Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Honour crimes or terrorism against women

Today all speakers talked about honour crimes as a widespread form of violence against women. What bewilders me is the name given to this horrendous crime: honour. Honour has a very positive connotation. Regardless of one’s world outlook and beliefs, the word honour has a good ring to one’s ear. When you hear this word, you fill up with positive and good feelings. The combination of these two completely opposite concepts to describe one phenomenon brings a lot of contradictions and confusion: “honour crimes!”

I have given this phenomenon a great deal of thought. I posed this question: Why is this brutal act being described so positively? After reflecting on this issue for some time, I came to see a pattern. It is like crimes committed under the name of patriotism and nationalism. The more you kill, the more brutal you become, the more heroic your status. This is exactly the same. The more inhuman you become under the name of misogyny, the more elevated your status among the community.

Misogynic crimes which are sanctified by religion and old traditions are called honour crimes, in order to be glorified, to be elevated to the position of heroic acts worthy of medals. Honour crimes are encouraged by traditional values, which are passed on from generation to generation. I will argue here that a certain ideology is behind justifying and glorifying crimes against women and by doing this promoting not only such crimes, but also fostering the dominance of religion and patriarchy. I will then conclude that one way to fight against such crimes is to shed all religious and cultural romanticism and taboos surrounding this brutal act. This is to say that our fight against honour crimes is not only an educative one or in the field of law and order, it is apolitical and ideological one as well. Misogynic ideology is a vital instrument in justifying and glorifying honour crimes.

There may be an objection raised here and quite validly too: not all misogynic crimes are named honour crimes. True. However, those criminal acts committed against women and girls, because they dared violate the sacred codes of piousness of the community are called honour crimes. Modern reformed misogyny has more or less come to terms with women’s ownership of their sexuality. Nevertheless, crimes categorized as crime of passion, committed under the fury of jealousy still shares that element of ownership of female sexuality by the male partner. It has only been privatized; it is an individual act punished by the law. But women’s rights organizations still struggle to have these crimes recognized as serious crimes, they still fight to get enough attention by the official institutions to these crimes that are mitigated or ignored by the fact they take place in the privacy of the home and in the confines of the sacred family. Our focus here is, however, on the first category.


How is a value system formed?

How are essential concepts and their definitions formed?

How are we led to regard similar acts in so many different ways?

How are we led to judge one act of violence as horrendous and inhuman, and the other one as heroic?

Is this not double standard?

The answer to all of these is Ideology. Ideology is the means by which our minds are formed or manipulated to interpret the world, and thereby give different, and at times opposite meanings to similar actions. The dominant ideology is preserved and reproduced by the ruling classes in every given society. Religion is one of the main ingredients in dominant ideologies world wide.

Let us examine this in a more concrete historical context. We will only dwell on examples that can be related to our subject. Killing for a justified cause or terrorism, this is the question put before us time and time again. Depending on our political inclinations or our ideological tendencies, we answer this question one way or the other. At time sit is more challenging to come with a straightforward answer. Our sympathies are divided, so our response is confused. There seems to be no other way to judge. As a rule, if we sympathies with a cause we tend to justify the action related to it or stemmed from it.

The African national Congress is a very good example to demonstrate how this dynamism works. ANC was considered a terrorist organisation by the apartheid regime in South Africa and by its Western supporters. In the late seventies and early eighties this image changed. ANC came to be recognized, universally, as a legitimate, progressive organisation, so-called freedom-fighter, and its leader Nelson Mandela became an international hero, and was awarded the Noble peace prize. Here we can see how an image or concept can change in people’s views, giving the political or ideological explanations.

Let us look at a more controversial case. Suicide bombings committed by Palestinians against Israelis are regarded a vile crime by Israelis and heroic sacrifice by Palestinians. By the same token, in any war killing the enemy wins a medal for the killer and hatred and vengeance by the other party. How do we come to form these views? They are political views formed by our world outlook and value system, that is, ideology.

Misogyny is an old ideology and integrated part of all religions. In this day, we still witness the reduction of punishments by the court of law, in more advanced part of the world for the so-called crime of passion. Passion and honour are names given by the official ideology to crimes against women by the men who are taught to believe women are their possessions, their properties.

