'How many more women have to die before this society wakes up?'
Shortly before nine o'clock one Monday evening earlier this month, Hatin Sürücü left her five-year-old son asleep in their small apartment in the Tempelhof district of Berlin and made her way to a bus stop in the main Oberlandgarten Strasse. Minutes later, a volley of pistol shots rang out but no one came to help Mrs Sürücü, 23, who was of Turkish origin. A bus driver discovered her body, with multiple wounds to the head and chest, about 40 minutes later and called the police.
Last week, Mrs Sürücü's three brothers, aged 18 to 25, who were arrested six days after the attack, were formally charged with the murder. They have pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody. Police are investigating whether Mrs Sürücü was the victim of a so-called "honour killing" after she made the decision to leave the cousin with whom she had been forced into an arranged marriage eight years earlier. The police said that Mrs Sürücü had frequently complained of being threatened by her brothers.
If they are found guilty, Mrs Sürücü's murder will be the sixth "honour killing" within Berlin's 200,000-strong Muslim community in four months. Shocking as that is, the reactions of some Turkish immigrant children at a school whose main gates are yards from the scene of the shooting has caused even graver concern.
Asked by teachers what they thought of the murder, several 13-year-old pupils are said to have implied that they thought Mrs Sürücü had "earned" her death. "Well, she lived like a German, didn't she?" remarked one. Mrs Sürücü got married in Turkey at the age of 15 but returned with her son to her birthplace, Berlin, more than five years ago.
She broke with her family, refused to wear the Muslim headscarf and lived with her child in a hostel. She had recently completed training as an electrical engineer and friends said that she simply "wanted to live her own life".
The murder has shocked politicians, police and community leaders, and prompted criticism that successive German governments have ignored ritual injustices within immigrant communities for decades. "How many more women have to die before this society wakes up?" asked Necla Kelek, the author of a controversial book on arranged marriages.
In an open letter last week, the headmaster of the school publicly denounced the attitude of his pupils. Other head teachers in Berlin, however, said that they were not surprised by the children's reaction. "This type of thinking is latent in their minds," said the head of another predominantly Turkish immigrant school in the district, who asked not to be identified. Their remarks, he said, reminded him of the spontaneous "victory dances" which immigrant pupils at his school had staged after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
The five Muslim women killed in recent months were murdered by their husbands or partners because they had "insulted" the family honour by wanting to end the relationship. One woman was strangled; another drowned in a bath. In another case, a 21-year-old Turkish woman who was forcibly married to her cousin was stabbed to death on the street by her husband in front of their three-year-old daughter. Police records show that 45 "honour killings" have been committed within Germany's two million-plus Muslim community in the past eight years. Now that at least five have occurred in just four months in Berlin alone, the German authorities and local Turkish leaders are desperately trying to find out why.
Karl Mollenhauer, a Berlin police psychologist, blamed Islamic religious leaders for failing to address the problem. Last week, he also suggested that the German authorities were at fault for failing to intervene in case they were branded racist. "We have silently allowed a parallel society to develop because of fears that we would sow hatred by talking openly about its injustices. The women have paid the price for this," he said. Serap Cileli, a German-born Turkish woman who finds homes for women threatened by "honour murders", said: "If I criticise the Islamic community over these problems, I find that the Germans criticise me for being anti-foreigner. At the same time, many Turks say I am fouling my own nest. I am sad to say that we have a Turkish problem in Germany. Official claims that the majority of Turks are well integrated here are pure eyewash."
Re: Honor Killings
Lest we think that this can only happen in Europe or Muslim countries...
Parents of son charged in beating may lose girl
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
MADISON HEIGHTS -- The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office on Thursday will attempt to permanently end the parental rights of a Madison Heights couple who police say neglected to seek medical help for their daughter after her older brother allegedly beat her over her relationship with a non-Muslim boy. The 15-year-old girl, who is a Madison Heights Lamphere High junior, suffered a broken back in the beating, according to court documents. The trial to determine whether parental custody rights should be terminated is set for Thursday before Oakland Circuit Judge Joan Young. The girl's brother, Ahmad Abdelmomen, 21, is charged with aggravated assault in the April 29 incident at their home in Madison Heights. Abdelmomen is free on bond pending a July 13 preliminary hearing before Madison Heights 43rd District Judge Robert J. Turner.
"She complained of the injury to her parents, but they didn't take her to a doctor because they condoned the punishment her brother gave her," said Robert Zivian, an assistant Oakland County prosecuting attorney assigned to the neglect case. The following day, when the girl was still complaining of injuries, her parents called for an ambulance, according to Madison Heights Police Detective Sgt. Ron Hillman. "She was in a lot of pain, and when she eventually went back to school, it was in a wheelchair," Hillman said. "It was too painful for her to stand for any period of time."
