia, in particular to honor killings.

    Are you myopic? What about my bringing up other parts of the world claims that the Mughal Empire had nothing to do with it in South Asia? WTF did I say this? The fact that I bring in other parts of the world where violence and honor killings are very real demonstrates that it’s not simply a Mughal/Islamic/whatever the fuck you want to attribute it. This does NOT mean that the Mughal Empire may or may have not had any impact; this means that honor killings are not only confined to South Asia and the Middle East.

  135. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 9:52 pm  

    Ravi:

    “It doesn’t help at all to dismiss these questions with logic fallacies and cheap rethoric, which is exactly what I have witnessed in this thread.”

    Cheap rhetoric my ass. Do commentators need to walk you through every single thing? At first I thought I was being inarticulate, but a few have already gotten what I’m saying. You are basically looking for strawmen so that you can throw punches without adding anything substantive to what is going on globally.

  136. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    “phenomenon of VIA in India”

    What is VIA? You need to add a glossary at the end of your messages. I got that VAW is violence against women.

  137. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:02 pm  

    Ravi:

    “Second, Desi Italiana thought it was incredibly relevant to mention that the Mughal empire was not responsible for honour killings in South America, Italy and China – witness all her messages in the beginning of this thread – but then says that it is completely irrelevant for her their impact in India.”

    Reading comprehension problem again. Tell me where the hell I said that the Mughal Empire’s impact is irrelevant because I think the Mughal Empire had nothing to do with honor killings. What I said was it’s irrelevant to discuss the Mughal Empire because you can’t blame the phenomenon on the Mughal Empire, especially since honor killings have taken place outside of spheres that people stereotypically associate honor killings with.

    “The only person who deserves such praise is Jai, and even if you don’t agree with his position (and I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said), at least he is willing to go deep on the issue, with his Historic knowledge – and I highly respect that.”

    Yeah– telling someone about “inadequate contact” with her “people,” saying shit about “you are very sensitive towards the Mughal Empire as a Gujarati Hindu” because “nostalgia, fondness for the perceived glamour of India’s Mughal era, a wish to prevent unwarranted attacks against Muslims en masse, a reaction to the anti-Muslim Hindutva-type right-wing attitudes common amongst many Hindus in the US, or something else entirely” and writing lengthy comments about being a Sikh, and then harping on the Mughal Empire to explain every single fucking thing is very very sensible.

    “Honestly, the lot of you need to grow up.”

    Seriously. And time to own up to responsibility about atrocious attitudes that WE TODAY are willfulling engaging in and see how the patterns of violence towards women are happening elsewhere as well, not writing dissertations on the reach of the Mughal Empire.

  138. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:10 pm  

    attitudes that WE TODAY are willfulling engaging in

    There goes the royal ‘we’ again. Sorry, but I’m not ‘willfully’ engaging in any VAW, and I doubt that anyone else (except sid) posting here is either.

  139. Don — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:14 pm  

    DROP THE FUCKING MUGHALS.

  140. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:16 pm  

    And I asked this earlier up on the thread, that for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the Mughal Empire is source of all atrocious attitudes towards women, honor killings included. (never mind that possibly, Hinduism might have something to do with it, never mind that backwards mentality towards women might just something something that exists socially in the subcontinent, never mind that the only way to assess the Mughal Empire’s impact centuries ago is through reading books because we can’t go back in time, etc).

    What are we to do with this information? How can it help us today? How will this change people’s views on a societal and legal level? What explains the phenomenon of honor killings on a global scale so that we can come up with better correctives?

    Ravi,you have done a piecemeal reading of my comments simply because you want to take stabs at a straw man. And others simply want to vent their obsessions with the Mughal Empire and their own identity issues.

  141. Don — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:16 pm  

    You see, now you’ve made me shout. And I hate that.

  142. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:19 pm  

    Clarifications:

    “What I said was it’s irrelevant to discuss the Mughal Empire because you can’t blame the phenomenon on the Mughal Empire ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, since honor killings have taken place outside of spheres that people stereotypically associate honor killings with.”

    “And I asked this earlier up on the thread, that for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the Mughal Empire is source of all atrocious attitudes towards women, honor killings included IN SOUTH ASIA.”

  143. Desi Italiana — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:20 pm  

    Don:

    “You see, now you’ve made me shout. And I hate that.”

    Sorry.

  144. Don — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:20 pm  

    The next person to mention mughals smells of poo.

  145. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:23 pm  

    Don – that would be too much like engaging with the topic of VAW rather than have an excuse to finger point, wallow in sentimental victimhood and use the word ‘whataboutery’.

  146. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:24 pm  

    that was a response to #139.

  147. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:41 pm  

    an excuse to finger point, wallow in sentimental victimhood

    This is the reserve of Muslims who ‘finger point’ and ‘wallow in sentimental victimhood’ ad nauseum when it comes to the Palestinians. While the rest of the world gets on with life.

  148. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:45 pm  

    You appreciate, don’t you, that you’ve given us a masterclass on how certain Sikhs have taken up a franchise on victimhood too?

  149. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:50 pm  

    One man on a blog does not a ‘victimhood complex’ make.

    1 billion chest beating drones wallowing in self pity on the other hand…

  150. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:53 pm  

    I’m sure you’ll thrive in the competition…

  151. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 10:54 pm  

    “but then says that it is completely irrelevant for her their impact in India.”

    Reading comprehension problem again. Tell me where the hell I said that the Mughal Empire’s impact is irrelevant”

    Check #102. And I said it “is completely irrelevant for HER”, which is different from saying their impact is just irrelevant.

    I am not going to repeat everything again. And amazing (or perhaps not) you got my objections wrong, despite several messages trying to explain my point. Never mind. I stand by every word I said about you in #126.

    Sid might be on to something though – pity that he used acronyms (wtf is VIA????), but once that is clarified, I will stand corrected if he makes a good case (and he usually does, despite getting all wrong in #124).

    I should also say – and I have said many times – that I am not a fan of using people’s gender (like telling males to shut up because they just don’t get women’s issues), race (you are white, so you shouldn’t talk about Asian issues), ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, as some way to make a point against your opponent. But those are very easily brushed off.

  152. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 11:06 pm  

    Sid might be on to something though – pity that he used acronyms (wtf is VIA????)

    a typo. I meant VAW – Violence Against Women

    A glossary:
    WTF – Whataboutery The Fuck
    TME – The Mughlai-paratta empire
    CICI – Communitarian Identity-Complex Idiot
    CATUW – Campaign Against the use of ‘Whataboutery’

  153. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 11:18 pm  

    “And I asked this earlier up on the thread, that for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the Mughal Empire is source of all atrocious attitudes towards women…
    What are we to do with this information? How can it help us today? How will this change people’s views on a societal and legal level?

    Funny you ask that, considering YOU are the one who brought Mughals to this thread right from the beginning in #2, #4, #6, #9, #11… not me, Jai or anyone else. Given that you decided to make a point that it had nothing to do with South America, it became a point of debate: what about India where they governed? Whether or not it brings anything useful to the debate, I always find that bringing History to these topics broadens the context and understanding of the issues.

  154. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

    “The “Gitanjali Kolanad” quote you posted is irrelevent and a non-sequitur *in the context* of this discussion. VAW can be as prevalent in liberal/egalitarian/tribal societies as it is in feudal/patriarchial. “

    That sounds conterintuitive. Liberal/egalitarian societies will strive to provide equal standing of women in relation to men – which means equal rights (education, jobs…), which translates into more independence in relation to the father or husband. Furthermore, violence against women will be more likeley to be reported and taken more seriously, including prosecuting the aggressor. That is the main difference between Western countries and several Islamic countries.

    Which leads us to the main point: do you all these honour killings happen in egalitarian communities or patriarchial ones? Or is it just a coincidence?

    If not, then my “Gitanjali Kolanad” quote seems to be relevant.

  155. Ravi Naik — on 16th December, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

    A glossary

    And of course:

    GFR – Get a fucking room.

  156. Sid — on 16th December, 2007 at 11:58 pm  

    Ravi , honour killings or the overarching VAW happens in both egalitarian communities and patriarchial, obviously because of different social reasons – but the violence is present in both. This is why the Gitanjali Kolanad article is a non-sequitur, it seems to suggest that because patriarchial societies is the cause of this violence. It’s irrelevent because its not specifically about VAW in India. If it is, then to suggest that tribal/egalitarian societies has no VAW as opposed to patriarchial societies is a crock.

    Another one for the glossary:
    AHE – Ahistorical History Expert

  157. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:02 am  

    oops:

    This is why the Gitanjali Kolanad article is a non-sequitur, it seems to suggest that because patriarchy is the cause of this violence in patriarchial societies, then non-patriarchial/egalitarian socities are free of VAW or even abuses of gender roles.

  158. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:19 am  

    “This is why the Gitanjali Kolanad article is a non-sequitur, it seems to suggest that because patriarchy is the cause of this violence in patriarchial societies, then non-patriarchial/egalitarian socities are free of VAW or even abuses of gender roles.”

    No, it cannot possibly imply something that is utopian: that there is such a thing as a society free of VAW.

    What it implies is that the South being more egalitarian, has less occurences of VAW – for the reasons I mentioned in #154 – than in the North. Obviously, the only way to verify this is by looking at the statistics between North and South, and across people within the same caste. Something I am trying to find with little success.

  159. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:08 am  

    OK.

    I thought, still do even, that we had an American doing irony at post 2. Desi Italiana, call yourself whatever you want, citizen planet earth or whatever, I’m bloody well agreeing with you.

    It was an ironic comment about another thread. And still the hackles rose, did they not? I commented, mea culpa, at 3:

    Desi I,

    Yup, any time now….

    I would assume Desi Italiana is completely pissed off at the comments she’s had to bear here.

    Gloves off.

    It matters not a fuck – which I think it is fair to say was Desi’s point – about who or how or even why we end up in the 21st C with that sort of shite. It is beyond civilized acceptance.

    Albeit you guys seem to be able to ‘understand or provide a historical perspective’ to it. It frankly, doesn’t matter where shit comes from. Shit is shit.

    A little less comprehension, and a fucking sight more condemnation would be a good start. It is not a fucking intellectual exercise. It is about real people being killed right now.

    Wherever HK is perpetrated, it is just fucking wrong.

    Diverting yourselves into an attack on a woman for having the bottle to stand up for herself is, frankly pathetic.

    And it is you – guys – that did that. You couldn’t see humour if it kicked you in the face.

  160. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:15 am  

    arranged marriage – in communities where females don’t have any economic choice -is a problem, end of story.

  161. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:17 am  

    I think this thread has been very revealing.

  162. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:34 am  

    Sonia,

    I think folk got their intellects up before they got their humanity up. At least, I hope so. This thread has been a disgrace.

    I am not at all convinced that the folk that have argued black and white about Mughals and all that stuff, actually see it as impacting on their lives today. It is just a talking point. As someone else said: ” A Starbucks moment”. That, I can do without.

    This is not directed at you, oh no! This is directed at folk that think they should be defined by their history. We have a simple word for folks like that, we call them ‘idiots’.

  163. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:37 am  

    jai im not interested in ‘aTTAcking’ you just pointing out i found your comments toward Desi offensive, that’s my opinion. and your comments i read and it is pretty clear in my mind that they are a good example of thinking which reveals group dating expectations still manifesting amongst young asians today ( and clearly you are not the only one, that entire Sepia Mutiny thread was filled with shocking statements)- which are tied to the same problematic. that is my view and you are entitled to disagree with me. and this constant harping on you linking in people’s ethnicities with their comments – i find problematic. – perhaps analogously, i should, as a female, simply state, that you, as a man, means obviously THAT is why you’re saying the sort of things you had been saying! Bas.

  164. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:39 am  

    and it is absolutely highly relevant to the discussion at hand – it was for me very demsonstrative of how women and sexual relationships are still very much evaluated in line with group identity.

  165. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:46 am  

    A little less comprehension, and a fucking sight more condemnation would be a good start.

    How low can we get that in the 21st century in a progressive blog must we say that honour killings are wrong?

    I am not sure why you think Desi Italiana is a victim here. As far as I can see, Sid, Don, you, Refresh, Rumbold, Sonia have all agreed with her, and that is fine. It means she has defended her position way better than me.

    “And it is you – guys – that did that. You couldn’t see humour if it kicked you in the face.”

    Does humour come before or after the condemnation?

  166. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:55 am  

    Ravi Naik,

    Here is the person you are defending, in his own words:

    “16 · Jai on July 14, 2006 11:00 AM · Direct link
    Regarding the Black Men, (South) Asian women combination:

    The following points are based purely on my own personal experience here in the UK. There may be transatlantic differences, or indeed differences depending on one’s own social/professional circles.

    it may simply be that they are two people who happened to meet, and fall in love
    It’s certainly been known to happen. However, in a disproportionate number of cases…..