One way to fight these horrendous crimes is to challenge the prevailing ideology. Sexism and misogyny has been the subject of many debates and protest movements. One way to shake this old value system is to attack its basis. I believe the so-called honour crimes should be called terrorism against women. Just the same way female circumcision came to be called female mutilation. This change of name had a great impact on shedding all the absurd cultural romanticism associated with this brutal abuse (which led well known feminists such as Germaine Greer defend it.) This is not an attempt to inflate a reality for the sake of propaganda. In reality “honour crimes ”are nothing but terrorist acts against women.

What is terrorism?

Action aimed at silencing, subduing and blackmailing certain people for apolitical aim is terrorism. Ideologies have been created in order to justify and/or glorify a terrorist act. Historically, nationalist, and certain left groups have been categorized under this title, e.g. the IRA, the left groups in Italy and Germany in the seventies, and groups fighting for independence in so-called third world countries. In these fights a much defined political cause dominates. At present, there is apolitical/ideological battle over whether you can call fighters of a “just” cause terrorists, regardless of the similarity of the methods they use. A heated debate is over how to call Palestinian suicide bombers, are they terrorists or soldiers of a nationalist army fighting for their land and independence? We have gone as far as calling some states terrorists, and the war they wage state terrorism, such as the United States and Israel, or Islamic republic of Iran.

This is the place to pass judgment on these above-mentioned cases. I merely stated these for the sake of argument, to demonstrate the similarities between these political cases and honour crimes, these seemingly unconnected acts. I believe there is a very strong common denominator between these acts, which bring them under the same category: terrorism. Honour crimes can be categorized under this term.

If straightforward political conflicts that lead to terrorist acts can cause confusion as how they should be judged, i.e. legitimate or murderous, and at times there are endless debates involved in the process of judgment-forming, there is no confusion regarding honour crimes. Except the fanatics ,who endorse or carry out such crimes, everyone else condemns honour crimes as abhorring murders. Moreover, there is a common agreement among all, including the fanatics, over the purpose of these crimes: to subdue the female population, to show her rightful place in the home and the community, to suppress any thought of rebellion.“ Honour crimes” wash away the shame from the family and the community, and teach a “good” lesson not only to women but to the whole society :women are property of the men of the household; they should remain subdued, pious, and silent and obey the laws and their owners.

All the religious leaders who promote or condone honour crimes will testify to these, the elders, the youth stooped by this ideology, the mothers and the victims, too will testify to this. We should conclude that honour crimes are carried out to put women in their place and prevent their rebellion or protest. Thus, honour crimes, are crimes with apolitical purpose, to foster or establish a misogynic power relations in the society and the family. Moreover, they are not individual and isolated crimes. They are usually planned in the extended family court. They are promoted by the “leaders” of the community. (Be it the leaders of a society in the case of societies under a backward religious state, or smaller communities in the West.) They are crimes sanctified by a community and carried out collectively. It is a crime with a socio-political cause and aim, justified by an ideology, carried out as a team. Hence, we have established the relation between a terrorist act and honour crimes.

It is important that we spread this word around. Start a movement demanding honour crimes to be called by their appropriate name: terrorism against women. It will help us fight more vigorously against these crimes and to alleviate the situation of women and young girls in such communities. It makes it easier to punish the criminals. It gives our campaign a momentum to mobilize more strongly and to attract more support to our cause. As a final point, I like to make the parallel once more between this and the campaign to change the name of female circumcision to female mutilation. It did not take very long to establish in the public mind that female circumcision is actually mutilating women in order to inhibit their sexuality. By bringing this awareness all the cultural romanticism or taboo was torn from it. Hence, it became easier to fight against it. We should do the same to “honour” crimes. By calling it terrorism against women we facilitate the fight to root it out.