The girl initially told hospital workers she fell, Hillman said. After being questioned by police, she admitted that her brother had beaten her because he was upset over her relationship with a boy who was not of their religious faith, Hillman said. "She wrote me a two-page statement about how both her brother and her parents disapproved of the situation," he said. "She wrote that's what prompted the beating in the first place." The girl was placed in temporary foster care following the incident, Zivian said. "Now she is recanting the original story and also claiming she fell down some stairs," Zivian said.
Re: Honor Killings
There is something very fundamentally wrong with a religion and society that will make a child murder his own mother. It reminds me of the school children in the Soviet Union who were indoctrinated to denounce their own parents as counterrevolutionaries, to be take away to the Gulag or execution.
14-year-old shoots mother in botched `honor' killing
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Birgul Isik had not expected to find her oldest son waiting for her at the bus station when she and four of her children returned from Istanbul to the central Anatolian province of Elazigon on Tuesday. She certainly wasn't expecting the 14-year-old to pull out a gun as she moved to embrace him."You've disgraced the family," he said, and shot her five times in the head and chest. She is still in a coma.
For the police who charged the boy with attempted murder, and arrested his father and uncle on suspicion of incitement, it is just another example of the "honor" crimes that result in the deaths of scores if not hundreds of Turkish women each year. Most die for breaking the rules of propriety: they talk to men in the street, they wear the wrong clothes, they insist on education rather than an early arranged marriage.
Isik's crime was to appear on television. It was the fifth time she had fled her violent, bigamous husband. Ignored by the authorities, abandoned by her own parents, who reportedly told her "a woman's place is with her husband," she finally agreed last Friday to appear on a show many have described as Turkey's equivalent of Oprah Winfrey. You only have to glance at Yasemin Bozkurt's daily program Woman's Voice to see why. There's the live studio audience, the frequent angry exchanges. The themes are familiar too: match-making, runaway children, violent husbands.
A radical break from Turkish TV's traditional mix of local sitcoms and Hollywood fare, the show, like its half-a-dozen competitors, has proved a hit. Despite the early afternoon slot, it regularly rates among the country's top 10. It has also courted controversy from the start. The presenters see themselves as defenders of women's rights, confronting issues that had previously been hidden away in the silence of family homes. For their critics, they are purveyors of "victimization TV," using people's suffering to improve ratings and advertising revenue.
According to RTUK, the state body that monitors -- and censors -- broadcasts, 3,600 viewers complained about the shows in the first three months of this year. "I'm fed up with watching women fight on TV," said one. Another complained that his wife was so engrossed she no longer got up to get her children a glass of milk.
Nedim Hazar, a columnist for the conservative daily Zaman, was blunter. If the presenters refuse to make changes, he wrote last month, "they should build a clinic, a prison and a morgue in their studios." Events on April 16 seemed to prove the critics right. A day after they appeared on Woman's Voice to talk about bride exchange, a custom particularly widespread among Turkey's Kurdish minority, two men were shot to death by a relative. A policeman was also killed trying to intervene.
Despite media outrage, the show escaped unscathed. This week's attempted murder in Elazig changed that. On Wednesday, Kanal D announced it was suspending Woman's Voice. Another private channel followed suit with its equivalent, You're Not Alone. "These programs touch a raw nerve," said the RTUK's head, Fatih Karaca, in support of the closures."They discuss family, children, marital relations -- sensitive topics to Turks -- in an indecently open way."
Yasemin Bozkurt's peers rallied round her. Blaming the violence on the show is absurd, argued her Show TV rival Serap Ezgu. "Let's ban Formula 1 -- it encourages speeding. Let's ban cartoons -- last month a kid jumped from the fourth floor because he thought he was Superman," Ezgu said. For sociologist Ayse Oncu, the vilification of the shows has a lot to do with the audience they cultivate -- lower-middle-class housewives. It's not for nothing, she says, that critics condescendingly call the shows shanty-town TV.
Re: Honor Killings
European Muslims remain silent on horrific crimes within the community citing fear of fuelling Islamophobia as the reason.
