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Theme Changer

 Topic: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?

 (Read 3595 times)
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  • Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     OP - January 30, 2010, 01:45 PM

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/55441

    Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
    Dr. Eyad Harfoush March 16, 2008

    Lately, while reading the latest post of Fantasia , a superb one named "Honor Killings: The Shame Behind the Oxymoron ", then, reading another by the everlasting Egypt Rose under the name "Honor Killing, Female buried alive again " the inspiration had a booster dose on the inflamed subject of Iraqi women found killed, counted in Basra alone to be 40 women killed for "honor" related reasons during 2007. Then I decided to write on the subject, discussing its relation to Islam, under its stemming root, the accountability of male relatives on their female kinship deeds. During the article, I will try to resolve the oxymoron phenomenon Fantasia highlighted, when we call a murder an honorable one, this is why I chose "horror" to replace "honor", the horror killing is always intended to horrify the females who dare to drift from the herd, so let's call it "horror killing" to be more coherent morally.

    Ancient Roots of Horror Killing

    It is widely believed among Muslims that adult male, should be accountable to God about deeds and behavior of his female kinship. This does not mean his dependants only, it includes his sisters and even his mother in some occasions! This religious belief, I visualize as a major feeding root of what is called "Honor Crimes" or "Horror Killing" of females. However, we should understand the fact that these crimes had long existed before Islam, it might be wise to have a look on the roots before we explain how ancient patriarchal jurists applied their patriarchal culture, and linked the matter to Holy Scriptures that is entirely unrelated to it.

    Horror Killing is the offspring of two major false perceptions. First, being the "Heritage Perception" of the woman in general, a perception that turns woman from a separate persona into a belonging to her man, and you shall find ancient Arabic poems talking this property language, afar in history before Islam, one of these poems is what "Emro Al-Qais" said,

    For me, pregnant and nursing mothers

    Forget their babies .... when I hammer

    The man was proud to hold an affair with pregnant and nursing ladies! Bedouin mentality, wherein invading women body symbolized invading her tribe's pastoral zones. Whoever orientalist defends the idea of women prosperity in Arabia before Islam, can read this poem and materialize how women as well as sex itself were savagely visualized. Second, being the "Vaginal Perception" of woman, whereby, woman is summarized and focalized around her genital organ. Therefore, all her behaviors and deeds are explained by her feminine intuition. You will find this understanding manifested in the Arabic poem,

    Never rely on women and never trust them

    Their satisfaction comes through vaginal stem

    Then, was It Only Among Arabs? No, it was more like a pan-human syndrome. Yet, it has diminished earlier from areas in the world where logic dominated over traditions and heritage. Platonic Love, in away, was an indirect expression of favoring celibacy among the ancient Greeks. However, it was a just celibacy encouraged among males and females equally. But still shows a degrading view of sexuality, claiming sex to soil the purity of supreme emotions. The famous Roman "Chastity Built", best expresses both the vaginal perception of honor, as well as the property perception of women. Whereby, the man locks-on his beloved female or wife as he travels away from home. Female Genital Mutilation, known among us as "circumcision", was a standard African behavior, until the moment, it remained standard in Sudan and Sub-Saharan Africa as the map below shows us. Also Hindus, Christian and Judaic societies have all passed eras wherein female horror killing was an honorable practice. Among ancient faith followers, only Buddhism stands clean from this shame of horror murders among its followers.

  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #1 - January 30, 2010, 01:45 PM

    Islam and Female Accountability:

    Claiming a man to be women's mentor, based on the misunderstanding of "Qiwama" verse as we explained it in "Reliberating Women" series, played a major role in the general misperception, holding men as mentors, accountable for their female deeds. However, this is proven unsupported according to the understanding we offered in that series. Another verse which is "O' you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a Hellfire whose fuel is men and stones" Banning: 6. is frequently stated as a proof of male accountability for his dependants' deeds. Variantly, we understand the verse as a call for Muslims to save themselves from banishment abiding by good deeds, and to save their dependants through educating them doing similarly. It was about educating non-adult dependants and advising to adult dependants. No obligation or cross accountability shows-up here. Needless to mention that Quran stated in several verses in different surahs, that every individual is only accountable for his own deeds. Hereunder, we shall highlight some of these verses,

    1. "Every soul will be held in pledge for its deeds" The Cloaked: 38.

    2. "O you who believe! Guard your own souls: If you follow right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray." Table Spread:105.