    And the “bad boy” image (stereotype) may make people of African descent more attractive
    Yep. When I was at college — early to late 90s — black men had become particularly fetishised in mainstream British culture and even more so amongst many South Asian girls here. I don’t know what the situation is amongst the college-going crowd these days — I’m 33 — but some desi women around my age do continue this attitude as a legacy from their younger days.

    They also do it a) as a metaphorical middle-finger aimed at desi guys (for varying reasons, eg. they’ve had bad experiences with Indian/South Asian men), b) towards their parents (even indirectly, if their folks are unaware of the situation), c) as an ego-trip about how “unconventional” they are, as — from their perspective — it creates “outrage” from desi guys and more conservative desi women, along with generating kudos from similarly-minded desi women (or those who would like to get involved in such relationships but do not have the opportunity or ability to do so). As we all know, it’s regarded as very taboo indeed within mainstream desi society everywhere (generally-speaking), so the illicit nature of the activities further adds to the “frisson” of it all.

    If the woman concerned is not in the relationship for the “right” reasons, the black guy concerned is either unaware that he is being “used” either as a trophy boyfriend and/or as an illicit thrill, or for various reasons he simply doesn’t care.”

    If that is not rasict, or sexist, I’ll eat my hat. Btw, Jai is not alone in having said things he wished he hadn’t. I have too.

    I would apologise, well Jai?

  167. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:57 am  

    Oh what a mess of a post. I’ll try again.

  168. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:11 am  

    Ravi,

    This is the guy you are defending:

    16 · Jai on July 14, 2006 11:00 AM · Direct link
    Regarding the Black Men, (South) Asian women combination:

    The following points are based purely on my own personal experience here in the UK. There may be transatlantic differences, or indeed differences depending on one’s own social/professional circles.

    it may simply be that they are two people who happened to meet, and fall in love
    It’s certainly been known to happen. However, in a disproportionate number of cases…..

    And the “bad boy” image (stereotype) may make people of African descent more attractive
    Yep. When I was at college — early to late 90s — black men had become particularly fetishised in mainstream British culture and even more so amongst many South Asian girls here. I don’t know what the situation is amongst the college-going crowd these days — I’m 33 — but some desi women around my age do continue this attitude as a legacy from their younger days.

    They also do it a) as a metaphorical middle-finger aimed at desi guys (for varying reasons, eg. they’ve had bad experiences with Indian/South Asian men), b) towards their parents (even indirectly, if their folks are unaware of the situation), c) as an ego-trip about how “unconventional” they are, as — from their perspective — it creates “outrage” from desi guys and more conservative desi women, along with generating kudos from similarly-minded desi women (or those who would like to get involved in such relationships but do not have the opportunity or ability to do so). As we all know, it’s regarded as very taboo indeed within mainstream desi society everywhere (generally-speaking), so the illicit nature of the activities further adds to the “frisson” of it all.

    If the woman concerned is not in the relationship for the “right” reasons, the black guy concerned is either unaware that he is being “used” either as a trophy boyfriend and/or as an illicit thrill, or for various reasons he simply doesn’t care.

    Take this as an experiment in comprehension. What the hell is wrong with that? Less than five, gives you a fail.

    I can identify at least three stupid opinions, can you see more? If you join the dots, you will see an idiot.

  169. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:23 am  

    “Here is the person you are defending, in his own words”

    I see how it goes. I said Jai gave a good contribution to this thread, now you bring something completely unrelated (ironic for someone who kept banging about focusing on condemning honour killings), and now you expect me to take back what I said about Jai, or be associated with a “racist” and a “sexist”.

    Not like this, Douglas. I honestly have a lot of consideration and respect for you, and for this reason, I believe such tactics are beneath you.

  170. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:38 am  

    Point one:

    And the “bad boy” image (stereotype) may make people of African descent more attractive

    Really? What about the alternative stereotype of Africans as AIDs ridden. I’d have thought any sensible Asian woman would have considered that. maybe they did, and maybe they factored it out. There you go.

    Or:

    They also do it a) as a metaphorical middle-finger aimed at desi guys (for varying reasons, eg. they’ve had bad experiences with Indian/South Asian men), b) towards their parents (even indirectly, if their folks are unaware of the situation), c) as an ego-trip about how “unconventional” they are, as — from their perspective — it creates “outrage” from desi guys and more conservative desi women, along with generating kudos from similarly-minded desi women (or those who would like to get involved in such relationships but do not have the opportunity or ability to do so). As we all know, it’s regarded as very taboo indeed within mainstream desi society everywhere (generally-speaking), so the illicit nature of the activities further adds to the “frisson” of it all.

    What the fuck is this about? If women want to use the middle finger to their ethnic culture, so what? You are coming on as a wee mysoginist.

    Well, maybe this post says what I meant to say. Apologies for earlier fuck ups.

  171. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 4:07 am  

    Douglas and Sonia:

    Thanks for the back-up, though I have to say that the claim that Jai was being sexist or patriarchal towards me in his comments is not something I picked up. What I did identify in his comments was the presumptuous resorting to my regional and religious background when it had absolutely nothing to do with my points or the discussion at hand. Just because a specific historical period, ethnic background, and religious identity is an obsession for one person does not mean that others hold the same obsessions,that you have to code everyone else that way, or reduce every discussion on every topic into those terms.

    ***

    Now, back to honor killings. With or without the Evil Empire (Don, you can’t get mad at me– I didn’t say the name!!), the Metropolitan Police has a “taskforce” set up with a specialist unit. (According to the BBC, “In the UK, murders have sometimes taken place after a family has reacted violently to their son or daughter taking on the trappings of western culture.” Not sure how accurate it is to say that people get killed for taking on “western culture” when I think it’s more precise to say that killings often occur because of disobedience to the parents’ wishes and desires, which may very well be that a daughter/wife should follow the “traditional” ways and not “ruin” the family’s name in the “community”. But I digress)

    I thought the following cases were interesting:

    “Mustaq Ahmed, 40, a Muslim businessman murdered his daughter’s boyfriend because he disapproved of their relationship. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 22-year-old Albanian Rexhap Hasani in 2003.”

    In this case, the boyfriend got killed.

    “Rukhsana Naz, 19, wanted to divorce her husband to marry her boyfriend by whom she was pregnant. She refused to have an abortion and was strangled by her brother with a piece of plastic flex while her mother, Shakeela, held her down. The family put Rukhsana’s body in the car and drove 100 miles to dump it. Shakeela Naz and her son Shazad Ali were sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing in 1999.”

    Her mother held her down .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/ethics/honourcrimes/crimesofhonor_2.shtml

    The Metropolitan Police’s website is http://www.met.police.uk/ but at the moment it has been “Loading” for the past 15 minutes, so I wasn’t able to look into what else they do for honor killings.

    As far as amnesty goes, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing that would technically stop the UK from granting it to her. That is very effed up on the UK’s part.

    “There has also been a reluctance to pursue murderers and their accomplices once they have fled from the UK, with suspects from the Punjab to Kurdistan staying beyond the reach of justice.”

    I tried to get a list of extradition treaties between the UK and an assortment of countries on the Foreign Office website, but was unable to actually read any UK treaties with India, Pakistan, and Kurdistan. Anybody have the links?

    “If you are white and you are murdered and your killers are abroad, there will be a big effort to find them, but not if you are brown.”

    Welcome to a three tiered world where there are different classes of global citizens!

    I suggest:

    1. we urge the UK Metro Police for tracking down folks who have committed murder and fleshing out with the Foreign Office extradition clauses in which murder of those on UK soil, even if the murderers are hiding in countries that are “crucial allies on the war on terror” (ie Pakistan).

    2. More resources (such as infrastructure and money) for protective custody homes (which are different from shelters) whereby girls/women AND boys/men can go when they fear for their lives.

    3. Grant amnesty to those who are being persecuted, like Farah. There is absolutely no excuse as to why the British government has not given refuge to Farah.

    Farah, if you are reading this, maybe you might want to try another country like Canada. I wouldn’t try America if I were you, since I think it is highly unlikely that you’d be granted amnesty. We suck more than the UK in granting asylum to those fleeing violence.

  172. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 4:50 am  

    Doughas:

    “I thought, still do even, that we had an American doing irony at post 2.”

    “It was an ironic comment about another thread.”

    Yeah, I think that escaped some folks here.

  173. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 4:58 am  

    Whoopsie, I said:

    “but was unable to actually read any UK treaties with India, Pakistan, and Kurdistan.”

    I meant to say Iran, not Kurdistan.

    So UK treaties with India, Pakistan, and Iran.

    (P.S. I don’t think “Kurdistan” could have an extradition treaty with the UK; it’s not its own country, Kurdistan is a federally administered autonomous region in Iraq. I would assume that the extradition treaty would be with Iraq.)

  174. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:09 am  

    Re the Mughals, Ravi sums it up beautifully when he says:

    Funny you ask that, considering YOU are the one who brought Mughals to this thread right from the beginning in #2, #4, #6, #9, #11… not me, Jai or anyone else.

    From post #2 onwards it has been Desi fixated with the Mughals, not anyone else.

    Desi

    Seeing as though we are throwing around random links, here’s my tuppence worth:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4637461.stm

    “Two [Muslim] men are jailed for life for killing a Sikh man. The men believed Mr Gill’s Sikh son was in a relationship with a young Muslim woman, Stafford Crown Court was told.”

    http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmms/1993/11November93.html#Muslim%20woman%20kidnapped

    “Two Muslim men were convicted of kidnapping a 24 year-old Muslim woman in Bedford and taking her to Birmingham… The woman was told that she had had a marriage arranged to a cousin in Pakistan but there was consternation in her family when it was discovered that she was engaged to a Sikh. ”

    Wow. What does this prove Desi? Absolutely nothing.

    What does it achieve re VAM? Absolutely nothing.

    Was there any point in me posting the links Desi? No.

    Grow up, stop bringing irrelevant things into the debate (Mughals etc), stop whining when your argument is destroyed, stop posting random links, and get off your backside and do something to help women, instead of harping the cause of Muslim men (post #19).

    They can look after themselves.

  175. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:23 am  

    The levels of unintentional humour on this thread are especially high. Especially by a handful of posters who cannot distinguish intentional irony from serious content. And who can’t remember the idiotic arguments that they introduced to the debate themselves.

  176. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:31 am  

    Is post #174 a spoof?

  177. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:36 am  

    Heh. No, its a chance to laugh at the troll’s unintentionally funny self-parody.

  178. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:38 am  

    Ravi and Sheikh Sri whatever he/she wants to be called should turn their attention towards this thread to see why I wrote comment #2:

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1583

    If you need to have it spelled out for you, I was being sarcastic in comment #2.

    Now quit thinking that you pulled one over me by arguing that I brought up the Mughals on a serious note and then turned around to tell off everyone else who brought up the Mughals.

  179. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:45 am  

    Desi

    So you confess that on this thread you were the one who brought up the Mughals and started lamenting the plight of Muslim men on a thread about violence against women?

    That’s a start at least.

  180. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:48 am  

    “So you confess that on this thread you were the one who brought up the Mughals and started lamenting the plight of Muslim men on a thread about violence against women?
    That’s a start at least.”

    Oh my god, you haven’t gotten a clue.

    Anyway, I’m not going to bother. I’ve got to go to sleep.

  181. Sheikh Sirhindi — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:52 am  

    I’ve got to go to sleep.

    It’s probably for the best.

    Night Night, don’t let the Mughals bite…

  182. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:53 am  

    It’s probably Muzumdar. Who can be, depending on his mood, controversial, bright, witty, insulting or bloody infuriating. Or sometimes, all of the foregoing, all at once. Yup, it has all the hallmarks of a Muzumdar classic. Did I fail to mention sexist?

  183. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:56 am  

    Shiekh:

    “Night Night, don’t let the Mughals bite…”

    Don’t say that; you’re scaring me.

  184. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 9:08 am  

    Sheikh Sirhindi @ 179,

    It is you that doesn’t have a clue. Your wee comfort zone is being totally eroded. What a shame. Not.

  185. Sofia — on 17th December, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    “The problem with labelling ‘honour’ killings as crimes of passion is that often the murder is not spur of the moment, but has been planned by the murderers for some time (the Banaz case is a good example). There is often a cold rationality about such murders, unlike impulsive ‘crimes of passion’”

    Rumbold..i think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was highlighting use or rather misuse of language, and how “crimes of passion” are also overlooked and given an excuse

  186. Deep Singh — on 17th December, 2007 at 10:32 am  

    Ravi @ 64:

    “I have some admiration for Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, in particular the way he understood that no religion has the monopoly of truth. And how he tried to incoorporate elements of different religions to his beliefs. Did he persecuted Sikhs?”

