Challenging the honour of these killings


by Sunny
17th July, 2006 at 9:22 pm    

When the Picklers met last month for the first time, in the ensuing discussion we generally agreed on one point at least: we need to challenge the dominant patriarchal nature of Asian families.

It is my belief this needs a lot of debate and direct action. It is also a fight that the current crop of “community leaders” and race relations expert are afraid to raise because they are bound by the desire not to offend anyone. This is not how we work.

The sentencing following Samaira Nazir’s sickening murder has brought this most important of issues to the surface: “honour killings”.

So, what avenues are open to us to challenge this?

1) Government action

Some sort of government legislation is needed to make this a social stigma. Legislation alone won’t stop honour killings, but it will send out a strong message that it will not be tolerated by the law under any cicumstances.

a) We should still explicitly ban forced marriages. I stand by this because of its symbolism and the potential to more easily convict offending parents.

b) Extending the crime to include other members of family. I believe this should be a key piece of legislation. Two weeks ago Danish courts convicted nine members of family of murder or being accessory to the murder of 19 year old Ghazala Khan.

c) More support and training for social services. Ghazala Khan was repeatedly denied help by the police. We need more support for refuge shelters and more awareness about their existence in this country. Some ideally with support from Asian women to help with individual cases.

2) Direct action

Our aims, in putting forward a case for direct action when feasible, should be two-fold: Spur the government into action; make this a social stigma that is not tolerated by our generation. Towards the second goal I have a few suggestions:

a) Let’s say someone from an area is caught in an honour killing. We get together a team of people, head down there, and overnight flood the place with leaflets and posters condemning the act and the murder. It would require a very hard-hitting leaflet that would also state that the younger generation needs to stand up against these honour killings.

Take this as another example:

amandeepThe word example reminded me of another “honour” killing, that of Amandeep Atwal. She was 17 when her father stabbed her after she told her family she was moving in with her white boyfriend.

When it happened, I got into a very heated argument with my grandmother. She had been talking about it with her sister in Toronto and when she got off the phone, I decided to ask her how a person can call themselves a Sikh and do what Amandeep’s father did or support his actions. She told me that the father was “setting an example,” making sure that no other Sikh girl would try what Amandeep did.

We need to challenge the fallacy that killing the child will set an example. What kind of a stupid parent maintains control over their children through the threat of death?

b) Set up an informal network to help girls who are in trouble. Need some more ideas on this.

c) Do publicity stunts along the lines of Fathers4Justice to raise awareness and push the government. Though, given we are largely brown, this is a risky course of action because the police would shoot first and ask questions later.

As always, thoughts are welcome. I am serious about direct action as that’s the kind of person I am. We decide what is a good idea and what works and we make it happen. I don’t want to just keep talking about this.


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  1. Refresh — on 17th July, 2006 at 9:38 pm  

    Sunny please correct this link: Amandeep Atwal.

    Good luck with the campaign. I’ll pass on what info I pick up.

    The other point is to be vigilant of the ‘righteous’ – they can get quite vexed over anyone treading their territory.

  2. raz — on 17th July, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

    I’d like to see some of these mainstream ‘community’ groups put up or shut up. Honour killings is an issue affecting people right here, not Iraq/Palestine or wherever. This is the kind of thing which needs energy and resources devoted to it – who is up to the task?

  3. limpia — on 17th July, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

    i like all your ideas, and feel that legally all should be prosecuted who were involved. (btw where will those toddlers live now?) ALSO, I like the idea of ‘flooding the area with pamphlets’, and also with discussion so as to let those who were implicated(other family members) see that their actions and support for the murder is being noticed , dissected and condemned by those in their community. Also, a taste of other community’s mores may be helpful (let them be multicultural!) Many dad’s would be angry re what they see as a poor choice of partner for their daughter; but , what they might do in the most extreme cases is’disown the daughter’, surely a better fate.

  4. Leon — on 17th July, 2006 at 10:30 pm  

    Agree with much of this, especially the need for direct action. It worked for F4J getting their group in the news and their agenda talked about it can work for this.

    I also think this is just the sharp end of the whole thing about who a person can have a relationship with. There is far too much say so on the part of ignorant parents pressurising their kids into not going out with certain types of people.

  5. Refresh — on 17th July, 2006 at 11:24 pm  

    “c) Do publicity stunts along the lines of Fathers4Justice to raise awareness and push the government. Though, given we are largely brown, this is a risky course of action because the police would shoot first and ask questions later.”

    I am not sure F4J is seen in a ‘good’ light amongst activists involved with victims of domestic abuse. But that said – demonstrations in each town/city where such a crime has been committed would be very useful.
    Greenpeace is probably a better, saner example.

    Please be aware of the need to inform the authorities of any public action as well. People should be aware that there are legal requirements in the production and distribution of leaflets.

    Sunny – one tiny concern is that there should be some co-ordination, and it should not be a free for all, as that could go badly for the campaign. Potential for retaliation it real.

    Students Unions should be approached and asked to contribute towards the campaigns on and off campus.

    Trades Unions such as Unison are usually great in these matters.

    Sorry – just some random thoughts.

  6. 13point1 — on 17th July, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

    related news from India though:

    The Nagpada police claim to have solved the sensational murder of a 18-year-old girl from Cuffe Parade, Menajbanu Mohammad Khan, whose body was hacked into 11 pieces before being dumped in gunny bags under the JJ flyover in April. Father of the girl Mohammad Munna Sardar Khan was arrested for the murder while his wife and son were arrested for helping him dispose of the body.

    “The girl’s father was against her relationship with a local Hindu boy who lived in the Ambedkar Nagar Transit Camp at Cuffe Parade. Even her nose and cheeks were gouged out to make the body unrecognisable,” senior police inspector K Durafe said.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1042322

  7. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:21 am  

    Sunny,

    What exactly would you have parents do? What suggestions do you have for parents who wouldnt even think about harming their daughters but are justifiably afraid of them making the wrong decisions in their personal life.

    Do you believe and sympathize with the fact that parents are afraid of what their children may get involved in in a soceity that doesnt support traditional families, traditional roles, and traditional personal conduct?

    You and others may consider it liberating to be able to do sexually-personally whatever you want, but these actions have grave conseqeunces especially in the times we live in and especially for women who always end up holding the bag.

    We can all hate and should hate crimes that are commited against women but what about all the parents who struggle to raise their children with values that are at odds with popular and acceptable culture? It isnt enough to say, shut up, youre backwards for not accepting your childrens detrimental lifestyle. These are parents you are talking about.

    Just because someone makes a personal decision doesnt mean that decision should by supported and encouraged. I am not asking you to sympathize with murderors but sympathize with those parents who have a reponsibility to raise their children and feel increasingly insecure about the prospect of them growing up in todays world.

  8. Ted Matthews — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    Sunny, this is a brave and courageous post. This matter has gone on for too long for anyone from whichever part of the cultural spectrum they inhabit to ignore any more.

    I sincerely hope your readers from the Indian sub-continent who are familiar with such atrocious practices realise how much damage is done to their social and religious reputations here in their country of choice.

    It’s just not cricket chaps!

  9. Ian — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    Well, if “traditional families, traditional roles, and traditional personal conduct” means, as is the case here, not going out with your social ‘inferiors,’ then those traditional values can take a hike.

  10. Ted Matthews — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    Sunny, this is a brave and courageous post. This matter has gone on for too long for anyone from whichever part of the cultural spectrum they inhabit to ignore any more.

    I sincerely hope your readers from the Indian sub-continent who are familiar with such atrocious practices realise how much damage is done to their social and religious reputations here in their country of choice.

    It’s just not cricket chaps!

  11. ajsuhail — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:24 am  

    On a different note, The Indian Government has blocked access to 17 mega blogging sites including blogspot.com.Any ideas how I can access these sites,seeing as I live here?

  12. Ilan — on 18th July, 2006 at 9:05 am  

    Just to think … such things (and unfortunately worse) still accure in the 21th century.

  13. Rob — on 18th July, 2006 at 9:12 am  

    “It isnt enough to say, shut up, youre backwards for not accepting your childrens detrimental lifestyle. These are parents you are talking about.”

    What exactly is “detrimental” about a young woman in a relationship with a male who happens to be of a different race?

  14. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 9:41 am  

    Bikhair,

    ‘What exactly would you have parents do?’

    Yes, it’s a puzzle isn’t it? How can a parent persuade an educated intelligent young woman in twenty-first century Britain to behave as though she were an illiterate peasant in a remote village without at least the threat of butchery?

    Straight to the crux, as usual.

  15. Arif — on 18th July, 2006 at 10:39 am  

    I think the best thing is to make sure refuges are well-resourced, have input from Asian women’s groups, and for us to make/distribute information on how to support them and how to make use of them.

    The women being bullied need to feel they have a right to take refuge and will be safe and supported there. We probably would need to develop men’s refuges as well, because this cuts both ways – who will families lash out at when their daughters get out of their reach?

    This scandal should motivate people – including religious organisations – to donate towards refuges and the process of fundraising itself would be educative, and get people talking.

