It’s not just about ‘honour’ killings…


by Leon
20th July, 2006 at 10:23 am    

It’s about individual rights regarding relationships and who you can have them with. Sunny has hit the nail on the head regarding ‘honour’ killings but in my opinion it’s a much broader problem.

Some of the commenters pointed to ideals about parenting or parental doctrines. In my view a lot of that is nonsense. I was brought up to respect and love my parents but never was I implored to follow their advice blindly. In fact quite the opposite my father always taught me about politics/current affairs and instilled in me critical faculties. My mother taught me to make my own decisions, rightly or wrongly, but to take responsibility for them. They both made it very clear that who I chose to bring home as my partner (whether they were opposite or same gender) was fine by them. It didn’t matter what background or colour or creed. What mattered was my happiness and sense of place in the world by my own choosing.

Perhaps being ‘mixed race’ meant that it would be impossible for them to dictate what types of people I could be with. After all they both experienced heightened levels of racism due to their relationship over the years; they knew full well just how hard crossing cultural boundaries can be. That meant, for them, being less threatened by the ‘other’, those different from their own backgrounds. Being a child of two worlds meant experiencing unique forms of racism. To some white kids my black father meant I was just another ni**er to some black kids I was a half breed and not a ‘pure bred’. To me I was simply human and if I needed a label I would just use my name!

Switch forward 20 odd years and here we are talking about killings that almost, save real anger, leaves me speechless. “How can someone kill their own child” I keep thinking? Further to this, how can someone hold down and repeatedly stab their own child to death? What kind of monsters are these?

Speaking with someone a while back regarding their relationship with their parents they said they would always do as they were asked. I was incredulous, did this mean following orders against their own constitution, their own sense of right and wrong? In that life when are you ever free? I put my hands up and admit freely I really do not fully understand the extent this dynamic exists within our communities (by ‘our’ I mean Black and Minority Ethnic). It’s never made any sense to me; the bleating about loss of tradition belies a lack of understanding how they come about. And how they evolve and can become new traditions. The ‘points’ about being the odd one out at family events are just staggering; are you really that ashamed of those you claim to love?

The fact remains that these killings mask a more general problem; who you can be with and who decides that. There are plenty of hidden relationships going on, girls whose boyfriend they can’t introduce to their parents. Guys who have girlfriends their mates aren’t willing to understand; people who have their natural characters shoe horned into ready made lives because ‘that’s the way we do things in our culture’. That maybe true for those in the old country or those here who still fear the ‘foreigner’ but that’s not the Britain I want to live in. And that isn’t the Britain I fight for.

The number of ‘mixed race’ (or Gen EA as me a few friends sometimes call them) children is increasing (within the BME communities). The shifts in demographics and the make up of a ‘New Britain’ are already happening. The changing attitudes regarding who you can relate to are changing with it. Only those stuck in the past still cling to outdated notions and increasingly they will become irrelevant.

My hope, beyond the ideas the Picklers are thinking through, is that more people will recognise this, support networks will form to take away some of the pressure from those in ‘mixed’ relationships (because believe me there are serious and almost draconian pressures). That younger people will see some confidence in their choices and their own lives so that when they are parents, they can do things a little differently.

For me, that is a Britain worth fighting for.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,Culture,Sex equality






57 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. sonia — on 20th July, 2006 at 10:47 am  

    Hey Leon, Great Post! As you say there are so many ‘hidden’ relationships it’s practically a cliche. The Ethnically Ambiguous article looks interesting, ill have to have a read.

  2. funkg — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:00 am  

    as a mixed race person leon , you were fortunate to have both parents around you whilst growing up. this parenting has helped develop you into the obviously well rounded person you are. as long as both parents are strong in their relationship and have the support of their families and friends then this should not pose a problem.

    problems may arise when siblings try and cling onto fundamental ideas of tribe, caste and culture. there are many many Muslims who would be happy to marry shia/sunni christian jew etc but often culture is stronger than religion so this takes precedent over all else. i remember once asking a sunni Muslim woman if she fell in love with a Iraqi sunni Muslim would she marry him, i did not get a straight answer to this.
    I see major fracturings in some Asian communities, not just with Muslims but Sikhs Hindus etc, I know of many Asians who would choose to marry partners of a different ‘race’ if they could. In London the amount of young Asians who have partners from a different ethnic group is fast rising, just like with those from African backgrounds

  3. sonia — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:29 am  

    well obviously a lot of people date lots of people but when it comes time to ‘settle down’ they buckle to familial pressure etc. to marry ‘in’ a certain group. if those stereotypes weren’t there – then it would be much easier for lots of people – less soul-searching, or having to choose between love/family and being able to – fundamentally – be open about one’s life choices, instead of living double lives and all that entails.

