“HONOUR/HONOR KILLING: Regardless how you spell it, I say that it is murder; and it must stop!*”

S & R* NEWS* – Sunday, August 7th, 2011: SPECIAL EDITION – Open letter from Antoinette

Dear Readers,
 
I took a few weeks off. I am back into the groove.  I will now upload, nearly every Sunday, my weekly blog post; and some weeks, I will also offer a new recipe under my Kitchen banner. In addition, look for my hospitality reviews: travel, restaurants, hotels/motels , etc.    
 
We at Save and Read* S & R* are well into our second year and are moving forward. We’re making some changes. In a few weeks, you will see an improved home page and much more. Our on-line space will have an improved format and increased opportunities to do more.  
Finally, I wish to announce that we shall turn our attention to our social network platforms. Get in on the fun. My TWITTER page is located at:  saveandread – please register as a follower. My FACEBOOK page – it is located at: Alp Save Andread – please check it out and join in.

That’s all for now.
Have a great week.
Yours truly,
Antoinette
 

Vol. 2,  No. 12, August 7th, 2011
TITLE: “HONOUR/HONOR KILLING: Regardless how you spell it, I say that it is murder; and it must stop!*”
INTRODUCTION
Last time, I said: “I can’t comprehend why anyone would murder a child.  When it comes to a parent killing his or her child, I am dumbfounded. …This is so very wrong!” Today, I am looking at so-called “honor killing”. It starts with a prospective wife looked upon as property. It involves an exaggerated sense of family from which erupts a false right to retribution. It relates to spousal control and abuse. All of this adds up to the crime of murder. My book of the week is “Murder in the Name of Honor” [Hardcover] by Rana Husseini.  
(Editor’s Note:  This week is the second of a series on parent murderers. My current blog post below is about parent (or in-laws) killing adult daughters/daughters-in-law.)
PREVIEW: Next week, I will continue the theme and write about gender and outrageous occurrences. Look for it! See you then.
 
MY LIFE & TIMES*
Honor killing has not touched me personally. However, it has struck close to home.  A long time ago, I heard a horrifying story.  A beautiful, young lady had been found brutally murdered in my town.  She had been killed, her face badly disfigured and left in a toilet stall in a nearby picnic park. Apparently, it was an arranged marriage. She wanted a divorce, but he was a violent controlling husband. We heard on the news that they suspected him, but the authorities didn’t have enough proof.  Still today, when I drive by the park late in the evening, I get the shivers remembering this story. I also take notice of news reporting on honor killings. It affects me greatly.
 
S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #1: White Lie?
In 1979, a city employee named Dan White went on a rampage and killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in City Hall. During the ensuing murder trial, White’s attorney, Douglas Schmidt, presented a remarkable defense: His client’s behavior had been caused by an overdose – of Twinkies! Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had eaten so many Twinkies that their high sugar content had resulted in sufficiently “diminished mental capacity” to account for the killings. The verdict? To the dismay of the prosecution, the jury agreed and convicted White of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=2500
S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #2: Honor System
In a bid to promote Raoul Walsh’s 1917 prison drama The Honor System, producers arranged for a practical demonstration of the Honour System in action, with a prisoner being released for a single day on his honour to return. The prisoner promptly disappeared and was never seen again.
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) –  http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=10227
 
S & R* QUOTE #1: Joseph Campbell
“When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/marriage/
S & R* QUOTE #2: Julia Child
“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all of the time.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –  http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/marriage/
S & R* QUOTE #3: Susan Faludi
“The modern fairy tale ending is the reverse of the traditional one: A woman does not wait for Prince Charming to bring her happiness; she lives happily ever after only by refusing to wait for him — or by actually rejecting him. It is those who persist in hoping for a Prince Charming who are setting themselves up for disillusionment and unhappiness.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/marriage/index2.html
S & R* QUOTE #4: Hina Jilani, Pakistani lawyer and women’s rights activist
“The right to life of women … is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions.”
(Source:Stop Honour Killings) – http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/3783
S & R* QUOTE #5: Female, aged 30, interviewed in Şanlıurfa, Turkey
“If one surrenders, then she is honorable; if you don’t comply with, if you argue back, if you commit suicide, if you risk death to get married with the one you love, then you are dishonorable…If you have a free soul, you cannot be honorable…”
(Source:Stop Honour Killings) – http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/3783
S & R* QUOTE #6: Sirhan, age 35, interviewed in ABC documentary The Lost Honor of Sirhan after serving a six month sentence in Jordan for killing his sister who had fallen victim to rape, 2003
“I would rather die than lose my honour…Our whole life is founded on honour. If we lose it, we have no life, we become swine. If we lose our honour, we are just like swine. We’re no better than animals.”
(Source:Stop Honour Killings) – http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/3783
THE AUTHOR: Rana Husseini
 
