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I usually make it may practice to read the literature and commentary that supports and endorses opinions that I disagree with in the hope that I can come to some understanding of how those on the other side of the equation think. I was lead to this piece courtesy of our old friend Damian Doyle tweeting its praises, I’ve read the piece three times now and I find myself scratching my head in disbelief at the juvenile line of argument in play here. please read this quote and be amazed:
Israel’s non-criminal killing of Arabs
By adopting honour killings as a pet topic, Zionists and other right-wing forces seek to delegitimise and even criminalise Arab and Muslim society in general.
Consider an August 2012 essay in the neo-conservative FrontPage Magazine asserting an “Arab cultural and Islamic propensity of violence toward women”.
The author characterises the fatal stabbing of a 27-year-old Palestinian woman by her husband as a “death sentence which tragically has been shared by a long and ever-expanding list of Palestinian women and girls”. He does not care to explain why it is not also tragic that an even longer expanding list of Palestinian women, girls and all other varieties of human beings happen to share the fate of obliteration by Israeli munitions. Nor does he delve into what this might indicate about Israeli cultural propensities or those of Israel’s preferred ally and automated teller machine.
Without downplaying the obvious tragedy of honour crimes, we must ask why it is that we are supposed to be horrified by the idea that “in the past two years, 25 [Palestinian] women have been subjected to honour killings” but not by the fact that 1,400 Palestinians were wiped out in three weeks during Operation Cast Lead#.
FrontPage claims that, although “honour killings have long been a staple byproduct of Palestinian society”, the world’s foremost anti-Israel institution – that is, the UN, which nonetheless somehow manages never to enforce resolutions against the Jewish state – has deceitfully implicated non-Palestinians in said byproduct:
“Not surprisingly, for some, this pervasive [Palestinian] violence has been laid at the feet of the usual suspects, namely the Israelis. This scapegoating was summarily expressed in a 2011 report by the United Nations Economic and Social Council which blamed harsh economic and social conditions created by the Israeli ‘siege’, an occupation which has led to high levels of poverty, unemployment and, thus, ‘violence, within families’.”
The article’s allegation that “in Muslim countries throughout the Mideast, South Asia and Africa… men more often than not treat women little better than livestock” is meanwhile followed by the suggestion that “[c]hanging that dismal equation will take more than just a cultural revolution”. This seems to prescribe further state violence as a means of ending individual violence, which is itself often inextricably linked to state violence in the first place.
How can any thinking person with any sense of morality accept the underlying argument here that violence against women is not an issue in Palestine because more people have been killed in the ongoing war with Israel? When you boil it down that is what the author is arguing. Add to that a very big dose of the victim card and you have a very shallow and self serving anti-semantic rant that no self-respecting decent human being should be endorsing. Its excuse making for the inexcusable at its very worst and any endorsement of this sort of mindset should be avoided at all costs. The tragedy is that for many followers of the religion of peace and their fan-boys such thinking is the unquestioned norm and there in lays the problem when anyone wants to address something like “honour” crimes the all pervading claim of Muslin victim-hood in the face of any criticism of either the faith or its society and culture is used as a sort of universal “shut up” and it means that for as long as there is a timorous response to this “defence” there will be no social reform or improvement in the status of women under the oppression of Islam.
# my bold
- Understanding sexual harassment in Palestine (bikyamasr.com)
- Coventry honour killing victim Surjit Athwal remembered #Vaw (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Belen Fernandez: Honour Crimes and Islamophobia (loonwatch.com)