Murder in The Name of Honour - Graduate Presentation
Murder in the Name of Honor “Imagine your sister or daughter being killed for chewing gum, for laughing at a joke in the street, for wearing make-up or a short skirt, for choosing her own boyfriend/husband or becoming pregnant” (xi).
In Our Own Backyard• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xs7oKrG 7Pc&feature=related
Book Review• “A so-called honour killing occurs when a family feels that their female relative has tarnished their reputation by what they loosely term ‘immoral behavior’”(xi)• Often the crime is committed by a male relative
Book Review• What is honor?• “Why should a person work? Why should he live anyway? This is first for his honour and second for daily bread” (219)-taken from a report of honor crimes in Turkey• “Beliefs relating to women as the bearers of family honour are still embedded in many people’s minds…but these beliefs are about control, not honour” (220).
Book Review• Interview with a killer• “lenience was made possible by Article 98 of the Penal Code which permits those acting in a ‘fit of fury’ to benefit from reduced penalties” (13).• “No family wants to see its male relative executed or locked up for good” (15).
Book Review• Women are detained “for indefinite periods and with no official charges, under what the government calls ‘protective custody’ or ‘administrative detention’” (27).• Ways to be released1.A male relative must “sign a guarantee worth $7,000 that he will not harm her”2.A male bidder asks to marry a woman who will be released into his custody (28).
Book Review• Kifaya, 16, was raped by her older brother and forced to abort the child. She was then married off but divorced six months later.• This was seen as bringing shame onto the family.• Her uncle stated, “She seduced her brother. She tarnished the family’s honour and deserved to die” (5).
Rana Husseini• Kifaya’s story in 1994 inspired Husseini to write about and expose the truth about honor killings in Jordan• “I wanted to become the voice of these women whose lives have been wiped out and every record of their existence destroyed by their family. I would expose each and every murder I heard about. I didn’t realize then quite how busy I was going to be”(7).
Rana Husseini • As a writer for the Jordan Times Husseini became known for her writings on Courtesy of honor killings. activisminstitute.org • Her reporting led to death threats (8). • She fights against legislation in Jordan thatCourtesy ofranahusseini.com gives those who commit honor killings more lenient sentences.
Book Review• Misconceptions• Forbidden Love later published in the USA as Honor Lost by Norma Khouri• Khouri stated Christians were oppressed and had to follow Islamic law and that they were unable to build new churches• “The bells of Christian churches ring on every religious occasion in Jordan” (92).• First published in 2002• “Khouri failed to provide evidence that she ever lived in Jordan” (97). Publishers withdrew in 2004.
Reviews of the book• "Rana is utterly inspiring. She is a young woman of courage, committed to the principles of truth and justice ... If enough people read this book, maybe the next time a young woman is being stoned to death for having fallen in love, someone will intervene to save her life."--Jane Fonda, actress, writer, and political activist
Reviews of the Book• “Disturbing, informative, and readable. Murder in the Name of Honor tackles one of the most shocking crimes of the 21st century. A remarkable insight into a horrifying crime and a call to action for everyone who cares about human rights. A must read.”-Kerry Kennedy, founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights
Reviews of the Book• “This fight is far from over, but more and more Jordanians are looking beyond platitudes on female chastity and subservience and to the horror underneath. Even some people from highly conservative backgrounds are openly talking about how this phenomenon is unacceptable.”-Natalia Antonova Deputy editor of Moscow News
Background of the Violence Against Women“…Early man, who wants to ensure his geneswere passed on. The simplest way for him to dothis was to make sure that ‘his’ woman does nothave sex with other men. Men who controlled‘their’ women were seen as strong leaders ofhigh status and therefore were honored byothers in the tribe. As time went on, the honorof a group (or individual man) depended on thebehavior and morality of its female members (orhis female relatives).”