  4. Bert Preast — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:54 am  

    Why do we persist in referring to them as honour killings? The suggestion that this is anything honourable should be removed post haste. “Shame killings” seems rather more appropriate.

  5. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:58 am  

    Good point hence the ” around the word honour. I considered calling this entry “The real shame of these murders” but thought that was too emotive…

  6. El Cid — on 20th July, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

    i like your post leon. nice one

  7. Don — on 20th July, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

    Is the use of the word ‘honour’ a translation of something? If so, is it an adequate one?

  8. Kismet Hardy — on 20th July, 2006 at 12:38 pm  

    I’m with bert preast. Honour killing is an oxymoron right up there with fighting for peace and fucking for virginity

  9. justforfun — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:08 pm  

    Shame is just the obverse of Honour and in this instance the English language has failed to deliver an appropriate word. We must come up with something that does not tag this butchery with any sense of community feeling.

    Does the following line of thinking have any merit.
    - I feel that this sort of butchery is commited by people who have developed a hyper sensitve and distorted self view of themselves and their relationship, and guardianship of their community and its values. These women are butchered because the family value the ‘honour’ that they perceive they receive from their close community. A propective loss of this honour promotes the crime.

    We have discussed before how immigrant communities often have a hightened sense of having to maintain their homeland identity in a seige like way, compared to the cultures and values ‘back home’so to speak . To me this butchery is just an extreme manifestation of this mental process within a few dysfunctional families who have lost all sense of reality. They probably feal they exist as a siged community afloat in a ‘value free’ society and by killing one of their own , it is almost like a sacifice to a god – to re-afirm to themselves and their community that they are still living by ‘values’ even if no -one else is. Their respective communities give tacit approval, because they feel this ‘sacrifice’ re-afirms thay they are a community who does still have ‘values’and there is a perverted pride that ‘one of them’ is able to do this act; no matter how disgusting to the rest of us in the rest of the country.

    Picklers – please find a better phrase that ‘honour’ killing.

    Justforfun

    Draconian punishments from Blunket are the order of the day. A judge should have the power to declare the crime a ‘butchery’ – like a they can declare a crime a ‘race crime’ and this would mandate the council to have to name the family in a footnote on all its letters – all correspondance that it sends out- tax bills, reminders , planning notices etc everything… for the length of the sentence they serve. A black plaque ( like the blue plaques for famous people) will be intalled on the property of the whole family upto second cousins along both maternal and peternal lines.

    Any other ideas?

  10. Bert Preast — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

    Don:

    Honour killing, if we accept that it’s most prevalent in Pakistan, is known locally as “karo kari”. This translates literally as “blackened man, blackened woman”.

    So, not much help there then.

  11. Bert Preast — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:37 pm  

    And to my mind every adult in the family who lives at the address of the victim is guilty, as the Danes decided the other week. I can’t believe that they might be unaware of what was to happen, and that makes them accessories or conspirators to murder.

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

    …except the nieces who had to watch

  13. justforfun — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    “And to my mind every adult in the family who lives at the address of the victim is guilty, as the Danes decided the other week. I can’t believe that they might be unaware of what was to happen, and that makes them accessories or conspirators to murder. ”

    Exactly .

    The phrase needed to describe this crime might envoke a sense that the familial line has been terminated.

    People and families who commit these crimes feel that they are part of a continuum of the family, stretching from their ancestors and leading into the future. A threat that the continuum would be a deterant. I know this is unworkable but something along the lines of … if a family commits this crime , it’s name is forbiden to be used again as a name. The state will pay the cost of changing the surnames of innocent family member – 2nd cousins etc. The familial line must be seen to come to an end. Like the Romans put salt on the soil of Carthage to stop it regrowing, salt needs to be applied to these families so they never go forward to the future. This sort of crime will stop after the first example is made.

