Friday, July 24, 2009

Honour Killings are about an ideology

The news of the honour killings of the Muslim women in Kingston filled me with rage.

Born people are murdered every day in this country. I don't typically comment on these killings because Canadian society accepts that they are wrong.

However, I find honour killings very disturbing.

Because these are community-accepted ways of dealing with domestic problems.

Do all Muslims accept them? Of course not.

But in many parts of the world, killing women for bringing shame on their family is not only accepted, but expected. It is only natural that immigrants from these parts of the world bring their ideas with them. They are importing a murderous ideology into Canada.

Murder will always exist. You can't get upset with every report of murder. What angers me is ideologically-based and systematic murder-- for whatever reason.

This is what Honour Killings are about. They're not about individual domestic violence, about one man trying to force a woman to do his individual bidding.

They are about a collective set of beliefs. Honour Killings, by definition, require that you restore your reputation in the community by killing the people who besmirch the family's reputation.

I don't even care whether this is about Islam or not. To me, the religious aspect is not the point.

It's about a collectively accepted, murderous ideology.

As an aside...Antonia Zerbisias asks this pertinent question:

If a man -- any man, whether a member of a criminal biker gang or just some goof -- takes out another guy as payback for being disrespected, do we say ''honour killing?''

No, we do not.

When a Christian husband born and bred in Canada kills his wife for walking out on him, or cheating on him, do we call it an ''honour killing?''

Again, it's about ideology. There is no community in Canada that accepts that killing a wife is okay to solve one's problems. Only criminals accept that killing one another is okay in order to restore one's reputation.

There was a time when "honour killings" were accepted in the West...largely among the practice of dueling.

Dueling has all but died out. Because the ideology that upheld this practice died out.

Dueling makes no sense if the people around you don't accept dueling as a means to restore your reputation. If anything, challenging someone to a duel would make you look ridiculous.

In the same way, honour killings only make sense if a community accepts it as a solution. If your reputation is not restored by killing your family members, then there is no point in doing it.

This is something the wider community should be vigilant about. It's all well and good not to tar all Muslims, but when it comes to people dying, we should a little more circumspect about the truth of the matter. Political correctness be damned when lives are at stake.