MUSLIM LOVE FOR HONOR MURDER

'Honour crime': 11,000 UK cases recorded in five years

By Divya Talwar and Athar Ahmad
BBC Asian Network & Victoria Derbyshire programme
9 July 2015

The Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, which obtained the data, called for a national strategy for police, courts and schools to follow.

The crimes are usually aimed at women, and can include abductions, beatings and even murders.

Commander Mak Chishty, head of police policy on the issue, said there was now a better understanding of the problem.

So-called honour crimes are acts which have been committed to protect or defend the supposed honour or reputation of a family and community.

'Crimes unreported'

The figures revealed 11,744 incidences of these crimes between 2010 and 2014, consisting of data from 39 out of 52 police forces in the UK. They included forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of incidents at 2,188, followed by West Midlands Police with 1,269 and Bedfordshire Police with 1,106 examples recorded.

South Yorkshire had 1,009 unconfirmed incidents in 2014 alone while Lancashire Police had 1,049.

Diana Nammi, director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation - a charity that provides support to Middle Eastern women living in the UK who are facing "honour" violence - said the figures suggested incidence of the crime remained "consistently high" in the UK and that the issue was "not going away".

She said: "Unfortunately they [the figures] do not show the real extent of the problem. So many crimes are unreported because the perpetrators are often the victim's own family.

"We need a national strategy for all agencies - including police forces, courts, and schools - to be trained and to work together to end this problem."
 
Anisa's story

Anisa - not her real name - is a British Asian woman in her early 20s.

She has been staying in one of only a handful of safe houses in the UK just for Asian women, run by the charity Hestia, to protect her from her parents.

She says they believe she has shamed and dishonoured her family by leaving her abusive husband.

"My husband would beat me at least twice a week. If he wasn't strangling me, he was punching me and slapping me. My parents knew what was going on and they let it happen," Anisa said.

"When I ran away from my husband, my parents threatened to kill me if I didn't go back. They see it as a big dishonour, like I've slated the family name.

"I'm really scared they are going to find me and force me to go back, and if I refuse, they will kill me," she added.
 
'Better understanding'

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is carrying out its first review into police handling of these crimes this summer, saying the issue remains "largely under the radar of most agencies, including the police".

Commander Chishty said: "There have been huge failings and we are sorry about those cases."

"I think we're in a better place because of our training given to all officers - our understanding is better. Honour-based violence is no longer a fringe issue.

"I think if we work hard enough at it together, we can start to eradicate this," he added.

Crimes against women: ‘There are more honour killings than we know’

LAHORE:
 “As many as 500 women and girls are killed for ‘honour’ in Pakistan each year, making Pakistan one of the most dangerous countries for women,” said Dr Muazzam Nasrullah, a public health specialist teaching at Emory and West Virginia University, USA, on Friday.

He was delivering a lecture on Honour Killings: A Public Health Perspective at the University of Health Sciences, organised by the UHS Department of Family Medicine.

Dr Nasrullah stressed the need to provide a platform to oppressed women. “This will help create an informed and supportive environment for advocacy for policies to eliminate violence against women,” he said.

He said, ‘honour’ killings most often involved women being murdered by their family members to avenge the ‘shame’ brought on through infidelity or culturally unacceptable behaviour. “This is a unique form of violence,” said Dr Nasrullah.

“Domestic violence is usually carried out by husbands or romantic partners…in this case the perpetrators are usually brothers or fathers.”

Dr Nasrullah said his study had tried to quantify the problem since data on the matter was hard to come by. He said he had used newspaper reports compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for his study. He said 1,957 incidents of honour killings had been recorded over the past four years.

Most of them had occurred in response to alleged extramarital relations.

Dr Nasrullah said he was sure that the number of incidents reported was lower than the actual number of incidents, as not every incident makes it to the media. “The problem is much worse than what this study makes it out to be,” he said.

The average rate of honour killings in women between 15-64 years was found to be 15 per million women per year.
He said murders for ‘honour’ occurred all over the country under various names kala-kali (Punjab), karo-kari (Sindh), tor-tora (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Siyakari (Balochistan).

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Director IA Rehman said although honour killings were illegal, there were loopholes in the law that often prevented full punishment for the crime.

He said it was very important to have reliable data about honour killings.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2014.