    Justforfun.

  14. justforfun — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

    Kismet – agreed – those under 16 are innocent and will be adopted out of the family.

    Justforfun

  15. Rakhee — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

    Leon – brilliant post.

    Will put my thinking cap on re another term but the word ‘honour’ does have a wonderful contradiction about it….

  16. Bert Preast — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

    Hey, I did specify adults!

    *has to check*

  17. Bert Preast — on 20th July, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    Perhaps a public buggering of the actual murderers might make them wonder whether a flighty daughter is actually the worst thing that might stain the family honour?

  18. Kismet Hardy — on 20th July, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

    I’ve said it before I’ll say it again cos I think I’m onto a winner:

    • Deport any adult found to be aiding, abetting and causing these killings in a court of law

    • Deny visas to all moustached men (especially relatives) who want to marry British citizen girls. I don’t believe any girl born and brought up here wants to marry a fat cunt from back home

    • I’m going to add Bert Preast’s buggery suggestion because it makes me happy

  19. sonia — on 20th July, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

    justforfun – #9 – “and guardianship of their community and its values” – well noted.

  20. Jai — on 20th July, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    =>”please find a better phrase that ‘honour’ killing…..The phrase needed to describe this crime might envoke a sense that the familial line has been terminated……Will put my thinking cap on re another term but the word ‘honour’ does have a wonderful contradiction about it…..”

    Suggestions:

    1. Domestic execution.
    2. “Ego-killing” (murder is based on the perpetrators pride and ego — “honour” in the sense of “integrity” has nothing to do with it).
    3. From Wikipedia (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Murder) : Femicide, Filicide, Sororicide.

  21. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    ‘Domestic execution’sounds apt but to be honest not sure if this tangent is very useful. While we’re getting bogged down in what catchy name it should have a bigger discussion/debate is being missed.

    If you kill someone it’s either murder or manslaughter why do we need another name for the same act?

    Agree about the other family members should be held to account too but again I stress this should be done within the rule of law and evidence. Not tabloidesque notions of ‘justice’ or ideas about deporting British citizens (to where exactly?).

  22. contrarymary — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    a well considered and articulated post Leon.

    the thing that really gets on my wick when it comes to
    parental pressure on life partners (whether arranged marriages or honour killings) is, how can parents take their progeny to task for bringing home a partner who is the wrong religon, caste, ethnicity?

    our parents came to this country (where the majority population is the wrong, religon, caste and ethnicity) and have raised their kids in a different country – with different values, traditions and culture to the motherland.

    and parents expect their kids to abide by the traditions and cultural values of the country the parents left 40 odd years ago…?!> madness. total lunacy.

    first generation parents can’t have their cake and eat it.

    this does seem to be a problem prevalent amongst asian communities – though the Turkish community has also had instances of honour killings – and you wonder how much it is to do with education and integration.

    it’s a sweeping statement but it would be difficult to imagine honour killings happening with in an educated (parents and kids with degrees, regardless of gender), and integrated (say the parents are civil servants) middle class family.

    which begs the question – and it’s a recurring theme on PP – how do you reach, educate, and integrate, marginalised – and probably working class – ethnic minority communities?

  23. Jai — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

    Leon,

    1. Prosecute everyone concerned to the maximum extent of the law, as has originally been suggested. Enforce this rigorously and without exception. No excuses about cultural “mitigating factors” etc.

    2. Have a “Domestic Executions Offenders” criminal registration list — like the Sex Offenders List — with all the associated repercussions for the perpetrators after they leave prison.

    3. People convicted of such intra-familial murders will have their (underage) children taken into custody by the government (again, as has already been suggested by other people on PP), and possibly they should also have a permanent restraining order placed on them with regards to contact with a) female family members of comparable age (sisters, cousins etc), and b) younger female relatives (daughters, nieces, granddaughters etc). Comparable logic: It is not a good idea to allow a convicted paedophile — especially a “repeat offender” — to be alone with children or to have any unsupervised association with them at all.

    4. Educational, political, and media-related drives to make such murders socially and culturally abhorrent to the same level as incest or the sexual abuse of children (nationally and, particularly, within the “immigrant” communities concerned).

  24. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

    first generation parents can’t have their cake and eat it.

