Honor killings: the fruit of our indiscriminate immigration policy

The recently reported beheading of a woman by her “moderate Muslim” husband near Buffalo, N.Y., was an honor killing.  (I posted on it here.)  She had left her husband, and he was bent on restoring his honor. (He was also just bent, period.) As we refuse to discriminate between would-be immigrants based on such notions as belief in basic rights for women, religious tolerance, or tolerance in general, we will be increasingly plagued by the barbaric customs of primitive cultures.

For instance, soon after we started this blog, Ann posted on blood feuds among Albanians in their native country, and wondered if they would bring their feuds here.   And they have, at least in one instance.

Honor killings seem to be pervasive in the Muslim world, and this quaint custom has definitely been  brought to the United States in a big way.  (See our previous posts on honor killing here.) I want to point out a report by Phyllis Chesler in the Spring issue of the Middle East Quarterly titled “Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?”

The answer, of course, is that these two things are not the same, and Chesler reports on her study of more than 50 honor killings in North America. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but she provides this handy chart which summarizes the differences.

Table 1: Differing Characteristics of Honor Killings and Domestic Violence

Honor Killings Domestic Violence
Committed mainly by Muslims against Muslim girls/young adult women. Committed by men of all faiths usually against adult women.
Committed mainly by fathers against their teenage daughters and daughters in their early twenties. Wives and older-age daughters may also be victims, but to a lesser extent. Committed by an adult male spouse against an adult female spouse or intimate partner.
Carefully planned. Death threats are often used as a means of control. The murder is often unplanned and spontaneous.
The planning and execution involve multiple family members and can include mothers, sisters, brothers, male cousins, uncles, grandfathers, etc. If the girl escapes, the extended family will continue to search for her to kill her. The murder is carried out by one man with no family complicity.
The reason given for the honor killing is that the girl or young woman has “dishonored” the family. The batterer-murderer does not claim any family concept of “honor.” The reasons may range from a poorly cooked meal to suspected infidelity to the woman’s trying to protect the children from his abuse or turning to the authorities for help.
At least half the time, the killings are carried out with barbaric ferocity. The female victim is often raped, burned alive, stoned or beaten to death, cut at the throat, decapitated, stabbed numerous times, suffocated slowly, etc. While some men do beat a spouse to death, they often simply shoot or stab them.
The extended family and community valorize the honor killing. They do not condemn the perpetrators in the name of Islam. Mainly, honor killings are seen as normative. The batterer-murderer is seen as a criminal; no one defends him as a hero. Such men are often viewed as sociopaths, mentally ill, or evil.
The murderer(s) do not show remorse. Instead, they experience themselves as “victims,” defending themselves from the girl’s actions and trying to restore their lost family honor. Sometimes, remorse or regret is exhibited.

Chesler also provides charts with the names and particulars of some of the victims of honor killings here and in Europe. She points out:

The problem the West faces is complex. Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus view honor and morality as a collective family matter. Rights are collective, not individual. Family, clan, and tribal rights supplant individual human rights.

The overwhelming number of honor killings are among Muslims. She also reports that

…accusations of Islamophobia stymie discussion and policy formulation when policymakers seek to address problems occurring among Muslim immigrants. Still, there are legal interventions underway in Europe, home to between twenty and thirty million Muslim immigrants and their descendents, as opposed to perhaps four million in the United States and Canada.  Honor-related violence is, therefore, more visible in Europe than in North America. In 2004, Sweden held an international conference on honor killing, calling for “international cooperation” on the issue.

And there have been conferences and efforts in France, Britain and Germany. Here,

U.S. law enforcement has made tremendous progress over the last forty years on issues related to violence against women. However, there are not yet any shelters for battered Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh girls or women who fear that they will be murdered for honor. A regular shelter for battered women does not specialize in honor killings, nor are there any provisions for foster families—Muslim or otherwise—who can protect girls targeted for murder by their biological families. Critics would oppose any such intervention, however, as a form of cultural oppression, for many victims may have to forfeit their identities in order to remain alive.

There’s much more of interest.  One more thing: She warns that in enlisting the help of Muslim groups, authorities have to be very careful not to use radical groups who will encourage law enforcement to ignore honor killings as a cultural practice that should be respected.

Update 2/24/09: See my later post on the feminist denial of honor killings.

