Ninety-one percent of honor-killings worldwide occur in Muslim communities, though the religious demographics have mostly been sidestepped in reporting on this story. As usual, Qur’an 4:34 is the elephant in the room, because it validates in letter and spirit the idea of using violence to “control” supposedly disobedient women.
“‘Honour’ violence is acceptable, say one in five young British Asians,” by Leon Watson for the Daily Mail, March 19 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A large number of young British Asians support violence against women who ‘dishonour’ their families, a Panorama investigation will claim today.
The hard-hitting BBC documentary reveals more than two thirds of Asians between the ages of 16 and 34 say communities should live according to ‘honour’ or ‘izzat’.
Research carried out for the show found nearly one in five — 18 per cent — said certain acts thought to shame families were justification for violence.
The possible reasons included disobeying a father, marrying someone unacceptable or wanting to end a marriage.
Honour-related violence can include acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings, and death. But 94 per cent of those questioned said there was ‘never a justification’ for murder.
BBC1’s Panorama programme on honour killings will be screened tonight at 8.30pm.
A study of police data by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation recorded over 2,800 honour crimes a year.
Nazir Afzal, lead prosecutor on the crimes for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘We don’t know the true figure of honour killings. It’s anything between 10 and 12 a year in this country.’
Jasvinder Sanghera, of the charity Karma Nirvana, set up a helpline for women at risk. It receives around 500 calls a month but she says this is the tip of the iceberg.
Of 500 Asians interviewed for the Panorama poll, 75 per cent of young men and 63 per cent of young women said families should live according to ‘honour’.
In 2006, Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, south London, was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they thought her boyfriend was unsuitable.
Cousins Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar hussain, both 28, were jailed for a minimum of 22 and 21 years respectively for the honour killing of the 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd.
The victim’s father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle Ari Mahmod were jailed for life at the Old Bailey in 2007.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are determined to end honour violence.’