And yet, they have.
Originally Posted by JB
Pen and Sword
Beyond Honor Killings
Abigail R. Esman, 08.17.10, 12:10 PM EDT
Contrary to popular belief, they aren't a new thing in the U.S. They--and the honor crimes that go with them--have been happening for years.
“Honor killings,” someone wrote recently in an online forum, “have arrived in America.”
In fact, honor killings have been going on in the Muslim communities of America for years. They haven’t just newly arrived: We’re only starting to know about them--in part because my colleagues in the media are only now summoning the courage to admit it. Over the last two months Marie Claire, which four years ago rejected an article on the subject, ran a major feature about an American Muslim woman at risk; and Fox News rebroadcast the 2008 documentary Murder in the Family: Honor Killings in America. But as the Fox program notes, investigators were already handling honor killing incidents in 1989, and likely even before that. In all cases, the victims were daughters, wives or sisters, killed by fathers (sometimes mothers), husbands or brothers for "dishonoring" the family: by requesting a divorce, by dating before marriage, by refusing to accept an arranged spouse, by having non-Muslim friends.
What no one mentions, however, is the other dirty secret of Muslim families, even in the West: honor violence--the abuse that results not in death, but devastation. Tantamount, at times, to torture, honor violence occurs far more frequently than honor killings, with effects that in some ways could be described as worse.
How bad is it? In 2008 British studies counted nearly 17,000 incidents of honor violence annually, including kidnappings, sexual abuse and murder. Every week, according to an article in the Independent, British organizations rescued three girls from Islamabad--some of them as young as 11--sent there by their parents to be married. These girls often are raped by their much older husbands, who may also use the marriage to immigrate to Europe, continuing the abusive treatment of their brides there as well. Usually, too, the daughters of such couples are kept at home, forbidden to live the lives of Western women, and in turn, married off themselves, probably to a family cousin also in Islamabad--and so the chain continues.
And these are often the luckier ones. Others, including boys, have suffered physical abuses beyond the imagination: Last summer Muslims forced a young (non-Muslim) man in east London to drink sulfuric acid, poured more acid on his back and blinded him with bricks. His crime: being accused of having a relationship with a married Pakistani Muslim woman. Both she and he deny that they are lovers.