Bring It On!

No ‘Honor’ In Honor Killings

May 18th, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

It’s nothing new in many parts of the world, but it’s always shocking to me to hear about another so called “honor killing.” Such cold blooded murders are almost always targeted against young women by members of their own families for what can only be called religious transgressions.

Such is the case catching the headlines today of 17 year old Dua Khalil, a Kurdish Iraqi teenager brutally kicked and stoned to death in front of a crowd of seemingly eager bystanders. Killed by members of her own family for being seen with a Sunni man-allegedly seen that is.

Khalil was born and raised into the religion Yazidi, a small and ancient sect who, among other things, look down on any kind of ‘mixing’ with people of other religions. So when members of her family believed she had either married a Sunni or converted to the Sunni brand of faith simply because she was reported to be seen with a Sunni man, they believed that their family would suffer greviously unless her transgression was avenged by her death at their hands.

Talk about f*#king medieval. Talk about f*#king twisted.

And while honor killings aren’t exclusive to Islam or the Middle East, it is within that religion and that region of the world that they are most commonly found.

With that in mind, let’s step back a moment from the horrific act itself and ask ourselves an important question: Can we really bring freedom and democracy to parts of the world (including Iraq) where acts like these are not only rationalized, but indeed are part and parcel to the social norms? And if we cannot, what in the hell are we really going to accomplish by spilling our own blood into the desert sands of the middle east?

Okay- I realize that America isn’t in Iraq for altruistic reasons. It’s pretty much about the oil and a cover for the transmission of American tax dollars into the hands of certain multi-national corporations who used to be run by current administration officials. But c’mon! Even the idea that we could wash away hundreds of years of backwards religious indoctrination and tribal societal horrors with an invasion force is absurd.

Yet similarly, the rule of law has had a dimunitive effect on reducing or stopping the practice of honor killing, mostly because the regions of the world where it is most prevalent have low regards for women in general, few, if any human rights laws, and most importantly, because their judicial systems don’t view these acts as harmful to the greater society. Of course, they are wrong, wrong, wrong. But being wrong never stopped a murderer before.

All in the name of religion folks…all in the name of religion. Oh, and for the record, extreme Christianity has a version of honor killing too.

Excuse me while I go puke on a pile of “sacred religious texts.”

[tag]honor+killing, Dua+Khalil, backwards+theology, religion[/tag]

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  1. 13 Responses to “No ‘Honor’ In Honor Killings”

  2. By tos on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    According to the report you linked is that the men were arrested and they are looking to get on the road to try and prevent these killings. Of course it won’t happen overnight but the fact that it is being condemned is a step in the right direction.
    I think the link about abortionists takes away from the importance of a woman or girl being slaughtered in such a manner.

  3. By Jersey McJones on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    My wife has more of a stomache than I. I think it was CNN showing the murder of that young girl in Iraq. It was ostensibly an “honor” killing. I can’t imagine what’s the “honor” of it. I couldn’t watch, but for the occasional glimpse. It made me cringe.

    “My God, what have I done?,” a great pop-music writer once said. At least Saddam didn’t tolerate that sort of creepy, lowly, nasty shit. I’d rather be a woman in Iraq twenty years ago, than a woman in Iraq today.


  4. By tos on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    Yeah Jersey all the killing and torture was left to him to do of his choosing.

  5. By SteveIL on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    A horrific crime. Not only does this happen in the Middle East, but this is a big problem amongst many Muslims who come in as guest workers in Europe, especially since the host country has usually failed to assimilate these Muslims as part of their culture and country. It is one of the great things about the U.S. in that not only do we welcome Muslims in this country, but do our utmost to assure them their 1st Amendment rights to freely exercise that worship. It is those that subvert Islam to use it politically against the U.S. that needs to be stopped as this is not a protected right. And the same goes with Christianity and Judaism, and all of the other religions worshipped by Americans. Or not to worship even.

    I take exception however with the statement that “extreme Christianity has a version of honor killing too.” The only people in that link doing any killing are the abortionists, not the so-called Christian extremists.