Rana Husseini is quite a lady. I admire her. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in journalism from Oklahoma City University.  She went on to become a crime/senior reporter at The Jordan Times. As a journalist, she has won numerous awards: The 1995 MEDNEWS prize award for best article “Murder in the name of honour,” the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1998, the Human Rights Watch Award in 2000 for being part of the National Jordanian Committee to Eliminate Crimes of Honour and the Ida B. Wells award in 2003 for Bravery in Journalism. In 1998, she was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award for her journalism and activism, prompting international media and NGO attention.  She received a medal from the Jordanian Parliament. She is an advisor to the U.S. government funded human rights organisation Freedom House.
 
The day that changed her life was when she heard the story of a young girl whose family had brutally murdered her.  In an interview with PBS, she declared: “In the name of honor, a sixteen-year-old girl was killed by her family because she was raped by her brother. He assaulted her several times and then threatened to kill her if she told anyone. When she discovered that she was pregnant she had to tell her family. After the family arranged an abortion, they married her off to a man fifty years her senior. When he divorced her six months later, her family murdered her.”
Intent on calling attention to so-called ‘honor’ crimes against women, she started reporting every single “honor killing” in Jordan. She quickly recognized that they happened too often and yet the perpetrators were insufficiently punished. She wanted change. Since 1994, as a human rights activist, she used her writings to raise people’s consciousness on this issue.
she lobbied against “honor killings”. In 1998, she joined the Jordanian National Committee to Eliminate So-Called “Crimes of Honor.”  She was behind a campaign for legal reform:  She was intent on rallying the population to sign a petition seeking a change of Jordanian law, imposing stronger penalties for crimes such as these.  King Abdullah II’s half-brother, Prince Ali, was a supporter.  So were Queen Rania, Queen Noor, and King Abdullah. She led a massive march of 5,000 protestors in front of the Jordanian parliament. Recognized as a leading authority on honor killings, she continues her activism and reporting at the Jordan Times, and she published a book, “Murder in the Name of Honor”.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rana_Husseini )
SERIES/COLLECTION
Books, Papers & Articles  
*Jordanian Journalists: Rami George Khouri, Fouad Hussein, Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, Massoud Derhally, Rana Husseini, Montaser Marai by LLC Books (Paperback – Sep 2010)
Works:Husseini reports and books
* “A comparative study of the reform work conducted in Asia and Europe to combat violence and ‘so-called’ honour murders.” (research paper, included in the book “Honour, Violence, Women and Islam”, Routledge, Edited by Mohammad Mazhar Idriss and Tahir Abbas, 2010.
*Jordan’s country report that was included in Freedom House’s survey on “Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa 2010”
http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=384&key=256&parent=24&report=86
*Jordan’s Country Report that was included in the American Islamic Congress’s 2010 publication “A Modern Narrative for Muslim Women in the Middle East.” http://www.aicongress.org/prog/Women/WomenMain.html
(Source: Rana Husseini) –  http://www.ranahusseini.com/
 
THE BOOK: “Murder in the Name of Honor” by Rana Husseini (Author)

In this book, Husseini examines the so-called “honor crimes”, particularly, “honor killing”.  Women everywhere must pay attention: this is an important book!  The Introduction begins as follows: “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. This is what happens to five thousand women who are murdered each year in the name of honour; that’s thirteen women every day. It is very likely that the figure, calculatd by the UN in 2000, is a gross underestimate. …”   Jane Fonda wrote a foreward. In Chapter 1, Husseini wrote:
 
“Kifaya’s crime was to have allowed herself to be raped by her older brother, Mohammed. She had then been forced to by her family to abort and then to marry a man thirty-four years her senior whom she had divorced after six miserable months… She had shamed her family. There was only one solution. Khalid held a glass to Kifaya’s lips …..,he asked her to recite verses from the Quaran and picked up a knife.  Kifaya begged for mercy. Outside the neighbours heard, but did nothing. She started to scream….”  
Husseini’s words are informative, provocative and haunting.  Read and weep. Open your eyes to this terrible catastrophy suffered upon women. Raise your voice and be part of the opposition. Empowering your sisters over there will help you over here.  Help eradicate this scourge.
CONCLUSION
 
In certain cultures, arranged marriages are the norm. Mothers and fathers do it easily – they probably were probably married off in the same way.  I am also told that according to certain religious zealots, it is alright for a freshly-married husband to be controlling and keep his new wife in line. If she objects or mis-behaves, her husband can render punishment or do even worse.
 