    On the last part, not sure if anyone else has provided an answer already, so here goes:

    Akbar was one of a handful of Moghal Emperor who had cordial relations with the Sikh Gurus and the Sikhs – I have made mention of him under the “Are Muslims the new Blacks” article and his attending the Langar (Free Kitchen) of the Guru in the Pangat formation (i.e. all classes, castes, creeds and religions are sat in a communal kitchen on the same level).

    Other examples include Guru Gobind Singh’s role in defeating Tara Azam to assist Bahadur Shah to the moghal throne, even Guru Nanak’s blessings to Emperor Babur (who had initially falsely imprisoned the Guru, but later sought forgiveness, this entire episode is also relayed in Guru Nanak’s hymns and argubly forms the initial crux of the latter cordial relations between the Imperial Dynasty and the Sikh Gurus).

    Akbar, as you pointed out, had a very universal outlook on all saintly traditions and hence easily found common ground with the Gurus and the spiritual and non-sectarian atmosphere of their sanctuary.

    This of course is only one side of the relationship, as several other rulers (Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb etc) were ruthless in their treatment of the Gurus and the Sikhs, as well as others who did not align with their more fanatical interpretations of Islam, which naturally includes many Muslims (predominantly Sufis and Shias).

  187. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    “If you need to have it spelled out for you, I was being sarcastic in comment #2.

    It’s probably Muzumdar. Who can be, depending on his mood, controversial, bright, witty, insulting or bloody infuriating. Or sometimes, all of the foregoing, all at once. Yup, it has all the hallmarks of a Muzumdar classic. Did I fail to mention sexist?”

    What a pathetic thread this is turning to be. That you decide that is sarcastic and humourous to bring the Mughal empire to this thread, but then decide to derail any serious conversation on it because it is soo stupid, soo crazy, soo mean to debate it, or just engage in “character assassination” by bringing up what was written a year ago on another blog on something *completely unrelated*, shows perhaps how low some of you can get – and you should know better! So, I guess that’s it: anytime you disagree with Jai on any subject, you will bring his views on Asian-Black relationships. How disgraceful.

    Debate ideas and don’t dismiss them by resorting to this sort of cheap tricks, and if you don’t really care about Indian History, the effects of patriarchal system and egalitarian ones, then just don’t dismiss it off hand, it is rude and immature.

    But that seems too much to ask. Please don’t let me interrupt your singing: “Muzumdar, Muzumdar… Mughal irony har har har”. That, I guess, is the best the lot of you can do.

  188. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    Ravi @ 169,

    Oh, I don’t know. This thread, which was allegedly about threats of HK in the UK, has been diverted, right left and centre. It has been amusing, to say the least, to watch folk I thought I had time for, condemn themselves in their own words. It is, I would submit, attitudes that need changing. And whilst Jai’s post is not relevant to the current debate, it is background to how someone thinks. And, I, for one, don’t like what I see.

    Words are not enough to express the contempt I feel for those that inhabit an HK culture. We have not, fortunately, had any outright justifications, but what we have had is a parody of debate around reasons.

    These I will not accept.

    Ever.

    I do not actually care whether the blame can be laid at Mughals, traditional culture or insanity. It has got to be stopped. On that point, Jai and I agree.

    Jai is however coming across as a very culturally fixated young man. With a reasonable charge against him that he views women as property. Can I suggest you re-read the bit in my post at 170, starting with ‘Or’? You may wish that that was not what he said, but, unfortunately, it is. He would do well to disassociate himself from that post.

    Jesus, I’ve said some stupid things too. I have, usually, had the good grace to apologise, unless I was so embarrassed I just shut up.

  189. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:00 am  

    Ravi – give it a rest dude. You’re blaming Desi for taking the piss out of the need to blame the world’s ills on the Mughal Empire, and you’re doing nothing but unintentionally reinforcing the stupidity of Muzumdar and others. Get over it lest you look like a complete fool.

  190. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    Ravi @ 187,

    Sorry about your humour bypass. Still.

    His views, which are probably quite prevelant, are disgraceful. It is a damn site ruder and more immature to give cultural cover to treating women as property. Thought I’d give you a heads up. I take it you can go figure how viewing women as property might lead to HK?

    Btw, you think it’s not Muzumdar?

  191. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:11 am  

    Deep Singh @ 186 – many thanks for your insight.

  192. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:17 am  

    yeah insightful but wtf does it have to do with VAW?

  193. Charles Martel - The Hammer — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:22 am  

    yeah insightful but wtf does it have to do with VAW?

    Nothing. But your co-religionist (Desi Italian) is the one who brought the Mughals into the debate; anything that has followed regarding the Mughals should be blamed squarely on her.

  194. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:26 am  

    I’m pretty sure that it’s either you or Indy or some other Mughal fixated buffoon who brought Mughals into the debate. And you didn’t even realise that this thread is about VAW until post 131.

  195. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:27 am  

    Charles Martell – The Hammer!
    hahahahahaha

  196. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:32 am  

    I’m pretty sure Desi Italiana was trying to avoid bringing the Mughals into the thread. But there you go. Reading comprehension never was your strong point, was it?

  197. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    “Ravi – give it a rest dude. You’re blaming Desi for taking the piss out of the need to blame the world’s ills on the Mughal Empire, and you’re doing nothing but unintentionally reinforcing the stupidity of Muzumdar and others. Get over it lest you look like a complete fool.”

    I am a complete fool, Sid, so I have nothing to lose. You should have known that by now. And I don’t like to be a part of clique, so I don’t care if anyone agrees or disagres with my position. And that includes whoever you consider a fool. I don’t know who Muzumdar is, and I honestly don’t care.

    But it is absolutely disgraceful that your clique has decided the terms in which some subjects are to be discussed: a sensible non-fool would discuss the Mughal empire and its influence in humourous, sarcastic and har har way. But discussing that hypothesis seriously? Oh no, only a fool would do that. Well, remember what I said in the beginning of this comment? But I understand now that this is definitely not the place to have that discussion, and I will give it a rest.

    Some subjects I feel are too serious to see any humour on them, and other hypotheses are not that crazy that one can dismiss them with whatever goes these days as sarcasm.

  198. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    Sid,

    wtf is VAW?

    “We, perhaps, need a list of understood acronyms(?)in the sidebar,” said this bear of little brain.

  199. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:43 am  

    “I’m pretty sure Desi Italiana was trying to avoid bringing the Mughals into the thread.”

    Heh. I think I have re-discovered humour. :D

    “yeah insightful but wtf does it have to do with VAW?”

    I do apologise, that was a side question I had about Akbar. But then again, it is not like your altercations with your nemesis in this thread, had anything to do with VAW either. Are we even?

  200. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:44 am  

    doug,
    Violence Against Women

  201. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    Ravi,

    Apparently Rumbold is opening a thread soon (?) where all of that can be discussed. BTW, humour can be very, very serious.

    I’d admit to being in a clique. A clique of one.

  202. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:48 am  

    Sid,

    It’s so obvious, I don’t know how I missed it. Where’s the honey?

  203. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:52 am  

    Ravi,

    I have a great deal of time for you and your comments. We are even, or as we used to say in the playground ‘keys’.

  204. Charles Martel - The Hammer — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:57 am  

    I’m pretty sure that it’s either you or Indy or some other Mughal fixated buffoon who brought Mughals into the debate.

    Posts #2, #4, and #6 – all from Desi ‘call me Aisha’ Italiano – consistently referred to the Mughal Empire before anyone else began talking about it.

  205. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    “I take it you can go figure how viewing women as property might lead to HK?”

    There is no doubt that honour killings are perpetuated by men who believe their wifes and family members are their properties – but it is completely different from saying that people who feel that way necessarily have the conditions to do HK. The more perversive thing about HK – apart from the monstronsity of killing your flesh and blood – is that it is condoned by the community.

    That is why, as I said before, the government needs to understand where these occurences are most likely to happen – and have a deeper understanding about the cultural mindset of these communties, and identify triggers or red flags that can prevent such occurrences. I think schools can do a good job in educating teenagers about their rights, and what to do when specific situations happen.

  206. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:09 pm  

    oh FFS! we’re running in circles with a bunch of clodhoppers who don’t get irony! She was taking the piss out of YOU for claiming the world’s ills come from the Mughal Empire in a previous thread, you turdforbrains!

  207. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

    One thing I cannot forgive myself is the amount of spelling mistakes I do. There is no excuse for writing “wifes” (#205), or using “more” instead of “most”. Butchering the English language – as I do -on daily basis should be considered treason.

    And for that, I humbly apologise.

  208. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:25 pm  

    Ravi,

    It is all about a spectrum, is it not? If you come from a belief system that says that women are property, then one extreme end of that spectrum might adopt HK. In that mind set, it is no more wrong than putting your dog ‘to sleep’.

    It is obviously not the case that everyone would. It is just extremist rubbish.

    It is also the case that a cultural system that gives, what, tacit approval for that sort of crime needs to look at itself. I am not at all convinced that there is a large community out there that approves of HK. I think most folk, from whatever cultural background, would view it as completely wrong.

    I agree with your final paragraph. The niggle in my brain is that we are talking, generally, about young women that are too old to be protected by child oriented legislation. That needs looked at too.

  209. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:25 pm  

    Posts #2, #4, and #6 – all from Desi ‘call me Aisha’ Italiano – consistently referred to the Mughal Empire before anyone else began talking about it.

    Another typically repulsive from our residet gobshite.

    You’ve assigned Desi with a Muslim slur because she kicks the shit out your malformed ideas of religious and ethnic identity. Straight out of the Jai School of Religio-Ethnic Stereotype Building. It will come as a surprise to you that she isn’t Muslim.

  210. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    Post 204,

    Are you thick or something?

  211. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    “oh FFS! we’re running in circles with a bunch of clodhoppers who don’t get irony! She was taking the piss out of YOU for claiming the world’s ills come from the Mughal Empire in a previous thread, you turdforbrains!”

    Let’s agree on something here: desi italiana was doing a sarcastic remark in #2 (er… #4, #6, er.. #9, #11…), but if she had the experience from the previous thread that the Mughal thing was a contentious issue for some, why bring it up to this thread? Did she expect that her several messages on this topic in the beginning of this thread (helped by you and douglas) would not be picked up by the anti-Mughal crowd? If she didn’t want the Mughals on this subject, then she sure was careless.

    It is like anyone of us start the thread with some joke on Israel-Palestine conflict, and expect not to spread like a fire in a dry forest.

    That’s all I have to say on this particular issue.

  212. Charles Martel - The Hammer — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

    You’ve assigned Desi with a Muslim slur

    The fact that you have taken it as a pejorative says more about your prejudices than mine. I was merely being descriptive.

    kicks the shit out your malformed ideas of religious and ethnic identity

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    douglas

    You are the man who threatened to withdraw your support for a man who has campaigned tirelessly against honour killings on the basis of his wholly legitimate political views. And you are calling me thick? Do me a favour Braveheart.

  213. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:48 pm  

    If you make a Muslim slur on someone (#204) and suggest she’s a Muslim (#193) because she’s exposed your silly, backward ideas about religious and ethnic identity, why is that being “descriptive”? I’m intrigued.

  214. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    So, it is you Muzumdar. You can still sign the petition, I think. I have not taken it down. So you could still sign it. Have you?

    Braveheart indeed!

    And yes, I am asking you whether you are thick or not. Please try to answer without a further diversion. Your idea of debate seems to me to be to cast slurs and bend the facts. You are very good at it. Still, the evidence is completely against you on this thread. You really need to buff up on those reading comprehension skills.

  215. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 12:59 pm  

    very good points douglas across the board.

    i’m also glad you took the time to read the comments i linked to.

    “shame on you sonia for thinking what you did! shame shame shame!”

    yes, how could i possibly think that maybe, if sane and peaceful people ( who are saying they aren’t misogynistic or sexist or patriarchal) can make comments like that, and see breaking group taboos about who you can marry/date/ as a ‘metaphorical middle-finger’ to the group, then there is DEFINITELY a problem for someone who thinks violence is acceptable, ( and is more misogynistic, sexist and patriarchal) if their sister gives their family/group – what they see – as a metaphorical middle finger?

    Hmm?

    Given the whole problem is about seeing someone’s relationship choices as an ‘affront’ to the community’s expectations? How on earth is this unrelated? You can be disapproving without recourse to violence, obviously, but the underlying viewpoint is shared, that is MY problem with it. And i find it ironic that more people don’t seem to see this.

