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Salim Solaiman

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Are you aware of something called "Honor Killing" ? What's your view about the way of bringing this tyranny into an end quickly?

There is a discussion going on here on justification of Death Penalty started by Laurens Rademakers, lot of discussion going on there. Was thinking what about "Honor Killing".

If someone is not aware of that it's a traditional practice of Killing a preson or persons by family or tribe or society member for the sake of keeping the so called HONOR high. No surprise in most cases targets are Women (are we still modern human really ?)!!!

Though in general it is projected as to be something in place to keep sexual morality of society sacred by preventing extra-marital sex or pre martial sex or in broad to prevent adultary it's not always so. In many countries if women go to the court for a divorce even for a valid reason , after winning the case she is being killed in court premise not by her husband of family memebers of husband rather killed by her own father / brother/ any other family member of her own family !!!! What a brutal society we are still having !!!!

In some countries this so Called Honor Killing has got legal approval from in countries legislative code !!! For more reading can check the links below

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing

I know how shocked & shameful the community here will feel about this brutality. Now the question is

How the sufferers can bring it to an end ?
Why this brutality is not in the media that much ?
What the aware empathetic MEN of those society should do?


Edit : Thread is edited to some extent since it was posted with the great suggestion from Birdia :)

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  • Jul 28 2011: In the US (and just about everywhere else in the world, I'm guessing) violence against women is a serious problem. Scan the news and it's not hard to find stories of women killed by their husbands or boyfriends, for "cheating" or for trying to end a relationship or countless other horrible reasons.

    What I think is less common here, and thus more horrific for the American person learning about 'honor killing' in another country, is the notion of a family member, a father or brother, killing their own adult daughter or sister. That does happen here too, but -- another difference -- when it does, it is *without* tacit acceptance from the community.

    This makes me think that the communities themselves must change, in terms of norms and reactions. If a local community rejects the practice, and responds with shock, horror, disgust, and punishment, then individual members will become less and less likely to do it and the practice will become less accepted and less common.

    Imposing this from outside is difficult and fraught with problems; as you suggest, the societies themselves (the sufferers and their families and friends, and others, especially men, who disapprove) are better off uniting to change the culture from within.

    (From the outside, it all becomes too sensationalized. See for instance the hoax 'honor killing' story of Norma Khouri, who wrote an expose about a friend being 'honor killed' by her father in Jordan. She got the book published here in the States, only to have it later revealed by investigators that the story was completely invented. The Western public ate it up though, directing attention to the fraudulent Khouri rather than focusing their support on *real* pro-woman activists in Jordan, many of whom realized from the start that Khouri's story was a fraud; see the documentary "Forbidden Lies" which last I knew was available on YouTube.)
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      Jul 29 2011: Hi Elizabeth
      Thanks for your thoughtful post.
      I can't agree more with what you said. You know even in those society where this brutality happens it seems it's not accepeted as well (ref : Post T E below). But that "Silence" due to shame or fear giving the tyrants the opportunity of taking that silence as acceptance.

      That age old silence need to be broken with huge noise , again from with in.
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    Jul 27 2011: Less than 5 minutes ago: My father's mother was murdered by her brother when he was too young to remember. Her crime was divorcing her husband. My family (including my father) hid this fact from me until I found out in my 30s. They were ashamed. I am now on a mission to return to Iran (where my parents are from--I was born in the U.S.) to ask my uncle why he committed such an act. I will never understand this kind of behaviour. It makes no sense to me, and I am hoping that speaking to this uncle will at least help me figure out how a brother could murder his own sister. As the granddaughter of a victim of Honor Killing, I can attest that nothing can erase the natural inertia of What Will Be. I am proof of that.

    www.persianperversion.blogspot.com
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      Jul 28 2011: A standing ovation to you for sharing your very personal horrible story which is still a reality in many countries. So called modern society of those country and it's people seems deaf and dumb about it !!!

      Great round of applause for your determination to face the person who did that henious crime. A bit worried about your safety , as you are going to Iran to challenge that, please take care of.

