Honor Killings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-27-2008, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I should know better than to watch Fox News, but I was in the mood for more punishment last night after spending the day with my family-of-origin. I watched Murder in the Family last night and was appalled. They have equated Islam with honor killings, saying that it happens commonly among immigrant Muslim populations, etc, etc. With one exception, they showed American women who had married immigrant men from Pakistan, Egypt, and Lebanon. They went on to make the bizarre connection that men who are likely to kill their sisters/wives/daughters are likely to also be part of Islamic-fundamentalist-jihadist groups. Their "expert witness" was a woman who has written something like 13 [very biased] books on Islam as a religion that condones and encourages this sort of behavior. Her qualification as expert? She had a failed marriage to a Muslim immigrant (Egyptian, I think?).

Why is it that when a Muslim man (or woman) commits an inhumane act, it's seen as a part of his/her religion, but when a non-Muslim does it, it's anything but? And then the media jump on these stories, throwing out words like "jihad" when they don't understand what it means, and villify every immigrant Muslim man in the country in the process.

"Honor killings" are anything but honorable and they are certainly not condoned or encouraged by Islam. It is a tribal practice that pre-dates Islam and has been practiced by Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Zoroastrians, and all other religious groups found in the area described as "The Middle East." And by the way, "jihad" means struggle, most appropriately used as the struggle we all find ourselves in every day to do what we know is right versus what is easy, expedient, or just plain feels good.

I'm done now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. [/rant]
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#2 of 3 Old 07-27-2008, 11:46 PM
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Its interesting how both the Middle East and the West have chosen the treatment/status of women as being one of the key ways to establish their "differentness".

The West wants to show that is more equal, more just and more enlightened, and the issue of women's rights is a way to accomplish that. No wonder that the most extreme examples (honor-killings and fgm) are seized on.

The Middle East wants to show that despite any embracing of modernity -- through western technologies, universities and businesses that it is still the Middle East and not "westernized". One of the most potent ways to show that is through enforcing traditional standards on women.
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#3 of 3 Old 07-28-2008, 12:13 AM
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If it helps at all, I'm your typical American woman, but I know that the "news shows" about the more extreme examples of religion, especially Islam, are very far off base.

I'm one of those "weird" people that finds religion and culture fascinating, so I read anything I can get my hands on when something catches my attention. Several years ago (well before 9/11), Islam was my fascination. I found it to be a religion of very deep belief, of justice, and very high standards for everyone who follows the teachings.

I just wanted you to know that. I think it's a beautiful belief system. Not for me, but I think it helps me to deepen and grow my faith by understanding others.

BTW - My next door neighbors are Pakistani Muslims. They are big hearted fantastic people. And can Selma cook! I'm ready to move in.
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