    ( and i dont give a shit about attacking individuals, i see this is a big problem and why societies dont really change very much, because no one ever really wants to ask why, because they might see something they dont like, that’s what my bug bear is all about, so don’t flatter yourselves, any of you, that i’m having a go at you in particular or something. the fact that i hear all this denial on a so-called progressive blog just makes me feel more worried about society)

    So I think if people are really serious about HK they need to look at underlying social assumptions people are making, and the taboos around intermarriage, and the clear significance of keeping to group marriage norms, (if you don’t want to risk ostracisation ) including the continued emphasis from the top on keeping to arranged marriage. and if people don’t think views around marriage, arranged marriage, and the requirement of girls to not break taboos if they are not to be seen as ‘saying fuck you to the community’ are not related, well then. They either don’t want to dig too deep, or just want to scratch the surface.

    i find it absolutely weird that people can’t see the significance and problem in a group mindset attitude – of seeing people’s relationships as mostly products of conformity to the group, or of rejecting the group’s culture and norms.

    There are big big problems here people, there is so much denial about the wider problems. And i feel it is because people can’t handle criticism of their background. So i don’t find it particularly surprising all these allegations of ‘well you’re gujju so you should think this that and the other’ just worrying.

  216. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:02 pm  

    It is like anyone of us start the thread with some joke on Israel-Palestine conflict, and expect not to spread like a fire in a dry forest.

    Ravi, admit it, you’re flapping. You’re ego is somewhat hurt because Desi took the piss out of the idea that Mughals are behind VAW in India and you’re adamantly trying to establish a link, however tenuous. When in a hole, stop digging buddy.

  217. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    p.s. my ‘shame shame shame’ response comes from a sarcastic response to jai’s comments to me when he responded to me linking to that comment. notice i never said it was him, or directed it at him personally – i simply said here is an example of problematic thinking. anyway.

  218. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    “… School of Religio-Ethnic Stereotype Building.”

    i like that one, heh.

  219. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:16 pm  

    and by the way, statistics on violence against women do not reveal anything, certainly not in India, and generally across the world, because most women are not reporting it. its like rape statistics everywhere- and particularly if you look at the fact that not many women in the Middle East and Pakistan report rapes, you might think that’s because no rapes are happening. ha and that wouldn’t be true just because there were no reported rapes.

  220. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    Sonia – #215 – pure class. :)

  221. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    Sonia,

    Re: #163

    I don’t have “group dating expectations”. I was giving specific examples of people I know who had done those things for all the wrong reasons — reasons which they explicitly stated to me themselves, and were not conjecture on my part. The wider context of my remarks there were also clear to people who had been familiar with my commenting on SM right from Day 1 — and bear in mind that this included female friends on that blog (who weren’t necessarily “traditional” or narrow-minded in any way, and — like myself — had also had experience of being in healthier “mixed” relationships) who were simultaneously discussing the issue with me offline and had observed similar self-destructive behaviour amongst their own girlfriends. Simply cutting & pasting quotes out of context grossly distorts the wider background of that discussion – which stretched across many other threads there and over a long period of time — and totally misrepresents the reality of the situation.

    For example, we now have Douglas looking at your link in isolation from everything else I wrote on SM over a period of several years, and jumping to all kinds of wrong conclusions – and here we are, as indicated by his subsequent posts, with the implication that I have to somehow “prove my innocence” (hint to those interested: plough through the ENTIRE archives on SM and – especially — Sikhnet, and you will see exactly how wrong you are. Embarrassingly so, in fact. Hell, one of the biggest reasons why I stopped commenting on Sikhnet was because of the entrenched patriarchy and misogyny of many of its more orthodox participants – I even once got into an absolutely massive argument with someone there who was attempting to justify honour-killings or the “right” of family members to obstruct the right of their children – particularly their daughters – to marry whoever they want, including people from different backgrounds.

    It’s actually quite ironic because, amongst long-term commenters on SM, I’m well-known for having a “human first” attitude instead of an “us-versus-them” mentality or any kind of group-based prejudicial mindset. The fixation that many commenters on SM have historically had on issues concerning race, skin-colour, divisive regional/religious affiliations and entrenched identity politics is one of the primary reasons why I stopped participating there, although I’ve been told offline by some regular South Asian American commenters from SM that this behaviour — and the somewhat paranoid tendency to see “identity fixations” in others where none actually exist — is a result of differences between American and British society along with the effects of the American educational system.

    It’s like eavesdropping on a telephone conversation between 2 old friends, where the discussion is a continuation of numerous issues which they’d talked about previously over a period of several years (in some cases, privately and offline), and where the two people concerned fully understand the context of each other’s experiences and personalities, but using that brief extract from their conversation as “damning evidence”.

    With regards to my “constant referencing of ethnicities” — that’s not correct either. I’ve already clarified the context of my previous remark to Kulvinder. And I mentioned Desi Italiana’s background because — like my own Hindu Rajput ancestors, and those of some others on this blog — her own ancestors (regional, if not necessarily familial) were considerably impacted by the cultural influences of the Mughal era (including many groups/communities – again, my own forefathers included — adopting “purdah”, gender segregation etc), and there appeared to be a gap in her knowledge which somewhat surprised me; that was all – no hidden agenda or nefarious intent.

    This hardly constitutes an “obsession” with issues concerning identity (my own or anyone else’s), and you will hopefully have noted that not only do I defend what I perceive as unwarranted attacks on Sikhs and/or Sikhism, I do exactly the same thing when observing similar behaviour towards people of ANY background. Of late, I have been particularly vocal against the demonisation of Muslims — a few days ago on another thread, I even said I was absolutely sick and tired of all that and wanted to do absolutely nothing, even accidentally, which would give the bigots another opportunity to “stick it to the Muslims”.

  222. Rumbold — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Jai’s Sepia Mutiny comment did not strike me as offensive. All he was saying was that some South Asian girls dated black men as a way of rebelling against their parents. Whether or not this is true is a different matter, but I am not sure why it struck a nerve.

    As for ‘who mentioned the Mughals’ fight, lets just admit that a bunch of us got confused over who said what, and just leave it. Ravi and Desi are both good commentators.

    Galloise Blonde:

    “Rumbold @ 43: I really thank you for writing this piece which is spot-on, I was just reporting the situation at the CPS (from a source I trust, at any rate) to add a little ray of sunshine on this rather depressing topic. The situation with the police is bad, but not universally bad. There are great and committed police officers out there, but there’s no guarantee of a woman, girl or man getting a decent reception. However, at least changes are beginning to be made within the police, and now the biggest challenges IKWRO face are deportations, lack of understanding of HK in asylum cases and No Recourse. The FMU doesn’t help in cases where the abductee is not a citizen, and this is a growing problem: we recently had a 14 young girl forcibly married to an elderly, handicapped man as a punishment for talking to boys on her mobile and they told us they could do nothing.”

    I am sure that your source is trustwothy, and I hope that they get things done soon. At least the police are initiating reforms, and something needed to be done. You are right though to say that some of the biggest issues are those to do with asluym seekers and illegal immigrants. Hopefully training these civil servants will help to improve the situation.

    Sofia:

    “Rumbold..i think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was highlighting use or rather misuse of language, and how “crimes of passion” are also overlooked and given an excuse.”

    Sorry, I did misunderstand. Apologies.

  223. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

    continued

    I am genuinely saddened by your actions towards me on this thread, especially your totally out-of-context quote from SM which has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion and which is a textbook example of trying to undermine someone by engaging in underhanded character assassination. I had always regarded you as not only being an online friend but also as one of the most ethical commenters this blog was lucky enough to have. This thread has been quite revealing, as you said yourself.

    The same applies to Desi Italiana; I intervened originally just because I could see that asking people to “prove” X, Y or Z about the impact of the Mughal era – instead of ignoring the subject completely – would give those with a malicious agenda against Muslims yet another opening to not only attack the historical groups involved but also modern-day Muslims, including those commenting on this blog, with the consequent derailing of this thread and the animosity which would undoubtedly ensue. I also knew that people would begin to attack her personally and therefore wanted to pre-empt that out of consideration towards her as a friend – which doesn’t mean one has to be a sycophant, but it does mean that one can politely disagree with someone, especially if by looking at the situation objectively (and observing capitalisation, exclamation marks etc) it is clear that the person concerned is inadvertently going to contribute to further inflaming matters (hence my friendly remark to “take it easy”). I even said that references to historical factors were fine only up to a certain point and only if they constructively help to analyse the background to the situation, but that the primary focus HAS to be on sensitively and effectively dealing with the problem at hand instead of engaging in finger-pointing. Unfortunately, I appear to have committed the mortal sin of referencing her Gujarati Hindu background – the reasons for which I have repeatedly and clearly explained – and we now have repeated ad hominem attacks on my character and perceived commenting style, insults, sideswipes and sarcasm, and irrelevant references to alleged “fixations” and behaviour patters from the past. None of which I have done myself in retaliation, incidentally.

    Matters would be much simpler if people could just say “Okay, I misread what you wrote and apologise, let’s move on” or “I have had different experiences to you so will have to politely disagree with you”, instead of misreading what was originally written (and the intention behind it), then deliberately ignoring any clarification offered and repeatedly pushing one’s own agenda (accompanied by escalating hostile behaviour), and refusing to admit any initial-or-continuing wrongdoing on one’s part.

    The bottom line, again to quote you Sonia, is that this thread has been very revealing, both with regards to how people can behave when they (mistakenly) perceive any wrongdoing towards them, perceive non-existent insults and start lashing out at “enemies” where none exist and offences where none were intended, and also how some people can jump on the lynch-mob bandwagon if there is an opportunity to personally attack a perceived transgressor even if the entire premise for their ire is completely misguided. Nasty, vicious stuff.

    I think this thread is a classic example of why there are so many problems within Asian culture and why it is frequently so difficult for people to overcome their differences and agendas in order to constructively and amicably deal with them. This thread is Asian society in a nutshell. We clearly have a very long way to go.

  224. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

    Ravi, admit it, you’re flapping… When in a hole, stop digging buddy.

    Flapping perhaps – but that is my call, not yours. I will keep on digging, as I like to go deeper on issues, and not just dictating others in what terms issues should be treated.

  225. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I cannot just let that go. It is intrinsic in being a man of a certain ilk. And I’d suspect you see the ‘soft’ end of that spectrum yourself, I sure as hell have. What is wrong with it, and Jai has now clarified that he was commenting rather than speaking for himself, is that it is a barrier to emancipation. It is also, I think, part of a mind set that has, at it’s deep and nasty end, one explanation for VAW, including HK. It is a real issue about the way some men think.

  226. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:43 pm  

    “I agree with your final paragraph. The niggle in my brain is that we are talking, generally, about young women that are too old to be protected by child oriented legislation. That needs looked at too.

    Good, we agree on this, Douglas. Sid and I started a discussion back in #154, where I defended the position that patriarchical/feudal communities are more prone to VAW and even HK than egalitarian ones. Is that a fair point or a simplistic one in your view? Does this matter in identifying communities where HK may be a problem?

  227. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    yes, its not about what Jai thought personally or not – its the wider symptom that Jai commented upon -that’s the whole point. like i keep saying, its not about taking personal offence ( something a lot of us here are good at doing!) its about recognising the kinds of mind-set that are around in groups.

  228. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Post # 223 was directed at Sonia, in case there was any confusion.

    **********************

    Rumbold,

    re: # 222

    You’ve understood my motivations on that occasion completely accurately. Thank you. It’s no different to how some Asian guys (usually when they’re younger) date girls from different backgrounds for all the “wrong” reasons too, particularly if they come from fairly conservative family backgrounds.

    Disheartening how some people here were so quick to believe the very worst, though.

    ******************

    Ravi,

    Thank you very much for sticking up for me during my absence since yesterday evening, I really appreciate it. Extremely kind of you.

  229. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:58 pm  

    The same applies to Desi Italiana; I intervened originally just because I could see that asking people to “prove” X, Y or Z about the impact of the Mughal era – instead of ignoring the subject completely – would give those with a malicious agenda against Muslims yet another opening to not only attack the historical groups involved

    Excellent point. This reminds me of Watson’s comment that implied that blacks are inferior than whites. It was impressive and infuriating to see how liberals and even the media was unable to engage directly to this question, opting for dismissing it as the mumblings of an old fool, or saying that advances in science, may reach politically incorrect conclusions. wtf?

    My point is that in this day age, we as progressives, should be prepared to make hard questions, explore the truth as unbiased as possible, in order to better attack the trolls here. I am sorry, but I don’t see that mindset here. Asking hard questions and looking for answers in this thread has been equated as siding with the trolls (#197). Now where did I hear that before? ;)

  230. Rumbold — on 17th December, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

    Douglas:

    Even out of context it never struck me that Jai was endorsing anti-female attitudes, just pointing out a particular trend.

  231. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:06 pm  

    Ravi,

    No, your point is not simplistic. I think it is the root of the matter.