    Indeed.

    this does seem to be a problem prevalent amongst asian communities – though the Turkish community has also had instances of honour killings – and you wonder how much it is to do with education and integration.

    Another good point. I was reading today about African kids killed by family members becuase they believed they were possesed etc. Starting to see a common thread of lunacy running through these stories…

  25. Jai — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    =>”it’s a sweeping statement but it would be difficult to imagine honour killings happening with in an educated (parents and kids with degrees, regardless of gender), and integrated (say the parents are civil servants) middle class family.”

    The death-threats do occur; the difference is that they are not enforced (not in this country, anyway — I can’t speak for educated/middle-class families back in India/Pakistan). The “disobedient” son/daughter is just disowned/kicked out of the family, with ties severed. In my view it’s probably because the parents concerned in such situations think they have too much too lose — socially, economically, professionally — if they are prosecuted for murder.

  26. Jai — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

    =>”too much too lose”

    Typo: “too much to lose”.

  27. Rakhee — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

    => our parents came to this country (where the majority population is the wrong, religon, caste and ethnicity) and have raised their kids in a different country – with different values, traditions and culture to the motherland..and parents expect their kids to abide by the traditions and cultural values of the country the parents left 40 odd years ago…?!> madness. total lunacy.

    In the case of honour killings I agree, it is wrong. But what we don’t want to happen is that there is a complete revolt against the traditions that have continued.

    I for one am immensely proud of who I am and honestly feel like I have the best of both worlds. This is thanks to my upbringing and my parents who, despite being raised in East Africa, have tried their best to adapt. It isn’t easy.

    We have to be sensitive to the fact that our parents have had to cope and struggle with a lot. It’s like asking me to now raise kids in somewhere like the Middle East. I would struggle and it would take so much time to adjust.

    I don’t like the idea of a heavy handed approach to asian parents. It will only result in a revolt.

    Even though the issue here in the extreme case is murder (in which case you need severe punishment), if you want to communicate with parents who try to enforce their values verbally or psychologically, you need a very careful and sensitive approach or the whole thing will just backfire.

  28. contrarymary — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

    Jai – you’re right when it comes to middle class parents, threats occur and probably the most effective form of blackmail is emotional – a mother or grandmother crying uncontrollably as a result of ‘blackening’ the family name.

    Leon – re: African communities, as with Asian communities, surely if these families were well integrated and felt some sort of tie to this country and its more progressive values, then killing of possessed children and honour murders would be less likely. it seems to me the people perpetrating such heinous crimes are living in a bubble of their homeland in Britain. that bubble needs to be burst.

    an aside on this is surely honour killings/murders are surely on the verge of dying out. it would be very difficult to imagine a second or third generation parent committing an honour killing or forcing a marriage.

  29. Jai — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    =>”probably the most effective form of blackmail is emotional – a mother or grandmother crying uncontrollably as a result of ‘blackening’ the family name.”

    Don’t forget all the suicide-threats. Probably quite common in some quarters.

    “If you do X, then I won’t kill you, I’ll just kill myself”.

    And so on and so forth.

  30. contrarymary — on 20th July, 2006 at 3:36 pm  

    Rakhee – you’re absolutely right. I too am hugely proud of my heritage (indian, punjabi), speaking hindi and the values I have absorbed from India and my indian parents inform my character as much as being born and bred in the UK.

    it is a tricky balance. but no matter how hard, every human being must realise that taking another person’s life is too much – especially your own child.

    and again you’re right in that a heavy handed approach will only harden resolve and result in the exact opposite of the desired goal. it has to come from the inside – the heart of the community – and filter out. I guess that’s where community workers (and progressive religious leaders) come in.

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

    “a heavy handed approach will only harden resolve and result in the exact opposite of the desired goal”

    Depends what you mean. I myself don’t buy this but I recognise that the most effective action would be from within the Asian community.

  32. Rakhee — on 20th July, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    El Cid, ok, let me explain.

    A lot of Asian parents are traditional and more often than not are stuck in their ways (whether they be good or bad).

    Imagine we created a flyer for example which targeted those parents who use blackmail or verbally tried to make their kids conform. If we made it aggresive in tone in that it portrayed young people rebelling against what parents say, or in any way disrespected some of their (good) beliefs) there is NO WAY these parents would be on side. For something like this, it is much better to have the support of asian parents in order to truly reform and influence their thinking. They are the gatekeepers to this whole issue.

