Irshad Manji Explains Honor Killings on Fox News

Irshad Manji, Canadian feminist, author, and critic of fundamentalist Islam, appeared on Fox News this week to discuss the trial of Chaudry Rashad, the Pakistani man from Georgia who killed his 25 year-old daughter for her desire to end an arranged marriage. This was, simply, and honor killing.

Manji described in very clear terms the logic behind honor killing in some societies, especially in the Middle East.

Manji explained that in Middle Eastern tribal traditions, women are the carriers of culture. Therefore, their lives and bodies do not belong to them, but to their family, tribe, or nation. If she acts in such a way that brings disrepute or dishonor upon herself, she is actually defaming her nation. As such, her punishment must be serious enough for the crime of dishonoring the nation.

Interestingly, Manji notes that honor killing is not necessarily related to religion, rather to specific cultures. With that said, these killings are often done with the name of “Allah dripping from their lips”. In the last century, honor killings were carried out by Catholics in Italy.

This is important cultural insight from Manji, and it is just as important that Western democracies stand strong in the application of their laws that consider such heinous actions murder.

20 Responses to Irshad Manji Explains Honor Killings on Fox News

  1. chrisse says:

    The comparison with other religious groups is always interesting by people such as Manji. She is doing something that is very popular now, and is not intelligent argument but quite the opposite.

    The so-called Catholics in Italy were in fact southern Italians who were Catholic. Northern Italians are quite different; most northern Italians look at southern Italians as completely different peoples to themselves. Now Catholicism is common to both groups. So what is the difference?

    Her argument falls down when she fails to recognise that southern Italy, where the honour/shame culture is rampant, was occupied and enslaved by the islamic imperialists for centuries. The honour/shame culture is a left-over from this time. By failing to put culture within its historical context and insist on focusing on a part outside of it, you are showing yourself to be intellectually deficient or ideologically driven.

  2. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Ms Manji’s assessment pretty much aligns with that of Philip Carl Salzman in his book “Culture and Conflict in the Middle East.”

    I think that it’s important to remember that these “honor killings” pre-date Islam but, obviously, have been conjoined for the last 1400 years, my point being that we may need to be working on more than just the Islamic aspect of the problem.

    In his book, Dr Salzman also addresses several other variables (dynamics) that can effect whether an “honor” violation actually results in a murder, internal family pressure and public knowledge being the two I recall.

  3. Cynic says:

    You might want to read a series of articles by Stanley Kurtz

    The details of this widespread Muslim variant on the classic pattern of Arab parallel-cousin marriage need not detain us. The point is that the fundamental principles I laid out in “Marriage and the Terror War” Parts I and II still hold. Although many Muslims who live north of the Arab heartland marry “cross cousins” as well as “parallel cousins,” they do so with the aim of creating a tightly bound group of in-marrying relatives. While some societies use cross-cousin marriage to cement inter-group alliances, the “northern” pattern of Muslim cousin-marriage generally eschews such alliances and strives instead to create an exclusive group of in-marrying kin….

    Assimilation Studies

    he has two other articles
    Marriage and the Terror War

    Marriage and the Terror War, Part II

  4. Pelican's Point says:

    11B40: Another interesting dynamic I have heard mentioned in this regard is family group status within the larger community where larger family groups vie for access to power and privilege. Members of rival families can be accused of transgressions (falsely or not) that at the least diminish their status. If the transgression is serious and deserves honor killing they can then be accused of failing to carry out such penalties. They can spread such demands on the street where failure to do so will carry stigma and shame. As a corollary, a man who kills his daughter for such a crime that “brings shame on the family and the society” will be seen as especially willing to participate in Arab traditional culture – a true believing member of Dar al Islam – and can therefore be trusted by those with power to dispense – to act in accordance with other tenets of the honor / shame society.

  5. oao says:

    i reiterate that islam is an ARAB religion and, as such, is permeated by arab culture and, in turn, it is invoked FOR arab culture. while it may be possible to distinguish between the two conceptually/theoretically, my guess is that the vast majority of arabs cannot and do not.

    a systematic empirical/historical study of how islam has being practiced within and outside the arab world might provide insight into this.

  6. RedPencil says:

    Chrisse: Southern Italy was “occupied and enslaved” by Muslims for centuries? Someone tell the Pope, quick! (By assorted Germanic tribes, sure… You MAY be thinking of Spain.)

    For another example of a Christian Mediterranean honor/shame culture, and honor killings, watch Zorba the Greek, where the Orthodox Christians are acting kind’a the same way…

    Manji is right, it’s a “cultural” thing, not specifically Muslim.

  7. [...] Irshad Manji speaks about Honor Killings July 13, 2008 Posted by blogfreeworld in Islamism, Religion, society. Tags: Honor Killings, Irshad Manji, Islam, Islamism, Middle East trackback From The Augean Stables: [...]

  8. Arius says:

    Stop mentioning that there was some honor killing among Christians in the past. It was clearly a perversion of Christianity. With Islam, however, its not perversion of the religion but is consistent with it.