    I’m going to jump in here where angels would fear to tread. It seems to me, that if you go back to Desi’s post at 4, that you could reasonably describe all of these societies as having recent patriarchal roots. To me, at least, it seems obvious that poverty of education goes hand in glove with that status quo. On a more hopeful note, education does bring emancipation, which is probably why the Taliban are against it. Or are they Al Quaida now? I forget.

    On a local scale, I’m not convinced that any community in the UK would view HK as acceptable. So I’m not sure how we could take that forward.

    However, I agree with your analysis.

  232. Deep Singh — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    Ravi @ 199, thanks for clarifying the position to Sid @ 192.

    As per the wider topic, reading between the lines of everyone above, it would seem that consensus views would be:

    1. Honour killing cannot be reduced to any supposed psychological problems.

    2. Honour-based VAW is a social, patriarchal, institution, emphasising men and their perceived superior social status.

    3. Other factors such as religion, culture, public policy and media all have an impact in its perpetuation. These should not be ignored under pressures to remain “politically correct”.

    As a way forward, perhaps some of the following would be some options for the Governmental action for the long term:

    A. Emphasising broader education on such issues. A number of theories (e.g. post-modernism, identity politics, cultural relativism) suggests that women align themselves under the banner of their tribes, ethnic groups, nations, religions, and communities. These would be items to be considered under such educational efforts.

    B. Organised intervention in oppressive gender relations. Tricky one, however perhaps this is something worth further exploration here…

  233. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 2:37 pm  

    Rumbold @ 230,

    Perhaps. But whether Jai was speaking for himself or simply identifying trends was, at best, a bit blurred. Fortunately, we have had clarification here. I have no issue with him now. Although I certainly did do.

    A final paragraph that disowned the views would have made this all moot.

    Which was not the point of my post.

    I am saying that it is patriarchal attitudes that need to be addressed, viz:

    It is also, I think, part of a mind set that has, at it’s deep and nasty end, one explanation for VAW, including HK. It is a real issue about the way some men think.

    Obviously, the ‘has’ should have been ‘is’.

  234. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:14 pm  

    Brilliantly said Douglas.

    you win the man of the year award definitely

  235. sonia — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    so douglas hit the nail on the head. it is a major systematic barrier to emancipation, that’s what, and it needs to be recognised as such.

    (i dont give a damn whether some man on PP thinks like that or not in his personal life or not, its the fact of it being systematic that is so problematic, (and also also seems to be accepted in a somewhat blase fashion and challenged by so few of us. looking at the hornet’s nest in suggesting such a state is not ideal seems to have stirred.)

  236. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    that’s precisely it, Sonia.

  237. Rumbold — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:50 pm  

    Douglas and Sonia:

    Sorry, am I missing something? Are people defending abusive patriarchal societies on Pickled Politics?

  238. Sofia — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

    i’ve been reading all the posts and i’m slightly confused…maybe that’s because i’m slightly overdosed on caffeine, but correct me if i’m wrong..but we all agree that “hcs” are wrong…we all agree that something more effective needs to be done..we all agree that it has something if not everything to do with female choice in life partner..we all agree that this is grossly unfair (putting it lightly)…so why exactly has everyone been arguing..the whole mughal/where it originates from stuff is irrelevant…

  239. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 3:54 pm  

    Douglas Clark,

    But whether Jai was speaking for himself or simply identifying trends was, at best, a bit blurred.

    Blurred to you, perhaps, but not necessarily to many others. In which case, perhaps you should have clarified the situation with me first instead of reacting in the manner which you did. You read what you think I wrote, rather than what I actually wrote, and the same applies to your assumptions about the background to my comment there and your conjecture regarding my motivations for doing so and the stance I allegedly have towards women. There is no “smoking gun”, Douglas — there never was.

    A final paragraph that disowned the views would have made this all moot.

    It was not necessary, because my own actual stance on the issue was patently clear to most people on Sepia Mutiny who were familiar with my participation on that blog over a long period of time and across a very large number of discussion topics, including those relating to women, patriarchy, honour-killings, and relationships of all types (whether “interracial” or not) — something you should have considered before insulting me repeatedly on this thread and continuing to attempt to drum up support for the lynch mob.

    Your eagerness to extrapolate my observations out of all proportion and ascribe all kinds of heinous misogynistic attitudes to me — without any evidence to support it, apart from an out-of-context quote which doesn’t even include any racist or misogynistic views expressed by me, and with no knowledge at all of the wider background to that discussion — raises some disturbing questions about why you would be so quick to assume I would have any connection whatsoever with some of the more nefarious misogynistic and patriarchal attitudes prevalent in some quarters of Asian society. Particularly as that quote doesn’t support such allegations, either in isolation or in its proper context.

    In any case, I believe you owe me an apology.

  240. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 4:47 pm  

    Jai,

    There are two folk in any communication. There is the writer and there is the reader. It is up to the writer to make themselves clear. You failed to do that. You have been quite clear on here that you do not subscribe to these misogynistic ideas, however that is not the view that any reasonable person would take from your post on Sepia Mutiny. It is absolutely fine for someone to detail bad practices, it is also incumbent on them to make it clear that they are reporting, not indulging in op-ed. You failed to make that distinction. Here is your post from Sepia Mutiny in full:

    Regarding the Black Men, (South) Asian women combination:

    The following points are based purely on my own personal experience here in the UK. There may be transatlantic differences, or indeed differences depending on one’s own social/professional circles.

    it may simply be that they are two people who happened to meet, and fall in love
    It’s certainly been known to happen. However, in a disproportionate number of cases…..

    And the “bad boy” image (stereotype) may make people of African descent more attractive
    Yep. When I was at college — early to late 90s — black men had become particularly fetishised in mainstream British culture and even more so amongst many South Asian girls here. I don’t know what the situation is amongst the college-going crowd these days — I’m 33 — but some desi women around my age do continue this attitude as a legacy from their younger days.

    They also do it a) as a metaphorical middle-finger aimed at desi guys (for varying reasons, eg. they’ve had bad experiences with Indian/South Asian men), b) towards their parents (even indirectly, if their folks are unaware of the situation), c) as an ego-trip about how “unconventional” they are, as — from their perspective — it creates “outrage” from desi guys and more conservative desi women, along with generating kudos from similarly-minded desi women (or those who would like to get involved in such relationships but do not have the opportunity or ability to do so). As we all know, it’s regarded as very taboo indeed within mainstream desi society everywhere (generally-speaking), so the illicit nature of the activities further adds to the “frisson” of it all.

    If the woman concerned is not in the relationship for the “right” reasons, the black guy concerned is either unaware that he is being “used” either as a trophy boyfriend and/or as an illicit thrill, or for various reasons he simply doesn’t care.

    It is you that is using emotively laden words like fetishised or taboo, not me. It is you who is being prescriptive about what “right reasons” actually are. It is you that has read the minds of all the females in such relationships and determined that many have mainly ‘trophy boyfriends’ or perhaps an ‘illicit thrill’. How do you know?

    I take it you accept I’m not misquoting you?

    Read it again. It does not read well. We’ve all written stuff we wish we hadn’t.

    I have searched my brain for a nice way out of this impasse. If I thought for one moment that I had misrepresented you, I would indeed apologise in a flash. I don’t think I’ve done that. I think you did it to yourself.

  241. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    “It is you that is using emotively laden words like fetishised or taboo, not me. It is you who is being prescriptive about what “right reasons” actually are. It is you that has read the minds of all the females in such relationships…”

    Douglas (or sonia), can you clarify what you are saying? That people who would post something like Jai has, are prone to violence against women and honour killings, or are part of a patriarchal system that allow these things to happen?

  242. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 5:52 pm  

    Jai,

    “And I mentioned Desi Italiana’s background because — like my own Hindu Rajput ancestors, and those of some others on this blog — her own ancestors (regional, if not necessarily familial) were considerably impacted by the cultural influences of the Mughal era (including many groups/communities – again, my own forefathers included — adopting “purdah”, gender segregation etc), and THERE APPEARED TO BE A GAP IN HER KNOWLEDGE WHICH SOMEWHAT SURPRISED ME.”

    Honestly, Jai, you are ridiculous. How in the world are you assessing “the gap in my knowledge”? And since when did you know me well enough from Internet exchanges to make such comments about my background and knowledge?

    And furthermore, your constant references to your own ethnic background and tying it in every single damn subject is getting fucking redundant. It doesn’t mean anything. Your essentialist thinking is so out of date and inaccurate.

    BTW, I’m puzzled as to why Jai’s contribution to a Sepia Mutity thread is the topic of the discussion…

  243. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    And Ravi, keep looking for anything that you can throw punches at. I’m glad that your selective reading of my comments provide you fodder. Keep going at your strawmen arguments. Hardly anywhere on this thread have you added anything substantive in terms of honor killings save for a few posts; everything else has been simple ad hominem attacks.

  244. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

    Jai:

    ““And I mentioned Desi Italiana’s background because — like my own Hindu Rajput ancestors, and those of some others on this blog — her own ancestors (regional, if not necessarily familial) were considerably impacted by the cultural influences of the Mughal era (including many groups/communities – again, my own forefathers included — adopting “purdah”, gender segregation etc), and THERE APPEARED TO BE A GAP IN HER KNOWLEDGE WHICH SOMEWHAT SURPRISED ME.”

    I am sorry, Jai, but is this the basis of your arguments on any topic? Resorting to someone’s origins? And do you feel like you are in ANY position to evaluate someone’s knowledge, especially since you have never met them?

    And let it be known that people selectively mention things about themselves on the Internet. What if I’m not only Gujarati Hindu?

    ***

    Anyway, I am wondering if someone found the links to the UK- Iran/Pakistan/India extradition treaties.

  245. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:00 pm  

    For the love of God, Douglas, for the third time, everyone I was talking directly to on SM knew that I was speaking anecdotally (in fact I made it explicitly clear that I was talking about people I personally knew), that I did not subscribe to any negative views myself, that I was quoting the motivations of the people concerned in the examples given, and that there was a much wider history behind that discussion due to all the others previously associated with it on SM and the offline conversations I was simultaneously having with several of the other participants on that discussion. The fact that the people who run that blog — and who stamp down very quickly on any racism or sexism — did not intervene or admonish me either online or during my frequent conversations with them offline should also tell you something, particularly as they became familiar with my personality, experiences and attitudes on various issues over a long period of time and right from Day 1 of my commenting on SM. And incidentally, I used “fetishised” and “taboo” because those were words frequently used by the predominantly American participants there and who therefore understood the basis for my usage — it’s something specific to that blog and there is a specific history behind why those words are used in certain situations there (they’re not part of my own everyday vocabulary).

    However, YOU would not know any of this, because you were not a commenter on SM or — as far as I know — a long-term lurker; but that is still not something I have any responsibility for.

    I was not “misrepresenting” myself, because the core target audience were fully aware of the context of my statements and the motivations for making them. You, however, appear to be insisting on pointing fingers based on fragmentary out-of-context evidence — whilst being completely unaware of the other 90% of the facts involved. If anyone is misrepresenting me here and continuing to fabricate a witch-hunt on a false basis, it is you.

    If you’re looking to find an appropriate target on which to direct your anger towards patriarchal racist misogynists and thereby find a scapegoat, you’re looking in the wrong place. Now you can stubbornly keep posting the same link another 50 times, or — if you were really determined — you could begin sifting through all of SM’s archives and start pasting out-of-context quote after quote as further alleged “evidence” on any given subject, but it would still not change the fact that you are dead wrong, that Sonia has deliberately posted an isolated out-of-context quote from me from an entirely different discussion on another blog from a long time ago and which has absolutely no relevance to this thread, and that you still owe me an apology.

    If you have some kind of issue with apologising to people when you are wrong — despite your claims to the contrary — then fine, but don’t keep attempting to point the finger at me when the context and background to that quote has already been repeatedly explained to you and when the basis for your own allegations has already been totally disproven. Have some humility and admit that you jumped the gun.

  246. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:15 pm  

    “Ravi @ 199, thanks for clarifying the position to Sid @ 192.

    A. Emphasising broader education on such issues. A number of theories (e.g. post-modernism, identity politics, cultural relativism) suggests that women align themselves under the banner of their tribes, ethnic groups, nations, religions, and communities. These would be items to be considered under such educational efforts.

    These are pretty good points, Deep Singh. I wonder if building a platform in which it is possible or easier for women of different communities – and across the religious/ethnic divide – to interact and provide support for each other, is useful. I think one of the problems of communities living in a bubble, is that it makes it the more difficult to escape in strong patriarchal communities.