    The fact that refuges need to keep their locations and other facts secret makes it difficult to know their needs and how to help them. So we need a reputable arms-length charity. Women’s Aid exists, and maybe they can help us set up an Asian Women’s Honour campaign or something like it, which can fund refuges accessible to Asian women through them.

    I’d then lobby the local fundraising orgs I am involved in to raise funds for it and happily help create campaigning information.

  16. Vikrant — on 18th July, 2006 at 10:50 am  

    I’ve figured out the common denominator between these daughter-killing Asians. They all seem to be Punjabis… what is it with Punjabis?

  17. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:17 am  

    good post sunny. but something occurred to me – how does one actually go about ‘banning’ a forced marriage?

  18. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:20 am  

    I agree with Arif up above. it seems to me the problem is that women aren’t able to stand up for themselves and the rights they have. A large part of being able to do that is to have role models around you encouraging you and saying its ok, and not feel ostracized because of their course of action – and this points to the need for a support network. I think personally even a ‘virtual’ support network can make a difference. But again – it goes back to the fact that ‘communities’ can’t be allowed to feel they can pressure their kids – and i think understanding this business of ‘saving face’ is critical on figuring out the social dynamics.

  19. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:22 am  

    “I’ve figured out the common denominator between these daughter-killing Asians. They all seem to be Punjabis… what is it with Punjabis?”

    They are? You sure about that?

  20. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:34 am  

    the thing is => police and social services need to see this as the same sort of thing as domestic violence. that’s what it is. for a long time, if you rang up and complained about your husband, the police would ignore it, but after a long time campaigning, they do take it seriously. they don’t have different laws to deal with it – after all it’s still violence – and ringing up about your mum/dad/brother should be treated in the same manner as that used in dealing with abusive husbands. in the same way that it took people a while to acknowledge that even though it may be in the ‘family’ one is still at as much risk as from a violent stranger ( statistically more so) and existing legislation needs to be applied to the familial/domestic context, similarly it will obviously take people a while to acknowledge that your own mother and father etc. can be a significant risk as well.

  21. Sheikh Yassin — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:14 pm  

    Surely the people who carry out these acts are those who were born an brought up in the sub continent with these values instilled into them. The second generation who have been born an brought up in this country won’t have the same problem without these views on marriage and “honour”, and I’m sure we’ll find that these “honour killings” will slowly become a thing of the past as the first generation begins to die out.

  22. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

    ha that’s progress in a straight line kind of thinking Sheikh Yassin. by that line of reasoning, no one would be going in for arranged marriages and they do.

  23. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    ( not implying that there is anything wrong with arranged marriages b4 anyone decides to jump down my throat)

  24. Vikrant — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

    They are? You sure about that?

    Well from what i know, Punjabis are very touchy about whom their daughters marry. An orthodox Punjabi Hindu may allow his daughter to wed a Sikh (who without expceptions are Punjabis) but wont let her marry with non-Punjabi Hindus. Every second Pakistani in Britain is a Punjabi, so are all Sikhs and many Hindus.

  25. Vikrant — on 18th July, 2006 at 12:49 pm  

    Mindya honour killings were also common amongst my paternal kinsmen the Rajputs, but these days with education their outlook towards women seems to have changed, especially in Urban India and west.

  26. Kulvinder — on 18th July, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

    1)

    a) Im against duplicating legislation and writing new laws unless absolutely necessary, the present government have already written far far too many ill thought out new laws :(

    b) This aleady exists in Britain, if anyone had been lured to their death the people who acted in that manner would also stand trial.

    c) Couldn’t agree more.

    2) Direct action

    a) Well personally im against direct action and in that situation i can’t really condone collective punishment or guilt. Id hardly put up F4J as a group to aspire to.

  27. Rakhee — on 18th July, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

    Couple of thoughts Sunny:

    - Any movement I think shouldn’t just involve young people. In fact, you might strike a better chord if your campaigners are both parents AND young adults. It will also avoid the risk of our campaign being automatically rejected by more traditional parents as just a rebellious campaign. Will also penetrate a more positive message to parents generally

    - A picture speaks a thousand words, which is why F4J campaigns works so well. The NSPCC also ran powerful ads http://www.nspcc.org.uk/home/newsandcampaigns/video.htm#Talk_Sept05 – especially the Cartoon Boy ones – which had a massive impact.

    Is it worth therefore doing some sort of picture based email viral which can be sent to all of our friends and contacts to help raise awareness and get people to pledge against it? Can be hard hitting and done quite cheaply (or even via myspace I think…)

    - Agree that partnering with an organisation may help the cause here. Southall Sisters is a good one, though disappointed with their reaction to forced marriages ban. What about approaching an org like Amnesty? I know they’re global but they are running a campaign called STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN at the moment and have some great ideas in motion. http://www.amnesty.org/campaign/
    At the very least, I’m sure they’d give us some help. Let me know, I’m happy to help find out.

  28. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    Why are you against Direct Action? Without it women would have never got the vote!

  29. sonia — on 18th July, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

    right on leon!

  30. Sunny — on 18th July, 2006 at 2:02 pm  

    That’s because Kulvinder is a wimp :)

    Rakhee – some excellent points… I think the viral email idea is quite good, but we need to have some action prescribed in that email no?

  31. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    Yeah thinking about it agree with some of the comments about F4J as an example of DA. Greenpeace (or if you want to go back some time Reclaim the Streets( would probably make communicating the message a bit easier…

  32. al — on 18th July, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

    Sunny,
    Can you please advertise for picklers to attend:

    ippr inaugural annual lecture with Professor Amartya Sen
    24 July 2006, London

    At this inaugural lecture Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen will discuss his latest research which has resulted in the publication, in which he explores the complexity of human identity. Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
    http://www.ippr.org.uk/events/?id=2154

  33. realitist — on 18th July, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

    Parents should make sure their kids make decisions that are in line with the parent’s vision of family. If they fail in this task then there is a chance their child will act outside the parents expectations. What we are seeing here is a failure of successful parenting, a failure to indoctrinate the child with the morals and ideals of the parent. This failure need not be causative of such acts but it is certainly the main contributing factor when they do occur

  34. Kulvinder — on 18th July, 2006 at 2:58 pm  

    yeah but direct action only encourages idiots to join, i prefer a thoughtful and debative approach. With DA its difficult to stop escalation in what constitutes ‘DA’. Sylvia Pankhurst (coolest woman ever) didn’t agree with the DA approach taken by some with regards to womens suffrage.

    That’s because Kulvinder is a wimp

    and there is that.

  35. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    realitist,

    Successful = unquestioning acceptance of beliefs?

    Success = stagnation?

  36. realitist — on 18th July, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    Don, not exactly. The child can question as much as much it desires, but this should not obviate an understanding and observance of behaviorial limits imposed by family doctrine. It is a matter of debate whether this will lead to stagnation, however it does seem plausible.

  37. sleepy — on 18th July, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    Bikhair,
    “What exactly would you have parents do? What suggestions do you have for parents who wouldnt even think about harming their daughters but are justifiably afraid of them making the wrong decisions in their personal life.”

    Oh I don’t know, maybe TALK to them? You seem to have this idea that children can’t have a morality of their own, the parents are their moral arbiters in every issue. You said that parents might be made uncomfortable by changing social mores; have you paused to consider that the parents might have to change their views?
    And no, when I make a bad decision, I don’t go back to my parents and blame them for not inculcating tradition and morality in me. Have some respect for second gens, as adults, not just as kids. They can make their own decisions and take the consequences as well.
    I don’t want to sound too anti-parent here, but this idea that parents are always right is what’s creating these problems. They’re human too.

  38. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

    DA is but one weapon in our democratic arsenal and it has it’s place and is effective. Even if it only causes media coverage it’s this site that people will come to for an explanation/narrative.

  39. Refresh — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

    Leon, good point. Just as long as we don’t end up with campaigns a la News of the World; Daily Mail or worse Daily Express.

  40. limpia — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

    I was thinking that these parents should be aware of other groups’ mores and their responses to these situations with their children. How do they respond? Do they also kill thier children. In N.Y. where my parents grew up in the poor immigrant areas they were on speaking terms with other immigrant groups and found common ground. in that way, even the olded people could learn and change. However, these groups involved in the killings appear to be so tribal and so much beleiving in the afterlife, punishment in the afterlife , and in the ancestors and their rules that they are in our view, hindered or slowed in their ability to change.

  41. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

    Agreed.

  42. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

    Um, my agreement was re Refreshes last post!

  43. Rakhee — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

    Yes Sunny, it does need to have a call to action or at least a pledge. There a few options.

    I was thinking something like this from Cancer Research UK – http://www.cancer2020.org/. It makes the statement, tracks the number of pledges and will also give us a database of people who feel passionately enough about it that we can build on in the future. It doesn’t have to be as sophisticated / creative but does need to be really striking – e.g. the images of the girls who are recent victims and underneath, the pictures of who killed them with the words ‘killed and left in their own blood, by their own blood’ or something like that *shiver*

    Other routes are electronic pledgecards e.g.People and Planet http://peopleandplanet.org/stopclimatechaos/briefing/
    or you could do something more extensive like setting up a website (via PP??) see Make Poverty History eg http://www.dhiverse.org.uk/pledge/index.htm

    ps here are the details for amnesty activists in the uk http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=342#activism

    sorry if this is all a bit rushed…will come back to you with some more thoughts later…

  44. Refresh — on 18th July, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

    Rakhee – good ideas, can I propose a slightly more subliminal message.