Commission details 675 honour killings in Pakistan in nine-month period

AFL December 20, 2011 





AT least 675 Pakistani women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the year for allegedly defaming their family's honour, a leading human rights group said today.

The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.

Despite some progress on better protecting women's rights, activists say the government needs to do far more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs.

"A total of 675 women and girls were killed in the name of honour across Pakistan from January to September," a senior official in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said.

They included at least 71 victims under the age of 18.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is unauthorised to speak to the media, said figures were still being compiled for the period covering October to December, and that a full report would be released in February.The Commission reported 791 honour killings in 2010 and there was no discernible decrease this year, the official added.

Around 450 of the women killed from January to September were accused of having "illicit relations" and 129 of marrying without permission.

Some victims were raped or gangraped before being killed, he said. At least 19 were killed by their sons, 49 by their fathers and 169 by their husbands.

Rights groups say the government should do more to ensure that women subject to violence, harassment and discrimination have effective access to justice.

Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch, said the state's inability to enforce rule of law, leaving matters in the hands of tribesmen and local elders, was a major factor.

"We have a system in Pakistan where the state and judicial recourse are absent and the vacuum is filled by local elders," Hasan said.

"A combination of legal reforms, exercise of administrative authority and social awareness can greatly help check the honour killings," he added.

Earlier this month, a Belgian court sentenced four members of a Pakistani family to prison for the murder of their daughter and sister, who defied them by living with a Belgian man and refusing an arranged marriage.


Alarming rise of Muslim 'honour attacks' in the UK as police reveal thousands were carried out last year

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 1:15 PM on 3rd December 2011

London sees the highest number of honour crimes, with West Midlands second

Call for more support for victims as cases rise by more than 300 per cent in some areas

Culprits hailed 'heroes' in the community for carrying out the attacks

Nearly 3,000 so-called honour attacks were recorded by police in Britain last year, new research has revealed.

According to figures obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro), at least 2,823 incidents of 'honour-based' violence took place, with the highest number recorded in London.

The charity said the statistics fail to provide the full picture of the levels of 'honour' violence in the UK , but are the best national estimate so far.

The data, taken from from 39 out of 52 UK forces, was released following a freedom of information request by Ikwro.

In total, eight police forces recorded more than 100 so called honour-related attacks in 2010.

The Metropolitan Police saw 495 incidents, with 378 reported in the West Midlands, 350 in West Yorkshire, 227 in Lancashire and 189 in Greater Manchester.

Cleveland recorded 153, while Suffolk and Bedfordshire saw 118 and 117 respectively, according to the figures.

Between the 12 forces able to provide figures from 2009, there was an overall 47 per cent rise in honour attack incidents.

Police in Northumbria saw a 305 per cent increase from 17 incidents in 2009 to 69 in 2010, while Cambridgeshire saw a 154 per cent jump from 11 to 28.
A quarter of police forces in the UK were unable or unwilling to provide data, Ikwro said.

The report stated: 'This is the first time that a national estimate has been provided in relation to reporting of honour-based violence.

'The number of incidents is significant, particularly when we consider the high levels of abuse that victims suffer before they seek help.'

'Honour' attacks are punishments usually carried out against Muslim women who have been accused of bringing shame on their family and in the past have included abductions, mutilations, beatings and murder.

Ikwro director Diana Nammi told the BBC that families often deny the existence of the attacks.

She said: 'The perpetrators will be even considered as a hero within the community because he is the one defending the family and community's honour and reputation.'

Calling for more support for victims, she added: 'For some cases, police and some organisations just help them up to a length of time, then they will stop. With honour-based violence, the threat may be a lifetime threat for them.

The problem is that there is no systematic training for police and other government forces in the UK, such as social services, teachers and midwives.

She said that honour-based violence is an 'organised or collective crime or incident' which is orchestrated by a family or within a community.

Honour crimes mostly happen in South Asian, Eastern European and Middle Eastern communities, she added.

Ms Nammi added that 'lots of things' are considered to be dishonourable including; having a boyfriend, being a victim of rape, refusing an arranged marriage, being gay or lesbian and in some cases wearing make-up or inappropriate dress.

The association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said they were working hard to offer support to victims, and front-line staff had been specially trained to deal with complaints.

Commander Mak Chishty, lead for honour based violence, said: 'In 2008 Acpo published a strategy which recommended consistent reporting across England and Wales. We are satisfied that this is being done.