  247. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:18 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    I’ve already clarified everything exhaustively and (unlike you) politely. You appear to be determined to pick fights with people here and see all kinds of nefarious intentions, assumptions and insults where absolutely none existed. Ironically, it’s the same kind of behaviour which — until very recently — had become absolutely endemic amongst many of your fellow South Asian American commenters on Sepia Mutiny and which drove a considerable number of long-term commenters there off that blog, so thank you for bring that to the table here at PP too.

    All your “questions” in #242 & 244 have already been addressed by me, politely, amicably and thoroughly. However, yet again you are seeing what you think is there instead of what has actually been written — the nuances and details aren’t registering with you, even after exhaustive previous explanations.

    I suggest you read this entire thread again from the start — or give it to someone sane, rational, and objective to read instead. Given your recent paranoid behaviour I wouldn’t be surprised if you interpret the latter as being some kind of underhanded ad hominem attack towards you, which I can assure you it is not.

    Way to go for giving a masterclass on how to alienate well-meaning friends due to severe cognitive dissonance, though.

  248. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:20 pm  

    I found an interesting site on honor killings:

    “They [honor killings] span communities, religions, and countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela.

    In some countries, “honor crimes” passed from customary law into formal legal systems and penal codes enacted by European colonialists. “Honor crimes” are often treated like so-called “crimes of passion” in Western jurisprudence in that sentencing is based not on the crime, but on the feelings of the perpetrator. For example, in 1999, a Texas judge sentenced a man to four months in prison for murdering his wife and wounding her lover in front of their 10-year-old child.1 As in an “honor killing,” adultery was viewed as a mitigating factor in the case. But while individualistic societies such as the US tend to locate honor in the individual, communities that condone “honor killings” locate honor in the family, tribe, or clan. “Honor killings” are therefore often carried out with public support—sometimes even by those who are grief-stricken by the woman’s death….

    But while international law calls on States to protect women, states themselves are often complicit in “honor crimes.” For example, Iraqi law does not recognize “honor killing” as murder. Instead, it offers vastly reduced sentences for the rape, mutilation, and killing of women on the grounds of “honor.” Moreover, in many communities, local or tribal leaders who condone “honor crimes,” rather than government, are the true authorities. For example, in Pakistan, “honor killing” has been declared illegal thanks to women’s advocacy efforts, but the law is rarely enforced.”

    http://www.madre.org/articles/int/honorcrimes.html

    This is what I was talking about– the 1) disconnect between civil law and customary law/social codes or 2) the justification and acceptance of honor killings via civil law. Even with watered down Hudood Ordinances in Pakistan has several gaps that do not entirely secure the rights of women.

    How to get governments to revise their laws and make them effective and guarantee protection? I think that is a major step– the implementation and enforcement of outlawing honor killings. It may even change the views of people over time. Not saying structural and institutional change will change societal ways and is the remedy for all ills etc, but I do think there is something to be said about the impact of structural/institutional reform.

  249. Don — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    Deep Singh #232,

    Good summary and thanks for bringing the focus back to the issue. I agree that attemping to ascribe HK to mental illness is counter-productive. Jai’s point, re-itterated at #120 could be an angle of approach but I have two problems with it. First it is likely to become merely a question of labeling an attitude as psychotic which then allows the wider issues of community complicity to be side-lined. That problem is not intrinsic to the mental-health approach, but is a very likely consequence. Second that if the killer knows that his community condones his actions then neither he nor they will feel the stigma which is intended, but rather feel that their ‘culture’ or ‘beliefs’ are being attacked by outsiders.

    And, yes, we must accept that the central issue is patriarchal societies defining a woman’s place as being more of a vessel or commodity than an individual. Sid, #157 rightly points out that even in (comparatively) egalitarian societies there is violence against women, but I would suggest that in such cases the violence is seen by the wider community as unacceptable and a matter for the law. The distinguishing point about HK is that it is condoned by the community (or at least by enough of the community to make the killer feel justified) and that the law is seen as interference by an outside authority against which ranks should be closed.

    On culture and religion as a factor, I have already stated that in my opinion what matters is not how the religion is delineated by sophisticated scholars, but how it is perceived and carried out by practioners. After all, Terry Eagleton’s marxist-catholic deism is a wonderfully subtle construct, but it means bugger all to Joe Catholic.

    So we need two strands, in the longer term education and empowerment of women, and in the here-and-now refuge and rescue.

  250. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:27 pm  

    Pounce,

    Apologies for the belated response.

    Hang on are you trying to say that debating ‘Honour crimes in the UK’ is dependent on the colour of your skin and you faith. That if I was white, I would be automatically barred from the debate.

    No, not at all.

    What does knowing the faith of somebody by his name alone have to do with the story. The last I looked Dhiren Barot wasn’t a Muslim name, neither was Richard Reed or Anthony Garcia.

    You’re absolutely right (excellent examples, by the way) — for the record, Ravi is a Christian and I didn’t even realise this myself until he mentioned it quite some time after he began participating here; from his name, I’d originally assumed he was a Hindu. So your point is spot-on and I stand corrected.

    All you need to know about me is I am brownskinned, Have no foreskin, Have a muslim name and that I live in the UK and am a British Citiizen.

    Fair enough — message understood :)

  251. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:29 pm  

    Ravi, No, your point is not simplistic. I think it is the root of the matter… you could reasonably describe all of these societies as having recent patriarchal roots. To me, at least, it seems obvious that poverty of education goes hand in glove with that status quo. On a more hopeful note, education does bring emancipation… On a local scale, I’m not convinced that any community in the UK would view HK as acceptable. So I’m not sure how we could take that forward.

    However, I agree with your analysis.

    Great Douglas, we are getting somewhere now. On the point of communities in the UK who view HK as acceptable, it seems obvious to me that if you use umbrella terms such as “muslim community”, it is obvious that they don’t view it as acceptable. But I was thinking on the lines of smaller groups or communities coming from backgrounds where such practices are acceptable. The whole point of “honour killings” is that such killings are made to restore “honour” for the shame – are we saying that fathers kill their daughters just because they disobeyed them, or because they want to restore their social standing in their community?

  252. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:41 pm  

    Jai:

    “Ironically, it’s the same kind of behaviour which — until very recently — had become absolutely endemic amongst many of your fellow South Asian American commenters on Sepia Mutiny and which drove a considerable number of long-term commenters there off that blog, so thank you for bring that to the table here at PP too.”

    Once again, lumping me by attributing my commenting style to some ethnic group. Why are you lumping me with over a million South Asian Americans and all the other South Asians who comment on another blog? And why fuck are you saying “fellow South Asian Americans” based on 1. a blog and 2. on something virtual and online, people whom I’ve never met?

    Does anybody else find this ludicrous, or it is just me?

    And what is with your obsession with Sepia Mutiny? If you bear grudges against them, don’t you think you should bring it up with them over on SM instead of subjecting all of us to your incessant greivings with SM on so many threads and make snarky references to them here on PP? I don’t like SM myself, but you’ve got some hang-up over them, and for some reason you think that SM is indicative and reflective of all million plus South Asian Americans.

    Jai, I’m just not going to respond to any more of your comments. On this thread,you have so far brought up my regional origins, my origins, and now some lame and pathetic categorization of me based on an American based blog where I don’t even comment. All this based on whatever comments of mine you’ve seen on PP! And pray tell what the hell this has to do with honor killings.

    Exit the group and parochialism, Jai. It just might feel good.

  253. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

    “And, yes, we must accept that the central issue is patriarchal societies defining a woman’s place as being more of a vessel or commodity than an individual… but I would suggest that in such cases the violence is seen by the wider community as unacceptable and a matter for the law.

    That was precisely my point in #154.

    “So we need two strands, in the longer term education and empowerment of women, and in the here-and-now refuge and rescue.”

    Both strands need to be interwoven, no? Can ‘refuge and rescue’ work without ‘education and empowerment’ specially in communities that live in their own bubble?

  254. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:58 pm  

    “But while individualistic societies such as the US tend to locate honor in the individual, communities that condone “honor killings” locate honor in the family, tribe, or clan. “Honor killings” are therefore often carried out with public support—sometimes even by those who are grief-stricken by the woman’s death.”

    I glossed over that point, but I think that is an important distinction: honor located in the individual vs. group, and hence with the latter, more public support, and therefore arguably more pervasive in societal attitudes rather than just individual cases.

    BTW, I also find it interesting that we can’t classify the pervasiveness of honor killings by socio-economic status and regional location. For example, the lady in Canada who got her daughter murdered for having married someone regarded as unacceptable was not all that poor and “uneducated.”

  255. Don — on 17th December, 2007 at 6:59 pm  

    Ravi,

    Yes, and I agree. Sid’s point that egalitarian societies have not solved the problem of violence against women was valid, but the specific nature of HK is, as you say, not something that can exist alongside a recognition that women have exactly the same rights to assert their autonomy – including sexual autonomy – as men.

    ‘Both strands need to be interwoven, no? ‘

    Very much yes.

  256. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 7:08 pm  

    Nothing is registering with you, Desi Italiana — you don’t realise it, but you are exhibiting symptoms of clinical paranoia now, because there’s a massive disjoint between what I actually said (and the motivations behind it) — including my most recent post addressed to you — and how you are interpreting it.

    None of it is getting through to you — which is actually a recognised psychological phenomenon in these kinds of circumstances, but it is still depressing to see nevertheless. The clarity and objectivity of your thinking has been severely compromised, and before you undermine yourself further by aggressively lashing out at myself, Ravi, and anyone else you perceive as opposing you, it is better that you take some time out from communicating further with us so that you can clear your head and gain a more accurate perspective.

    I hope that at some point down the line you are able to read this thread — and my comments to you — objectively and with a cool head. In the meantime, it is a shame that you have single-handedly destroyed what had been a very pleasant and fairly long-term online dialogue between us due to entirely unfounded grievances. Farewell.

  257. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 7:19 pm  

    “Yes, and I agree. Sid’s point that egalitarian societies have not solved the problem of violence against women was valid”

    Indeed. But I wonder if we can ever solve this problem and get rid violence and crime. It feels like it is part of human nature, and the best we can do, as a society is not making it worse. I guess I am somewhat pessimistic about overall human behaviour. :|

    I do want to add a few more things. On this particular issue, does raising the age in which citizens are allowed to bring a foreign marriage partner help? What about giving newcommers to this country, and specially women, a course on their rights, and what to do when they need refuge or be rescued from abusive partners or family members?

  258. Jai — on 17th December, 2007 at 7:26 pm  

    Don & Ravi,

    Sid’s point that egalitarian societies have not solved the problem of violence against women was valid, but the specific nature of HK is, as you say, not something that can exist alongside a recognition that women have exactly the same rights to assert their autonomy – including sexual autonomy – as men.

    You’re also going to have to overcome the tendences of some women in the older generations to perpetuate the oppression of younger women their families may claim authority over — remember that Sikh grandmother who held “tea and biscuit” meetings (so to speak) to discuss the planned murder of one of the younger women in her family. It’s not just “patriarchy” you have to deal with — it’s also corrupt “matriarchy” too.

    I’m sure you can appreciate the horrible irony of some women in patriarchal societies abusing their position to oppress other women once they reach the requisite level of power in their own family’s “hierarchy”. Presumably you have some familiarity with “Asian mother-in-law syndrome” too.

    It’s a generation-to-generation cycle that needs to be broken, basically.

  259. Galloise Blonde — on 17th December, 2007 at 7:29 pm  

    About a million posts ago, someone asked for details of which countries provided reduced sentences if the murderer made an ‘honour’ defence: PDF link to Gender, Sexuality and Criminality in the MENA, which predates the change in Turkey.

    I beleive the UK has extradition treaties with India and Pakistan but none with Iraq.

  260. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 7:46 pm  

    “remember that Sikh grandmother who held “tea and biscuit” meetings (so to speak) to discuss the planned murder of one of the younger women in her family. It’s not just “patriarchy” you have to deal with — it’s also corrupt “matriarchy” too.”

    Jai, do you have a feel about how such killings are perceived by the grandmother’s inner circle/community? I am trying to understand if this type of killings are some kind of family revenge, or condoned by the inner circle.

  261. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    Ravi,

    I’m not sure how much you have researched historical periods in the subcontinent, but you should not rely on Jai’s interpretations and/or take his word for it. Just because he is authoritatively dropping facts left and right on a given historical period (facts that I am very familiar with, despite his claim that I have “gaps” in that knowledge though I have not really said anything to give that impression) and tying it in to every single thing does not necessarily mean that the connections he is making are legitimate. Hope you do the research on your own if you haven’t already.

    And also, even being well-read about a particular historical period still does not mean it gives the complete picture of what really went on- you are, at best, piecing together the remnants. In the end, as Douglas puts it aptly, it is an “intellectual exercise” in the context of the post (which is, btw, on a woman from Iran).

