Turkey: honor-killings perfectly acceptable

*  Though this study is revealing, it fails to note the correlation between religion and honor-killings. In other words, of all the honor-killings that occur, what percentage of them are at the hands of Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.? Who, pray tell, has the lion’s share? “Honor killing perpetrators welcomed by society, study reveals,” from Today’s Zaman, July 12 (thanks to JW):

A study being conducted by a team from Dicle University in the Southeast on honor killings has so far shown that little if any social stigma is attached to the act. 

Anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and social workers are involved in the study, due to conclude in August. Associate Professor Mazhar Bagli from Dicle University Department of Sociology is supervising the study. (Seems all of the are clueless about Islam or are desperately trying to keep Islam out of it…)

The team visited 44 prisons in the region and interviewed 180 perpetrators of honor killings. Of these, 100 percent say they do not regret their actions, Professor Bagli notes. In some cases, the victim’s relatives even praised the perpetrator, he adds.

Causes of honor killings vary. “It is not appropriate to associate honor killings with only one section of society. Some people think that it is related to a feudal structure, but this has proven to be false. There are also perpetrators who are well-educated university graduates. Of all those surveyed, 60 percent are either high school or university gradates or at the very least, literate. The victims of honor killing are not always women; males have also been targeted,” Bagli says.

A Voice of Concern:

Islam looks other way on ‘honor killings’

Sickening practice demands new laws

For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/14/08

As an American who lived in the Middle East for more than eight years, I must take issue with some of the theories of Melissa Robinson (” ‘Honor killings’ contort religion,” @issue, July 10).

I understand that she was trying to ameliorate the feelings of most Westerners, who think that honor killings are synonymous with Islam. The problem is that no one in Western culture can possibly understand the malicious actions and thoughts of the men, most of whom are Islamic, who commit these atrocious crimes.

Strangely, many of the Islamic women in the Middle East today agree with this practice. Perhaps they are afraid not to agree. Shockingly, most men who commit honor crimes are supported by their families, imams and fellow religious brethren.

Robinson’s sterilized take of what Islam is “supposed to be” is not going to save the lives of the many women who have already fallen victim to this societal bloodbath. There will surely be many more to follow. Most of the men who commit this crime in the Middle East are Muslims.

The saddest part is that most of the men, even when found guilty, get little more than a slap on the wrist. It’s a kind of “good ol’ boy” attitude and is unlikely to ever change.

Islamic countries are governed by Islamic religious law, or sharia. While honor killings are not supported in the Islamic religion, they are treated gently by Islamic law. Like it or not, men rule the Middle East, and until the laws get serious, nothing will ever change.

Women are afraid to stand up to the male guard, and it’s no wonder. If they do, they will likely pay with their lives. Whitewashing is not going to change the sickening facts on honor killings. While domestic violence occurs in every country and every religion, civilized countries make the perpetrators pay a price.

Having lived in the Middle East and seen the many things that I have seen, I must honestly say that Middle Eastern culture and religion still supports this heinous crime by looking the other way more often than not. The laws must change and the most severe penalties must be given to these cowardly men who take the lives of their perceived “women” —- be they wives, mothers, sisters or daughters.

> Cynthia J. Reitter lives in Cumming.