We're now in consultation on a new strategy. All frontline staff have received awareness training and every force has a champion on honour-based abuse.

Acpo is confident that any victim who comes to us will receive the help they need.'

A Home Office spokesman said: 'We are determined to end honour violence and recognise the need for greater consistency on the ground to stop this indefensible practice.

Our action plan to end violence against women and girls sets out our approach to raise awareness, enhance training for police and prosecutors and better support victims.'

A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) spokesman said: 'Honour-based violence cuts across all cultures, nationalities and faith groups - it is a worldwide problem.

Our fundamental aims are always: to preserve life, protect those at risk, and seek to bring perpetrators to justice.

The MPS has been on a significant journey regarding how we police honour-based violence over the past decade, and has played an instrumental part in developing work in this field.

We have used our organisational learning over the years to inform our current policies, staff training and operating procedures.

We know that like other hate crimes, honour-based violence is under-reported however, and remain very concerned about this. We continue to work with victims' groups, non-governmental organisations and statutory agencies to ensure that we are providing the best assistance possible to victims - they are at the heart of all we do.

The spokesman added there were specially-trained officers who carry out daily reviews of reported incidents in London.

He said: 'The MPS has incorporated honour-based violence and forced marriage into its mandatory domestic violence training for all constables, sergeants and inspectors; there has also been specific training for PCSOs and senior officers, and regular training sessions for other specialist officers such as schools officers and Safer Neighbourhoods' Teams.'

In 2006, Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, south London, was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they thought her boyfriend was unsuitable.

Cousins Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar hussain, both 28, were jailed last year for a minimum of 22 and 21 years respectively for the honour killing of the 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd.

The victim's father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle Ari Mahmod were jailed for life at the Old Bailey in 2007.


Honor Killings: The Islamic Connection

By Phyllis Chesler
FrontPageMagazine.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She knew.

She told her friends that her father was going to kill her. She ran away, stayed at a shelter, stayed with friends. She was lured back home by honeyed sentences. Her family could not sleep without her. Late last year, on December 10th, in Toronto, sixteen year-old Aqsa Parvez's father. Mohammed, and her brother, Waqas, collaborated in her murder.

Aqsa's crime? She refused to wear hijab, she was becoming too assimilated.

Mohammed and Waqas Parvez are currently in jail awaiting trial.

This seems to be an open-and-shut case of an honor killing. Islamists in Canada disagree and have launched a protest against a popular Canadian magazine, Toronto Life, for daring to describe Aqsa's murder as an honor killing. An announcement, ostensibly penned by Michelle@urbanalliance.ca went out over Facebook calling for people to barrage the magazine's editor, Sarah Fulford, with email and telephone criticism and to attend a Speak Out and press conference which was to have taken place last night. And to write to a new pro-Muslim magazine titled Aqsa-Zine.

Ironically, the new zine is open to Muslim women only. No Christians, Jews, or Hindus need apply.

This is the problem: Islamist separatism -- aka Islamic religious and gender apartheid. It is practiced in Muslim countries and transported by immigrations globally. Tradition and religion have a storng hold, especially on immigrants in a strange, new land. However, many  religious and cultural groups have managed to both integrate and to retain their own religious identities. Muslim immigrants (and their third generation descendants) seem to have a much harder time with this balancing act.

If we understand Islam as an all-encompassing political, military, religious, social, and cultural entity (which it is), then things become clearer.

Known honor killings first arrived in North America in 1989, when Palestina Isa's father, an Abu Nidal Palestinian terrorist and his wife, her mother, both slaughtered their hard-working and much-abused 16 year old daughter Palestina. Her crime? She was becoming too "American," too independent, too academically ambitious--and she had a friend, a boy, who was an African-American. Her mother held her down and her father butchered her with tremendous animal ferocity.

On January 1st of this year, Yasser Said shot his daughters Sarah and Amina to death in Dallas and probably escaped back to Egypt. Like Palestina, they were teenagers (aged 17 and 18). Their mother collaborated in their murder by luring them back home to their deaths. The FBI has been hunting for Said and recently featured him on their Ten Most Wanted List. They described Said as having committed an "honor killing."

For reasons that remain unclear, within a week, the FBI removed that description. Some say that the Bureau caved into Islamist pressure. Others, myself included, suggest that it would not necessarily help them capture Said if he were seen as a "Muslim hero," who was being persecuted because he is a Muslim.