  262. Don — on 17th December, 2007 at 8:33 pm  

    Jai,

    Quite right. Of all the accounts we hear of these crimes, the idea that a father or brother could brutally murder a daughter or sister is horrifying enoughg. That a mother could condone – or even physically assist in – the butchery of her own daughter is emotionally incomprehensible to most of us.

    The easy answer, that they have internalised patriarchal oppression, is to excuse them from moral agency. And no functioning human may be excused that.

    Yes, I am familiar with the mother-in-law issues within some aspects of asian societies, including ‘kitchen accidents’ and I guess I can more or less comprehend that if one accepts that one is existing within a subordinate sub-set of society (i.e. female) then one can see dominance within that sub-set as a desiderata re the newcomer.

    But when it comes to a mother taking part in the murder of her own child, I admit to hitting a brick wall between me and empathy. I don’t believe in the concept of evil, but such incidents leave me bereft of other terms.

    Any culture/religion which can find excuses for such acts is beyond accomodation.

  263. Sid — on 17th December, 2007 at 9:30 pm  

    Galloise Blonde – many thanks for posting the link to the MENA report. It’s a cracker.

  264. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:06 pm  

    Ravi,

    I am saying no such thing. How can I put this? What I am saying is that Jai wrote a piece that, were it about another ethnic group rather than about women would have been seen at the very least as culturally condescending and insensitive. But Jai doesn’t agree.

  265. Desi Italiana — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:18 pm  

    Douglas:

    “On a more hopeful note, education does bring emancipation”

    Oh, I don’t know about that…depends on what exactly is being taught. And as I mentioned in post #254 (no one seems to be reading any of my comments in which I am not talking about the Evil Empire and/or comments towards Jai and Ravi), honor killings and all the related baqwaas are not something necessarily associated with “uneducated” folks. There are plenty of “educated” folks that hold these views.

    And many schools, unfortunately, do not emphasize critical thinking but rather rote learning which is often a regurgitation of nationalism and patriotism; very little is taught about civic responsibilities and human rights.

    Even then, some people think that it’s important about what the “community” will think and losing face.

  266. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:19 pm  

    Jai @ 245,

    We will simply need to disagree. It ain’t the end of the world you know. And I have no intention whatsoever of pursuing this any further. I suggest we let it rest.

  267. Ravi Naik — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:09 am  

    “The easy answer, that they have internalised patriarchal oppression, is to excuse them from moral agency. And no functioning human may be excused that.”

    A great number of abusers were victims of the same type of abuse before. I guess when you reach to a position of power after years of abuse, you have a tendency to inflict the same pain, and the cycle seems to perpetuate through generations.

    I do agree that such easy explanations should not be used to excuse anyone for abusing or killing your flesh and blood. I do have a morbid curiosity to know what they feel after commiting such acts: is there guilt? satisfaction? relief? I guess evil or lunacy – if one felt it matters – may depend on that.

  268. Jai — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:50 am  

    Ravi,

    Jai, do you have a feel about how such killings are perceived by the grandmother’s inner circle/community? I am trying to understand if this type of killings are some kind of family revenge, or condoned by the inner circle.

    I have no idea what her “community” would think, but the members of her immediate family who were involved in planning the execution obviously condoned her actions.

    It probably depends on which “circles” one is interacting with, but actual/attempted honour-killings amongst Sikhs in the UK are pretty rare, so the extreme attitudes required to support someone actually carrying out these murders obviously aren’t particularly widespread. There’s a considerable difference of degree between general “tut-tutting” disapproval (or disowning/ostracising people, either temporarily or indefinitely) and actually going the whole hog by killing someone, either in the premeditated sense or in a “fit of rage”.

    A great number of abusers were victims of the same type of abuse before. I guess when you reach to a position of power after years of abuse, you have a tendency to inflict the same pain, and the cycle seems to perpetuate through generations.

    Exactly, but I think it’s also to do with being part of an authoritarian hierarchical culture, and it’s not just a factor of “patriarchy” (although that is obviously a major issue too, as we’ve all said). If you have all these issues surrounding power dynamics, who is in the superior or subordinate position to whom etc etc, then it basically becomes an issue of previously-disempowered/subordinate people becoming “drunk on power” once they achieve that station in life themselves. Again, this is another recognised phenomenon in the realms of psychiatry and clinical psychology, and happens everywhere in life — in the workplace, amongst families, in society in general.

    I do have a morbid curiosity to know what they feel after commiting such acts: is there guilt? satisfaction? relief?

    As with most things it probably depends on the individual, but I do know that there’s a whole bell-curve of psychopathic disorders and behaviour patterns which people can be afflicted by to varying degrees (and it’s a lot more widespread than you may think, although not usually to the murderous extent, of course), some of which are “intrinsic” to the person concerned and some of which require specific external triggers (and may only be temporary). I guess it really depends on how mentally disordered the person actually is.

    In the case of the latter, feelings of indignant rage and being affronted/outraged flood the minds of the sufferer and they can become obsessive about retaliating or punishing the transgressor, and these feelings will only subside once they believe they have “removed” the cause of their ire, which may be either a specific situation or an actual person — at which point their psychosis will “clear” and their distorted perceptions will go back to normal. If someone is “chronically psychopathic” — and I’m sure we’ve all met people who either fly into a rage at the drop of a hat or appear to be constantly angry about something or other, and/or enjoy hurting others given an appropriate excuse — then it’s an even nastier situation. There’s a whole series of overlapping mental disorders involved, including status-obsession, sadism, paranoia etc, and people can suffer from several of these simultaneously (again, these are manifested either “chronically” or upon specific external stimuli).

    Anger is a really, really dangerous thing — in terms of what happens inside the brain, it’s literally a form of temporary insanity, and when it becomes out of control it causes the person’s behaviour and perceptions to become grossly distorted out of all proportion. Self-righteous anger — rage given a particular pretext — is pretty nasty too, not just because it gives an allegedly moral excuse to the person’s behaviour (and, in their own minds, justifies their conduct) but because it’s also often tied into how power is enforced in the authoritarian/hierarchical cultures involved. It becomes all about punishing the target for their perceived transgression (which will assuage the feelings of rage and affont in the mind of the perpetrator, and — depending on how unhinged they are and their capacity for remorse — make them “feel good” about what they’ve done).

    It can all become pretty demented, especially if it’s to the degree that the “sufferer” is literally capable to kill/grievously harm their target or — either temporarily or chronically — would attack their target if they could get away with it. The problem is that, from a neuroscience perspective, anger can feel really, really good, so people can become addicted to it — or fly into a rage given a suitable pretext, since their “anger trigger” is already hyperstimulated. Since it can also be very closely connected to issues of ego and pride — either on an individual or a group level — along with a desire to “enforce their authority”, it can be a pretty explosive mixture.

    Lots of clinical studies have been done on all this; like I said before, these behaviour patterns are all textbook stuff in the fields of psychiatry and clinical psychology.

  269. Jai — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:06 pm  

    Don,

    re: #262

    I think my response to Ravi above covers a lot of the points you’ve made too, but I can add the following:

    Any culture/religion which can find excuses for such acts is beyond accomodation.

    Along with all the issues concerning hierarchical power dynamics which I’ve mentioned in my, er, dissertation above, I think that when a particular society has an excessive emphasis on “maintaining status” (which ties into egotism and sometimes arrogance) combined with an excessive social sanction for extreme anger upon an appropriate self-righteous pretext, that’s a major motivator behind what can basically be a societal & cultural “institutionalisation” of the negative behaviour patters involved.

    In a nutshell, you have people behaving as nutcases, but their wider community don’t recognise exactly how extreme the nutcases’ behaviour actually is because so many other people are behaving the same way (and have been doing so for such a long time) that it’s become embedded into the culture as acceptable/justifiable/”regrettable-but-understandable” behaviour and is regarded as being “normal”, even if it’s viewed as being at the extreme end of what “normality” constitutes.

    Of course, in reality it’s not “normal” at all, but people are so used to being exposed to such personality traits (or even exhibit these traits themselves under certain circumstances) that they don’t recognise that it’s literally a psychiatric issue.

  270. Refresh — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    Is it safe to come back into the thread?

    I’ve never seen so much intellectualism in one single place on PP.

    I suggest we start over beginning with my #23, and stay with the topic. So far I estimate only 20 posts address the subject (that’s out of 270 posts). That should tell us something.

    Also can we add to the glossary:

    TNT – This n’ That

    TNT is a surefire way of derailing of a thread – and there was plenty of that here.

  271. Jai — on 18th December, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

    Douglas,

    And I have no intention whatsoever of pursuing this any further. I suggest we let it rest.

    No problem, me too.

  272. Ravi Naik — on 18th December, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    “I suggest we start over beginning with my #23″

    No. That has been sorted out. Moving on.

    Anger is a really, really dangerous thing — in terms of what happens inside the brain, it’s literally a form of temporary insanity

    268 @ Jai: I agree. However, what you described is also a classic example of what happens in abusive relationships and families – where anger leads to violence and death. And unfortunately these occurrences are very common in the West. But we do not call those “honour killings”. I have been reading several cases of honour killings, for instance of a man who poured gas on her wife and 4 daughters while they were sleeping and just burn them, which clearly can be classified as deeply psychotic behaviour as you have pointed out, and others – like the grandmother who planned an assassination – are cold-blooded murderer.

    My point is that perhaps we need to distinguish different types of honour killings in order to tackle each one. From what Jai has described, it feels like “honour killings” is actually an umbrella term to describe a occurrences with different mindsets. There is no doubt in my mind that the bastard who killed all his family deserves to be put in a mental institution. Other cases, however, it may not be the best idea as pointed out by Don @ 67.

  273. Refresh — on 18th December, 2007 at 5:17 pm  

    ‘No. That has been sorted out. Moving on.’

    That is a relief.

  274. Jai — on 18th December, 2007 at 6:49 pm  

    Ravi,

    I have been reading several cases of honour killings, for instance of a man who poured gas on her wife and 4 daughters while they were sleeping and just burn them, which clearly can be classified as deeply psychotic behaviour as you have pointed out, and others – like the grandmother who planned an assassination – are cold-blooded murderer.

    Devil’s Advocate time:

    Why do you think the grandmother wasn’t “deeply psychotic” too, at least in relation to her specific attitude towards the young woman she was planning to have killed ?

    Both scenarios involve calculated, pre-meditated murder; the difference is that one involved multiple victims attacked by a single individual, and the other involved a single victim attacked (at least in the sense of the planning behind it) by multiple individuals. So why wouldn’t psychopathic issues be at work in both situations ?

    Either way, the bottom line is that these people are basically behaving like members of the Mafia (in the stereotypical sense, anyway). So is that also what it’s all about — in some quarters, a cultural tendency towards gangster-like attitudes ?

    But we do not call those “honour killings”.

    That’s a very good point. I wonder why that is the case.

    I also think someone needs to come up with a more precise definition of “honour killings”, rather than the informal description these days which, at least in the UK, seems to mean “non-white, usually brown people who are killed for defying the authority of their elders in some way, sometimes to ‘save face’ in front of other members of their community”.

    Taking this further, you’re absolutely right that there are different types of HKs — some motivated by revenge, anger etc, some to “save face” in front of others, and some where both issues are involved. So, proper classifications are indeed needed in order to clarify the dynamics of the various situations. It’s the best way to properly understand what’s really going on and thereby formulate effective solutions.

  275. Jai — on 18th December, 2007 at 7:18 pm  

    A very belated response to the following query by Douglas:

    My excuse, ’cause I don’t know a word that seems to cover hating nearly everyone.

    I believe the appropriate word here would be “misanthropy”.

  276. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2007 at 7:24 pm  

    Jai:

    “I also think someone needs to come up with a more precise definition of “honour killings”, rather than the informal description these days which, at least in the UK, seems to mean “non-white, usually brown people who are killed for defying the authority of their elders in some way, sometimes to ’save face’ in front of other members of their community”.”

    Perhaps murders that happen in order to ‘protect’ the family name, rather than just an act of revenge (like killing your wife becuase she had an affair).

  277. sonia — on 18th December, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    241 – ravi – i have outlined what i think about that in 215.

  278. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:11 am  

    “Why do you think the grandmother wasn’t “deeply psychotic” too… Both scenarios involve calculated, pre-meditated murder; the difference is that one involved multiple victims attacked by a single individual, and the other involved a single victim attacked (at least in the sense of the planning behind it) by multiple individuals.”

    Perhaps it is my inability to grasp how a father can kill his wife and daughters in such a horrific and painful way. The only way I can explain this is that he is a psychopath.

    The Sikh grandmother, on the other hand, sounds like a mafia story: her daughter-in-law was having an affair, and both her and her son decided to kill her. Not sure why this case is considered honour killing, in light of what Rumbold said in #276, but it was presented as such by the media. Was it revenge or a way to save face?

