Thursday, June 28, 2007

Honourable Men...?

A couple of nights ago, I listened to 'File on Four' on B.B.C. Radio 4. The subject was 'Honour Killings' among women in 'British Muslim communities.'

Let's get one thing straight before we go any further; there is nothing in Islamic texts or teaching that encourages or condones 'honour killings.' It's a cultural thing. Having said that, well...


I did a little more research on the 'Net and made some horrific discoveries, like:

"It is unknown how many women are maimed or disfigured for life in attacks that fall short of murder. Pamela Constable (Gendercide Watch) describes one such case:

"Zahida Perveen's head is shrouded in a white cotton veil, which she self-consciously tightens every few moments. But when she reaches down to her baby daughter, the veil falls away to reveal the face of one of Pakistan's most horrific social ills, broadly known as 'honour' crimes. Perveen's eyes are empty sockets of unseeing flesh, her earlobes have been sliced off, and her nose is a gaping, reddened stump of bone."


And it seems that there is a sizeable number of young women - children even - in this country that go in fear of their lives for wanting things that the rest of our young people take for granted, like choosing one's own friends, deciding whom to marry - or not, choosing one's own clothes, wearing make-up...

But little things like these can get you killed or maimed. By your father, your brother, your uncle or your cousin, either individually or together.

::cough::choke::splutter::wheeze::fucking hell!!!

These are the very people you should be able to turn to for protection - for loving kindness - for compassion if you make mistakes, as we all do from time to time, especially when we're young.

So I have set up a little memorial on my site to some of those who have paid the ultimate price for not being perfect, like one who was hacked to death with four knives, her throat slit in three places while her two daughters, aged 2 and 4 stood by screaming and being splattered with her blood.

It seems the least I can do, having no power to do more. I feel, in a way, that it is none of my business, that it isn't my fight. Sadly, in the past at least, that attitude seems to have pervaded the police forces in this country.

I can only quote in profound sadness Edmund Burke:

"The only thing needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing."


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