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30 January 2012


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I have written to many newspapers in the past asking them to stop refering to these murders as "honor killings" as there is nothing honorable about them.


Completely agree with Pat. This is not Islam by any stretch of the imagination, this is just tribal/traditional law.
Unfortunately there have been cases in the past in France and Germany, where there were European voices finding attenuating circumstances due to the cultural differences...





I hope this does not refer to the women victims. pl

Ken Roberts

Coincidentally, last night I watched "Sabah", a 2005 film by young filmmaker Ruba Nadda. It deals with the changes of attitudes from the old country (in this film, Syria), to Canada. Rather happily, but not without tension and anguish.

If you want to know the direction of the currents, don't look to the 50+ old men. Take note of the 20's and 30's.


Ken Roberts

When I was in language school for Arabic long ago I was told by a Palestinian teacher that he intended to raise his family as Arabs and not Americans. This was in Monterey, California. I told him that was impossible and that if he wanted to cleave to the old ways from the old world he would have to return to Ramallah or wherever. pl

William R. Cumming

Repression of women seems endemic in many parts of the world. Perhaps another reason "they hate US"?


Relax with the flag waving, its not all rosy in the West. I would be a lot less anxious if my wife and/or daughters were to be strolling on the streets of Beirut at midnight than if they were doing so in any US or European city. And its not like the numbers of abused women in the West is anywhere near 0.

The repression of the weak is endemic to every nation, tribe and social group (including US). The measure of a society is what lengths it goes to in order that such abuses are stamped out.



We are not talking about street crime here. We are talking about conspiracy to murder family members. pl


There is a saying some say in the Arab world that I am fond of. It goes something along the lines that in todays world if you look east you see more Muslims than you do Islam and if you look west you see more Islam than Muslims. I'm not sure its too hard to bring up children in a host nation in accordance with their culture and beliefs if it is done properly. I grew up in the UK, am a British passport holder but anyone who knows me would laugh quite well were you to refer to me as British.


I am not trying to equate the two; I am pointing out that the abuse of women and the weak in general happens in different ways and at different levels of society in all groups and that it shouldn't be turned into a contest of who has the lesser repression. Viewing the "others" crimes as horrific allows to make those happening under our own noses seem more palatable in relative terms. We should be viewing these crimes in absolute terms and their horror in absolute terms.



There are very few unassimilable immigrants in the US. I used to know a Lebanese who would go on and on that he could never be accepted in the US. He was utterly wrong. He could not be assimilated because he did not wish to be. Britain is not the US. In Britain "the wogs" still "start at Calais." You would not be accepted as English no matter what you do. The Egyptian family who owned Harrod's is a good example. Because we are a population almost entirely descended from immigrants, those who wish to be Americans and who act like Americans are considered to be American. Nothing is more repulsive to me than to hear some immigrant say that he "has the passport," if that clearly means that it is a mere convenience to him. My reply to that Palestinian teacher was correct. People who try to live as you do as a "stranger in a strange land" are headed for sorrow in the US. pl

Babak Makkinejad

"We watched as a man approached us carrying something in his arms. We thought it was a rifle. When he got closer, we realized it was the corpse of a young girl.

The man was from (border city of) Qasr Shirin and the corpse was that of his daughter.

She had been gange-raped by the invading Iraqi soldiers.

He (the father) had then borrowed a pistol from an Iraqi officer and had killed her own daughter.

[As she had been dishonored.]

He had then walked and carried the corpse to the Iranian lines to give her a proper burial."

As stated by a veteran Iranian soldier during Iran-Iraq War - 1980-1988.

Medicine Man

The murder of these four women was shocking indeed. I'm glad that our justice system didn't indulge in any moral relativism in this case. A measure of justice and the defense of our laws is probably the best outcome we could hope for.

Thank you for this post, Col.


There are some crimes for which public execution might be appropriate. This was one of them.

The Moar You Know

"Canada is not Afghanistan"

It would be nice if Afghanistan weren't Afghanistan either.

Bill H.

Or put "honor" in quotations and leave the "killings" without quotes.

i.e. Three women were victims of "honor" killings today.

James ben Goy

It isn't possible to convey how utterly contemptible this ('surviving') family of beasts is, but in Oz, the Prime Minister seems to have the right attitude with regard their villainous conduct, an attitude characterized by its strikingly total absence from our government:

Quote:"'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'"

This goes to what you said above, too, Col. Lang.

Charles I

Given the record, the death penalty is never appropriate if the fact finders, rule maker and deciders are human.

Lars Moller-Rasmussen

Col. Lang,

such killings should properly be referred to as shame killings, not honour killings, since they spring from tribal cultures based on the notion of shame. In this, they differ from religious value systems such as those of the monotheist religions which are based on the notion of guilt.



I believe I knew that. You should concentrate on persuading the media to accept your definistions. pl


And further on the point I think Col. Lang was making, a large group of (mostly) Canadian imams immediately came out with a fatwa concerning the illegality of honour killings timed with the guilty verdict:


That said, there is still an enormous amount of handwringing over immigration of folks from "that part" of the world - notable examples in the news are communities in Quebec essentially putting out an "unwelcome" sign for new immigrants who don't immediately embrace in form and spirit local culture - though that's more the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.

One point important point about "honour killings" (as we Canadians call them) and Islam - summed up from a post from a psychology blog I enjoy:

"They're not associated with Muslim countries, that's what they're called when they are associated with Muslim countries. When they're associated with rich black guys, they're called OJ Simpson."

This article is well worth reading:


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