    3. "Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)." The Cow:48

    4. "Then guard yourselves against a-Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her nor shall intercession profit her nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)." The Cow: 123. We can notice the affirmation through hammering the same meaning twice in the same Surah.


    5. "And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly." The Cow: 281

    6. "But how (will they fare) when we gather them together against a day about which there is no doubt, and each soul will be paid out just what it has earned, without (favor or) injustice?" The Emrans:25. It is worthy saying the verses no. 30, 145, 161 and 185 had hammered the same meaning in different statements. All relating one's destiny in afterlife to his own deeds. Not a word about the deeds of his family, dependants or female kinship.

    7. "Say: Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than God, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another" Cattle: 164.

    8. "There will every soul prove the fruits of the deeds it sent before" Jonah: 30.

    9. "That God may requite each soul according to its deserts; and verily God is swift in calling to account." Abraham: 51.

    10. "One Day every soul will come up struggling for itself, and every soul will be recompensed (fully) for all its actions, and none will be unjustly dealt with" Honeybees: 111.

    Beside what we listed above, we have the holy verses in (Ta Ha: 15), (Ya Sen: 54), (Troops: 6, 56), (The Believer: 17), (Crouching: 22), (The Cleaving: 19).

    Was it only about these couple of misinterpreted verses? Despite having 18 verses stating individual accountability in afterlife?

    We will find some defenders claim it lawful to kill a sinner female relative, as she committed adultery that qualifies for stoning to death in Islam, and to them we have the following objections on their thrust,

    1- Not every woman killed in honor killing is a fornicator

    2- Death penalty is believed to be only for married fornicators.

    3- Death penalty as well as all other penal code are a temporal matter, assigned to temporal government to consolidate and implement

    4- Fornication qualifying to death is conditionned by 4 adult witnesses, which is impossible unless sex is practices in public park without even a blanket! It was a matter of preserving the public from non-sense.

    5-Fornication verse that "was" in Quran one day is an aborgated verse, majority of jurists agreed it was valid when apostle died, however this does not alter the fact, it does not exist in the Quran as we have it today.

    Beside this, we have only another hadieth with the same meaning of the 2nd verse, stating everyone among us is a caregiver, and we should bear the responsibility of our dependants, which again we understand as a call for bearing responsibility and giving more care to educate and develop our children, not to be accountable to God on their behalf. Also very lately, one of the "satellite Imams" came to us with an additional explanation of why this wrong concept prevails. In a late speech in media, "Khaled El-Jindy" explained an apostolic teaching, cursing alcoholics, ungrateful siblings and pimps, and stated the "Pimp" to be a man who allows his female kinship to go out unveiled or uncovered according to Islamic dress code! The very same "Jindy" turned the society upside down few weeks ago, stating the female slavery to be lawful until now if the man managed to get a female slave!!! So he is entitled to force her for sex and it is her duty to subordinate to his desires!

    To this Imam, and many others like him, who acted on full purpose as murder mediators in female "horror killings", to them all we say: "Dayouth" in Arabic, and "Pimp" in English has always had one meaning; a man who mediates prostitution, whether employing his own female kinship or others. That "Khaled" thing, was not the 1st to claim such a meaning, many of ancient jurists did before. However, vitalizing such an explanations in media usually creates an unnecessary hassle about old interpretations that is already outdated by modern culture. How many cheese-head men were agitated hearing such a word? How many out of them tried to force their spouse on what the man called Islamic dress code? How many men slept on outrage and how many ladies slept with a wounded soul? Is this the way Islam should be preached? Claiming unveiled woman to be a whore? and her spouse to be a pimp? If humiliating honorable people is that easy for you "Khaled", considering your fatwa, enabling your Gulf masters, to abuse their female maids (the closest form we have today to slavery), and claiming it lawful in Islam. Let me tell you I find whoever facilitates extra-marital affairs in this way, to be much closer to pimping! Also encouraging USA invasion to Iraq, defending it during your licture in Kuwait, specifically Kuwait, gives an idea about who is practising "Pimping of Thoughts" where thoughts and ideologies are employes to amuse your Kuwaiti Masters. You better watch the woods in your eyes boy, before you talk about the ashes in others eyes!