After Parvez was honor killed, Mohammed Elmasry, of the Canadian Islamic Congress, was quoted as saying: "I don't want the public to think that this is an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue. It is a teenager issue."

Islamists insist that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. They say that it is a "cultural" but not an "Islamic" crime. They are wrong. Islamists also say that honor murders are the same as domestic violence. All men, all religions engage in it. Wrong. Most honor killings are committed by Muslims who believe that what they are doing is a sacred, religious act. They may misunderstand the Qu'ran but as yet, no mullah or imam has stood up in the global, public square to condemn such murders as dishonorable and anti-Islamic. No fatwa has ever been issued against a Muslim honor killer.

In terms of domestic violence, western-style domestic batterers rarely kill their daughters. That is a characteristic of an honor killing. And, western style domestic batterers act alone when they kill their adult partners. An honor killing is a collaborative act between several or many members of the same family.

It is unfortunate, even shameful, but not surprising that Islamists seek to cover up this sin against Muslim girls and women by attacking those who would dare expose it as "Islamophobes."

We cannot afford to fall for this deception. A crime is a crime. The shame resides in the criminal, not in his victim. The shame will become ours if we justify the brutal sacrifice of Muslim girls and women in order to remain multi-culturally and politically correct.



MUSLIM DAD SETS UP SON TO MURDER DAUGHTER'S BOY FRIEND

By J. Grant Swank, Jr. MichNews.com Dec 15, 2005

She had his child. The boy friend then was killed by her father. In other words, the family was "dishonored."

Dishonoring a Muslim family can yield a killing. Whoever did the dishonoring is to be slain. Sometimes it’s by bullet or knife or whatever. But the dishonoring must be vindicated. Therefore, Allah is satisfied. This goes on every day. It is happening while I type.

Such devilish customs are frightening cultures not used to such barbarism. Therefore, as Muslims move to non-Muslim societies, they keep their traditions such as "honor killing." That of course cuts through the civility of cultures that do not tolerate such devilment.

Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, 19, was cut through with a knife 46 times. He had been seated in an automobile in Oxford in November 2004.

The reason he was slain is because he was accused of impregnating Manna Begum, his girl friend. With that, her two brothers slaughtered the boy friend.

Her father, Chomir Ali, 44, set it all up. He convinced the brother to slay the girl’s boy friend. "It’s just the way Muslims are," Cheherazad Jmil reported to the press. In other words, such doings are common place. It is expected from the Muslims in certain communities.

When honor killing takes place, often the press does not report it. Often the police do nothing. Often even the females in the Muslim community shield the murderer. If anyone protests the honor killing, he is turned upon by Muslim males in particular.

Females are not considered worth that much by Islamics. The women are possessions of the clan’s males. If they get out of line, they may find themselves killed. In this case, it was the boy who was accused of impregnating the girl who was slain in order to retrieve the honor of the clan.

The girl would walk through the neighborhood holding the boy’s hand. That is not permitted by Muslims who are legalistic in adhering to their customs. Therefore, the boy had to be gotten rid of.

A friend warned the girl not to hold hands in public. Nevertheless, she continued. "It’s shameful for the family," a friend to the girl informed the media.

According to the Guardian: "A father and his two sons were today found guilty of the murder of a university student ‘to vindicate the family's honor.’

"A jury at Oxford Crown Court ruled that 44-year-old Bangladeshi waiter Chomir Ali ordered his two sons Mohammed Mujibar Rahman, aged 19, and Mamnoor Rahman, aged 16, to kill Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, a 19-year-old university student who was in a long-term relationship with Ali's daughter, Manna Begum, on November 20 last year.

"The three will be jailed for life.

"The body of Mr. Ghorbani-Zarin - an Iranian Muslim studying electronic engineering at Oxford Brookes University - was found in his car in Spencer Crescent, Rosehill - an Oxford suburb. He had been stabbed 46 times, mostly in the chest."

With Muslims moving increasingly throughout Europe and Africa as well as North America, concern from non-Muslims is rising. The non-Muslims are coming to realize that the chief aim of fanatic Muslims is Islamic world rule. There are 4000 web sites spewing forth hatred against non-Muslims. Jews in particular are hated, being called "Jew-pigs." All non-Muslims must be slain, according to Allah’s dictates in the Koran.