So-called “honor killing” starts with a family perceiving an offence against the family. Members think that they have been victimized. As a result, they feel themselves entitled to restore its honor. Usually a relative does the deed. In some instances, parents of the husband are suspected to be involved in this practice. There are even cases where the wife’s mother and father or siblings, avenge the perceived wrongs. The ‘punishment’ is death or horrific disfigurement. The family thinks it has personal and urgent business; and it is entitled to be a vigilante out for quick justice.  The family is all-in-one: the police, prosecutor, judge and jury and also the executioner.
It’s unbelievable that this barbarity continues to this day. It occurs in many societies all over the world – these are looked upon as ‘traditional’. They also happen in ethnic communities throughout Europe and in North America. It has been said that these people are living out a cultural belief, instilled in them through their early years. – that’s no excuse.  It has been said that these people are mentally ill – that’s is no excuse. These people are committing murder. They are just guilty of a high crime.

Personal Comments

If mothers everywhere teach their sons to mind their manners and not fight with girls and adolescent boys are told to act like gentlemen,  I therefore ask:  “How do men abuse women and kill them?” I guess some women teach their young male offspring differently.  
 
Girls will be girls – they want to have fun. Modern young women want life, starting with equal education, liberty to be themselves and freedom to pursue happiness. They see that in the West, young ladies can and do marry out of love. 
 
Girl speak: I am old- fashioned, I think that men should respect women. It brings to mind the song, “Treat her like a lady”, performed by the Temptations. The lyrics start like this:   
                                    “Now I’m the kinda guy who don’t believe
                                     That chivalry is dead, no
                                     ‘Cause I believe a woman should be treated
                                     With the utmost respect, mmm… hmm…”

I can’t image arranging a marriage for my daughter.  A grown up daughter should make her own decisions. Choosing a husband is her perogative. If asked, I will give advice, but that’s as far as I will go. In my culture, some parents give their daughters a trousseau – household products, kitchen utensils, etc., but this does not mean that I have the right to tell her what to do. 

Seeing my daughter happily married makes me happy. When they’re suffering, I suffer too.  If you feel your daughter is marrying the wrong man, advising her is fine, but to force her into a marriage of your choice is wrong.
 
The Point
 
There is absolutely no justification for “honor killings”. These are savage acts.  In many instances, the husband is a monster who must be severely punished. Sometimes, a father, brother and even a mother, is sympathetic and involved. It sickens me to think that in some parts of the world, this is not only accepted, but expected.  This must stop now!
 
ANTOINETTE’S TIP SHEET*
1. Recognize that a parent or in-law does not own a daughter or daughter-in-law;
2. Teach your daughter that they have all of the rights in the world, entitled to be respected and be free of abuse and harm – sometimes a young lady needs to hear this.
3. Lose the perception that it is up to a mother or father to arrange a marriage even if it was culturally acceptable in years past! 
4. Love your daughter unconditionally and respect the choice she makes in choosing her husband;
5. Report anyone you think may be in danger of abuse or conjugal violence – this could lead to “honor killing”; it must be brought to the attention of the authorities.
6. Show some real honor…finally – stop these vile acts against women.   

I am woman and along with all of you out there, we can make a difference. Let’s do it!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
ALP
P.S. I wish to remind you that I have a TWITTER page – it is located at:  saveandread – please register as a follower.

P.P.S. I also have a FACEBOOK page – it is located at: Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
CREDITS
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
 
