On August 10, The Boston Globe ran Jeff Jacoby’s op-ed, “‘Honor’ Killing Comes to the US“. The piece was powerful and straightforward in its defense of the rights of innocent women against violently patriarchal Muslim family structures and societies. It was an argument that would not be hard for Americans of all stripes to support, with the exception of those for whom the defense of the violent expressions of Islam is paramount to the defense of human rights.
Or so it seemed. Apparently, in letters as shocking as they are absurd, readers of the Globe felt compelled to portray Jacoby as a man on an “ongoing crusade against Islam”, and to minimize the unique abhorrence of Muslim honor killing by linking the phenomenon to violence against protesters in the sixties. These readers not only lack the clear thinking necessary to distinguish between a society that condemns legally and socially violence against women, and one that protects it, they seem eager to condemn their own societies but are absolutely unable to condemn the most abhorrent norms in some Muslim cultures. This is classic Western “who am I, a Westerner, to criticize non-Western cultures?” thinking. If these honor killings were happening in Britain, Kansas, or of course, Israel (among Jews), these same readers would be up in arms screaming about the protection of women’s rights in an abusive, male-dominated society.
Need not Focus Solely on Muslim World
IT IS curious that Jeff Jacoby goes to all the trouble to dig up stories about honor killings in Muslim countries around the world, while thousands of women are murdered every year in our own country (” ‘Honor’ killing comes to the US,” op ed, Aug. 10). All he has to do is look up “woman’s body” in any news search site to discover horrible crimes that have been committed here on any given day by men who were well known to their female victims.
Perhaps he thinks that men in our gentle Judeo-Christian society have better reasons to kill women than do Muslims. Maybe he really doesn’t care about the women at all and simply finds honor killings to be another useful tool in his ongoing crusade against Islam.
Honor killings right here in this country
RE: ” ‘HONOR’ killing comes to the US” (op ed, Aug. 10), surely Jeff Jacoby has not forgotten the murders of the Jewish and Christian, perhaps pagan, Muslim and Native American young people in the ’60s who protested the violation of human and civil rights in the that era, not to mention the lynchings and other organized and/or idiosyncratic “honor” killings at the behest of the media and other zealots. Be they the victims of racial, religious, or ethnic minorities or the identified targets of ignorant, misinformed vigilantes, these killings have been happening here in the United States for a long time.
ROBERT F. MARCUS
Martin chooses not to appreciate the obvious distinction between a society that fights violence against women, and one that perpetuates it. Marcus simply does not know what an honor killling is- he thinks it is any killing of minorities by violent conservative elements.
Should anyone wish to opine on the pages of the Globe, email your objections to these two gentlemen to firstname.lastname@example.org.