    Islam is truly the most foul social movement in human history masking as a religion. It is the religion of the pedophile prophet of mass murder. Civilized humanity should disinfect it from the world like the foul disease that it is.

  9. Andromeda says:

    While you may find a rare honor killing amongst Christians across time and space, for Christians it is the exception and not the rule. For primary Islam/ Muslims/ Arabs, honor killing is the rule.

  10. Eliyahu says:

    Redpencil, in fact Chrisse was right. Southern Italy and Sicily were under Arab occupation for a certain period of time, Sicily longer in fact, more than 200 years if I’m not mistaken.

    Cesar Famin wrote a book on Les invasions des Sarrasins en Italie, or some such title. I found it well written and helpful, although it is probably hard to get nowadays, having been published about 1850. Bat Ye’or too writes about the Arab conquest of Sicily, which was extremely cruel in her account. See her Decline of Oriental Christianity …

  11. oao says:

    It was clearly a perversion of Christianity. With Islam, however, its not perversion of the religion but is consistent with it.

    religion IS perversion, by definition. christianity was tamed (including by the sword), islam was not. that does not make it less of a perversion. literally too: consider the catholic child abuse epidemic.

    Islam is truly the most foul social movement in human history masking as a religion. It is the religion of the pedophile prophet of mass murder. Civilized humanity should disinfect it from the world like the foul disease that it is.

    that’s because it’s frozen in the 7th century. at that time the level of knowledge was such that they did not know any better. the inquisition occured 8 centuries letter and they did not know much better either. had it stuck to that era rather than be tamed, it wouldn’t have been much better.

    oao
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  12. Lynne T says:

    I have a certain amount of respect for Irshad Manji, but strongly disagree with her conclusions about honour killings being anything more than an expression of women as possessions of their male guardians. If it was truly a “middle eastern tribal thing”, you’d expect to see such murders among Jewish, Christian and other non-Muslim populations that are also indigenous to Asia Minor, southeast Asia and north Africa.

    That is not to say, however, that these other societies aren’t extremely patriarchal and given to treating women as subservient to men. They just don’t use homicide as a means of control.

  13. [...] occuring in Western democracies is not a new one, but it has recently gained media attention. The case of the Georgia man, originally from Pakistan, who killed his daughter for attempting to get out of an arranged [...]

  14. Rich Rostrom says:

    Lynne T.: honor killings do happen among non-Moslem Middle Easterners. There was a recent case of a Druze soldier in the Israeli Army who killed his sister. There was a horrific terror bombing against a Yezidi community in Iraq last year; it was retaliation against the Yezidis (who are not Moslem) for the honor-killing of one of their girls who eloped with a Moslem.

    OTOH, honor killings are AFAIK unknown in Iran.

    Arab honor killings include the murder of rape victims: Arabs place great value on ird (purity) and any unchaste woman is contaminated. I don’t know that this same pattern occurs among Pakistanis.

    Also – there is nothing whatever in the Koran or the Hadiths to support honor killing. Moslem clergy don’t condemn it very much, because it is so deeply engrained in the culture – and culture trumps scripture.

  15. oao says:

    Also – there is nothing whatever in the Koran or the Hadiths to support honor killing. Moslem clergy don’t condemn it very much, because it is so deeply engrained in the culture – and culture trumps scripture.

    easy to understand why. i must reiterate that islam is an arab creation — they invented it. consequently, it was and is influenced by arab culture and, in turn, it is used to justify and rationalize that culture. therefore, while conceptually distinct, in practice the two are hard to separate.

    religions that go against culture have a harder time getting accepted. that’s why islam has been propagated outside the arab world primarily by the sword.

    oao
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

  16. Dan says:

    Re Lynne #14….The Druse are a moslem sect.

  17. Rich Rostrom says:

    “The Druse are a moslem sect.”

    Sort of. Some say they are Moslem, some do not. Their doctrines exclude polygamy, the hajj, and conversion, and include a form of clerical celibacy. Their customary practice is for 80% of them to be minimally observant and 20% to be highly observant and do all the praying.

    I don’t think honor killing by Druzes has much to do with Islamic religious influence.

  18. [...] On Fox News, Irshad Manji, on the other hand, stated that these killings are often done in the name of Allah and compared them to honor killings in the last century in Italy, which were carried out by Catholics. She notes that these killings are often done with the name of “Allah dripping from their lips.” [...]

  19. KE says:

    I can’t stand Irshad Manji.

    She still worships a vicious and repellent, mass-murder-commanding non-existent pagan moon deity called “al-ilah” in pre-Islamic pagan mythology, which false prophet Warlord Mo called “allah,” a pagan idol that doesn’t exist. She’s stupid, just as brainwashed as the rest of the Mohammedans.

    “Honor Killings” are Islamic. Only Mohammedan males commit “Honor Murders” of their own daughters, sisters, nieces. Utter and complete Barbarians.

  20. [...] were carried out by Catholics. She notes that these killings are often done with the name of “Allah dripping from their lips.”…       By bringing in Catholic honor killings a century ago, Manji throws in [...]

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