    To me, the main difference between both cases is that I don’t see the father case as pre-meditated, but rather the case of a deranged psycopath who snapped after years of resentment, humiliation and frustration. I can, of course, be way off the mark.

    One question: do most honour killings in Britain come from people born and bred here, or brought to this country after being married?

  279. Desi Italiana — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:24 am  

    Ravi, the killing you are talking about is different in nature.

    “But we do not call those “honour killings”.”

    Hello– Because there isn’t the sense of saving face as I mentioned earlier, or what the “community” will think, or the idea that a woman’s behavior is reflective of and/or embodies the family’s standing and reputation within the larger community, that the woman brought a sense of shame, that she did something “impure” or that she is impure.

    This is, needless to say, entirely different from the type of killing you point out, Ravi, which is killing someone in a rage because they are pissed off etc. There’s more of a symbolic meaning which has weight in the larger social context when we talk about honor killings. And more.

  280. Desi Italiana — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:31 am  

    And cleansing or wiping the board clean. That’s another thing too.

    Also is a function of social control, as well as control over a woman’s sexuality (and in some cases, the guy’s).

  281. douglas clark — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:53 am  

    I’d be interested in your views on the 484 murders that were, as far as I can tell, white on white ‘family’ slayings between 2003 and 2006. From this report:

    http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/downloads/application/pdf/Statistics%20on%20Race%20and%20the%20CJS%202006.pdf

    Specifically table 3.6.

    I’ll happily stand corrected, but I have yet to see any one of them being described as an ‘honour killing’. And, no, I have not done an exhaustive survey on the subject.

    I think they are probably disposed – by the courts – as simple, straightforward murders. I would expect that anyone from the white community, whatever that is, that tried to play the honour card would get short shrift. Both from the courts, and probably more importantly, from their own community. I could be wrong.

    I have therefore two points here, firstly that white society is just as murderous, and secondly that using a meme called ‘honour’ to describe cold bloody murder plays into a exceptional view of a hopefully small, hopefully tiny, element of our society.

    What has been good about this debate is that no-one seems to disagree with that sentiment. See Pickled Politics, see building a consensus!

    I happen to agree with Jai that they are, probably, clinically, off their trolley. A technical term I wouldn’t expect lay people to grasp ;-)

  282. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:23 am  

    “Hello– Because there isn’t the sense of saving face as I mentioned earlier, or what the “community” will think”

    I guess you missed #260, where I asked how the killing was perceived by the community, or reminded what “honour killings” are back in #29. The two cases I mentioned were reported as “honour killings” by the media, and I am trying to understand why. And the link presented at the end of this post reporting the death of a 16-year old by her father for not wearing a veil, is a poster for a campaign “stop honour killings”, yet it is not clear whether it was a result of rage/anger or to save face. So it is not that clear-cut.

  283. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:25 am  

    So it is not that clear-cut – if you don’t have all the information. So the cases I reported could be in fact a case of saving face.

  284. douglas clark — on 19th December, 2007 at 3:22 am  

    Ravi,

    My friend. Please come off whatever fence you think you are striding!

    You are playing a game here. At least I hope you are. What is the difference between killing someone in order to ‘save face’ and killing them, just ’cause you could?

    It is, indeed, that clear cut. The issue is not about rage. The issue is not about ‘saving face’.

    It is about this complete moron killing someone.

    That, frankly transcends issues of rage or face. What he did was criminal, much like the 484 white killers. See my post 281. He and they are comparable scumbags.

    It is completely unacceptable. Whether the plea is ‘saving face’ or not.

    Could you please, please, get that into your head?

  285. douglas clark — on 19th December, 2007 at 3:34 am  

    There are good folk, like Ravi Naik, and there are absolute utter bastards, who are not in the least like Ravi. Recognising that dichotomy, and acting on it, would be good, I think.

  286. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:23 am  

    “What is the difference between killing someone in order to ’save face’ and killing them, just ’cause you could?”

    Douglas, I would say that’s the difference between “honour killings” and “murder”, wouldn’t you say? Don’t you think it is useful to understand what is specific about “honour killings” first before we find ways to tackle it?
    That is why back in #29 I gave my definition of “honour killing”, so that we could focus on that.

    “That, frankly transcends issues of rage or face.

    Both are very much a part of this practise in my view, and it is worth exploring both – this is in no way means that we are justifying such killings. I also find a tad offensive that we are expected to condemn honour killings over and over, do you believe anyone here is so backward that would not condemn such actions in the most vehement way? It seems more interesting to find contention issues and common solutions, than to get stuck on something that honestly does not requires big doses of compassion.

    What I think is not clear-cut is when murder between family members becomes an honour killing. Saying when “saving face” is easy, but that requires understanding for each individual case the social context and the larger community and how they perceive such actions (#260). And to me is not clear – based on the reports – that the cases I mentioned are saving face, revenge, rage, or a mix of everything.

    Douglas, I take it that you don’t believe such distinctions are necessary?

  287. Jai — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    Ravi,

    One question: do most honour killings in Britain come from people born and bred here, or brought to this country after being married?

    I don’t understand this question clearly — Are you referring to the victims or the perpetrators ?

    The Sikh grandmother, on the other hand, sounds like a mafia story: her daughter-in-law was having an affair, and both her and her son decided to kill her……To me, the main difference between both cases is that I don’t see the father case as pre-meditated, but rather the case of a deranged psycopath who snapped after years of resentment, humiliation and frustration.

    Ah, but you see, as I said before there’s a whole bell curve of psychopathy, and it encapsulates not just the “deranged person suddenly snapping” but also extremely machiavellian types who may be highly intelligent and, on the surface, apparently able to function normally in society (sometimes very successfully), but whose internal attitudes towards other people in general or towards specific people/groups/situations can be very nasty indeed, to the point where — to some extent — they really do become detached from reality, especially if their egos are sufficiently inflated for them to be able to morally justify and/or logically rationalise their beliefs and behaviour to themselves. Indignant self-righteousness can add a particularly potent ingredient to the mix as I mentioned earlier, and I’m sure we can all think of plenty of historical, modern-day or everyday examples where people commit horrible actions “for the greater good”, and may have grandiose ideas about their ability to put the world to rights (and regard themselves as being “a nice person” or a “force for good”) yet simultaneously treat some (or all) people very badly indeed given a certain pretext.

    Following on from this, you also have psychopaths who are able to put on a sane “mask” to hide their distorted perceptions, thought patterns and “real” behaviour, along with “situational psychopaths” who are perfectly lucid and “normal” most of the time but suddenly exhibit grossly exaggerated behaviour & reactions (and lose their grip on reality) in response to certain situations and external triggers. The most extreme cases of “road rage” fall into the latter group, but as I said before, such things happen everywhere in life (the business world isn’t free from this either, especially where a lot of power/money/status is involved), including sometimes on the internet too as we all know.

    Incidentally, Ben Kingsley based his portrayal of that psychotic gangster in “Sexy Beast” on his grandmother; I’m not surprised — I’ve seen people in real life suddenly become ranting lunatics like that in certain situations myself (not to the murderous extent, of course, but they certainly “lose it completely”, albeit temporarily). It can be very difficult to effectively engage with them because of all the “misfiring” that’s going on in their brains. If there is a risk of violence and/or them saying/doing something else irreversible during their period of psychosis (which could be short-term or relatively protracted), that’s where the real danger lies.

    But as to why these things happen…..Inflated ego, wounded pride, threats to one’s actual/perceived status, threats to one’s existing beliefs & worldview, poor behavioural self-control (either chronically or in specific situations), previous conditioning that extreme behaviour (including extreme anger, and acting on it) is appropriate & justified under certain circumstances, deferred liability for their actions to certain moral/ethical codes and/or ideologies (“it’s my culture/religion/family/upbringing/community/etc”), a belief that revenge and vendettas are sometimes acceptable, a belief that “the ends justify the means” (especially if they can find some moral pretext or a way to “blame the target”)……Man, all kinds of weird things go on inside people’s brains in these situations — neurologically, hormonally, consciously, subconsciously, psychologically, biologically, you name it.

    Crazy ? You bet.

  288. Deep Singh — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    Ravi @246:

    “I wonder if building a platform in which it is possible or easier for women of different communities – and across the religious/ethnic divide – to interact and provide support for each other, is useful. I think one of the problems of communities living in a bubble, is that it makes it the more difficult to escape in strong patriarchal communities.”

    The problem with this is exactly what you highlight (re: communities living in a bubble), which effectively makes any such discussion tantamount to “taking one’s dirty laundry out in the open” which in itself is not concerned with “strong patriarchal” tendencies.

    Douglas @ 249:

    “On culture and religion as a factor, I have already stated that in my opinion what matters is not how the religion is delineated by sophisticated scholars, but how it is perceived and carried out by practioners.”

    This is precisely the issue when it comes to what Jai @ 258 states:

    “I’m sure you can appreciate the horrible irony of some women in patriarchal societies abusing their position to oppress other women once they reach the requisite level of power in their own family’s “hierarchy”. Presumably you have some familiarity with “Asian mother-in-law syndrome” too.
    It’s a generation-to-generation cycle that needs to be broken, basically.”

    The notion of extended families seems to be intermingled with religious ideals rather than cultural forms. If one reads about the lives of the Prophet, Imans, Sikh Gurus and other celebrated spiritual figureheads from South East Asia, the notion of respecting one’s elders being of paramount moral value is engrained within their teachings and/or life examples, however it is also clear if one was to assess their life accounts, that the manner in which ‘extended families’ exist today is not necessarily a model tracing back to the founders of these various traditions, but a relatively a later development.

    The reality being therefore, the modern day extended family themes and the “Asian mother-in-law syndrome” has its roots in the past century rather than anything of religious orthodoxy, however as Doug points out, what matters is how things are “perceived and carried out by practioners” however I will argue that in addition to this the “scholars” and “clergies” also have a hand in furthering cultural aspects such as extended families in their sermons (hence under religious guise), such that “respect for one’s parents” amounts to the notion of living separately from one’s parents being religiously frowned upon, which is precisely why the “generation-to-generation cycle” is harder to break.

    For the record, I am not suggesting that extended families are a bad thing or the root cause of these issues, however the fact that ‘moving out’ can be difficult culturally means that in those cases where this obvious route would literally save a lot of skin, it is not an available option for many couple – a cursory glance at any Hindu, Muslim (Sunni or Shia) or Sikh youth discussion forum will reveal that such matters are often discussed by their female members.

    Much of this argubly will lead to the separate issue of having more home grown clerics familiar with life in the West and/or, for want of a better term, a Euro-centric worldview.

  289. douglas clark — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

    Ravi @ 286,

    Douglas, I take it that you don’t believe such distinctions are necessary?

    Yeah, well, sort of.

    I do not think that an epithet like ‘honour killing’, which, these days, is exclusively applied to family deaths in Asian communities, is anything much more than lazy reporting, if you will.

    So there are two options. White on white family murders should also have the words used when they are reported, or we should drop the phrase altogether.

    Family violence, including murder, is not the exclusive province of Asians. It is, sadly, quite common throughout society. It just seems to me that a form of words is used to, in some way, minimise the consequences for the perpetrators. It is also a complete insult to the victim. We should not allow them that luxury.

    Lets’ face it, the words are about as mis matched as ‘collateral’ and ‘damage’.

  290. Desi Italiana — on 19th December, 2007 at 6:35 pm  

    Hey people,

    On this thread

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1592

    I’ve posed the question about the definition of honor killings to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which is what some of you are discussing here. Maybe they will answer back, might shed light on how we come to know of as “honor killings” cases, etc

  291. Don — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:33 pm  

    Deep Singh,

    Neither would I suggest that extended families are a bad thing (BTW, that was me in #249, not Douglas. Easy mistake to make.)

    But I think we agree that where extended families or communities rigidly define their internal dynamic by religious or para-religious convictions, there can very often result a serious and institutionalised abuse of power.

  292. Deep Singh — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    Don @ 291.

    Apologies for confusing you with Doug.

    I concur that extended families pose the possibility for what you described as:

    - “rigidly define(d) internal dynamic(s) by religious or para-religious convictions”

    and

    - “can…often result a serious and institutionalised abuse of power”

    However I doubt that these are the sole reserve of extended families or communities alone – that said, I do not have figures or stats to argue either way, so base my commentary on personal experience alone having witnessed the above in both extended and nuclear family arrangements and welcome any further information anyone may have to provide additional evidence either way.

    In any event, we can agree the potential impact of the above two points within an extended or joint family arrangement would appear to give rise to an increased possibility for what has been described as the “mother-in-law syndrome” and of more concern, a means to cover up any abuse that may result owing to the tight knit nature of those involved.

    This is something that SE Asian communities I feel need to address collectively.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.