British Left Ignores Gender-Based Honor Killings

Shafilea AhmedThe murder of the teenager Shafilea Ahmed is likely to stand out in British history as a particularly gruesome example of what we now refer to as “honour killings”. Shafilea had warned that her parents were trying to marry her off to Pakistan; others knew she had sustained injuries from beatings by her parents; she had even tried to commit suicide in Pakistan. But right until the end, her own life was fated to be out of her control – she went missing in 2003 and her dismembered body was found a year later.
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It took eight years for the murderers of the Sikh woman Surjit Athwal – her own husband and mother-in-law – to be brought to justice in 2007. It took ten years for Mehmet Goren to be jailed, in 2009, for murdering his daughter Tulay, because she fell in love with an older man of a different Muslim sect. Last year Gurmeet Singh Ubhi was found guilty of murdering his 24 year old daughter Amrit because the Sikh girl was dating a white man. There are others too – Heshu Yones, Banaz Mahmod, Nuziat Khan – the list of women murdered in the UK over their “honour” is depressingly long.

Any decent person would be angry and sad when presented with these names. But it isn’t enough to be sad: we have become complicit in this epidemic of abuse and violence by not doing more to challenge it. This should be a left-wing cause célèbre but instead there is an embarrassed silence. Left-wing activists robustly challenge racism and homophobia – so why isn’t more being done to stand up to this social evil?
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In the past, most left-wing intellectuals and activists avoided the issue of cultural integration for good reason: it was usually a code-word for assimilation and conjured up images of whites telling others their way of life was inferior. But caught between attacks from the right on multiculturalism, and worries that speaking out would look racist, we have become paralysed. Meanwhile, these problems are set to get worse as more second and third generation children of immigrants come of age.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (Ikwro) found last year that 39 out of 52 police forces across the UK had recorded at least 2,823 “honour” attacks over 2010. Some forces showed a jump of nearly 50 per cent in such cases from 2009.

Read the rest: Left Cannot Continue Silence Over Honor Killings.

This entry was posted in Activists, Great Britain, Honor Killing, United Kingdom on by .

About Asma Marwan

The Story of the Poetess Asma bint [daughter of] Marwan and her Death * There was a poetess [in Medina] who wrote a poem against Mohammed and his new way of life, Islam. Mohammed said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” One of his followers heard him and on that very night went to the woman’s home and killed her. The assassin was able to do the work in the dark as the woman slept. Her other children lay in the room, but her babe lay on her breast. The stealthy assassin removed the child and drove the knife into her with such force that he pinned her to the bed. In the morning, he went to Mohammed and told him [what he’d done]. Mohammed said, “You have helped Allah and his Apostle.” When asked about the consequences, Mohammed said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads together over this.” Mohammed turned to the people in the mosque. He said, “If you wish to see a man who has assisted Allah and his Prophet, look ye here.” Omar cried, “What, the blind Omeir?” “No,” said Mohammed, “call him Omeir the Seeing.” * from the Sira (the life of Mohammed) Source Texts Guillaume, A. 1955. The Life of Mohammad: A Translation of Bin Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah Oxford: Oxford University Press, page 996. Muir, Sir William. 1923. The Life of Mohammad: From Original Sources Edinburgh: Reprint, John Grant, page 239.

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