Background of the Violence Against Women (Cont.)“ A sexualized form of honor continues to develop,with women being seen as a form of property, avalued commodity to be traded. So women’s bodiesand sexualities gained a monetary value, which leadtheir husbands and families to regulate and guardtheir sexual behavior. As patriarchal notions ofmorality and culture became deeply entrenched,these idealizations of women’s sexual behaviorgradually came to be reinforced by dress codes andnotions of right and wrong.”
Background of Violence Against Women in Immigrant Societies• Conflicts between the parents and their children: – Children integrate in the society more than their parents as they master the language faster than their parents, so parents feel that they lose control over their children. – Children are attracted to the liberal rights in their new environment, which provide them with independence and equality; in contrast to , the patriarchal system that they live in inside their homes. – Ignorance from the officials to honor-related violence and crimes.
Ignorance from the Officials in Immigrant Societies to Honor-Crimes• Officials look at this crimes as “culturally- based” violence, so deal with them as a separate phenomena from their own society. “Otherness” “Death by Culture”• It is the murders who gain the support of the extended family and their community NOT the victims.• Officials, witnesses, and activists are frightened to fight against these crimes.
PBS Interview-Rana Husseini• “The only way to rectify the family’s honor is to have the wife, daughter, sister killed. ‘Blood cleanses honor’ the killers say.” – Rana Husseini - “An honor killing occurs when a male relative decides to take the life of a female relative because, in his opinion, she has dishonored her family’s reputation by engaging in an "immoral" act. An immoral act could be that she was simply seen with a strange man or that she slept with a man. In many cases, women are killed just because of rumors or unfounded suspicions.”
Husseini Cont.• Main Argument: - Honor killings are part of a culture, not a religion - Classified as “isolated and limited, although they do cross class and education boundaries.” - Crimes are not mandated by Islam.“ Islam is very strict about killing, and in the rare instances where killing is counseled, it is when adultery is committed within a married couple. In these cases, there must be four eyewitnesses and the punishment must be carried out by the community, not by the family members involved.”
Religious Based Violence Against Women• “The ‘woman’ question has figured prominently in Islamist discourses and legal frames. These discourses and laws led not only to social and sexual controls over women but also to physical violence and death.”• “Violent politics of militant Islamist movements are rooted in struggle against secular modernities, feminisms and globalization, in hegemonic masculinity and the legacy of the heroic Islamic warrior.” Author: Valentine M. Moghadam
• According to most sources including the United Nations, about 5,000 women are victims of honor killings each year.• However, this statistic is definitely a rough estimate. - Some honor killings are not differentiated from domestic violence therefore they are not counted.- Many suspected or definite honor killings are not recorded due to lack of reporting.
WorldHonor Killings: A Global ViewIn the name of family honor, "women and young girls are set ablaze, strangled, shot at,clubbed, stabbed, tortured, axed, or stoned to death," a United Nations report (PDF) stated in2004.No one knows just how many people are murdered each year to restore family honor. Thekillings often go unreported, and even when a murder is reported, it can be difficultdistinguishing between an "honor killing" and an incident of domestic violence.The map above shows countries where honor killings have been reported.,but given thechallenge of recording these incidents, the map should not be considered exhaustive.
Corollaries in the US• Cases within the United States• Lewisville, Texas father murders his two daughters it was reported that he often accused them of being too “westernized” (210).• Chiman Rai, an immigrant from India and a professor of math in Mississippi, paid two hitmen to murder his son’s black wife. He expressed disapproval of their interracial marriage (212).
Corollaries in the US• Mentalities• In Maryland Kenneth Peacock murdered his wife with a shotgun a few hours after discovering she was having an affair.• In his sentencing the judge stated “I seriously wonder how many married men…would have the strength to walk away…without inflicting some corporal punishment…I am forced to impose a sentence” (208).• He was sentenced to eighteen months
Changes Across The Globe• Internationally, many countries are starting to realize the gravity of so-called honor killings and many have initiated their own campaigns and activities such as Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Palestine.
