Jan 19, 2006

Destined to die

Sharon Lapkin says honor killings have been on the rise in the Palestinian territories since Israel began building its security fence. Human rights groups, naturally, blame the increase on Israel, but Lapkin points out that honor killings have also increased among British Muslims since the 7/7 bombings.
Nazir Afzal, director of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, told Reuters, there has been at least a “dozen honor killings in the country in the past year.” This, he claims, is just a glimpse of the real problem. “There are other crimes, like rape, abduction and physical violence...”

Afzal claims that a number of Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims are “turning in on themselves...When communities perceive themselves to be under threat they tend to turn in on themselves, regardless of whether that perception has any basis in fact.”
Muslim women, in Palestine and elsewhere, don't stand a chance. Experts say "official" figures only reflect a small fraction of the honor killings committed each year because many families don't report them and Palestinian police regard such killings not as murder but as 'as deaths due to "fate and destiny.'"

Here's a sample of the killings mentioned in the article:

  • Rafayda Qaoud shared a bedroom in her Ramallah home with her two brothers. After they raped and impregnated her, she gave birth to a baby boy who was adopted by another family. Her mother then gave Rafayda a razor blade and ordered her to slash her own wrists. When she refused to commit suicide, her mother pulled a plastic bag tightly over her head, sliced open her daughter’s wrists and beat her with a stick until she was dead.

  • A four-year-old toddler who was raped by a 25 year-old man in 2002, was left to bleed to death because her rape had dishonored the family.

  • Faten Habash spent six weeks in hospital after she threw herself from her family’s fourth floor apartment window. Upon her return home, her father bludgeoned her to death with an iron bar.

  • How preposterous that someone has to even make the case that it's not Israel's fault that these women are being murdered by members of their own families.

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