    When it comes to those who take it to complete extremes, yes, we do need to highlight that they will be punished severely but this is where the government has to step in. No amount of ‘flyering’ will influence these evil muppets.

  33. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

    Actually there are some international NGO’s that recommend the term *murder* be consistently used when referring to honour-killings. I think that it is a brilliant idea to use the term shame because that’s really what motivates such murders. Is there any Asian who has not heard parents cry “You’ll bring shame upon us if you don’t marry as we say!” in movies and real life?

    Problem to changing the term H-K completely is that it has become a recognisable shorthand, so what can one do?

    Maybe start every discussion/explanation/ media release on H-K by saying something like : Honour killings have nothing to do with honour and are actually murders committed by families to avoid imagined shame.

  34. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:12 pm  

    The other issue is that I noticed some on PP too readily characterise H-K perps as backward village idiots or working class morons.I’d like to ask you : what do you know about the background of these murderers? Please share your knowledge about the class/intelligence/education dynamics behind these murders and the source whereby you gleaned this knowledge.

  35. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    The point of automatically holding everyone in the family accountable for the murder in some form sits uneasily with me. Sorry, but normal rules of evidence should apply for being an accessory or accomplice or for failing to inform authorities of a crime one knows will occur.

    Again why the quick assumption that everyone in the family is guilty? I have the feeling that abuse- physical, verbal- may have been quite routine in such families and that some of the younger members or female members on the periphery of a lower status like daughters-in-law may more likely be victims themselves than abusers. Look at the recent Samaira case – the murderer was abusing his young daughters by making them watch the killings and the children’s mother seems curiously absent. In both samaira’s case and the Danish case, death threats were issued more than once before the deed. We have to ask : is it acceptable to treat death threats as just typical asian parents letting off some steam or should we advise everyone* to take death threats in this particular context damn seriously?

    * the danish girl did go to the police I believe, but they declined to take action. There’s a another battle to be fought here.

  36. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:44 pm  

    I don’t. I don’t care what their excuse is: “Oh you just don’t understand their culture.” “They are just village idiots.” “Oh it’s because they care so much about their values”

    Fuck that shit. Killing innocent human beings is wrong whatever the reason.

  37. Mr Obvious — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:49 pm  

    Fuck that shit. Killing innocent human beings is wrong whatever the reason

    Coming next from Leon – the sky is blue, and the grass is green.

  38. Katy Newton — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    If my mother didn’t like someone I was dating, it might make me think about things quite carefully, but I would do the same if one of my close friends expressed misgivings. But then I am also mixed, in the sense that my mother is Jewish and my father was a lapsed Catholic, so they would never have presumed to dictate who I went out with.

  39. Don — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:56 pm  

    ‘Fuck that shit. ‘

    That shit is fucked.

    We have fucked that shit.

    No fucker is saying that shit anymore.

    Some fucker did say that shit, but that shit has fucked off.

    Unless you are seeing some shit I don’t fucking see?

    Shit, this is fucking fun!

  40. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

    Leon, in case your #36 was directed at me, I am definitely not making excuses for murderers, just responding to some of the points expressed that I think needed clarification or rebuttal.

  41. Gibs — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

    “a heavy handed approach will only harden resolve and result in the exact opposite of the desired goal”

    A heavy handed approach by whom ? I take it you are meaning by the government. Sorry, but that is exactly what is needed. For too long, they have tried to appease reactionaries amongst the called “community leaders” and shied away from taking firm action.

    Another thing I hate is that whenever a “non Asian” speaks out against such barbaric practices as honour killings and forced marriages, many Asians instinctively feel that they have to try and semi justify it.

    They may end up saying something like “I know forced marriages/honour killings are wrong, BUT ….”.

    BUT NOTHING!!!!

    Forced marriages are wrong – full stop! (and the Asian person who tries to semi justify it probably thinks so too – it’s just that he/she didn’t like to hear it coming from the mouth of a white person).

    That sort of attitude [“I agree with what you say, but I’ll pretend not to because I don’t like to hear you (a white person) saying it”) is completely hypocritical.

  42. Billy — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:10 pm  

    Calling them “honour” killings and putting “honour” in quotation marks makes a good point I feel.