Volume 23 - Issue 15 :: Jul. 29-Aug. 11, 2006
ON June 27, 2006, the two murderers of a 19-year-old honour killing victim, Ghazala Khan, were sentenced to life in prison by a Danish court. On September 23, 2005, Ghazala Khan, a Danish Pakistani, was gunned down by her own brother at a suburban Danish railway station Her crime was marrying a man of her own choice. Her husband Emal Khan survived the attack despite being shot in the abdomen. Seven other people, including an aunt and cousins, were convicted of being accessories to the murder. Perveen Khan, Ghazala's paternal aunt who had maintained contact with the couple and acted as the family's informant about the couple's whereabouts, cajoled and wheedled a reluctant Ghazala to meet her father and brother at the station for a supposed reconciliation. Following Ghazala's murder, her father Ghulam Abbass, the owner of a taxi service and reputed to be one of the wealthiest members of the Danish-Pakistani community, continued trying to kill Emal Khan, even while he was recovering in hospital.
Ghazala Khan is hardly alone in her tragic and untimely end. On July 14, 2006, the killers of 25-year-old Samaira Nazir, a British Pakistani girl, were sentenced to life in prison. In a story unparalleled in the grotesque cruelty of its execution, Samaira, who had defied her family by marrying an Afghan immigrant, was held down by her mother while her brother stabbed her more than 18 times. Her two nieces, aged two and four, were made to watch as their young rebellious aunt was given the treatment deserved by girls who defy the will of their family. When the police arrived at the behest of a neighbour who heard Samaira's screams, they found her bloodied body in the hallway of her home. A silk scarf had been tied tightly around her neck and her throat sliced three times. The two nieces, their clothes spattered with blood, watched as their aunt's body was carried away to the morgue.
Despite the alarming details of both cases, little has emerged in terms of condemnation by the European Muslim community. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the leading representative organisation of the Muslim community in Britain, has yet to denounce the killing. In the single statement on honour killings available on the group's website, the MCB asserts that the problem is found only "in a very small section" of the British Muslim community. Furthermore, the statement defensively asserts, that "such killings are not restricted to Muslim families but occur also in Sikh and Christian families".
In a position paper that follows the statement, the MCB continues its defensive rhetoric by reiterating the fact that the worst forms of punishment for women who bring dishonour to their families "affect only a small percentage of women" and that "women from other faith groups may be subject to similar attitudes from within their communities". The remainder of the report treads the delicate line between asserting the validity of Koranic injunctions that regard all extra-marital sexual relations as sinful while also condemning honour killings that are often avowedly perpetrated by family members to punish women who stand accused of just such sexual relations. While the MCB's position paper urges Muslim leaders to "take an unequivocal stance against behaviour that is direct violation of Islam", it seems that no MCB leader actually considers such advice worthy of notice. "Unwillingness to deal with the issue," the MCB asserts "is the result of an inherent distrust of perceived `Western' attempts to malign Islam in the interest of global politics."
If reticence of the British Muslim community in the face of Samaira Nazir's brutal killing exposes the shackles of denial that bind British Muslims, the apathy and indifference of Danish Muslims is just as blatant. The same Danish Muslim community that was so vocal in condemning the publication of cartoons against the Holy Prophet is callously silent when faced by the gruesome murder of one of their own. Abdul Waheed Peterson, a well-known Danish Imam, says that he does not regard the honour killing as "their case" despite the fact that in "many people's minds it will be connected to Islam". Other Danish Muslim organisations refused to issue any statements on the killing or the sentencing of the nine murderers of Ghazala Khan.
The obstinate silence of European Muslims and their leaders in condemning these horrific crimes and their efforts to pin the blame of their apathy on a fear of fuelling Islamophobia represents the dilemma facing the Muslim world. Be it terrorism, honour killings or female genital mutilation, Western Muslim leaders have become adept at using the excuse of misguided interpretations as a means of shifting responsibility away from themselves. It is undeniable that while Islamic doctrine itself does not support either terrorism or honour killings, many Muslims engage in these acts specifically by claiming that they are to be religious duties or that they have religious sanction. While misguided interpretations may indeed play a part, offering this hackneyed and rather overused explanation does not obliterate the reality that the actions of these Muslims increasingly define Islam for the non-Muslim world.
Furthermore, this distinction between the doctrine of Islam and the actions of Muslims is one that has been resorted to far too often. Particularly in the Western Muslim case, it has been set up as a decoy that insulates moderate Muslims from taking responsibility for what goes on in their communities. The recipe for denial is simple: the first step minimises the impact of the problematic view or practice by emphasising its unpopularity and reiterating its occurrence in a "very small percentage of Muslims"; next, examples are cited that indict other cultures and communities where the problematic practices may also have occurred and finally a few generalised Koranic verses that condemn violence and promote egalitarianism and justice are cited. Dictated by the fallacy that acknowledging problems within is an indelible mark of surrender to the enemies of Islam, these limited reactions fail to develop potent antidotes for the scourges ravaging the faith from within.