    Hey Jersey, women were more free when Saddam the Butcher ruled Iraq. They were free to be raped and murdered by Saddam’s son Uday or another piece of vermin in his government. You probably didn’t know about it because Saddam only allowed the state-run media to tell his side of everything. It would be an excellent guess that Saddam’s media didn’t make any kind of effort to mention these inconvenient facts. Because Saddam’s state-run media didn’t report these incidents doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. And they did.

    I keep wondering how you come such stupid conclusions. I’m assuming you believe Joe Stalin was a great guy too, right?

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    I gotta ask. What, at the last link is even remotely the equivalent or “extreme Christian version” of honor killing. The only ones being killed are the one’s that group is trying to stop: the ones that will never be born. Hence, the connection to honor killing escapes me entirely.

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    It may be that you are referring to those who kill abortion doctors and nurses and blow up/set fire to abortion clinics but I don’t see any evidence of that at that site. I admit that I didn’t click every link or read ever word contained therein but I didn’t see any encouragement to murder there.

    Perhaps you refer to taking pictures of people who come and go at abortion clinics. While no one (so far as I know) has lost their lives, they can be embarrassed and have their privacy invaded. Could it be that you are referring to that as a version of honor killing? If so, the connection is pretty remote.

  8. By ken grandlund on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    The website linked about Christian extremism is an older organization that did indeed advocate for the murder of abortion doctors. While they no longer have the particular pages up, at one point they had a page with the names of over 200 physicians with the marks “working,” “wounded,” or Fatality” splashed across or by the physician pictures. A link on my link will bring up an AMA press release that dealt with that particular site. And yes, Craig, this is what I am referring to when I said “extreme Christianity’s version of honor killing.” Perhaps I should have found a better link, but you clearly got my message, which was, in short, that killing to protect the “honor” of someone or a religious belief isn’t honorable at all.

    tos- yes, the men were arrested, but there is no indication that they will actually be prosecuted. Similarly, there were local police in the near vicinity of tha murder who did nothing to stop the crime and dozens of “regular” citizens who stood around watching and taking pictures. Nice group, they. And the link was meant to refer to Christian extremists attacking doctors, comparing the attacks and deaths of those doctors in the name of relligion to the killing of this young woman in the name of religion. I was making no comparison between abortion and so-called honor killings. That should have been clear to you, knowing my overall position on abortion itself.

  9. By Liberal Jarhead on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    There’s a section in the book “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris that addresses so-called honor killings and says it better than I could. Harris calls eloquently for the creation of a truly reasoned and rational science of ethics, based on the starting assumption that it is good to do things that increase happiness for other people and other sentient beings and bad to do things that unnecessarily cause suffering. He systematically dismantles apologies for such behavior based on the idea that they are just practicing different cultural norms, and goes on to say:
    “As in any other field, there will be room for intelligent dissent on questions of right and wrong, but intelligent dissent has its limits. People who believe that the earth is flat are not dissenting geographers; people who deny that the Holocaust ever occurred are not dissent historians; people who think that God created the universe in 4004 BC are not dissenting cosmologists; and we will see that people who practice barbarisms like “honor killing” are not dissenting ethicists.”

    Great book, combining great humanity and passion about people’s well-being with razor-like and remorseless logic and zero tolerance for irrationality.

  10. By ken grandlund on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks LJ- I’ll have to see about finding that book.

  11. By Lazy Iguana on May 18, 2007 | Reply

    Freedom is on the march. Carrying rocks.

  12. By Jersey McJones on May 19, 2007 | Reply

    Tos, overall things have gotten worse for women - and children - in Iraq. But I guess since they’re not embryos, you don’t care.


  13. By tos on May 20, 2007 | Reply

    Jersey-I ever said anything regarding embryos.Yes I know things have gotten worse in Iraq. I never said they haven’t. But keep using that arguement because the people doing the killing in Iraq just goes to show who the real loonies are.

  14. By SteveIL on May 21, 2007 | Reply


    Regardless of whether or not the link you provide are Christian extremists, it is actuall the abortionists doing the killing. And killing about 500,000 to 1,000,000 humans a year, and justifying that this “freedom” is somewhere in the Constitution. Even the Islamofascists that justify “honor” killings amongst their own haven’t killed at that rate.

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