    The most hard-hitting message has got to be the fact that any one convicted risk putting the remaining children of the extended family on the at-risk register.

    And perhaps some children have already been taken into care. Perhaps some research needs to be done with those already convicted – their fate and the fate of their families.

    Crimes of this nature invite tragedy upon tragedy – that is a strong message.

  45. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

    Realitist,

    Surely if the family is living in cultural and behavioural bubble, with little or no connection with or understanding of the actual world in which their children are making their way, then insisting on ‘observance of behaviorial limits imposed by family doctrine’ is a recipe for inter-generational disaster.

    Which is of course what happened in this case.

    If the family doctrine is so completely at variance with the values of the society in which the child lives (and I’m not talking about a bacchanal of sexual libertinism which some bigots insist is the only alternative to cleaving to traditional village codes) then the child is in an impossible situation.

    Have you considered that even in matters of morality, children may well be able to teach their parents?

    One of the aspects of ‘honour’ killings which particularly disturbs me is the involvement of brothers. Young men who were not raised in remote villages but who still see butchering their sister as a legitimate and morally righteous way of asserting their will. I recall reading about another case (sorry, can’t provide a reference) in which a number of male students at the victims school spoke approvingly of the killing.

  46. El Cid — on 18th July, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    what can i do to help?
    I’m not a great one for DA — I’m not allowed to be overtly political by my company under any circumstances.
    But I’ll happily be the driver, contribute cash, etc.
    You could register it as a charity for donations. You need funding after all.
    In any case, I reckon this is the sort of thing that Asians would be most effective at, for obvious reasons. I’m willing to play a supporting role.

  47. Kismet Hardy — on 18th July, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

    I like the idea of leafletting areas where a honour killing has taken place. They’ll only truly understand it isn’t honourable when they hear their neighbours tutting

  48. Robert — on 18th July, 2006 at 5:44 pm  

    How about some kind of ‘pledge’? Not of the PledgeBank variety (althought may be a good way to build up support for direct action among Asian youth).

    I’m thinking a more a short statement, condemning honour killings, which ‘community leaders’ can either sign or reject. Campaigning Picklers could name and shame anyone who hasn’t signed the pledge, and hound them until they do. I know this seems pretty News of the World, but they seem pretty adept at changing government policy in a jiffy by this method…

    On a wider point, I agree with Sheikh Yassin (above) regarding the fact that the whole system of “honour” and “shame” is under scrutiny here. Its one thing to campaign against the acts, but I would suggest that campaigning against the ideas of “honour” and “shame” might be a harder sell. One could make a argument that these concepts perform a valuable role in society. Bikhair seems to be making this very point (above). I happen to disagree with her, but the debate is still to be had.

  49. El Cid — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

    or a signature petition

  50. realitist — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:21 pm  

    Don, in some instances it may be that “the family is living in cultural and behavioural bubble, with little or no connection with or understanding of the actual world in which their children are making their way,” but it seems unlikely that parents are unaware or unwilling to recognise this disparity. In most cases it would be quite the opposite, that the parents fear the outside influences to be signicant threats towards their family values. It is quite possible, however, that such parents are unwilling to act on the disparity , to make it clear what their expectations are, and more importantly to impart an understanding of Honour as it means to them and the rationale behind it.

    This only underscores the necessity for parents to communicate and indoctrinate in their children those core values which are so highly regarded. It is when these values are breached by children, perhaps not always unwittingly that we find ourselves in the unfortunate and tragic circumstances leading to these killings.

  51. Rakhee — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:23 pm  

    Kismet – not sure I agree. If they are willing to kill their own, I really don’t think they give a s**t about people tutting. Also, at the same time, they will be applauded by people who do support them.

    Refresh, yes, it does invoke tragedy upon tragedy but then one could argue that so does every other crime. I do agree though.

    We need to break this down in to WHO we want to reach against WHAT we want them to do/believe/agree. It might help to make up our minds on the way forward.

    E.g.

    1. AUDIENCE: G’ment -> AIM: ban forced marriage -> CAMPAIGN: Group / lobbyists dedicated to the cause and petitions

    2. AUDIENCE: Young asian people -> AIM: raise national awareness of issue -> CAMPAIGN: viral email

    3. AUDIENCE: Asian parents -> AIM: pledge their disagreement to what the killers have done ->CAMPAIGN: Find asian parents willing to be spokespeople and vocalise their support and flyer their statements in prevalent areas

    …you get the general idea….

  52. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    realitist,

    I don’t doubt that many parents who hold traditional values see the outside world as a threat to those values, nor that they have expectations of their children.

    However, to suugest that the cause of these killings is ‘when these values are breached by children’ does seem to imply that for the problem to be solved it only needs children (and by the way, Samaira Nazir was a twenty-five year old woman)to accept indoctrination and meekly submit.

    However, when these values include a willingness to slaughter your own child to preserve authority and save face, then these are values that the child is right to reject. They are bad values and it is right that they are threatened and, one hopes, ultimately discarded.

  53. realitist — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

    Don, disagreed. In an earlier post: “This failure need not be causative of such acts but it is certainly the main contributing factor when they do occur”

  54. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    Its one thing to campaign against the acts, but I would suggest that campaigning against the ideas of “honour” and “shame” might be a harder sell.

    It’s a question of communication. We can use the killings to highlight a wider problem (as well as focus on stopping the deaths). Thus giving framing the wider debate within our context…

  55. realitist — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:45 pm  

    Further, if we are only to conclude that these people are monsters and that they are beyond reason then we need to have any discussion at all. For monsters to commit monsterly acts isnt at all suprising.

    To be fair we must acknowledge that perhaps people value this honour thing so dearly that when it is breached they lose sense of perspective, that their worlds are turned upside down, and it in this state in which they commit these killings. If a discussion fails to acknowledge this basic premise then we are more interested in expressing our rage rather than understanding the problem.

  56. Jai on a flying visit — on 18th July, 2006 at 6:57 pm  

    Just passing through, folks; technically I’m still on my sabbatical from PP, but since this issue is (literally) a life-and-death matter, I thought I should quickly add my own 5 cents if it is going to make a positive impact to the lives of the affected people via the strategic gameplan which is admirably taking shape on this thread.

    If I may extrapolate one of Rakhee’s suggestions:

    Have a television advertising campaign (along with the “viral email”) in the same vein as the “NSPCC/Stop Cruelty against Children” and “Don’t Drink & Drive” commercials which most of us will have seen in recent months. In fact, ideally you should have the same production team involved — the commercials need to be effective, hard-hitting, and shocking. The potential slogan is also self-evident: “Stop honour-killings”.

    There will be howls of protest from certain individuals and groups (potentially the same people who blocked the recent forced marriage legislation) about the “perpetuation of stereotypes, demonisation of certain ethnic/religious groups” etc etc…..

    …..But that’s their problem. This campaign needs to be done.

    The other suggestions are also excellent but I thought that the television commercials — to be transmitted on the major terrestrial channels (ie. ITV, Channel 4, Five) and the major satellite/cable channels (Sky One, Sky News etc) — would also possibly be an effective addition, especially due to the very wide national audience they would reach and the fact that they would facilitate a further increase in the public profile and awareness of this problem.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. I wish everyone the very best of luck.

  57. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 7:09 pm  

    Good ideas there Jai.

  58. Robert — on 18th July, 2006 at 7:53 pm  

    Rakhee’s suggestion of breaking down the aims and audiences is a good one. Add a PS to the list:

    AUDIENCE: The Non-Asian population; AIM: Reduce prejudice towards those with Asian heritage, changing the perception thatthey endorse honour killings; CAMPAIGN: Simply highlight all the other campaigns; A wider discussion of what “honour” might mean in this sense, and whether anything useful can be salvaged.

  59. Gibs — on 18th July, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    Good post Sunny.

    One course of action could be to shame “mainstream” (ie “white”) women’s organisations into confronting the issue of forced marriages rather than “treading on eggshells” for fear of offending those of “another culture”.

    It is high time that “Women’s Lib” starting acting in a manner worthy of its name rather than as “White Middle Class Women’s Lib”.

    The cabinet minister Patricia Hewitt should be challenged as to why she isn’t taking a high profile stance on forced marriages. One of her portfolios is “Minister For Women” (ie NOT “Minister For White Middle Class Women” ).

    Finally, next time a non Asian person DOES take a strong stance on the issue of forced marriages and predictably gets admonished by a self appointed community leader and told to leave it to the “community” to sort out, he (and it almost certainly be a “he”) should be made aware in no uncertain terms that we are in BRITAIN (ie NOT India, Pakistan etc) and therefore every British person is entitled to talk about it and campaign against it.

  60. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

    Realtist,

    The distiction between causative and main contributing factor is a fine one, nor do I agree that it is the case.

    I don’t think we are going to agree on this, but let me restate my position anyway. There will be increasing divergence between those whose values are of another time and place and their children, who are finding a way in the here and now. There will be friction, rows and tears. Hopefully, most families will learn to grow and continue to value one another despite these clashes.