  43. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:10 pm  

    I was a very contrary child so my parents never got much of a chance to dictate anything to me but I see a lot of socialistion (brainwashing) going on in Indian culture where the parents esp the mother, is literally treated like a god. Take a look at the movies, at the soaps etc. It was there in my culture – in the form of proverbs, literature going on about parental sacrifice and our duty to them ad nauseam. Luckily for me, at a fairly young age, I found a thirukural – a 2000 year old non religious philosphical text (all tamil kids are taught kurals from almost year one of their education so it was nothing precocious on my part, just sme sharpminded attention)that explicitly said that ONLY parents have the duty of care to their kids since they choose to bring them into the world and kids have nothing but the duty of love in reciprocation to parental sacrifice. My parents could simply not argue with Thiruvalluvar, the bloke who wrote that.

  44. Dezmond — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:28 pm  

    Gibs alot of white people like Old Peculiar use things like that as a stick to beat Asians with and employ their stereotypes. That’s why some people react that way. Plenty of them white folk about.

  45. Leon — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:41 pm  

    Apologies Mirax, just getting a little impatient, I blame the heat…@ Mr Obvious: got anything useful to contribute or is wise ass comments you’re only trade?

  46. Mr Obvious — on 20th July, 2006 at 9:53 pm  

    @ Mr Obvious: got anything useful to contribute or is wise ass comments you’re only trade?

    I can do other stuff too, walking on my hands as well as brilliant impressions of Tommy Cooper and Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver as well as stating the obvious.

    Fuck that shit. Raping children is wrong. I don’t give a fuck what anyone says.

  47. Katy Newton — on 20th July, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

    Mr Obvious, you sound terribly familiar.

  48. soru — on 20th July, 2006 at 10:42 pm  

    There’s plenty of research on honour killings, unfortunately most of it uses language like:

    Extending Nader’s theoretical framework on hegemonic discourse, this paper demonstrates the androcentricity inherent in these views. When Arab village women’s gossip creates the climate in which the murder of a young woman is inevitable, a feminist anthropological perspective addressing the androcentric hegemonic discourse on aggression and human rights, however sensitive to multiple voices, requires challenging the assumption that aggression is eufunctional because tradition, cohesion, and stability are inherently positive.

    The stuff here is slightly less intense bullshit.

  49. mirax — on 20th July, 2006 at 11:50 pm  

    Thanks for posting the CIMEL/Interight link Soru. I had them and the WLUML (excellent site, part of my regular reading) but hesitated in posting them as both had a muslim link which might have been considered provocative.

    The list of reading material on WLUML is excellent:

    http://www.wluml.org/english/publistheme.shtml?cmd23=c-1-Violence%20against%20women

  50. El Cid — on 21st July, 2006 at 6:32 am  

    Gibs, Dezmond is right, that’s why the most effective campaign against honour killings is from within the Asian community.
    There’s nothing wrong with that — it’s the same with any culture-specific subject. Take the Americans — if they are ever going to wean themselves off gas guzzlers and rifles, they are going to have to arrive at that conclusion by themselves, otherwise they are just gonna close ranks and tell the rest of the world to fuck off. Or take bull-fighting and Spain or whale hunting and Japan, etc.
    It’s just realism, clever politics, etc.
    In any case, there are hundreds of thousands of second or third gen British Asians potentially ready to fight that cause.
    We also need to be wary of mixing forced marriages with arranged marriages. I imagine that the distinction can get blurred at some point, but they are different and if many many Asians swear by them then why should the rest of us complain.
    I admit, the tendency to have arranged marriages with someone “back home” rather than from within the rest of the UK community, is unhelpful and regressive when it comes to furthering the cause of integration. There is also something not quite right with pairing off an urbanite niece with a village dumbkopf uncle. But these are specific issues and, while particular to some British Punjabis/Pakistanis (correct me if I’m wrong), should not be used in a way that castigates the whole community and causes alienation.
    I think that’s bleeding obvious, but Mr. Obvious might disagree.

  51. Ravi Naik — on 21st July, 2006 at 9:24 am  

    “Coming next from Leon – the sky is blue, and the grass is green

    But is it obvious why the sky is blue?

    ” Killing innocent human beings is wrong whatever the reason”

    What if a plane is hijacked in the air? Would you shoot it to prevent another 9/11?