Update 2/25/09: Phyllis Chesler has a great article at FrontPage Magazine summarizing reactions from Muslims and feminists about the beheading and the controversy over whether it was an honor killing or not. It is so packed with information that I can’t summarize it; read the whole thing.

Update 2/27/09: My post, Beheader said headless wife can’t reach paradise, gives additional evidence to link the beheading to Islam and honor killing.

Ireland taking Rohingya Muslim refugees

More distressing news from the British Isles this morning (see first distressing news here).  Ireland is taking 78 Rohingya Muslim refugees.  From the Irish Times:

SEVENTY EIGHT Burmese refugees are due to arrive in Ireland next month after being selected for resettlement here under a United Nations scheme.

The group of 16 families, who belong to Burma’s Rohingya minority, left their country in 1992 and have been living in camps on the Bangladesh/Burmese border since then. They will spend six weeks at an orientation centre in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo to prepare them for permanent resettlement in other towns.

The plight of Burma’s estimated 800,000 Rohingya, a Muslim minority based in the northwest of the country, attracted international attention in recent weeks following reports that hundreds who fled to Thailand were mistreated by the Thai military.

I wrote about the camps at Cox’s Bazaar in my first post on Rohingya here.  Note these camps are believed to be home to Islamic radicals.

The 78 refugees – 28 adults and 50 children – who are due to travel to Ireland are currently living in camps in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh and were identified by the UNHCR as a priority group for resettlement.

So far the US is not officially resettling Rohingya (Burmese Muslims are here, it’s not clear if they are Rohingya), but Canada has.   Note to the Irish authorities, don’t resettle the Rohingya anywhere near the Burmese Karen Christians, they don’t get along.    Poor Ireland they thought their Catholic/Protestant “troubles” were bad.  Just wait!

The Burmese Karen who came to Ireland last year were eventually resettled in Castlebar and Ballina, while 180 Iranian Kurds who arrived the previous year settled in Sligo, Carrick-on-Shannon and Mullingar.

The department said that discussions were continuing with various communities in relation to long-term resettlement arrangements for those who arrive in the coming months.

For everything you need to know about Rohingya, see our entire category on the topic here.

Incredible News! The British have Somali terrorists returning to the UK

It’s been happening in Great Britain too!  Somalis, former asylees, have gone to Somalia for terrorist training and British intelligence thinks they are now returning to the UK.  Regular readers of RRW know that we have been on the story of American Somalis leaving for Africa since the story first broke in the media in November (here).  The great fear among our intelligence people is that they will in fact return to the US with their newfound skills.

Britain also has its first suicide bomber as do we, both thought to be members of al Shabab (we are coming to get you).   Hat tip to an annonymous commenter.

From the Times today:

Dozens of Islamic extremists have returned to Britain from terror training camps in Somalia, the British security services believe.

Intelligence analysts are worried that they may attempt to launch attacks in this country or use the kudos from having trained and fought in Somalia to try to attract new recruits. The issue was raised by Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, in his first interview last month.

In the US, the outgoing head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, has said that Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in late 2006 “catalysed” expatriate Somalis around the world.

An investigation for Channel 4 News, to be broadcast tonight, also reveals that a suicide bomber who grew up in Ealing is thought to have blown himself up in an attack in Somalia that killed more than 20 soldiers.

Tiny UK has 250,000 Somalis!  I don’t know exactly what our Somali population is but the State Department resettled 80,000 over 25 years, so factor in huge families and our numbers must be greater.

The incident (suicide bombing) is the first reported case involving a Somali based in Britain and will add to pressure on Scotland Yard and the Home Office to tackle the problem within the Somali community, which, at about 250,000 people, is the biggest in Europe.

They don’t know exactly how many are leaving 50, 60, 70?   At one point we had a report that 40 have left the US, but now our intelligence people are saying 20, but in reality, they don’t know.

Peter Neumann, a terrorism expert who runs the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, told Channel 4 News: “The numbers I hear [going from Britain to Somalia] are 50, 60 or 70, but in reality we don’t know. You don’t need big numbers for terrorism. Somalia will never become another Pakistan, but that does not mean it is not a threat.”

Most Somalis in Britain entered the country as asylum-seekers within the past 20 years. They include Yasin Omar and Ramzi Mohammed, two of the four men convicted of the botched bombing of the London Underground on July 21, 2005.

Read the rest of the article and learn more about Britain’s first homegrown Somali suicide bomber.