      As below here, had long discussion with Birdia , for a change, challenge need to come from with in society itself, but your step can be great leap forward.

      You have very good writing skill as browsed through your blogs.
      May I suggest to change your title may be in to "persiandilemma", as I feel "perversion" can't express what you wanted say about you rather "dilemma" can or "persianconviction" seems even better as I see how determined you are.
      Have good day. All my best wishes
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        Jul 28 2011: Thanks Salim for the thoughtful response! While honor killing has happened in Iran (as it does in other countries such as Italy and India--everywhere from South America to Asia), it's not really accepted in Tehran. That is why my family never told me why my grandmother died, and that is why my uncle (the one who murdered my grandmother) is estranged from our family and nobody speaks or visits him anymore. What he did was considered so bad that the entire family feels ashamed and refuses to talk about it.

        Please keep reading my blog to hear how this progresses! I love comments and I need the support! I hope to have my Iranian identity papers confirmed in a few months, at which point I will be buying a ticket to Tehran to get to the bottom of this mystery.

        www.persianperversion.blogspot.com
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          Jul 29 2011: Dear T E
          You are welcome.
          It doesn't really make difference whether it's acceptable or not to one or the other city or one or the other family, that's completely my view. If the country / society doesn't see it as a crime as a simple cold blooded murder and doesn't punish the the person responsible , that brutalty takes it as granted as if it's accepted.

          In my language there is a prverb that says "silence means acceptance" though it's not true always but seems by at large it is so.

          I am following your blog if that gives you courage , will continue to do so.
          By the way your writing skill is good :)
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          Jul 31 2011: Hi Kate
          You know , there is very strong law in my country against abuse like "rape". But girls / family of girls tend to keep quiet unless exposed soemway as , going to law may punish the culprit but the VICTIM will be victimized for life long by society.

          Once in court or exposed , another vulgarity starts. The lawyer of the culprit or people in favour of him, try to prove the girl had an illicit relation with the culprit for long as suddenly something didn't work the way she wanted, that's why she is now complaining about being raped. Sometimes they also try to prove that the victim actually a prostitute.....

          think of the extent..... more vulgarity starts as media jumps on those nasty lies makes more stories ........ so the victim & her family realize what is called HELL.......!!!

          That may be the reason of silence in these cases ......

          We need to really shake up mindset of the society as a whole
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    Jul 23 2011: Maybe we can declare earth citizenship to all and global sovereignity in basic rights and sustainability, anything beyond this we can do whatever we want.

    My perception is that honor does not warrant killing. We can restore honor but not life.
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      Jul 23 2011: Hi Joe loved your perception really "We can restore honor but not life" !!
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      Jul 23 2011: Absolutely right you are Birdia my friend.

      My stance is also in favour of "Self Help Is The Best Help" since as a kid I read the Greek Myth story of "Hercules & Cart Puller".

      Also expressed my that view in some of the threads here, well again self fell in to the trap of "Should Do" by otthers.

      I am going to edit the title and other questions of this thread right away.

      Thanks for your thoughts and link
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          Jul 23 2011: Hi Birdia
          If in a country its approved by legal system how can we directly relate it with Poverty & Under-education? About India I am not sure whether it's legally approved or not but there are many countries where it is so. In the link of Wiki you will find those countries...

          Yes "Gandhi" would be great but that's a matter of century or more.
          Don't so called edeucated section of the society who are all the time busy with politics and human right situation at global scale of those countries have any responsibility to stop it ?
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          Jul 23 2011: Hi Birdia first it's not a matter of India alone so I am not India specific or specific to any country. You may say every country has to solve it of their own which I also agree. What my concern is not many discussion around about this brutal matter, which gives me a feeling nothing much happening around it or even if it's there might be very insignificant.

          Here in TED also lot of discussions are there e.g. peace, human right, women right etc but never saw any mention of it, so feel there is an overall lack of awareness. That's it.
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          Jul 24 2011: Dear Birdia my friend, your pipe analogy is great !!!
          As always I found your thoughts valuable & it's my honor to get those thoughts really.