——————————————————
SCHEDULE I
“IT WORDS FOR ME!*”
For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Dowry”; “Honor Killing”; “”,”,  “”; etc.
Honor killing
An honor killing or honour killing[1] is the killing of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or community. Honour killings are directed mostly against women and girls.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing )
Dowry
A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher or, in Latin, dos) is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage.[1][2] It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride’s parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry)
S & R* BONUS FACT* #1:  Honour killing 
Honour killings are directed mostly against women and girls. But in the past few decades this has extended to the men also. Especially to the lover or boyfriend of the victim of the honor killing. This trend is so common now a days that no honor killing is considered complete until both the male and female perpetrators are murdered, often brutally. In some recent cases, surprisingly the women were pardoned because they accepted the fact that the women were influenced by the male or men in the relation. In such cases the men were forced to violent and painful death by the community thus involved in. Honor killing has more to do with the sense of pride and ego. Since most of the families involved in such crimes are backed up by their community or locality, it often become impossible for the investigation agencies and police to act against them. Murder of people of Foreign Origin under Honor-Killing is also very well documented. Generally they receive the most cruel and harsh treatment if they are found to violate the sanctity of a Indian woman.The perceived dishonor is normally the result of one of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors: (a) dressing in a manner unacceptable to the family or community, (b) wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, (c) engaging in heterosexual sexual acts outside marriage, or even due to a non-sexual relationship perceived as inappropriate, and (d) engaging in homosexual acts (e)Trying to break up an already ceremony accepted Marriage, (f)Having relationship with someone else than the spouse. Women and Men are killed at a almost the same number. But the method of death punishment for the men are often very cruel, chilling and disturbing. Some of these involves removing the sexual organ of the man, putting acid in his eyes and private parts, burning him to a slow death by putting a burning car Tyre over his head, throat slitting by a blunt object and being beaten to death by wooden instruments and stones. Women are generally strangulated or shot.The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that perhaps as many as 5,000 women and girls a year are killed by members of their own families.[2] Many women’s groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect the victims are at least four times more.[3]
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
S & R* BONUS FACT* #2:  Honor killing 
Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University, says that honor killing is: A complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Arab society. .. What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honour killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What’s behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power.[67] An Amnesty International statement adds:The regime of honor is unforgiving: women on whom suspicion has fallen are not given an opportunity to defend themselves, and family members have no socially acceptable alternative but to remove the stain on their honor by attacking the woman.[68]The lawyer and human rights activist Hina Jilani says, “The right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions.[69] Nighat Taufeeq of the women’s resource center Shirkatgah (Lahore, Pakistan) says: “It is an unholy alliance that works against women: the killers take pride in what they have done, the tribal leaders condone the act and protect the killers and the police connive the cover-up.”[70] A July 2008 Turkish study by a team from Dicle University on honor killings in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, the predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey, has so far shown that little if any social stigma is attached to honor killing. It also comments that the practise is not related to a feudal societal structure, “there are also perpetrators who are well-educated university graduates. Of all those surveyed, 60 percent are either high school or university graduates or at the very least, literate.”[71]
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
S & R* BONUS FACT * #3: About ICAHK
The International Campaign Against Honour Killing is a project started by Diana Nammi Director and Founder of London-based charity IKWRO which provides support and protection to women faced with ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage. The project was established in the aftermath of the murder of Heshu Yones, in a climate of growing awareness of ‘honour’ as an factor in women’s subordination. It was out of this awareness, and the understanding that ‘honour’-based violence, and oppression against women justified in the name of ‘honour’ are widespread, and not confined to any particular group, that the movement towards an international project, to inform journalists, academics and the general public and provide a platform for activists to discuss their methods, opinions and experiences, and to share their campaigns within a community.
ICAHK is a secular organisation which stands for the universality of human rights.
(Source:Stop Honour Killings) – http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/4034
SCHEDULE II
STUDY/STATISTICS: 8,000 acts of violence against women reported in 2010 By Joanne – Posted on 06 July 2011
Over 8,000 incidents of violence against women were reported last year, says a report released by a non-governmental organization working for women rights.
The Aurat Foundation released its annual report on violence against women in Pakistan 2010 on Tuesday at a local hotel.
The report reveals that around 2,236 women were abducted, 1,436 were murdered, 928 were raped or gang-raped, 633 committed suicide, 557 were killed in incidents of honor killing, 32 women became victims to acid throwing, 38 were burnt and 486 were subjected to domestic violence. Also, 1,580 miscellaneous cases of violence against women were reported in the country.
(Source: http://www.stophonourkillings.com/?q=node/8109
SCHEDULE III
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Help to make girls unstoppable
For many young girls, being a teenager means opening up to new opportunities and taking on bigger responsibilities. But within this personal growth, stressors and beauty pressures can negatively affect a young woman’s confidence, social interactions and term self-esteem. The Real Truth About Beauty research conducted by Dove found that by the age of 14, more than half (55%) of Canadian girls already feel pressure to be beautiful, with the number growing to 96% by the time they turn 29.As startling as the figures are, the research also shed light on solutions to help ease beauty pressures during the teen years, and the answer begins with positive role models. Confident female mentors for young girls to look up to make a significant impact on boosting  self-esteem and help them reach their full personal potential in life. By intervening early on, we can help young girls address their sources of beauty anxiety that mount between their teen years and early adulthood, says counsellor and self-esteem expert, Lisa Naylor. Most women have the power to help young girls develop positive self-esteem and realize their full potential.There are many ways that you can help to make girls unstoppable:Lead by example. As a confident woman with life experience, you are a realistic depiction to young girls of what seizing opportunities and being happy in your own skin can achieve.
Make some time. Bring a young girl that you want to inspire out for lunch.
Make time to talk with her so you can understand how she’s feeling and let her know that she is important.
Pass it on. Attend or host a self-esteem workshop with a girl in your life and her group of friends to boost their confidence and reinforce positive behaviour within the social circle. You can find everything you need to host your own workshop in easy to follow steps at www.dove.ca.
Make it count. Pledge to support self-esteem in young girls by joining the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem at www.facebook.com/dove.
www.newscanada.com
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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