    But to say that a young person’s decision to take a basic human freedom such as choosing their own partner is the main contributing factor in their murder is to imply blame where none belongs.

    The blame, all of it, lies with the killers and not one scintilla with the victim.

    I agree that to dismiss these individuals as monsters in unhelpful, but I see no need to be ‘fair’, to empathise with their loss of ‘perspective’ (how much perspective does it take to understand that killing your child is wrong?)or to make allowances for how upset they were feeling at the time. These are premeditated, collaborative murders, not an instantly regretted lashing out.

    They ‘value this honour thing so dearly’? El Cid earlier compared such killers with predatory paedophiles, who also have a ‘thing’ they value more dearly than the life of a child. These ‘things’ they value are of equal worth; none whatsoever.

    A value system which can only preserve itself by threatening death on those who diverge has failed. It has shown itself to be a dead end, best consigned to the darker chapters of history.

    I am not expressing my rage here (my contempt and loathing, perhaps) but nor am I seeking to ‘understand’ the problem. The problem is clear enough and it does not have two sides.

    You earlier described these incidents as ‘unfortunate and tragic’; I must disagree. ‘Unfortunate’ implies an absence of human control; there was control, but it was exercised for vile ends. Nor would I call it ‘tragic’, which again implies an unfolding of events in which people are swept away. This was a deliberate, prolonged, messy, squalid exercise in petty tyrany for which the individuals involves have full personal responsibility.

    Monsters? OK, no; human. But humans beneath contempt and beyond sympathy whose precious values are degraded and unworthy of consideration.

  61. El Cid — on 18th July, 2006 at 9:44 pm  

    Don, couldn’t agree more.
    Jai, what, have you come into money or something?
    Rakhee, I think you could be onto something.

  62. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 18th July, 2006 at 10:19 pm  

    Rob,

    “What exactly is “detrimental” about a young woman in a relationship with a male who happens to be of a different race?”

    I am not talking about that. I am not talking about inter-racial relationships especially because this obviously isnt an issue with most Asian folks. Hating inter racial couples is apart of that backwardness.

  63. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 18th July, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    Don,

    “Yes, it’s a puzzle isn’t it? How can a parent persuade an educated intelligent young woman in twenty-first century Britain to behave as though she were an illiterate peasant in a remote village without at least the threat of butchery?”

    I prefer that you ignore me than to completely miss the point. Besides there is nothing backwards about not wanting your daughter/son to shack up with anyone.

    Humph!

  64. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 18th July, 2006 at 10:35 pm  

    Sleepy,

    “Oh I don’t know, maybe TALK to them? You seem to have this idea that children can’t have a morality of their own, the parents are their moral arbiters in every issue.”

    I doubt that these parents shot from the hip. No pun intended. Parents generally want what is best for children and children generally believe that their parents are bat shit. This society doesnt values the importance of parents and castrates them at every turn.

    “You said that parents might be made uncomfortable by changing social mores; have you paused to consider that the parents might have to change their views?”

    I’ve given that some thought and I have to reject most of that. Social norms have yet to change for the better on many isssues particularly those involving sexual morality. I believe Melanie Phillips called it social nihilism.

    “And no, when I make a bad decision, I don’t go back to my parents and blame them for not inculcating tradition and morality in me. Have some respect for second gens, as adults, not just as kids. They can make their own decisions and take the consequences as well.”

    What ends up happening in the real world is that we do tend to fall back on our families when bad things happen. There isnt anything wrong with that but dont pretend that every man is an island.

    “I don’t want to sound too anti-parent here, but this idea that parents are always right is what’s creating these problems. They’re human too.”

    I dont want to sound too anti-children here, but this idea that children are always right is what’s creating these problems. They’re human too.

  65. Leon — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:20 pm  

    but this idea that children are always right is what’s creating these problems. They’re human too.

    I don’t know what you’re smoking mate but share the taste yeah!? Where in the world is this idea of children being always right happening?!

  66. Don — on 18th July, 2006 at 11:23 pm  

    ‘I doubt that these parents shot from the hip.’

    I don’t understand that comment, or comprehend the spirit that inspired it. Could you explain?

  67. Ravi Naik — on 19th July, 2006 at 12:03 am  

    I see little point in advertising “Stop honour-killings” because a) it targets the village idiots who don’t care about what is outside their bubble, b) come on, are we going to make a TV advertisement to convince people not to kill?

    I think all focus should be about empowering the new generation either by giving them information as to what to do in these situations, to legislation that prohibits forced marriages and fierce punishment to all members responsible for violence and abuse. I think Sunny’s ideas are pretty good – I specially like 2-a).

  68. Kulvinder — on 19th July, 2006 at 3:10 am  

    Hmm im not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone at the moment. I can empathise with realists pov (though, as above i can’t say i agree with it). At the very least changing the feeling of phobia that any migrant family/communuty has and that probably contributed to all this won’t be achieved by simply venting on those involved or the community. Which incidently is why i also believe leafleting the entire area where such incidents occur would be counter productive.

    I don’t condone what the parents or families in these situations did but neither do i hold them beneath contempt or as avatars of evil. Life isn’t that simple.

    Its trivialism to take a black/white approach to this – not to the killings themselves but rather the feelings/thoughts/fears even, of the parents and families. I don’t even doubt that those who kill thier brothers, sisters, sons or daughters feel a great deal of love for them. Id compare these situations to fathers who kill their families (Robert Mocherie, Karl Bluestone and the like). I don’t condone what they did nor do i hold them beneath contempt, rather pity.

    A value system which can only preserve itself by threatening death on those who diverge has failed. It has shown itself to be a dead end, best consigned to the darker chapters of history.

    Not necessarily. This is a tangential to the thread but death as a means of deterrence for a value system is exactly why some states allow the death penatly to exist. The merits of the value system (the law in this context) is distinct to the way it implements or enforces itself to those who break the law (diverge from it). I disagree with the way it treats those that diverge yet i cannot say it has failed. Saying you’re against the death penalty is different to saying you’re against the law.

  69. Sunny — on 19th July, 2006 at 4:13 am  

    Guys I have to say this is an excellent, excellent discussion. Plenty of solid ideas we can go forward with. Rakhee specially has had some great suggestions.

    Please keep brainstorming, I’ll put together a part 2 of this discussion together towards the end of the week.

  70. El Cid — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:46 am  

    Kulvinder, if you don’t hold them beneath contempt then you are apologising for them — as if their actions are really representative of the whole community! What, do you recognise something in these bastards’ belief-system from your own experience, your own family even? I am speculating, trying to understand your position…. Ask yourself this, would anyone you know who clings vociferously, even aggressively to old-village honour ties really go that extra 100 miles and do what these cunts did?
    Death as a deterrence? Has your moral compass gone skew-whiff?
    I would lock them up with the worst kind of paedo, for they are no better. Anyway, that’s going off on a tangent…

  71. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 10:03 am  

    Don: If blame must be assigned prior to allowing meaningful discussion then it has to lie with parents and not the children. That there was such a great disparity in the life choices of their children and what was expected of them is the point of failure after which the abhorrent sceptre of an honour killing raises its ugly head.

    The distinction between causative and main contributing factor is crucial in a reasonable explantion of honour killings. Consider for example car accidents involving drink driving. While many manage to drink alcohol and drive, it does not always lead to an accident. When an accident does occur and it involves unsafe amounts of alcohol then its reasonable to take that presence of alcohol as being the overiding factor. We cannot say alcohol is causative of car accidents, that drinking automatically leads to an accident, but it is certainly a main contributing factor when an accident does occur in circumstances involving unsafe drink driving.

    Remember men and women are free to raise their families in any manner they wish. We cannot ask someone to have the same ideas of honour and family as us, just as we wouldnt necessarily accept their ideas for our own families. In any case the problem of honour killings takes far greater precendence than over stifling families.

  72. Inders — on 19th July, 2006 at 10:15 am  

    mmm, legislation unless correctly implimented and enforced won’t make a jot of difference.

    Murder is already ilegal.
    Marriages where coercion was involved are easily nullified in courts.

    But I do agree, that in this current political climate, unless a group under an asian banner stands up and says, this is wrong, we don’t agree with it and we want the same protection of rights for our vunerable people as for the rest of society; then the prosecution services will be unwilling to tackle the subject for fear of upsetting the self appointed cultural vultures that are calling themselves community leaders.

    Murderers will always be prosecuted in this country (unless you’re a policeman but thats another story), what really needs to happen is intervention before that point. Detterence by shaming potential ‘honour’ killers, and help for those being threatened by their families.

  73. Don — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:01 am  

    Realitist,

    The problem with your analogy is that drinking and driving is a culpable act; the driver is responsible, the car and the road are morally neutral. So I don’t think it applies here.

    Kulvinder,

    You have a greater capacity for pity than I.

