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The Nature of Islam #1

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Palestinian women, girls

killed for family 'honor'

Report: Fathers, brothers, sons murder scores of innocent females each year to avert shame



Posted: May 6, 2003

1:00 a.m. Eastern




© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com


Each year, dozens and probably hundreds of brutal "honor killings" of Palestinian women and girls – most of whom are virtually blameless – go unreported, according to an anthropologist's recent study.


In a story for World and I magazine, James Emery says women in the communities of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and Jordan are killed by male kinsmen in an attempt to protect the reputations of their families.


Emery says the women "are murdered in their homes, in open fields, and occasionally in public, sometimes before crowds of cheering onlookers."


Most occur among Muslims in poor, rural tribal areas or among uneducated urban dwellers, he says, although the practice is not explicitly condoned by the Islamic holy book, the Quran.


In the feudal, patriarchal societies of the Middle East, writes Emery, "honor is based on what men feel is important, and reputation is everything."


"Unfortunately," he says, "thousands of women have been killed in the name of honor because imagination and rumors are as important as actions and events."


When a girl's chastity is in question, he says, her family feels the shame, even if she is raped or the rumors prove unsubstantiated.


"A woman shamed is like rotting flesh," a Palestinian merchant told Emery. "If it is not cut away, it will consume the body. What I mean is the whole family will be tainted if she is not killed."


Woman always blamed


Emery says the reasons for honor killings include allegations of premarital or extramarital sex, for refusing an arranged marriage or attempting to obtain a divorce, or simply for talking with a man. The murders are carried out by fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins or sons.


Among Palestinians, all sexual encounters, including rape and incest, are blamed on the woman.


"The issue of consent is irrelevant when it comes to honor killings," says Marsha Freeman, director of the International Women's Rights Action Watch. "It has to do with the woman being defiled. It completely objectifies the woman as being about her sexuality and purity. It makes her not human."


Women's groups and human-rights organizations campaigning to eliminate honor killings are hindered by the lack of reliable statistics.


Under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, at least 25 "official" honor killings occur each year, says Emery, but the actual number of deaths is much higher.


Many murders are ruled an accident, suicide, or family dispute, if they're reported at all, he says: "Police and government officials are often bribed to ignore crimes and hinder investigations. A woman beaten, burned, strangled, shot, or stabbed to death is often ruled a suicide, even when there are multiple wounds."


Because honor killings are accorded special status, murderers serve little or no jail time, the anthropologist notes. Some men convicted of premeditated murder serve as little as three months and are treated as celebrities by family and friends upon release.


Emery says in communities where the crime is prosecuted, teen-age brothers are encouraged to kill their sisters because the consequences will be less severe due to their age. Relatives of the victims, including mothers and sisters, often defend the killings and occasionally help set them up.


"The brutality of the attacks is shocking," he says, recalling the story of an 18-year-old Palestinian man who stabbed his teen-age sister 40 times because of a rumor she was involved in an extramarital affair.


"The family thanked God for her death," Emery says. "In an adjacent neighborhood, a 16-year-old boy killed his divorced mother, stabbing her repeatedly as he chased her into the street."


According to Emery, some Palestinian women who face a loss of honor and certain death have been offered a chance "to die with dignity" by strapping on explosives and killing Israelis.


Emery has done extensive research in Palestinian communities and has lived and traveled overseas for a number of years. He is an expert witness on Asian and Arab culture in civil and criminal cases and a lecturer on Middle Eastern terrorism.


He says the murder of females in the Middle East is an ancient tradition that began prior to the arrival of Islam in A.D. 622. Arabs sometimes buried infant daughters to avoid the possibility they would later bring shame to the family, Emery notes.





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As the article points out, these acts actually have nothing to do with Islam. They come from the local cultures predating the introduction of Islam. I've seen no evidence that the Quran sanctions such treatment of women. In fact, it gives women rights Western "civilizations" are just getting around to.


And Hindus in India probably lead the world in the killing of female fetuses and infant daughters because daughters are seen as such a burden. And don't ge me started stalking about bride burning. Maybe we should have a thread called "The Nature of Hinduism."

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while reading this post, I was just hit by a reality... The idiotic notions of various religions and their contradictions cost innocent lives.


I do agree that this is due to Islam... because in Islam women are virtually property of men. They are treated not as humans but as some things... It is so disgusting.


And the wife burning in India is due to Hinduism, due to the very fact that in hinduism there emerged notions of dowry and castes etc. which led to things like wife burning and all those other crazinesses.


To come to think of it, every religion has a contradiction, it is as if they are trying to ruin lives in the name of a supreme being.

For example, the burning at the stake of witches in middle ages by christians.


Such cruelty has come up due to the inaccurate understanding of the scriptures and the recreation of delusions that were supposed to be destroyed after the thorough understanding of life.


I am going to click the post button now, i dont' feel so good after reading such horrible news.


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I think it's more accurate to say that the problems cited are due to Muslims than to Islam as it's given in the Quran. Actually, Quran gives women the right to own their own property, the right to divorce their husbands by just saying so, and lots more. That's not to say that there aren't archaic things in the Quran that we would consider misogynistic. However, most of the terribly abusive things we think about in connection with Mulism societies is actually attributable to regional cultures more than to the Quran. (There may also be support for some of this nonsense in those supplemetary texts--hadiths? I haven't read them.)

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