          We are on same page regarding Global Economics & Politics. I might be with perspective that Global Politics is more important as Economic decisions are heavily biased with Politics. Here comes my delemma. In one hand like you I believe change should come from with in system i.e. "Self Help is The Best". On the other hand due enormous connectivity than ever we have right now everywhere with politics & economy , it seems to me something should come from that as well. You remember my post at it's begining , which I edited as I found your thoughts more logical.

          Just giving some example, in Colonial United BRitish India (of which my country was also part of it) among Hindu population there were two practices. One was that once husband dies wife was bound to go with her husband in the fire to die (Hindus burns the body). Right that time it was common a girl of 7-9 getting married with man of 40s / 50s or more. With help of some courageous Hindu reformers British Colonial Rulers created a law to Ban that brutality ... since then it's not there (it took a bit time)

          Secondly , another ritual was that a widow girl can never be married and has to live a strict life of rites and was not allowed to take part in most of the social & religious rituals. Again a man Called Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar a bengali figure brought the change by setting example and fighting for it.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishwar_Chandra_Vidyasagar

          So in both cases changes came from with in. Though here both examples are from India but Honor Killing is more wider beyond India. Guess it's less severe in India than other countries.

          I wish something really is happening or will happen to stop this brutality.
          Have a good day my friend.
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          Jul 24 2011: That's really an interesting perspective Biridia. when you asy "May be all of our politicians are pupperts". Yeap that can be very much possible, need to look deep.

          But even if it is so it's the overall GREED driven financial system , which is part of economics but not economics as a whole, may be it's widely applied part of economics now a days & it's flaws are getting more and more visible with it's impact on our environmental and social arena.

          I agree scientific development , atheism can be an answer, but when the whole society or at least majority of the scoiety will evolve in to that. Biggest fallacy is that all the time even the most blind believer of religion takes all the advantage of science and than denounce science that's the situation.

          On the other hand even with in religious thinking change can happen for those brutal rituals as vivid in the link below another Bengali figure of British India

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Mohan_Roy

          You are very much right about the Chastity Belts of Crusaders, but Europe came out that quicker may be due to renaissance and it's impact on scientific development on the continent. Again not being focus to India alone , if I take the example of India, in terms of science & technology they are one of the country to be on driving seat, but still Honor Killing is there.

          So may be we need a social reform accross the countries where it is there from with in with the help of scientific thinking or even moderate rational religious leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy or Vidayasagar.

          It's really great discussion with you Birdia !!! Just love it.
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          Jul 24 2011: Hi Birdia your crusader example is very much valid and relevant one with this subject here.

          I find Raja Ram Mohan Roy & Vidayasgar even more advanced & modern than many of people of present time of internet era, in at least at my part of the world.

          One our recent poet , thinker Humayun Azad who possibly wrote best bengali book on Feminism named "Nari" (women), considered those two persons to be earliest and still leading feminist in our part of the world. I completely agree with him.

          You might be interested in Humayun Azad so giving the link

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humayun_Azad

          Yes I am following the horrible situation of Norway and actually poised a question in the other thread here where discussion is going on about legality or ethical view point on having Death Sentence.

          Thanks for your time Birdia :)
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    Aug 8 2011: Indeed, it is firstly the duty of the respective governments to bring this neanderthal, barbaric custom devoid of morality into the limelight with the SOS logo ' humanity first'. Advertisements should be made showing such a horrific, cruelty tradition is not even fit for wild beasts. Thus, a lot of media attention should be given here. This inhuman custom/tradition is at par with 9/11, the Norway killings and should be treated/disposed in the same manner. Who will bell the cat? Nevertheless, the purpose of religion is to teach civilization, logic thinking, peace, harmony, love for all, hatred for none, human rights & human dignity, respect, freedom and many more positive qualities. No wonder it is compulsory in Islam to acquire as much education as possible for both genders! Especially for women to have a beter next generation. In short, compulsory education, doing good for the sake of good, understanding for real human values such as dignity, respect and freedom should be made mandatory for a healthy, peaceful & harmonious society.
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    Aug 7 2011: Its shocking , inhuman, barbaric and has nothing to do with real Islam or any other true humane religion for that matter.
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      Aug 8 2011: Yes it so as you mentioned , I mean "shocking, inhuman & barbaric".
      How can it be stopped in the cultures and countries where it is still in practice ?
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        Aug 8 2011: I know one region in Europe where it is still happening. The UN is on top of it, but it is difficult. The person who ends up in the position of "blood revenge" as they call it here are struggling with modern sense (not logical to do) and family pride (emotional pressure) and faith. That is 2 against 1 with family living with you.