    Apart from this side talk, we find all the claimed proofs of cross-accountability in Islam to be shaking, based on what we have from Quran and righteous Sunnah. It is a social matter, and shall always be treated with social measures. Most importantly, degrading the act in our casual talks and educating people how shameful it is what we call "Honor". This was my last words before I fly to the states for 5 days in a business trip. Appologies in advance for the late replies on your comments. See you soon dear friends.
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #2 - January 30, 2010, 01:56 PM

    Nice article I think but I don't think he delved into the matter of why honor killings are so predominant in the middle-east. I wish more muslim men thought like him. And the verses he quoted are the verses I thought of whenever an honor killing happened. I still havn't found a clear answer, whether honor killing is a cultural or Islamic. Seeing how many pagan customs were adopted into Islam it would not surprise me if this mentality was also adopted. Because it doesn't seem like Islam does enough in the scripture to forbid it, nor the Sharia courts for that matter.
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #3 - January 30, 2010, 02:00 PM

    Quote
    Imru'-al-Qays (died c. 550)

    Arab poet. He is regarded as the greatest poet of pre-Islamic times and one of the founders of Arabic poetry. He is the author of one of the seven Mu'allaqat collections of odes.

    Son of the chief of the Kinda people, Imru'-al-Qays lived a wandering life among drifters and outlaws. After his father was killed by the Banu Asad people, tradition tells that, seeking vengeance, he obtained troops from the emperor Justinian, who later killed him with a poisoned cloak, believing him to have seduced a princess
          

    http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Imru%27-al-Qays


  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #4 - January 30, 2010, 02:35 PM

    http://www.annaqed.com/en/content/show.aspx?aid=16277

    ?Murder in the Name of Honor?
    By Louis Palme
    Jan 23, 2010

    Book Digest by Louis Palme

     

    Apologists for Islam have been promoting a new mantra that instructs non-Muslims to accept and respect the anti-humanitarian prerogatives of Muslims, because those practices will never change and because failure to do so is undemocratic and illiberal.  Not only is speaking out against certain barbaric practices being prosecuted (as with the Netherlands? Geert Wilders) but any criticism of Islam is condemned as racist and Islamophobic.  In view of this, it is important to consider an excellent new book by a Jordanian Muslima, Rana Husseini, titled, ?Murder in the Name of Honor ? The True Story of One Woman?s Heroic Fight Against an Unbelievable Crime.? It is an account of her own experiences since beginning a journalism career with the English language The Jordan Times some 15 years ago.  A graduate of Oklahoma City University, Rana felt called to cover women?s issues in a country where women?s rights were clearly given more attention than in most countries in the Middle East. Even Jordan?s Queen Noor lent her influence and support to a campaign to change Jordan?s laws which protect male relatives who murder women to save their family?s honor.  But her book goes beyond the problems in Jordan.  Honor killing is endemic throughout the Middle East, and it is spreading elsewhere as immigrants come into Europe and North America.  Rana?s outrage over honor killing cannot be called racist or Islamophobic, and it underscores the need in all societies to distinguish between cultural norms and criminal behavior.

     

    Rana?s book is filled with scores of detailed case histories of horrific and senseless murders of young women to protect or restore the family honor. Here is just one abbreviated account that is chilling in its scope:

     

    The parents of twenty-three-year-old Rania had arranged her future marriage to a cousin when she was quite young. While attending university, however, she fell in love with an Iraqi student named Khaled.  She felt no attraction to her cousin who was more like a brother to her, so as the long-planned wedding date approached, she ran away from home and moved in with Khaled.

     

    Rania appealed to her family to understand, and her impassioned letter was read over national television: ?Father, mother, brothers and sisters . . you are all dear to me and I need you.  I am ready to return home this moment but I want a promise from you that you will not force me to marry my cousin.?

     

    Her father called the television station promising not to harm their daughter and that the wedding plans had been cancelled. He said, ?I am urging you from a father?s heart that is bleeding tears and blood over your absence, come home and God and I will forgive you. I will do whatever you wish even if it costs me dear.?  The father even signed a JD5,000 ($7,500) bond with the police guaranteeing that he would not harm his daughter. ?Just hand her over to me and I will take good care of her. I will protect her.?

     

    Two weeks later after returning home, Rania?s two aunts told her they?d taken pity on her and arranged a secret meeting with her boyfriend Khaled. As they walked near some railway lines, the aunts suddenly ran off. Instead of finding Khaled, Rania saw her seventeen-year-old brother Rami waiting for her.  He pulled out a pistol, and fired 5 shots into his sister, the last one point-blank through her forehead.

     

    A medical examination indicated that Rania was still a virgin.  Rania, an innocent child, had been betrayed by the closest members of her family. Her father, out of town when the murder took place, escaped prosecution. Her brother Rami, a minor, was sentenced to only six months in jail.  

