Illustrating the polar difference between western and Islamic concepts of honor, Sharon Lapkin writes in FrontPage:
When Israel began erecting a separation barrier in late 2003 to protect its citizens from the seemingly endless procession of suicide bombers, Palestinian society responded by redirecting its destructive urges inward. All revolutions are said ultimately to turn upon themselves and devour their own children. And, when suicide bombing became an increasingly difficult means of enhancing family prestige, Palestinians shifted the focus onto their female offspring to restore the balance.
Suicide bombings in Israel had developed into a bloody and lucrative industry for Palestinians who carried out 39 attacks in 2002. But, since Israel began constructing its anti-terrorist fence, the Palestinian human-bomb industry has been reduced to bankruptcy by producing only 11 attacks in more than two years.
Honor killing, on the other hand — which has always been an integral aspect of Palestinian life — began gathering momentum. With horrifying zest, weapon-wielding fathers, brothers, uncles and sometimes mothers, hunt down their daughters and sisters and commit shocking acts of violence for real and imagined immoral transgressions.
The Arab motivation for murdering their own daughters flows from the same cultural wellspring that produces suicide bombers. The defensive form of honor, called ird, is consumed with female sexual purity and manifests itself in the murder of its own to restore family honor, whereas the offensive manifestation, sharaf, requires positive actions implemented to heighten social status and increase family honor. As Palestinian society retreats from its failure to infiltrate the daily life of Israeli citizens with death and destruction, it compensates by killing its own and depositing ird in its honor bank…
During a particularly brutal spate of honor killings in early 2005, five Palestinian women were murdered in four separate incidences over a short period of time. 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.
Two days later, Maher Shakirat attacked his three sisters. The eldest, Rudaina, was eight months pregnant and had been admonished by her husband after he claimed she”d had an affair. Maher forced his sisters to drink bleach before strangling them. The youngest, Leila, escaped but had serious internal injuries from the effect of the bleach.
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…
Read it all, if you have the stomach for it.