  74. sonia — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:02 am  

    People keep saying ‘ban’ forced marriage but not expounding on that would mean exactly. I mean it’s not as if the parents go to the registry office and say “oh id like to register my daughter for a special type of marriage – its called forced marriage. Registry Office looks it up in their books and says oh hang on a sec – sorry – that’s been banned.” ;-)

    Right – the problem is that they’re passing it off as normal marriage. So can we talk about what folks actually mean when they say ‘ban’ forced marriage otherwise i can’t see how as an option it’s been ‘discussed’. I’d like to be able to evaluate its usefulness or not as the case may be, but i can’t see that ‘it’ has actually been articulated. Or are we talking about enforcing some laws about coercion and things like that…

    In any case, i think this is part of the Women’s Lib issues ( though not just that)- but i think if people are going to talk about – ” It is high time that “Women’s Lib” starting acting in a manner worthy of its name rather than as “White Middle Class Women’s Lib”. Well there’s a point there – but surely it can also be applied to ‘Southall Black Sisters’ – i mean including the Black automatically seems to imply that they’re not just about women’s issues, but Black issues – whatever that may be, so is a bit exclusive – you can’t be suprised if someone then doesn’t want to start getting involved because they’ll be accused of not understanding or whatever.

    Also though its very much part of Asian parents thinking they know whats best for their kids and this is a harder one to look at because its quite a major part of what i’d call what traditionalists consider superior about ‘their’ culture.

  75. sonia — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:07 am  

    Anyway isn’t the fundamental problem that the ‘daughter’ or person in question couldn’t stand up to their parents to say no im not getting married?

  76. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:07 am  

    Don it wasnt an analogy.

  77. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:18 am  

    Leon,

    “I don’t know what you’re smoking mate but share the taste yeah!? Where in the world is this idea of children being always right happening?!”

    Regardless of what decisions children make they are seen by this soceity as being right by virtue of making their own decisions no matter if the decisions are completely foolish and stupid. The parents are seen as being wrong anytime they would like to either circumvent or advise their children against such poor decisions. Obviously parents can be wrong, but so can children. Considering the expirience that parents have, I wonder what the odds are in favor of the parents.

  78. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:44 am  

    Bikhair,

    It’s not a tragedy where the parents rights are being undermined by the wishes of the wayward kids.

    Parents can do what they like. Except fuck up their kids’ lives.

    Kids can choose their own happiness. Without worrying their parents will kill them for it.

    It really is that simple.

  79. sonia — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    yeah yeah no one is ever ‘right’ obviously. People have to learn for themselves what works for them. this mollycoddling we know what’s right for YOU is simply a disguise – really what parents mean when they say that is we know what’s right for ‘our family unit’ – and they see a child’s marriage as that – family policy – not individual policy. End of story – this is the crux. it’s like in royal houses – marriage was a dynastic act – not a private matter for individual x or y. Hence princes and princesses used to have their marriages arranged because really it was too good a chance to miss for their families – and it wasn’t regarded as an individual matter, but one for the collective to decide .

  80. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    Regardless of what decisions children make they are seen by this soceity as being right by virtue of making their own decisions no matter if the decisions are completely foolish and stupid. The parents are seen as being wrong anytime they would like to either circumvent or advise their children against such poor decisions. Obviously parents can be wrong, but so can children. Considering the expirience that parents have, I wonder what the odds are in favor of the parents.

    Where are you getting this from? This society? As opposed to where? The Victorian era when children ‘should be seen and not heard’!? What other society are you comparing this one too?

  81. Kulvinder — on 19th July, 2006 at 12:23 pm  

    Kulvinder, if you don’t hold them beneath contempt then you are apologising for them — as if their actions are really representative of the whole community!

    I don’t go in for ‘with or against us’ ‘pure right pure wrong’ sentiments. Theres lots of things i don’t agree with where i don’t hold individuals ‘beneath contempt’ *shrug* it just who i am

    What, do you recognise something in these bastards’ belief-system from your own experience, your own family even?

    nup

    I am speculating, trying to understand your position…. Ask yourself this, would anyone you know who clings vociferously, even aggressively to old-village honour ties really go that extra 100 miles and do what these cunts did?

    I wouldn’t think so but its difficult to say, from my pov its an irrational act so i wouldn’t do it and in general can’t see anyone i know doing it. But to tie in with my previous comment i can’t see anyone killing their entire family in a time of stress before comitting suicide. It still happens. You’re asking me to forecast ‘extreme behaviour’ using only ‘normal behaviour’.


    Death as a deterrence? Has your moral compass gone skew-whiff?
    I would lock them up with the worst kind of paedo, for they are no better. Anyway, that’s going off on a tangent…

    I don’t think death is a detterance!! and the fear of paedophiles is little more than a moral panic, but you’re right its tangential :)

  82. El Cid — on 19th July, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    Inders, I think you are spot on.

  83. Rakhee — on 19th July, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    The above discussions have made me think about what is actually out there if people do need help. The first port of call I guess if you were in this position definitely wouldn’t be family member. May be a friend but friends are helpful, but quite powerless.

    You’d probably look for support from a local group or the g’ment. I went on to the below website which is the first thing that pops up when you type ‘forced marriages’ in to google.

    The site is DREADFUL.

    Not only is it cold and impersonal, it is completely ignorant. I love the comment “If you fear you are going to be forced into a marriage overseas you should, in order to protect yourself, think carefully before you decide to go”. HELLO???? It’s f**king forced…!!!! On top of that the links don’t even work and the list of things you need to provide would put anyone off. Nowhere does it say ‘your details will be treated in strict confidence’.

    This makes me think that we should get in touch with the FCO and ask them to readdress this site and fill it out with independent, credible groups that victims can get in touch with in confidence.

    The main fco site isn’t much better ..

    It doesn’t even highlight the recent cases in the news…

  84. Rakhee — on 19th July, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

    just came across this as well…
    http://www.stophonourkillings.com

  85. Jai on the way out of the door — on 19th July, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

    Okay, one more comment from me on this extremely important thread, and I’m outta here.

    El Cid,

    =>”Jai, what, have you come into money or something?”

    In order to really attack this problem and solve it effectively, you have to think big and you have to be really organised and systematic in how you execute the strategy.

    Advertising will indeed be expensive, but (theoretically) the campaign could be sponsored by a combination of Asian support groups, anti-domestic violence organisations, and (hopefully) some of the extremely wealthy Asian businesspeople who have been so successful here in the UK. Perhaps mosques, temples and gurdwaras could also be involved — they do not have a shortage of money, especially considering the size of the donations they regularly collect. The money raised via all these resources can therefore be pooled and used to finance the campaign.

    Having given my previous post here some further thought, it may also be worthwhile to expand the televised adverts to include the major Asian satellite/cable channels — the Zee network, Star Plus/Star News, B4U, Sony, etc etc, along with some of the Asian-dominated religious channels. Most of these already include significant levels of advertising during their commercial breaks, so it may be another way to ensure that the core target audience is reached (especially as many Asian families solely/predominantly watch the Asian satellite channels instead of mainstream British channels these days).

    By the way, with regards to your earlier question about the reaction of the regressive people concerned to Romeo & Juliet etc — several Asian versions of these stories already exist and are extremely well-known, “Heer-Ranjha” being the most famous one (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heer_Ranjha ). As you can see from the link (which also includes links to the other famous romantic-tragedy stories), the problems — and the associated negative attitudes — concerned have been prevalent for a very long time indeed in that part of the world, regardless of whether one views these stories as based on actual historical events or allegories for the society of those times.

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

    =>”I see little point in advertising “Stop honour-killings” because a) it targets the village idiots who don’t care about what is outside their bubble, b) come on, are we going to make a TV advertisement to convince people not to kill?”

    It’s the same logic that the anti-child abuse adverts are based on, along with the anti-drink-driving campaign. If you are going to make an advert trying to convince people not to inflict gross violence and cruelty against their small children (or pets, as per the current RSPCA adverts), then I fail to see the logic in not attempting a similar campaign addressing honour-killings, which are amongst the most extreme forms of domestic violence.

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

    I cannot be the only person here who is disturbed by Realitist’s repeated references to “indoctrination” (actually another term for “brainwashing”, in effect), along with what appears to be his/her attempts to promote a “blame the victim” mentality. It sounds extremely similar to the nasty mindset which ascribes blame to women if they are raped, which they have somehow “encouraged” as a result of some aspect of their attire and/or conduct.

    If people have such a warped, twisted, psychopathic way of thinking that they will murder their children if they find sufficient cause to do so — especially if they are so “enraged” by the latter’s actions — then there is something significantly wrong with the parents concerned from both a moral and (quite possibly) a psychiatric perspective. It is abhorrent to attempt to transfer a portion of the blame to the (adult) children; regardless of the actual-or-perceived provocation, one is ultimately solely responsible for one’s behaviour and how one reacts to the “provocation/transgression”. You can choose whether or not you kill your children (or anyone else), and an individual who attempts to absolve himself/herself of responsibility for their own actions by either blaming the son/daughter or claiming anger-based temporary insanity is grossly unethical in the first case and a psychopath in the second case.

    If it is the former, they should be locked up as a murderer, and if it is the second, they are a danger to society on mental-health grounds and should be in a psychiatric institution.

    As Kismet Hardy said in post #77, “It really is that simple”.