        Though what I know it is becoming less and less as young people more and more decide to run away than to continue the 'tradition'. The running away part is becoming easier as to start a life somewhere else in Europe is easier.

        Though I am no expert, I think it can only be stopped to teach youth about the effect and the alternatives. In regions like Iran it is more difficult probably to choose for alternatives, nonetheless the options should be made transparent for young generations.

        A website you could 'secretly' visit on your mobile if you end up in the dilemma would be something, (digital) help to make the alternative a logical option.
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          Aug 8 2011: Hi Paul
          Good to hear your voice and thoughts.
          My feeling is that a mass movement against this brutality need to come from with in as Birdia mentioned here.
          In this era of technology and connectivity people of those country may use that as well to unite together as you rightly said in countries like Iran, Pakistan or Middle East it is difficult for people to voice out en mass going in to the street.

          UN or other intervention from outside may be counter productive. But sad to say that even here in TED I don't see people of those countries are vocal against it but they are very vocal about something happening somewhere, which is a hypocrisy.

          Wishing someday people will fight back to stop this brutality.
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        Aug 8 2011: Hi Salim,

        likewise good to have contact.

        I can only speak of European version; The educated people are mostly not anymore in those circles, they talk about getting rid of it The uneducated and mostly poor who know cases in families ignore it, don't talk about it, have faith it does not have to be their calling.

        So going on the streets, who? where? In rural area's are still most cases, so going on the streets in a city, who will be reached.

        Awareness, as simple as a one page website everybody in the country knows about, like 'child-help-phone', a child in the west knows one day about through advertisement, if he/she gets into abuse or family oppression, he/she can safely call that number.

        Again, this counts for Europe, so maybe in Iran going on the streets still is needed as the general consensus is still, even among the educated, an accepted deed.
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    Jul 25 2011: I honestly can't fathom how murding someone gets your honor back. Much less how a father murdering his daughter or a brother murdering a sister and most of all a son murdering a mother brings honor of any kind. Once these "honor killings" are actually seen for what they are "murders" then maybe the numbers will diminish. I would love to say cease but as long there is way to get away with murdering someone under any ridiculous cloak there will be those who defend such practices.
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      Jul 26 2011: Hi Melissa yes sometimes human nature can't be fathomed really , neither I can understand in this case like you how come so called educated people of those socities seems are quiet about this brutality !!!

      You know even then we will boost again we "Human Beings Are Best Creature of All"......... what a hypocrisy !!!!
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      Jul 25 2011: Hi Kate
      Thanks for summerizing. Yes the numbers are even less than the tip of iceberg I believe. Sometimes Govt Machineries don't take those deaths into account as honor killing just take it as suicide.....

      "Karo Kari" is the name of Honor Killing in Pakistan and it has got legal approval to an extent. Lot of "Karo Kari" in Pakistan heard to happen in the premise of court not due to extra marital/ pre marital sex/ adultary , just because the girl or women just went for divorce suit.

      Interestingly even here in TED, the citizens of those countries where Honor Killing is practiced is not participating. What would say this ?

      As a whole I see this brutal matter being avoided like so in real life.......
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          Jul 25 2011: Hi Kate , yes I am also taking it in that positive note of feeling ashamed that's why not participating of instead of "Silence Means Agreement" to the status quo.
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    Jul 29 2011: Salim,

    Honor Killiing is *not* legal in Iran. My father and his uncle are taking my other uncle who killed my grandmother to court! Not sure how the court system work sover there, so stay tuned to find out how this goes!

