Clash of civilizations update from the Christian Science Monitor (hmmm. We’re going to have to do something about that name) with thanks to Nicolei:
OXFORD, ENGLAND — In the summer of 2004, Manna Begum was in love with Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, a young Iranian studying in the city of Oxford.
Her Bangladeshi parents had arranged for her to be married, but she wanted nothing of it.
Ms. Begum’s parents forbade her to see Mr. Ghorbani-Zarin, but she ignored their wishes. Upon discovering in August that she was pregnant, Begum and her boyfriend decided to get married, according to testimony given in an Oxford court last week.
Three months later, Ghorbani-Zarin was killed and Begum’s father and brother are now on trial for the murder – apparently the latest in a series of brutal honor killings to take place in Britain.
“The relationship with the girl brought shame and dishonor on the family,” prosecuting lawyer Julian Baughan told the court. “That drove the accused, led by the head of the family, to murder Mr. Ghorbani-Zarin to vindicate the family’s honor.”
The number of such “honor killings” carried out in Britain is unknown. But in late 2004, British police began reexamining 117 murders to see how many were motivated by honor.
The issue has taken on increased sensitivity since the July 7 bombings in London, which heightened attention on ethnic minority communities and their integration into British society.
“People feel that this is defining an important part of who they are,” says Humera Khan, who advises An-Nisa, a respected Muslim women’s group she helped to found in 1985.
“Making them give it up is a difficult process – especially when campaigns against forced marriage are often led by feminist groups who are also often hostile to religion.”
Read it all.