Efforts against honor killings in UK• The London-based Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO) launched the ‘Justice for Banaz ’ campaign .• They succeeded to:1. Force the police to investigate why they failed to help Banaz.2. Influence the police to reset its procedures in handling family violence, especially in immigrant societies.
(IKWRO) achievements in Banaz’s case (Cont.)3. The Independent Police Complaints Commission(IPCC) and the police released a statements thatbanaz had been “let down by the police andsuffered from delays and, poor supervision, and alack of understanding and insensitivity”.4. Six detectives in Banaz’s case received writtenwarnings and one constable received “words ofadvice”.5. IKWRO is now working with the CrownProsecution Service (CPS) to help them deal withthe honor crimes.
Legal Steps Against Honor killings in UKI. In 2005, a joint between the Foreign andCommonwealth Office and Home Office ForcedMarriage Unit (FMU) was launched by the UKgovernment to:1. Set a governmental policy on forced marriages.2. Cooperate with outreach projects and provide information for those who are at risk.3. Trace people who might have been kidnaped nationally or abroad.
Legal Steps Against Honor killings in UK (Cont.)II. The Crown Prosecution Services:Provide specialist lawyers to deal with honorcrimes.
Heroes of Honor Project, Sweden• It is an awareness raising project in Sweden.• It targets boys and young men.• The project’s aim is to influence the males in the immigrant communities about the concept of honor crimes as well as declaring the opposition of Islam to these crimes.• The project offers group discussions and counseling for girls.
Because of Husseini’s Work- Jordan• King Hussein opened the Thirteenth Parliament mentioning women and their rights—the first time a ruler had emphasized women and children.• King Hassan is following in his father’s footsteps, with a new constitution where he put in two new sections, one on women.• He asked the prime minister to amend all the laws that discriminate against women. What was not included was a solution;• Solution Suggestions: We could begin with a shelter for women. Instead of putting women who seek haven from their families in prison, the government could have programs to rehabilitate them.
The Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering• It conducts several studies on domestic violence against women in Lebanon.• Observational Study: - Investigates 500 domestic violence cases from different Lebanese NGOs. - The cases are chosen from the year 2000-2005. - Purpose: A. Identify different forms of domestic violence in the Lebanese family against women (wives, daughters, sisters, mothers). B. Identifying the responses to domestic violence from the other members of the family. C. Illustrate how women define and recognize the different forms of violence against them. D. Proposing the best ways to deal with domestic violence.
Honor Killing in Egypt (2002) 90 80 70 60Percentage 50 40 30 20 10 0 Being suspected adultery hide incest others Causes of Honor Killing (Khafagy, 2005)
Global Themes• Some governments prevent press coverage for any efforts of reforms.For example: the royal march in Jordan & the Egyptian revolution• Activism lead to publicizing the honor killings in Jordan and Pakistan internationally (dowry- related deaths in India)
“The Road to Real Honour”1. Activism as it plays a great role in raising the awareness about the problem and influences the governments to take positive steps.2. Education as it is a vital tool in eliminating honor crimes through changing the beliefs about the acceptance of honor crimes among men and women.3. Increase funding for NGOs and shelters.4. NGOs should not stop their efforts in front of the dismissive statements from the politicians because every woman victim counts.5. Extensive research needs to be done in order to identify successful preventative methods.6. Initiatives should be home-grown and supported by national organizations rather than being enforced or imported from other countries, a strategy that can often cause resentment (217).
Conclusion of the Book• “ I have included as many human examples as possible within this book, to show that this is a very real tragedy, that every day, all across the world, bright young women are being slaughtered for no good reason” (221).• “There also needs to be a focus on raising public awareness and I strongly believe that one of the most effective methods in reducing honour-based murder is to highlight and humanize each killing and crime and make it known to everyone, including legislators, the media, the public and the relevant authorities” (216).