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  • Name: qwer
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 04:38:48 -0700


Sure ... islam and his Mo is the real evil character, full of hatrd, violence and sexual abuse. Mohammed will be burned in the hell

  • Name: 345 honour murders in amercia
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 05:42:30 -0700


Abstract The killing of women by their husbands poses an enigma for social scientists. Why do relationships presumably characterized by love sometimes result in death? A variety of hypotheses have been offered to explain this puzzling pattern. Among the most prominent are (a) sheer proximity and opportunity, (b) epiphenomenal by-products of a male psychology designed for coercive control of women, and (c) evolved mate-killing mechanisms. One way to test these hypotheses is to examine the contexts in which wife killings occur. We secured access to a homicide database that included 345 spouse killings perpetrated by husbands in the context of a lovers triangle, a context that signifies sexual infidelity. Results indicated that a woman's age, and hence reproductive status, predicts vulnerability to being killed in the context of a lovers triangle. Discussion focuses on alternative explanations for this finding, as well as findings not explained by existing theories of homicide.

  • Name: women
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 13:08:52 -0700


male dominated cultures forget one very vital thing: without women, there are no sons.

  • Name: Ananda
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 13:33:30 -0700


From many news stories & video clips from Western Europe and some from USA and Canada, Muslim women fighting to support Islamic laws is paradoxical and highly confusing to Infidels. On the one hand they are oppressed (it is claimed), on the other hand the oppressed Muslim women want to be oppressed. Saw some video clips of Muslim living in Dearborn, Michigan, with ~ 30% Muslim population, and the women are all wearing hijab. Can they be forced to wear that dirty pig costume in USA? And who is forcing it on them?

  • Name: vbv
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 21:11:17 -0700


Abrahamic creeds - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - is a male chauvinistic cult. The underlying factor is the so-called sin of Adam and Eve , when they supposedly ate the fruit from the Tree of "Knowledge" and became aware/ashamed of their "nakedness" , which made that ludirous "god" of Abraham angry ,bannishing them from the "garden of Eden" ,the supposed "paradise of God". Who was responsible for the "orinal" sin? _ EVE ofcourse ! What do you make of this stupid story from the Bible written by some "nut" in the Bronze Age? The writer must have been sexually frustrated , spurned by all women ,and driven to misogyny! Muhamad and his Allah go much farther in denying equal rights to women , education and enterprise to women ,confining them in sacks/'hijab/ burkah',etc , allowing no freedom in Society, trashing them as being equal to only "half" a man in 'intelligence or in their trashy 'jurisprudence' their witness being only half that of a man! Pagan Arabs before Islam had given more respect to their women - the evidence is Muhamad's first wife Khadija ,who was a businesswoman in her own right. Can you find businesswomen with the advent of Islam in Arabia? what more islam advocates "beating" their women to abject slavery and unquestioned submission,it allows the so-called "honor-killing" for the flimsiest reasons and just uses them as sex-slaves and child-producing machines! From where did Muhamad get all this inspiration? Not from 'pagan' Arab creed. It is from Torah/The Old Testament . The Sharia also resounds a lot with Torah - especially Deutronomy and Levcitus. The creed of Abraham ,Moses ,Isaac and Jacob was no less barbaric and Solomon no less steamy! Women would have been better off without the barbaric Creed/cult emanating from the Abrahamic superstitions and the Bible. No wonder the loony 'prophet' of Islam in his so-called sojourn to Allah's Paradise found on his way enroute through 'Hell' that most women were consigned to Hell! The so-called pagan creeds ,be it the Greeks ,Romans or the Hindus accorded far greater respect to women through their portrayal of female Deities , while the 'monotheistic ' creeds portrayed an old ,senile, long-bearded ,rickety lonely and frustrated man with all negative human natures such as anger,possessiveness, jealousy,prone to unrelenting violence on his own "creations" at the slightest pretext,craving for singular adulation, terrorises his "creations" with submit to me or else it is 'eternal' Hell for you ,infact a narcissistic megalomaniac Monster who will speak only to his chosen "prophets" who are no less intolerant and bigoted! The whole concept of a lonely monotheistic "god' is stupid, infantile and bigoted! It is created by a bunch of misogynistic morons! How do you expect women to get any respect in this kind of scenario of Abrahamic creeds/cults?

