Cinnamon Stillwell on Islamic “honor killings” in North America:
Feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women, which put out an occasional press release decrying honor killings, need to make combating this practice as high a priority as defending choice and railing against “glass ceilings.” Instead, it is a precious few who are telling it like it is when it comes to the oppression of women in Muslim culture. Ironically, many of them are on the right side of the political spectrum or, like author, blogger and activist Phyllis Chesler, have been cast out of the leftist-dominated feminist movement for speaking the uncomfortable truth.
As I have noted previously, the challenges posed by the Muslim world are the next frontier for women’s rights and all those interested in advancing such goals will have to rise to the occasion. It is up to every one of us to speak out where, not only women’s, but human rights are in question. Young women’s lives are at stake.
(via Trevor Blake).
I agree, but I’m curious just how common a problem “honor killing” really is. There have been a few high profile cases recently, but how common is this in the west compared to other similar killings committed by men of other religions (or who are not religious at all)? Also, do Islamic men really get off easier because of “multiculturalism” than other men or women convicted of similar crimes?
Although it’s not true that it’s legal under Texas law to kill your wife if you catch her with another man (though it was legal until 1974), it’s allegedly true that these men often get off light, often with only an involuntary manslaughter charge. Not just in Texas, but in many states. I’ve had trouble finding more up to date information on the subject than this 1994 story in the New York Times.
Very late update: According to this weakly sourced article:
The Department of Justice statistics suggest that approximately one-third of intrafamilial killings are done by women, and that more than 50 percent of murders of children by a parent are done by the mother. Nevertheless, when it comes to wiping out an entire family, fathers lead the pack, with adolescent sons next on the list.
Despite the differences among these scenarios, there is a common profile of men who have killed their wives and children. Most are white males in their 30s or 40s who react badly to stress and who view their families as extensions of themselves. They typically use a firearm or knife that they have owned for some time. Often they’re depressed or intoxicated. Invariably they’re described as controlling and quite dependent on their families being what they envision, and believing that they are the only ones who can fulfill the family’s needs.