Hatred of women, not Islam, fuels Pakistan’s honour killings

Two takes on the horrific stoning in Pakistan of  Farzana Parveen, another example of all too frequent “honour killings,” or as CCMW names them, “femicide.” Starting with Omar Aziz in the Globe:

What are we afraid of? Can we, for one second, acknowledge that there is a cultural problem here, or will we continue to sanctimoniously blame all of this on ‘those other men over there?’ Within five kilometers of my home, I can think of at least two cases of such extreme, impenitent misogyny. In one case, a Pakistani father beat his daughter after he discovered her long-distance relationship. In another, the case of Aqsa Parvez, her brother strangled her to death with the father’s consent because she objected to wearing the hijab. Everywhere there is an honour killing – a human sacrifice – there is a woman breaking off the chains of tradition. There is a woman demanding the right to live as she wishes, and in her way is a man demanding she get in line.

These women are the real freedom fighters in the Pakistani and wider South Asian and Middle Eastern community, not the cowardly males who use their physical advantage to assault women in the name of some illusory honour, or their supporters in the West and throughout South Asia who rationalize their decisions. One crime too many has been committed against women by the insecure, ignorant, hate-filled mob that is their own family. It is time that we be honest about the causes of such barbarity and begin seriously combatting it, or Farzana Parveen’s name may soon be forgotten like the many women who were sacrificed before her.

Hatred of women, not Islam, fuels Pakistan’s honour killings – The Globe and Mail.

And, via Farzana Hassan, this piece by Matthew Syed in The National Secular Society:

Turn your mind away from the brutality of honour killings and focus, for a moment, on the psychology. Consider the corrupting power of a religious ideology that can animate a father to perpetrate the most intimate and barbaric of assaults on his own daughter, a brother on his own sister, an uncle on his own niece.

“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” the police investigator quoted the father of the murdered woman in Lahore as saying. Her crime, in case you were wondering, was to fall in love with the wrong man.

You cannot win against this kind of barbarism by being nice. You can’t win by beating a strategic retreat, as Sotheby’s plans to do by withdrawing nudes from arts sales because they are terrified of offending Middle Eastern clients. Fundamentalism is too fierce, too implacable, it takes too deep a hold on those who are infected by it, to reach any kind of compromise. Trying to find an accommodation with fanaticism is like trying to cuddle a virus.

A woman is stoned. We politely look away

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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