     

     

    In case after case, in country after country, the picture that Rana paints is consistently misogynic, cruel, and seeped in the notion that family honor can be preserved or restored by killing the ?deviant? women in the family.  In reality, the families never regain their honor after killing a member, and agony spreads from one generation to the next.   Here are some of the common elements of honor killing:

     

    1. Women are Targets -- The family?s honor is somehow tied up in the virtue and obedience of the women in the family.  Women are the only targets of honor killings. The sense of family honor is heightened when immigrant families are living in Western countries, because their minority status and their sometimes disadvantaged situations make pride in the family that much more important to their personal self-worth.

     

    2.  Reasons for Honor Killing Often Trivial -- Women have been murdered for the most trivial of reasons ? marrying out of love instead of submitting to an arranged marriage, suspected loss of virginity (which often proves to be mistaken), staying out too late, or even wearing jeans.  Sometimes the honor killing is done merely to increase the inheritance of the remaining siblings.

     

    3. Women are Often Lured Back Home to be Killed -- Often when a woman has shamed the family and goes into hiding, there is a concerted effort by the family to show her that all is forgiven and that the family is ready to welcome her back.  This is often a ruse to lure the woman out of seclusion so that she can be killed.

     

    4. Community Pressure to Cleanse Family Honor -- There is tremendous community pressure on families to cleanse their family honor by killing the wayward women.  From cases Rana has documented, the family was often remorseful over the outcome but felt they had no choice given the community pressure.  Rarely, however, does the honor killing truly liberate the family from shame and regret after the murder.

     

    5. Relative Impunity of Honor Murder -- Since Muslim countries do not prosecute honor murders as seriously as other murders, there is no effective deterrent to carrying out these heinous acts.  A few months in prison is seen as a reasonable trade-off for restoring the family?s honor.   Immigrants often do not appreciate that North American and European counties usually (but not always) give no special consideration to honor murderers.  When immigrants realize this, however, they often take their women back to their native countries for the honor killing because the murder will receive a much lighter punishment there. Officials in the UK are becoming increasingly aware of this problem. In Bedford alone, three hundred South Asian girls between ages thirteen and sixteen have disappeared off the school registers.

     

    6. Social Workers Exacerbate the Problems -- In Western countries, family social service organizations often lack an understanding of Islamic law and cultural dynamics of immigrant populations. Western civilization is appealing to immigrant women because it promises more independence and equality, while at the same time the men develop stronger attachments to the security of their old patriarchal system.  The immigrants do not always appreciate that the police have different views about ?honor killing? than those in their native countries, so women don?t seek help and men often act with the assumption of impunity.  Government protective services often apply a double standard to violence immigrant communities. They see honor-based violence as a cultural expression, and so they avoid getting involved with it.  To make matters worse the family assistance workers often compromise the situation by using family members and religious leaders as interpreters rather than neutral parties.

     

    7. Brothers Often Carry Out the Killing -- Families often force their teenage sons to carry out murders of sisters because they know the young offender will get a lighter sentence than the adult parents.

     

    Honor killings are by no means aberrations or isolated events. Because honor killings are still punished to some extent even in the most authoritarian countries, the number of actual cases is severely underreported.  But just to give an indication the scope of this problem, here are statistics from Rana?s book:

     

    Jordan ? no statistics on honor murders, but 97 women are in prison indefinitely for ?protective custody? to prevent them from being killed by family members.

    Pakistan ? has the worst record in the world with over 600 cases reported in 2007

    Afghanistan ? with 400 honor killings in 2004 there were only 20 arrests, and all of those were given mild sentences.

    Iraq ? because of the ongoing insurgency and deep tribal divisions, Iraq is one of the most danger places on earth to be a woman.  It is estimated that 4,000 Iraqi women have been victims of honor killings between 1990 and 2001.

    Iran ? Since stoning for adultery and immunity for prosecution for killing family members is part of the Penal Code, the Iranian government is complicit in carrying out these murders. In 2005, over half of the 397 women in Evin prison were awaiting death sentences for moral or sexual offences such as adultery.

    Syria ? between two hundred and three hundred honor killings take place each year.

    Yemen ? around 400 women are reported victims of honor killing each year.

    Lebanon ? about a dozen women die each year as a result of honor crimes.

    Saudi Arabia ? no statistics are available, but the government is aware that many of these honor murders are done secretly and the bodies are buried in the desert. The families usually say that the missing women are traveling or have run away.

    Turkey ? the Kurdish regions of Turkey have some of the highest rates of honor killings in the world. The number of women and girls murdered annually is about two hundred.  In Istanbul alone there is one honor killing every week.

