Don’t Separate ‘Honour Crimes’ From Other Violence Against Women | Amy Awad

Legitimate criticism of the focus on “honour crimes” without any linkage to overall violence against women by Amy Awad of NCCM:

There are thoughtful and effective ways to look at all the facets of violence against women and it can certainly be done without promoting bigotry. For example, in March, the Ottawa Police, the Ottawa Rape Crisis, and Algonquin College partnered to put on a full day event on violence in the name of honour. The event brought together a broad section of Ottawa professionals as well as religious leaders and community activists focused on developing effective community-based strategies in Ottawa for preventing violence in the name of honour.

With thoughtful discussion about definitions, causes, strategies, and yes, choosing the words we use, all participants felt welcome and were able to come up with first steps that can be taken to address these problems. Their concrete proposals included prevention strategies, early intervention and accurate data collection.

Contrast this with Honour Diaries that presents some of the most egregious examples of gendered violence and then almost entirely attributes the problem to Islam. Instead of offering real solutions based on facts, the documentary will very likely result in promulgating fear of the ‘other’ and promote hatred against Muslims who are falsely portrayed as holding the exclusive franchise on this scourge.

A more nuanced approach than Barbara Kay (Suffering caused by honour tell tales that smite the heart) and Margaret Wente (Don’t ignore women’s struggles in the Muslim world).

Don’t Separate ‘Honour Crimes’ From Other Violence Against Women | Amy Awad.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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