In the case of terrorism where international scrutiny is high, Muslim leaders promptly issue strongly worded statements that decry acts and declare sympathy for the victims. As terrorist attacks continue and ravage the world from New York to Karachi and Bali to Mumbai, prompt declarations emerge that deprecate the barbarity of the attacks and reiterate again and again the fact that Islam is a religion of peace. Following the familiar recipe, the problem is often rationalised away once adequate expressions of sympathy and concern have been provided.
Comforted by the truth that Islam itself is a religion of peace and that there is no doctrinal support for terrorism or misogyny if one follows the "correct" Islam, Muslims in the East and the West remain largely inactive and apathetic to the ravages that such extremist and misogynistic interpretations of their faith have on their faith as well as the world around them.
While countless sermons across the Muslim world on any given Friday are devoted to the insidious and nefarious tactics of Islamophobes that want to malign Islam, and millions of dollars are devoted to excavating the image of Islam as a religion of peace by distributing pamphlets and holding open mosque nights, little time or intellectual energy is devoted to cleaning house from within. Similarly, while much effort is expended on ensuring that new generations of Muslims remain pious in observing proper Islamic dress codes and dietary rules, little is done to ensure that they are aware of the evils of terrorism. Organisations like the Council on American Islamic Relations(CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the MCB devote immense efforts to documenting incidents of Islamophobia. At the same time, nearly all the anti-terrorism material available on the websites of these organisations are directed toward the larger public rather than Muslim youth who are most vulnerable to the propaganda of extremist and distorted interpretations of Islam.
Many Muslims are especially susceptible to the tendency to hold internal reform hostage to external geopolitics. Discussions emphasising the necessity of development of initiatives that acknowledge and combat misogyny and terror inevitably devolve into tirades that enumerate the geopolitical injustices Muslims across the globe are subject to. In a distorted expression of supposed solidarity, the unjustified and gruesome deaths of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Lebanon are used to construct an ideological wall that requires a conscious and purposeful denial of the atrocities perpetrated by Muslims. If the history of the world is any testament, making internal reform conditional on the cessation of all atrocities against Muslims is akin to eliminating its remotest possibility.
One catastrophic result of elevating Islamophobia to a status that invalidates all necessity for reform is that many Muslims, in their obstinate belief that all critique is borne out of a desire to malign their faith, resolutely refuse to accept the existence of any problems in their community. In a much-cited Pew Research Poll, it is reported that 56 per cent of British Muslims and 46 per cent of French Muslims do not believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks. Given the vast amounts of evidence establishing the identity of the 9/11 hijackers, this stubborn and misguided denial demonstrates the delusion that pervades the communities.
The resulting intellectual stagnation has thrust Muslims into even deeper isolation and denial, which is concertedly destroying the possibility of wresting Islam from the clutches of decline. Moderate Muslims, on whose backs the hopes for redemption of the faith are so optimistically constructed, are the very people whose apathy is at the root of such devolution. When confronted, they too limit their involvement to verbal condemnations of both terrorism and misogyny, believing that their own lack of positive support for either are adequate vindications for their inaction; Thus unwilling to ostracise extremists openly from their mosques and communities, they remain content in their apathy and fully assuaged by a self-righteous and often misplaced sense of victim-hood.
Caught in this grotesque and absurd web of rationalisation and apathy, girls like Ghazala Khan and Samaira Nazir are murdered not once but twice. They are killed once at the hands of their families which consider their lives worthless if not lived according to the dictum of their fathers and brothers and a second time by their communities who consider expressing sympathy and outrage for their deaths as an act traitorous to their religion and deleterious to the image of their community.
These girls, like the thousands who die in terrorist attacks, are victims not simply of misogyny but also of denial; a resolute, all-consuming denial that fails to be moved into action by their plight. To extricate these lost lives from the abyss of meaninglessness, all those Muslims that proudly wear the mantle of moderation must realise that adherence to faith exacts a duty not merely to defend Islam from those without, but more crucially from those within.
Re: Honor Killings
Pakistani couple killed over 'honour'
August 24, 2006 - 8:11PM
Five people including a teenage couple who married against their families' will have been killed by relatives in the latest incident of so-called honour killing in Pakistan, police say. Killings carried out in the name of a family's honour are common in Pakistan's conservative rural areas where old feudal and tribal traditions still hold sway.
The couple - Kamalan and Allah Rakhio - both 18 and from rival clans in the southern province of Sindh, had married about three months ago after eloping, said Usman Subaho, a police officer investigating the case. "They were killed just a few days after returning to their village after getting married in Karachi," he said. "We have identified 10 men who took part in this carnage and are hunting for them." The girl's family took her wedding as a slight on their honour.