  86. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    Regarding Realists comments no Jai you are not alone. I just ingored them because of the obviousness of them; also I’ve written a piece related to this which covers some of my thoughts on it (it’ll be up later)…

  87. sonia — on 19th July, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    well i suppose realitist is playing devil’s advocate but pointing to the nature of these families’s ideas of themselves is interesting. obviously they have expectations of their children and they appear to think that when these expectations are frustrated they can resort to murder.

    Show them up for what they are. Child killing parents who only see their children as what they can do for them. An investment that fails to deliver therefore must be aborted.

  88. Ravi Naik — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:18 pm  

    “It’s the same logic that the anti-child abuse adverts are based on, along with the anti-drink-driving campaign.”

    The anti-drink driving campaign, anti-smoking campaign, condom-use are created to educate and to promote self-awareness to these problems. However, the anti-child abuse adverts serve to get donations from people to provide services to abused children, not to tell people to stop abusing them. Similarly, I don’t see any point in advertising that honour killings are wrong, since this is a extreme situation. This is not to say that advertisement should not be used to raise awareness of the problem and to acquire funds to provide services to these women.

  89. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

    Do what News of the World do with paedos

    Get Eastern Eye to publish the faces of all the perpetrators, every sodding week and send copies to all their relatives on the other side of the pind

    Humiliate them time and time again. Lynch the fuckers

  90. Don — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:36 pm  

    A high profile campaign would probably attract a fair few band-wagon jumpers with their own agenda, not to mention how the tabloids would present it. The energy and resources might be better directed at co-ordinated local campaigns and – as Mirax and others have urged – providing counselling and refuge for girls under threat.

  91. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

    Well, Kismet, that wouldn’t be a campaign I’d play any part in. We have the rule of law to rely on here, convictions must be achieved but you can’t go around doing what you suggest before/during a trial. If you did you may even allow them to get off on the grounds of not receiving a fair trial etc…

  92. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

    Deport them! That’s it. I’ve got it. Deport them! Deport any fucker that stands accused of forcing a British citizen to marry a foreigner. Deport them. Eureka. Flog them first in public, then deport them.

  93. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

    @ Don, you have a point but we can’t do anything about that nor should it stop any action.

    As I said further up any publicity it gets will dovetail here (I’m sure Sunny will be more than happy to go in front of the cameras if need be) where a narrative and practical information can be offered.

  94. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

    @ Kismet, regarding deportation, it might be something worth argueing for if the husband is not a British citizen but I don’t see it’s applicable as a blanket policy.

  95. Queen Bee — on 19th July, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

    A high profile campaign would probably attract a fair few band-wagon jumpers with their own agenda, not to mention how the tabloids would present it. The energy and resources might be better directed at co-ordinated local campaigns and – as Mirax and others have urged – providing counselling and refuge for girls under threat

    I agree with Don’s words.

  96. Rakhee — on 19th July, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    Queen Bee – I agree in this case too.

    I do think there is a need to raise national awareness in the future via tv ads, but in this case, the message needs to be a. clear and b. targeted toward the right audience.

    Our immediate priorities are:

    a.to ensure these girls have somewhere / someone to turn to and
    b.that the ‘killers’ and supporters of such crimes know that we simply won’t tolerate it in silence.

  97. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 6:17 pm  

    No don’t deport the husband (don’t grant him a visa). Deport the parents. Send em back to the village they came from where they can live in honour

  98. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 6:20 pm  

    I really doubt there are many british born girls who really want to marry someone from ‘home’. Deny all visas to men with dodgy moustaches old enough to be the British citizen girl’s dad (especially ones related to her) and this problem will go a long way towards being solved

  99. Ravi Naik — on 19th July, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

    “Our immediate priorities are:
    a.to ensure these girls have somewhere / someone to turn to and
    b.that the ‘killers’ and supporters of such crimes know that we simply won’t tolerate it in silence. “

    How many honour killings happen in this country every year? I guess we can say that ‘one’ is too many, but there is a more pervasive problem of parents having the last say on who their children have to marry. And things don’t get better when the suitor has lived all his/her life in the subcontinent, thus having a very different cultural background and expectations. I am not against arranged marriages, but I am against parents having the last word on the subject.

    The new generation needs to know their rights as individuals which lets them leave outside their parent’s bubble if they wish to do so. And school – which is compulsary – is a great platform to educate them on these basic rights.

  100. Don — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:06 pm  

    What are the chances of the newly formed SMC making this a prominent part of their platform?

  101. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:24 pm  

    It appears there are any number of agendas being loaded up into this trojan horse of reform. Its a pity to see an the issue exploited in such a manner. Are we interested in ending honour killings? Or is that just an afterthought, but what we really want is for those ‘backward village idiots’ to fix up and become more like us?

    All the best with these efforts but I havent got the highest of hopes. A solution to me must involve stressing active parenting. Let parents justify and indoctrinate, brainwash and mould their children according to their ideals. Just as you and I will with our children.

  102. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:28 pm  

    The new generation needs to know their rights as individuals which lets them leave outside their parent’s bubble if they wish to do so. And school – which is compulsary – is a great platform to educate them on these basic rights.

    Great post! And yes schools is a good place but there are logistical and legal considerations (as I found out when trying to get some materials distributed in schools).

  103. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    Let parents justify and indoctrinate, brainwash and mould their children according to their ideals.

    I’m sorry but that is the most moronic thing I’ve read on here in a long time. Such bad advice for bad parenting almost doesn’t bear thinking about…

  104. Queen Bee — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:41 pm  

    Or is that just an afterthought, but what we really want is for those ‘backward village idiots’ to fix up and become more like us?

    This is a most egregious comment.

    It is also mischievous because there is no such implication that can be deduced from anything that can be said on this thread.

    It deals very simply with ways in which girls and boys, women and men, can be protected from acts of evil and moral abomination. It is you that is putting further implications on this by a trojan horse tactics. This is exactly the kind of reasoning and logic you will face in your endeavour when discussing this with some people.

  105. Queen Bee — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:50 pm  

    You know, one practical campaigning thing that could be done is this.

    Samaira Nazir’s father is in hiding in Pakistan. Pressure should be put on the police force to find him. To send detectives to Pakistan and actively seek him. Not only that, but the government should be lobbied to deal with Pakistan at a ministerial and if neccessary Prime Ministerial level for help in tracking him down. That would mean focussing on this case in a concentrated way, pressuring MP’s and ministers, using everything within our means to have been captured and extradited.

    Bring him back in chains, so that it will be made clear to fathers and uncles that they will have no place to hide, and the British government will not relent in its efforts to bring to justice suspects involved in the honor killings of her children (yes, I said Britain’s children, which is what they are)

    It is all about laying down markers. Sure there are suspects in many different crimes who have absconded abroad and dissapeared without trace. But this is about setting a public precedent, so men or women implicated in this will know that they will not be able to just dissapear to their homeland and get away with their crime.

    If need be, raise funds and offer a reward in Pakistan for anyone to grass him up. Then extradite him.

    These are positive things that can raise awareness, set precedents, and make them realise that they will not be able to hide from justice. Ally that with a no nonsense sentencing policy, and the Danish example of seeking prosecution for co-conspirators, and we make examples and progress.

    Lobbying for the Danish example of co-conspiracy of family members aware of the situation is another thing that a lobbying group could do.

  106. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:55 pm  

    Leon,

    Put your bias aside for a minute and ask yourself whether you’d rather have these kids alive (and god forbid brainwashed) or dead and liberated.

    This indoctrination by the way is nothing more than what any other conscientious parent would perform anyway. Education and schooling can and will free the child’s mind from any real or perceived jail of thought.

    The child will one day be a parent and will make decisions on how to raise its own children. Those choices can be influenced by the outside world. By us. So your precious social reform can still be done.

    Queen Bee – Protected how? How exactly are you going to protect a father from killing his children? Iam talking about prevention but whatever you people are talking about sounds like fantasy.

  107. Queen Bee — on 19th July, 2006 at 7:58 pm  

    realtist nothing warrants your antagonism on this thread and your throwing insults about. Subsume your ego and speak politely and don’t disparage others for their insights and contributions.

    Protecting sons and daughters from this form of violence is the same as prevention. Your objections are negligible and irrelevant.

  108. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

    Put your bias aside for a minute and ask yourself whether you’d rather have these kids alive (and god forbid brainwashed) or dead and liberated.

    You can fuck right off if you think I’m going to choose between your false choice of lunacy and madness.

  109. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

    “Let parents justify and indoctrinate, brainwash and mould their children according to their ideals. Just as you and I will with our children.”

    This is either a bizarre form of sarcasm that escapes logic or you really are a 24-carat cunt.

    I for one raise my kids exactly the opposite way I was – I’m here to guide them, help them, boost their self-esteem, give them reason to see the joy in living, sharing and loving. Not scaring them into believing my way is right, because it’s only their way that’s right for them.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise, fuck off back out of my country and take your dad with you

  110. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:19 pm  

    I for one raise my kids exactly the opposite way I was – I’m here to guide them, help them, boost their self-esteem, give them reason to see the joy in living, sharing and loving.

    Yes, thats the message you want to send out. Btw what was wrong with the way you were raised?

  111. Don — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:32 pm  

    realtist,

    It seems you own agenda has been rumbled here; the parents’ real fault was in carelessly allowing the child to develop a mind and the courage to use it. The victim brought it on herself by insufficient submission, regretable but one must ‘understand’.