  • Name: Saul Wall
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 21:49:07 -0700


Terrorism is generally an act which targets random individuals (though often of a specific group or population). I think that honour killings should be classified as war crimes. They are acts of war (the war against "un-Islamic people practices, ideas and culture) against those who come to be seen as the enemy but who are not combatants - i.e. civilians.

  • Name:
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 23:05:41 -0700


The castrated, raped, brutalized women of the death cult are a crime against humanity

  • Name: Muslims need to educated about human rights and values
  • Date: Saturday May 31, 2008
  • Time: 23:21:49 -0700


Muslims need to educated about human rights and values.Otherwise they continue to live like sex maniacs and animals.We have to contempt them for their mental ignorence

  • Name:
  • Date: Sunday June 01, 2008
  • Time: 08:36:47 -0700


Hanour killings in muslim world may number in a few thousands , i totally condem it,but when over 14000 are killed and not a word is said, because they are not Muslims. IT IS SHAME FOR YOU ALL! 11.03.2008 - Source: US Department of State Domestic violence remained a major problem and law enforcement authorities frequently failed to respond to incidents of domestic violence ("Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2007") [ID 22628] "Domestic violence remained a major problem. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that during the year approximately 14,000 women were killed by their husbands, boyfriends, or other family members. The ministry also estimated that more than 2,700 men were killed by their wives or girlfriends whom they had beaten. Law enforcement authorities frequently failed to respond to incidents of domestic violence. Amnesty International estimated that approximately 36,000 women were beaten by a husband or partner every day. There were no official statistics on domestic violence, but officials estimate that there were more than 250,000 violent crimes committed against women every year. Because violence is frequently not reported, the real figures are impossible to ascertain. (…) The law does not prohibit sexual harassment, which remained a widespread problem. NGOs operating hot lines reported that women routinely sought advice on the problem. The lack of legal remedies and limited economic opportunities caused many women to tolerate harassment." Document(s): Open document

  • Name: Challenge to all infidels from Akhter
  • Date: Tuesday June 03, 2008
  • Time: 09:05:23 -0700


Produce a sura like quran. You cannot because Quran says you are the worst beasts (8.55), lowest creatures (95.5) and lowest of the low (98.6),and Quran is the truth.

  • Name: Cyberman
  • Date: Tuesday June 03, 2008
  • Time: 10:04:10 -0700


I come across this time and again by muslims as if the quran is the height of literary accomplishment. Just adding "because your Lord is all wise and all knowing after every second sentence does not make it the epitomy of literary genius. In fact there is no proper chronological order (Time Line) in the quran like there is in the bible and other scriptures. There is nothing poetic or artisitic about the quran. The Psalms and the slokas in Hindu scripture are eloquent and artistic.So are the works of shakespeare and ravindranath Tagore. These are much greater than the quran in their literary value.

  • Name: Ian
  • Date: Friday June 06, 2008
  • Time: 08:17:52 -0700


i hope people here at islam watch read the Quran themselves to see if the people here are not taking you for a ride.

  • Name: George
  • Date: Friday June 06, 2008
  • Time: 11:52:24 -0700


The quran is so full of contadictions that anyone who reads it completelt willrealise the hotch potch it is. One verse asks people to shaow compassion. Other verses call for slaughter and massacre of people who oppose islam. Thre is no logical consistency in that book. So muslims show a part of the quran to impress people but use other parts of the book which encourage murder, theivery and rapaciousness when they wish to justify their crimes. Enough of this deception. Those who are decieved are those who cannot think for themselves. If they cannot think for themselve let them at least listen to arguments from both sides before they make a informed decision. And last of all look at the condition of islamis societies. Educationally, technologically, industrially, socially, culturally backward. The end product is proof of the falsehood that is islam. If a religion mirrors the truth it will allow its adherents to progress and flourish. Islam has kept its followers backward and brought them into conflict with others. If they persist in murdering and creating strife they will reap the consequences of their actions. Muslims turn away from this vile faith before it is too late. It has robbed millions of the joy of living by putting so many strictures on them. The muslims with common sense survive by quietly by ignoring most of the tenets of their faith. Or else every islamis country will start resembling afghanistan under taliban or some fourtennrh century islamic kingdom.

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