The phenomenon of honor killings 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 marriage was covered by the major media outlets.
Tom Gross, on his Mideast Media Analysis site, has collected some other recent cases of honor killings and other systematic brutalization of Muslim women in Western countries.
17 GIRLS REMOVED FROM BRUSSELS HOTEL AFTER BEING “ENSLAVED” BY UAE ROYALS
Seventeen young women and girls were removed by police from the luxury Conrad Hotel in Brussels last Tuesday evening following allegations that they had been enslaved by Arab royals.
Belgian police raided the Conrad, the city’s most prestigious hotel and the preferred place of residence for many presidents and prime ministers during European Union summits.
Police took away 17 young girls from the Philippines, Morocco, India, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, amid allegations they had been held captive in the hotel for eight months.
Belgian newspapers have described the case as “slavery right in the heart of Brussels.”
The chic and pricey Conrad Hotel, “where you can discover the luxury of being yourself” (according to the hotel’s website), is situated on the Avenue Louise and surrounded by the most expensive shops in Brussels.
Police have questioned members of the UAE’s royal family who kept near-permanent suites at the hotel. No charges have been brought but the investigation continues.
“We are convinced that these 17 girls are victims of people trafficking,” a Belgian official said. The operation was triggered by the escape of a Filipina girl who was imprisoned in the hotel by the widow of a senior royal figure from the UAE and her four daughters, who have rented the entire fourth floor of the hotel for the last year.
The government of the UAE has refused to comment.
IN ITALY, A 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL “LEAPS FROM BALCONY AFTER REFUSING ARRANGED MARRIAGE”
A 15-year-old Pakistani girl has been hospitalized after jumping from a balcony in the northern Italian town of Alessandria. She had refused an arranged marriage with a 16-year-old Pakistani.
The Italian daily La Stampa reported that doctors have operated on fractures to her legs sustained during the fall.
The girl, who has grown up in Italy, is said to be well integrated. Neighbors were quoted by Italian newspapers as saying she wears “western-style clothes” and has Italian school friends.
The previous center-left Italian government issued a “charter of values” for immigrants following the death of a young Pakistani girl, Hina Saleem, who had her throat slit by male relatives in August 2006 after she went to work in a pizzeria.
In an especially shocking case, a Danish woman was murdered because she gave birth to a baby girl instead of baby boy.
31-YEAR-OLD DANISH WOMAN SHOT DEAD IN PAKISTAN “HONOR KILLING”
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that a man in a small Pakistani town killed his Danish sister-in-law on July 1, because he suspected her of having a “bad character” after she gave birth to a baby girl rather than a baby boy.
Faisal Bashir shot dead 31-year-old Tahira Bibi, who was of Pakistani origin, local police official Mohammad Shahbaz Cheema told AFP. “It’s a clear case of honor killing,” he said.
More than 4,000 people, mostly women, have been killed in conservative rural areas of Pakistan in recent years in the name of “protecting family honor.”
Despite the democratic institutions and official secularism in Turkey, some traditions are especially diffcult to uproot.
TURKEY: OVER 1,000 HONOR KILLINGS IN FIVE YEARS
In Istanbul, at least one person is killed every week in an “honor killing” according to a new report by a Turkish human rights group. The report is said to be the most comprehensive ever on the subject. The number of murders committed for honor in the last five years exceeds 1,000. “The murderers are treated as heroes in prisons and they do not regret their crimes,” says the report.