    So which would you prefer, alive and liberated or dead and honour preserved?

  112. Kismet Hardy — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:34 pm  

    Realist… What’s wrong with the way I was raised? Um, let me think. I was raised to hate jews, to see women as little more than slaves, to believe that reading a book in a language I don’t understand will take me to heaven, to think that my parents knew me well enough to decide what I would study, who I would marry and how I should raise my kids. For fuck’s sake, my parents still think I read Smash Hits magazine and buy me skittles for Eid, how the fuck are they supposed to know I fancy dreadlocked girls with big jugs who can whistle Sweet & Tender Hooligan through their beef curtains?

    Anyhoo, I raised myself at 16 so I’m okay now

  113. realitist — on 19th July, 2006 at 8:45 pm  

    Is this how you Picklers respond to foreigners :) My welcome here has been rather puzzling. Ive had my posts repeatedly misunderstood and mischaracterised even after after painstaking explanations. Accused of insulting when the only insults ive seen have been aimed at myself. Anyway!

    Don how many times will you continue to misread my posts and attribute to me something ive never actually advocated? Jai did the same but i allowed it since i was never debating with him and he might have missed the flow of discussion. Ive never blamed the children. The children arent to blame. Ive said so repeatedly.

    We think we are enlightened and we will raise our children in the right way. Thats fine. I applaud that right and hope you succeed in raising your children the way you wished. I wish the same for everyone.

    Kismet it seems you family didnt do too badly. You are an enlightened, educated, intelligent and caring. Your parents must take some of that blame.

    If you succeed in raising your child with the ideals you proposed in your earlier post then thats exactly what i wish to see happen in all families. Ideals are good – Ideals can differ.

    (Please dont accuse me of something absurd like honour killings being an ideal)

  114. El Cid — on 19th July, 2006 at 9:27 pm  

    Realist (or however you spell it).
    Indoctrinate, brainwash… Is this a bad choice of words? Parents have a big effect on their children, but ultimately we are training them to one day to fly from the nest. We don’t own them and if they one day don’t out as we wanted them to…then that’s just the way it is.
    OK, I confess to one instance of brainwashing my kids… They are forbidden to support Chelsea. I take them Arsenal games, buy them Arsenal tops, enrol them to Junior Gunners, etc.
    But I also want them to study hard, get to uni, be polite to their elders, value life, and learn to speak Spanish. That’s hardly indoctrination is it?
    They are growing up as they please within an environment we have made for them. They like Spanish jamon and sausages because they are exposed to them (but then so would mohammed and moses if they tried them), they train to do their holy communion because they go to a catholic primary, they like anything from Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Faithless and Bobby Womack because their daddy loves his music. And all of those things and more will no doubt be a part of them when they stand on their own two feet. But stand on their two feet they must. And if one day that means they become tree-hugging chelsea-supporting gay tory vegetarians, then that’s tough.

  115. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 9:36 pm  

    They are forbidden to support Chelsea. I take them Arsenal games, buy them Arsenal tops, enrol them to Junior Gunners, etc.

    That’s not brainwashing, that’s just common sense!

  116. Don — on 19th July, 2006 at 9:46 pm  

    ‘Don how many times will you continue to misread my posts…’

    When did I start?

    ‘It is when these values are breached by children, perhaps not always unwittingly…

    ‘failure ( To indoctrinate sufficently) need not be causative of such acts but it is certainly the main contributing factor when they do occur’

    The analogy you used was of drunk drivers; it won’t always lead to the morgue, but if it does …

    ‘Ideals are good – Ideals can differ.’ Of course I am not going to accuse you of regarding ‘honour ‘ killings as an ‘ideal’. That would be stupid. But they clearly are to some, so not all Ideals are good, however much they differ.

    Remember men and women are free to raise their families in any manner they wish.

  117. Leon — on 19th July, 2006 at 9:52 pm  

    I remember there being this old joke that goes something like: “You have to get a license to drive a car, own a dog or buy a gun but any fucker can have kids…”

    This is really going into the hand that rocks the cradle terrority and it makes sense it does. Why would you want a society where people feel it perfectly normal to control their kids to that extent (regarding who they can or cannot see/relate too)?

    Why should acts of barbarity like ‘honour’ killing (otherwise known as murder) be tolerated whatever the “ideals” the parents hold?

  118. Ravi Naik — on 19th July, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    “We think we are enlightened and we will raise our children in the right way. Thats fine. I applaud that right and hope you succeed in raising your children the way you wished. I wish the same for everyone.”

    I guess you were not very fortunate with your choice of words. Brainwashing assumes that there is an identity in the first place that is replaced by a new one. Children do not have an identity yet – and as a parent, you are molding one for them. So in a sense, it’s indoctrination.

    But the word indoctrination implies that there is no dialogue between child and parent. A child needs to understand the values she is being taught, rather than blindly accept what she is being fed.

  119. Rakhee — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:00 am  

    Ravi, between 1993 and 2001 there were 109 honour killings in Britain. In 2004, Scotland Yard detectives began to re-examine 81 cases in London that they suspected could have been honour killings too.

    Not sure what the 2005/2006 figures are yet but the Refugee Council suggest it’s around 5000.

    Whichever way, it’s definitely on the rise.

    I agree with your point – not all forced marriages lead to killings so there are things which need to be done to help those who may be or already are at risk, in addition to condemning those who take it to the extreme.

  120. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2006 at 10:56 am  

    “And yes schools is a good place but there are logistical and legal considerations (as I found out when trying to get some materials distributed in schools).”

    I was thinking more in the lines of a government- approved curriculum, in a subject like ‘civic/social studies’. Of course different communities have different problems, though all could benefit from information that could range from domestic violence to sexual education (since teenage preganancies and VDs are a problem in this country).

  121. sonia — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:42 am  

    ha hah realitist don’t worry there are plenty of ‘foreigners’ around. anyway i guess this all comes down to the underlying reasons people have children. i wanted to draw attention to the fact that for lots of people in the indian-subcontinent, and traditionally, what with the family being the dominant form of social organization ( in the absence of other institutions and law and order etc. your family was pretty much your social unit.) people had large families ( and for poor people in rural bangladesh this is still the dynamic) to provide lots of potential future workers for their family, and of course insurance for the future – to look after them when they’re old. at the end of the day that was the gritty reality – children were means to an end, and ‘owed’ their elders. an investment.

    clearly there still seems to be a bit of this sort of underlying thinking going on.

  122. Rakhee — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:50 am  

    => the Refugee Council suggest it’s around 5000.

    …sorry, i meant globally.

  123. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:56 am  

    I was thinking more in the lines of a government- approved curriculum, in a subject like ‘civic/social studies’.

    Excellent idea and don’t want to pour rain on your parade but that’s quite a challenge. You’d have to go through the DfES and be from an organisation with real credibility. There already is citizenship lessons taught in schools although feeding into that has its own challenges. It’s a lesson that’s not taken as seriously as it could be, there’s serious under resourcing for teachers and schools and no real unified effort to make it effective (despite the best efforts of several national organisations).

    This is something that should be looked at in real depth (unfortunately time and work don’t allow me to write more) but it’s something that needs planning, funding and organisation to pull off. More a long term aim I think…

    Perhaps at the next Picklers meeting this could be something to discuss within the context of this issue?

  124. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

    Besides there is nothing backwards about not wanting your daughter/son to shack up with anyone.

    What a giveaway. Daughters, not sons. Double standard alive and well.

    Backwards, primitive, barbaric, alien, utterly un-British. If people want to behave like savages, they should go back to the backward cultures from which they came.

  125. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

    Perhaps I should have made it clear – daughters, not sons get honour killed. Mind you, both getting honour killed is the kind of equality we don’t want.

  126. El Cid — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    go away old pickler.. you are counter productive with your facism dressed up as libertarianism (he also said son if you look a bit more closely)

  127. Sunny — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    Go away Pickler, no one cares about your tripe.

  128. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

    Yeah, right – any blokes been honour killed?

  129. El Cid — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    Shhhh.. No one say anything. Hide behind the curtains.

  130. Queen Bee — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

    Old Pickler

    Men do suffer violence and murder as a result of honour crimes – last year an Iranian Muslim man in Oxford was murdered by the brothers of a Bangladeshi girl with whom he had fallen in love. This is just one recent example that comes to mind. And it is quite apart from the physical intimidation and violence they may face as a result of their choice of partner.

    The level of violence against men is of course much lower than for women, but it is not negligible by any means.

  131. Don — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    ‘any blokes been honour killed?’

    Yup. Admittedly by the girl’s family, but definitely yes.

  132. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 5:34 pm  

    It’s really heartening to see lots of discussion on this post and a form commitment to ACT by Sunny’s secret society of picklers ;-) .

    Many ideas have been thrown up – some excellent and some that might backfire but first may I ask a question of Sunny and his friends?

    How REALLY serious are you? Is this one issue you are going to campaign on in a focussed and concentrated manner or are you going to throw this into a broad and mixed bag of issues – centred around the asain communities’ several dysfunctions? Are you gonna picket art galleries one week (like in the MF hussain case) and then leaflet a honor-killing n’hood the next? I don’t get a sense of clarity of purpose on your part, so speak the truth.