    Egypt ? in 1999 ten percent of all murders were honor killings.  This may approach 100 such murders of women each year.

    India ? there are more than one thousand honor killings of women each year. Every six hours in India a young married woman is burned alive, beaten to death, or driven to commit suicide.

    Bangladesh ? out of 639 rapes committed in 2006, 126 of the victims were killed and thirteen committed suicide. In the same year, 243 dowry-related killings were reported to the police.

    UK and USA ? ?I think most people will be truly shocked to learn the frequency with which honor killings are now occurring in Western countries. . . Unfortunately, it seems as though we will see many more horrific honor killings in the USA before policy-makers get around to legislating for their prevention.?

     

    Throughout her book Rana uses the expression ?so-called honor killing? because the real issue is control. Men who cannot control their women are seen as weak.  But as UK Home Office Minister Mike O?Brien said, ?Multi-cultural sensitivity is no excuse for moral blindness.?  According to Rana, real honor is for women and men to get a decent education and make a contribution to society. ?Real honor is about tolerance, equality, and civic responsibility.?
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #5 - January 30, 2010, 03:14 PM

    Apologists for Islam have been promoting a new mantra that instructs non-Muslims to accept and respect the anti-humanitarian prerogatives of Muslims, because those practices will never change and because failure to do so is undemocratic and illiberal.

    This fake respect is actually a sign of covert and patronising racism; i.e. Muslims are portrayed as somebody who is impervious to reason and whose moral/ethical standards cannot evolve.

    In Bedford alone, three hundred South Asian girls between ages thirteen and sixteen have disappeared off the school registers.

    Can this be true?

    Government protective services often apply a double standard to violence immigrant communities. They see honor-based violence as a cultural expression, and so they avoid getting involved with it.  To make matters worse the family assistance workers often compromise the situation by using family members and religious leaders as interpreters rather than neutral parties.

    This is what happens when you put tribal rights before the rights of individuals.
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #6 - January 30, 2010, 03:50 PM

    Obviously it is first and foremost patriarchal violence. It doesn't have an Islamic basis, nor is it limited to muslims - most honour killings are carried out by 'tolerant' hindus and sikhs.

    Quote
    2.  Reasons for Honor Killing Often Trivial -- Women have been murdered for the most trivial of reasons ? marrying out of love instead of submitting to an arranged marriage, suspected loss of virginity (which often proves to be mistaken), staying out too late, or even wearing jeans. Sometimes the honor killing is done merely to increase the inheritance of the remaining siblings.


    Marriage and suspected loss of virginity are hardly trivial reasons in such communities, but I've highlighted the bit in bold as it is a good hint as to the nature of patriarchal roots of honour violence.

    "...every imperfection in man is a bond with heaven..." - Karl Marx
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #7 - January 30, 2010, 04:31 PM

    Marriage and suspected loss of virginity are hardly trivial reasons in such communities...

    So what? They live in a country that should and must protect the girl's right to have consensual sex with whomever she chooses. Just because some people feel obligated towards some Bronze Age crap doesn't mean that everybody else must respect that. Rights belong to individuals and not to self proclaimed communities as a whole.

    Besides if you look at such "communities" more closely you will see that individuals within those "communities" hold diverse opinions regarding this and other issues.
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #8 - January 30, 2010, 04:54 PM

    So what? They live in a country that should and must protect the girl's right to have consensual sex with whomever she chooses. Just because some people feel obligated towards some Bronze Age crap doesn't mean that everybody else must respect that. Rights belong to individuals and not to self proclaimed communities as a whole.

    Besides if you look at such "communities" more closely you will see that individuals within those "communities" hold diverse opinions regarding this and other issues.


    All I mean is that calling them 'trivial' is misleading.

    "...every imperfection in man is a bond with heaven..." - Karl Marx
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #9 - January 30, 2010, 04:58 PM

    All I mean is that calling them 'trivial' is misleading.

    True!
  • Re: Horror Killing- Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?
     Reply #10 - January 30, 2010, 06:18 PM

    Quote
    Throughout her book Rana uses the expression 'so-called honor killing' because the real issue is control. Men who cannot control their women are seen as weak.  But as UK Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien said, 'Multi-cultural sensitivity is no excuse for moral blindness.'  According to Rana, real honor is for women and men to get a decent education and make a contribution to society. 'Real honor is about tolerance, equality, and civic responsibility.'


    Hear, hear!  Hear ye

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

    The sleeper has awakened -  Dune

    Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish!
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