  52. Leon — on 21st July, 2006 at 10:19 am  

    Ravi, as I said I was getting a little annoyed and impatient; hence the off the cuff remarks…perhaps I should have said murdering innocent human beings is wrong whatever the reason!?

    Shooting down a plane to stop a Sept 11 type attack and killing those on board wouldn’t be murder in the eyes of the law (as I understand it).

  53. Sophia — on 21st July, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    EL Cid, you’ll find that most of these types of practices are particular to the Pakistani Mirpuri communities and not so much with the Punjabis. The reason for this is that the Mirpuris operate on a feudal/tribal level, whereby caste is all too important. Also, they believe that their inheritance via their daughters needs to be mainted within the family, therefore, the majority of cousin marriages, even if they be cousins from a village back home. Maintaining the caste and keeping within the family is of paramount importance.

    These are, again, very tribal and non-islamic practices, Mirpuris being Muslims of course, as the caste system is not valid in Islam and neither is it recommended that you only marry your cousins. As a Muslim you are, theoretically, free to marry any other Muslim from any background, race, so in this case the woman was perfectly within her rights, Islamically, to marry her Afghani fiancee,etc.

    The problem is further compounded by the fact that when these usually illiterate cousins/marriage partners male or female arrive from back home they continue these practices with their offspring because they themselves have not been educated and generally have not integrated with the society as a whole.

    I am aware that this does exist in the other communities too, but if I am being unfair then maybe statistics need to be produced on which section of the community are conducting such acts, not to victimise them but to identify specifically where the problem exists and why.

    As far as I can see the only way to stop this is not to allow marriage partners from villages into the UK, once it’s known amongst the community that they’re not able to run back home to arrange these marriages, the power to do so and kill as a result of it, will no longer exist, possibly?

  54. sonia — on 21st July, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    valid points sophia and it’s interesting what you say about the tribal system.

    however it’s not easy to do what you suggest – “As far as I can see the only way to stop this is not to allow marriage partners from villages into the UK”. ah and how do you do that? who’s going to say x can’t marry y? how is that implemented without infringing people’s rights to marry whom they choose?

  55. Ravi Naik — on 21st July, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

    “Ravi, as I said I was getting a little annoyed and impatient;”

    Actually Leon, the questions were to Mr. Obvious. The moral of the story is that nothing is too obvious that cannot be repeated.

  56. Sophia — on 21st July, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    Sonia, I know, but it’s just a suggestion, I have no way of knowing how it could be implemented correctly without infringing peoples’rights.

    Although, when applications are made for spouses’ visas does it not appear weird to the people supplying them that an educated woman in the UK would choose to marry an illiterate man from a village with whom she’s unlikely to have anything in common, maybe some women would, I don’t know for sure. Maybe, there needs to be a better system of vetting applications. As it is, the parents infringe their children’s rights, by not allowing them to marry a partner of their choice, so maybe some would welcome a drastic change, because let’s be honest the kids cannot and will not stand up against these practices and look what happens when they do.

    People are behaving as if they’re still in the pind (village) back home. Repercussions for carryign out such acts, such as life imprisonment don’t appear to deter them, so maybe something which will directly inhibit their actions needs to be done.

  57. TJ — on 22nd July, 2006 at 12:30 pm  

    Those convicted of “Honour Killings” should have a racist element attached to their crimes.

    The murderers considered that the colour / religion / social status of a person was “inferior” to them and this was the motivation for their murderous actions. Essentially they are “Racial Supremiscists”.

    In some instances, they killed their daughter because they believed their group were genetically/racially superior to the group of the man which their daughter was associated with, wished to marry, was having a relationship with.

    But in other instances they killed a man because he was having a relationship with their daughter. Several clear instances include the murder of an Albanian man and an Indian man.

    The murderers were charged with “straight” murder, when in actual fact they should have been charged with “racially motivated” murder. However the British judiciary is somewhat “colour blind” when it comes to charges of “racially motivated” and these are most commonly levelled only at “white” criminals.

    These people are nothing less than the worst sort of RACISTS and this should be highlighted.

    How about;

    “Race Hatred Motivated Murder”
    “Race Hatred Associaton Murder”
    “Ethnic Supremicist Murder”

    ?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.