    If honor killings are the SINGLE# issue you are going to focus upon, then we can start the campaign in a pretty systematic, researched way instead of
    a blog brainstorming session, cause this sort of campaigning is not something new; others have done and even manuals for how to go about it are available.

    # It makes sense to make Honour-killing the main focus because you have to discuss forced marriage and gender-based violence anyway when you tackle H-K.

  133. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    typo atert :
    firm instead of “form” commitment to ACT by Sunny’

    My laptop is going crazy(fan error, my screen is not working and i’m hooked up to an external lcd screen, word are jumping on the keyboard etc) and it goes to the pc hospital t’morrow morning.

  134. Sunny — on 20th July, 2006 at 5:40 pm  

    Mirax – The MF Husain campaign floundered because no amount of campaigning would bring the exhibition back. The insurers refused to underwrite the exhibition and Asia House received bomb threats. They were not planning to take any risks.

    I think some of our campaigning will be ad-hoc, and others more long term. I’m serious about challening patriarchy issues and have other stuff that I’m planning on in parallel to this.

    Pickled Politics is one avenue to what will be a broader strategy, and some of that has been outlined to the Picklers when we met. I can’t reveal all my cards as yet :)

    But suffice to say, this will be one of our campaigns and I think its fairly easy to get off the ground and kickstart.

  135. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 6:35 pm  

    If you are serious about H-K and I hope you are because, think about it, even if you help to save one life a year, you’d have pulled off a magnificent – and quantifiable – feat. If there are are on average 10 killings a year, that’s a 10 % reduction.

    What you need to do:

    A) Identify your campaign issue.

    It is better to have a single issue to focus on than to dilute your limited resources and efforts over a broad category of issues, and worse, send out a mixed and confusing message to the public about yourself as a campaign group.

    B) Research your Issue.
    This is crucial otherwise you are literally going to be stumbling and mumbling in the dark.

    -find out whatever documentation there is on h-killings in the UK. For exammple are figures Raakhee posted accurate? What is the source? Who documents h-killings in the UK, apart from the police (is there a special police unit for this)? Is this documentation accessible to you since you do need to study the backgrounds of the families involved if you want to reach out to a well-defined*(or at least a defined) target group?

    * Ravi NaiK on the previous post about H-K made a really important point about how the H-K families are acting out within an extended ‘community’ that’s actually based back home. you do need to look at pakistan/india honor killings patterns to find out if there are particular areas or communities that figure prominently in honour crimes – you may find startling parallels to the UK killing patterns. Won’t it make your task much easier to leave out Gujarati jains and focus on tamil brahmin hindus or people from the NW parts of Pakistan? It may not be exciting or sexy to be working on this kind of research but it may have more effect than leafletting dazed residents of a UK suburb.

    - find out what other organisations are already working in this area. Contacting Southall Black Sisters (SBS) is not optional – you MUST consult them to find out what’s been going on and how you can work with them

    C)Identify your campaign strategy. Activism or advocacy? Are you going to involve yourself in direct action to save lives by running help-lines, websites, safe houses, organising the co-ordination of the various professionals?

    Or are you going to be mainly an advocacy group generating a steady flow of publicity that aims to influence and mobilise public opinion and , maybe, pressurise, social actors, at a local level? I get the impression that you incline towards advocacy. That is not to be scoffed at as less worthy than direct action as it (if successful) may lead to a dramatic rise in the willingness of others to help identify potential victims and it will also give the public greater knowledge of how to help victims.

    This are the issues that YOUR group has to resolve, just for starters.

  136. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

    Well said Mirax, must say as part of the Picklers secret society (I think!?) you’ve not written anything I haven’t thought.;) I think what some of this is is forming a narrative to whatever actions we feel we should undertake. I don’t any of us are going to leap without looking…

  137. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 6:43 pm  

    #134
    >>But suffice to say, this will be one of our campaigns and I think its fairly easy to get off the ground and kickstart.

    Either you have a vast army at your disposal or you have no freakin idea of how to run a campaign. You may get it off the ground but to what what purpose is that if you have not the means nor the inclination to SUSTAIN it over the years?

    I found your enthusiastic references to F4J and the leafletting idea really troubling because this is ONE area where that kind of showmanship advocacy is likely to lead to more problems than it solves.

  138. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 6:48 pm  

    re : more problems than it solves

    This is a sensitive issue for the Asian community and sensationalising or stereotyping is best avoided.

  139. Sunny — on 20th July, 2006 at 7:07 pm  

    Yes yes Mirax, I’m not that bloody naive. Easy with the patronising tone yeah. Once I have my plans formulated a bit more I’ll lay them out and then you can criticise all you want.

  140. realitist — on 20th July, 2006 at 7:11 pm  

    mirax, this is a good point. If we keep in mind that any campaign must target some particular kind of people – some specific group of people who have historically had problems with honour killings, then it becomes clear to me at least that most of the proposals so far fall short of the mark.

    it is far easier to push for the case of good parenting to them, where good parenting means raising their children carefully and thoughfully in the spirit of their ideals than it is for us to push these families towards our vision of an enlightened utopia.

    I wish i had been able to express this opinion more patiently but i failed because it become personal. My apologies to all of those involved.

    To the point that my choice of words, indoctrination, is unfortunate – yes i agree, but any euphemism would have been correctly flagged as being just that. It is also self evident to me that the ideas of family of these these families are going to seem so bizarre to most of us, that the word indoctrination is most appropriate in conveying the disparity between our desires to enlighten these men living in darkness with our ideals and their personal ideals of honour and shame which are almost incomprehensible to us.

  141. Don — on 20th July, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

    Mirax,

    Have I ever mentioned how much I admire your cut-the -crap attitude? You are dead right; PP has the potential to focus a lot of energy, intelligence, expertise and connections on crucial issues and this is one we can all get behind, but pulling it together is a tall order.

    First, what can anyone offer? Are there specific regulars who can commit to making real, long term connections with the groups already working in this field, and feed back? Kind of liason people.

    Second, how many can offer practical resources (printing/photocopying, transport, meeting places, personal contacts) which Sunny can co-ordinate? El Cid has already offered, I’m certain others will pitch in.

    For those of us outside the immediate loop ( and understandably the PP core is London-based, trusted mates centered) what can we do at a local level? I’d suggest finding the time to become a school governor as an unglamorous but worthwhile start. As Leon pointed out, schools are an excellent place to work from, but it takes a lot of credibility, knowledge of the system and a well-regarded track-record to make any kind of impact.

    How many regulars have a voice in local/religious/community groups? Is there anyone with the skills to put together an effective presentation to raise awareness and get it out there?

    Personally, I am my school’s EMTRAS (Ethnic Minority Traveller & Refugee Achievement Service) rep. and can certainly raise the issue at our next meeting – although I’ll probably have to sound out some people first; it can be a snake-pit sometimes. (But I can be pretty snakey myself.)

    This issue has raised passions, and rightly so. But passion needs patience to effect real change. Rein in the outrage and the fantasies of punishment, ask what part you can actually play.

    And if, like realtist and OP, you have your own agenda please have the basic decency to butt out. These are our children.

    It may come to nothing or it may make a difference. but, Mirax, you are right; if a single life is saved and PP makes even a tiny contribution to that, then everything Sunny has tried to do with this blog will be proved worthwhile a thousand times over.

  142. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:06 pm  

    What would never, ever happen is a bloke being killed by his own family for marrying an “unsuitable” girl. They may not approve, but there’s no way it would be seen in the same way by primitive people, which is what these people are. As for a bloke shagging an unsuitable girl, they’d encourage it as long as he married a virgin.

    Primitive. Backward. Un-British.

  143. Katy Newton — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:12 pm  

    “Primitive. Backward. Un-British.”

    Stop trying to wind everyone up, OP, you naughty lady. You know perfectly well that the town centres of Britain are filled with primitive, backward people whose ancestors were probably being primitive and backward in those very same town centres long before 1066.

  144. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:21 pm  

    Indeed. But they don’t murder their daughters in could blood for picking the wrong bloke.

  145. Old Pickler — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:28 pm  

    Cold blood, that should be.

    They know a few Anglo-Saxon words though.

  146. Katy Newton — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:30 pm  

    And they’ll put you in the hospital if you look at them funny.

  147. El Cid — on 21st July, 2006 at 7:05 am  

    EMTRA? Are you taking the piss Don?

  148. Don — on 21st July, 2006 at 8:18 am  

    ?

  149. El Cid — on 21st July, 2006 at 8:26 am  

    sorry, find the label funny.. just me I guess

  150. mirax — on 24th July, 2006 at 8:23 pm  

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,170-2282623,00.html

    Some reactions to the government back down on criminalising forced marriage and some statistics on it.

  151. Leon — on 24th July, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

    Good find. It probably deserves it’s own thread (maybe a better source than the Times’ ‘lets turn everything into an Muslim issue’ reporting). I would do the honours but after reading the following, blood is boiling and expletives and invectives is all it’d be…

    The Muslim Council of Britain gave a warning that such a law might become “another way to stigmatise our communities”

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