Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Who will take the honour out of these killings?"

From the Daily Times in Lahore, Pakistan, Farrukh Saleem addresses the murder of Aqsa Parvez in Mississauga, Ontario by her father. Here's an excerpt from a stunningly direct analysis:
Honour killing is our export to Canada. Women who do not wear hijab are not virtuous. Hijab is a Muslim woman’s identity. Hijab is religion. Hijab is the sixth pillar. Hijab symbolises sexual modesty. The West is conspiring to crush Islamic identity. Fact or fiction?

Here’s a fact: Aqsa has been murdered. For us, denial is not an option. According to the United Nations Population Fund more than 5,000 women worldwide fall victim to honour killing. Denial is not an option.

According to the UN’s Special Rapporteur “honour killings had been reported in Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and Yemen”. Egypt is 90 percent Muslim, Iran 98 percent, Jordan 92 percent, Lebanon 60 percent, Morocco 99 percent, Pakistan 97 percent, the Syrian Arab Republic 90 percent and Turkey 99 percent. Of the 192 member-states of the United Nations almost all honour killings take place in nine overwhelmingly Muslim countries. Denial is not an option.

More recently, honour killings have taken place in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. Intriguingly, all these honour killings have taken place in Muslim communities of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. Denial is not an option.

In reading some of his other work, he pounds the drum for better education and does so here also:
Illiteracy and honour killings are correlated. Jacobabad District has a literacy rate of 23 percent, the lowest in Sindh. Jacobabad has the highest rate of crimes of honour; 91 honour killings in 2002. In illiteracy, next to Jacobabad are Ghotki and Larkana. Both Ghotki and Larkana have high rates of crimes of honour: 67 honour killings in Ghotki and 62 in Larkana. Hyderabad, on the other hand, has a literacy rate of 44 percent and there were 5 honour killings in 2002. Denial is not an option.
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