The attackers stormed the couple's house, killing them and three other family members including a three-year-old girl, said Subaho. Eleven family members were wounded in the attack, he said.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says about 1,000 people are killed in honour-related crimes every year in Pakistan.
Re: Honor Killings
Swiss charge Pakistani over 'honor killing' of wife
August 23, 2006
Swiss prosecutors have charged a Pakistani man over the "honor killing" of his wife, according to legal documents published Wednesday. Ajmal Butt Aziz, 24, is accused of murdering his 20-year-old wife Khudeja because she refused to follow Islamic tradition and wear a headscarf, according to the charge sheet published by the Corriere del Ticino newspaper.
Aziz's spouse died in July 2005 after he allegedly bludgeoned her to death with a hammer as she slept at the couple's home in Bellinzona, in Switzerland's southern canton of Ticino. Born in Pakistan, Khudeja Aziz was brought up in Switzerland and was a citizen of the Alpine country. Aziz claimed that he acted in self-defense after being attacked by his wife.
Prosecutors, however, alleged that he acted because he was opposed to his wife's Western lifestyle and her wish to find a job, and also that she was seeking a divorce. No date has yet been set for Aziz's trial.
Re: Honor Killings
Brother suspect in killing
Thu, September 21, 2006
DISBELIEF FELL over an Ottawa intensive care unit yesterday when police announced they were hunting the brother of a young woman who was shot to death at an east-end mall. Ottawa police said last night they considered Khatera Sadiqi's 20-year-old brother, Hasibullah Sadiqi, a suspect in the shooting that killed the 20-year-old woman early Tuesday morning. ...
Feroz Mangal and Khatera Sadiqi had been engaged for about six months before a shooter pulled up to Mangal's Honda just before 1 a.m. Tuesday at Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre and riddled the inside with bullets. Sadiqi, who was in the driver's seat, was killed when a bullet struck her head. Despite taking multiple shots to his body, including his neck, Mangal survived but was still in critical condition last night. Const. Steve Desjourdy said detectives have been conducting numerous interviews and investigators were able to identify a suspect.
Detectives are "looking at everything" when it comes to possible motives for wanting to kill the young couple, Desjourdy said. Police are also awaiting official results from ballistics and an autopsy, he said. Speculation about why police consider Hasibullah Sadiqi a suspect began to snowball yesterday, but some people said the local Afghan community has been talking about the couple's upcoming marriage.
Hameed Mangal said he heard Hasibullah Sadiqi had issues with the relationship. "He wasn't happy because they were engaged," Hameed, 24, said. The possibility of Khatera Sadiqi's death being related to an honour killing baffled Hameed as he tried to relax in the hospital's emergency room last night. ...
Re: Honor Killings
Men 'murdered six-year-old girl in honour killing arson attack'
Two men murdered a six-year-old girl by setting fire to her house to warn her brother off a relationship he was having, a court heard yesterday. Alisha Begum suffered 95 per cent burns and died after a masked man burst into her home, sprayed petrol around and set it alight. The fire spread so quickly that members of her family had to jump out of upstairs windows to escape.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the attack was planned by Hussain Ahmed, a 26-year-old dentist, and Daryll Tuzzio, 18, after Ahmed found out his 15-year-old sister was seeing Alisha's brother, Abdul Hamid, 21. Yesterday the two men went on trial accused of murder and the attempted murder of nine of the girl's relatives who escaped from the blazing house in Aston, Birmingham.
Adrian Redgrave, prosecuting, said: "One hears of so-called honour killings though one may wonder how by any stretch of the imagination there can be any honour in what happened here, resulting in the death of a six-year-old child. ..."
Seized with Ennui
Re: Honor Killings
Re: Honor Killings
We're looking at a generation's time before we see any change here. These are people who want to cling to their barbaric practices against the flow of civilization. The only way to end it is to force the primitivism to end and the only way to do that is to make it self-destructive and costly.
When someone develops the courage to confront Islamists without faltering and to back up the talk with force, change will happen- otherwise there will always be a schism between extremists and moderates who adapt their religious practices to the time and place.
Wouldn't it be interesting to take some of these "men" and give them public trials, humiliate them and their followers by showing the poverty of their philosophy, convict them and then quietly execute them.
Coddling them with spasms of snsitivity and multiculturalism won't work- these schmucks are little more than a better-financed and better-armed version of the KKK. They're not going to improve with dialogue- they need to be punished severely to show them that their practices are costly and wrong.
For example- just as their females can suffer clitorectomies, take the men who authorize those brutalities and remove the end of their penises in similar fashion.