Today, the headline that kept showing up in my newsfeed was Jordan Honor Killing: Pregnant Woman’s Throat Slit In Ruseife. While this is obviously one of the most horrifying things I could read first thing in the morning, what frightened me the most was my complete lack of surprise. Honor killings, rape, and other murders committed in the name of religion are all too common. What is frequently ignored in the political rhetoric is how often they occur in the Western world and how in North America we have made them our own.
Sitting at my allergist’s office in 2011, I picked up a copy of Time and was shocked to read about the murder of Noor-al-Maleki and the attempted murder of Amal Khalaf in Arizona. Not Jordan, not Syria, not Afghanistan, but the United States. Later on, I was surprised to read that similar cases had occurred in England and Canada. I was disappointed that the only news sites apparently keeping track of these outrageous murders are conservative watchdog sites, which are easily dismissed due to their rabid anti-Islamic rhetoric. Honor killings are not sanctioned in Islam. They are less a part of Islam than witch hunting is a part of Christianity. They are a socially permissible way to dispose of difficult women in a theocracy. Continue reading