    Thanks for following my blog!
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      Jul 30 2011: T E
      Understand what you saying. I have no intension to say that it is or was "legal" in Iran. I am not a law specialist to say that even.

      I am afraid of illegally legalness of it. Let me explain, if some law is there but not enforced by authority or people of community don't come forward to get it implemented it can enjoy illegally legal status which is even dangerous.

      Say in my country bribary is illegal. But there is no implementation of it if anyone takes bribes. Even someone who has to offer bribe to get things done, gives that with all hatred and knowing it illegal (may be that person also takes bribe in his situation and place then it's fine , it's a right). The person who had made fortune out of bribes feels the pride externally with his/her fortune but also feels ashamed in mind as s/he knows how s/he made that fortune. Kids of those family never know (lately know defintely) root of their family fortune is bribe , once they know it they feel extremely bad lot of them get frustrated and have all the negative consequences.....

      But due to no application of that anti-bribary law in my country , corruption is rampant. Most of the job seekers first try Government Jobs just because of the opportunity of making fortune illegally. Even with in Government Job they categorise not on the basis of power or honour that job offers but on the basis how big the opportunity of having bribes.

      Same applies to law against "Honor Killing" in a country where law is there without impementation. Hope could clarify my point.
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    Jul 26 2011: We need to allow the women to become empowered. I feel that with social media the woman (and men of course) of Yemen can join together to become a voice and bring forward an end to this brutal practice. No longer is the society held as prisoners to a theocracy that is inflexible! The people must rise up from within as they have done in other Arab states.
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      Jul 28 2011: Hi Joan thanks for your thoughts.
      Yes I agree demand of stopping this brutality should come from with in.
      While traditional media of those countries are just quiet about it, you are right about the use of Social Media.
      It's a tradition of not only Yemen but also other Middle Eastern Countries including Iran, Pakistan & India.
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      Jul 23 2011: Kate I always am shocked with the Media and also skeptic about it's notion. They jump on scandals of bollywood , hollywood , politics and write stories after stories using their own imaginative self centered motive but never gives any importance to this brutality. As if it doesn't exist. May be this is not linked with their profit driven news product.

      Even more shocked when I don't see any strong voice against this brutality from so called civil society of those countries where it is even legally approved. They talk about human rights across the globe, talk about how failed legal system of developed countries are but quiet about this which is happening under their nose. Not sure whether in biggest democracy India it is legally approved or not, hope it's not. But in many countries it is so.
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    Jul 23 2011: Yes, Salim, I am aware of them. There have been 12 in CANADA in the last decade. This is a horror brought by cultural tradition to my own country but it is only a drop in the bucket of stats of crime against women by the men who are supposed to love them- brothers, fathers and husbands. The most dangerous person in a woman's life is known to be their spouse. The most dangerous person in a child's life (statistically) is the mother's boyfriend.

    Ending honour killings would be a great first step. Thank you for caring about this issue and about women.
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      Jul 23 2011: Debra my friend
      In atleast in "Honor Killing" the deadliest person for women is not her spouse, but her brother or father. I read a report one Saudi father killed his daughter as she just communicated with guy on Facebook !!!

      What a brutality , what a deadly hypocrisy it is (not concluding from only one case of Saudi , it's same in other places) !!! Those fathers just crossing bridge every wednesday evening go to Bahrain to get hold of a girl over there or when in Bangkok they are just lunatic about that.

      Howerver it doesn't matter whether its spouse or sibling or father , finally it's a MAN
      Shame shame on such kind of manhood...............
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      Jul 24 2011: There are cases of honour killings in CANADA? women should not be treated like that! In Malaysia, we have the Ministry of Women,Family and Community Development to take care of the welfare of all the women in this country.In my humble opinion, I think the whole world needs to take a step like Malaysia did and stop those barbaric cultures from happening again.