There are sleeper cells throughout the free countries. These could explode at any time, thus imploding the culture. There are schools where Islamic teachers instruct boys and girls how to hate and kill for Allah’s sake. There are TV programs in the Middle East instructing the same.

Females who do not follow the legalistic Islamic customs are in danger of being wiped out. For instance, "Ms. Begum's close friend Cheherazad Jmil described her as a ‘strong character’ who never wore a head scarf or Muslim clothes, but opted instead for jeans and hooded tops.

"She said she had warned Ms. Begum her actions would cause embarrassment to her family."

Many Muslim communities expect their females to cover their bodies from head to toe. In some cases, if a Muslim female shows her ankles she will be beaten by her husband. She may even be slain. There are cases where a brother slays his sister because in some fashion she has dishonored her clan. Then the brother will take the dead body, hugging it and crying, for he did not want to slay his sister. Nevertheless, "honor killing" demanded it.

In non-Muslim cultures this sort of behavior is anathema. National non-Muslim national leaders are slowly coming to realize that this infusion of such carnage cannot be tolerated in a non-Muslim society.

Muslim leaders in Muslim countries usually turn their backs on such horrible customs. It has become so ingrained in such countries as Pakistan, that it is difficult to get villages and rural areas to change to a civil manner of living.

 

For Muslim women, a deadly defiance

'Honor killings' on rise in Europe

By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff   January 16, 2006

BERLIN -- Life was just starting to look up for 23-year-old Hatun Surucu when the bullets cut her down.

After four years of grueling courses in vocational school, coupled with the demands of single motherhood, she was only weeks away from receiving certification as an electrician, a trade that would give her the independence she desperately craved.

It had been a rough road: Eight years earlier, her parents, Turkish immigrants, had yanked Surucu from eighth grade, bundled her off to Istanbul, and forced her to marry an older cousin. Miserable in Turkey, she had fled her husband and returned to Berlin with her infant son, determined to make her own way as a modern woman in a secular society, according to friends.

For a Muslim barely out of girlhood, it was an act of extraordinary defiance against her family. And it cost Surucu her life.

As Europe's Muslims become increasingly conservative, growing numbers of women are being killed or mutilated in the name of ''family honor," according to law enforcement agencies, women's activist groups, and moderate Islamic organizations. These cases usually involve an attack on a Muslim woman by a close relative -- typically a brother or father -- angered by her refusal to accept a forced marriage or her insistence on leading a Western-style life.

There were at least eight such slayings in Berlin alone in 2005, and 47 honor killings of Muslim women across Germany in the past six years, according to police, media reports, and activist groups. Not coincidentally, activists say, tens of thousands of European-born Muslim women are annually forced into unwanted marriages, often to much older men, in their family's home countries. Refusal to submit to such marriages can bring a death sentence.

Following a spate of headline-grabbing cases, including Surucu's murder, European countries are slowly coming to recognize honor killings as a distinct crime.

In Great Britain, for example, a police review of 22 domestic homicides last year resulted in 18 being reclassified as ''murder in the name of so-called 'honor.' " Scotland Yard has reopened probes into 109 suspicious deaths, covering a 10-year span, that seem to have been family conspiracies to kill Muslim women.

The violent trend, say authorities, reflects the strengthening grip of religious fundamentalism among the continent's 16 million Muslims, many of whom suffer from rising unemployment, inadequate education, and -- perhaps above all -- the sense of being unwelcome outsiders in their adopted homes. As Muslim men embrace radical Islam and return to age-old customs, women are paying a cruel price.

''There is a lost generation of Muslims in Europe," said Eren Uensal, spokeswoman for the Turkish Federation of Berlin. ''Ten years ago, Muslims here were more modern, more secular than those 'back home.' Now the situation has reversed. The younger men feel there is no place for them in Europe, but they also feel there is no place else for them."

Islamic radical groups are filling the vacuum. ''The most alarming thing they teach is that violence is an acceptable way to enforce religious views or social customs," Uensal said. ''Much of that violence is against women."

Hatun Surucu's murder was fairly typical of Europe's recent honor killings.

Her parents and brothers in Berlin were outraged when Surucu abandoned her husband and returned to Germany with her infant son, Can. Even deeper than the anger was the family's sense of disgrace at this display of female independence, according to court testimony and family friends.

But Surucu wanted to make her own way. She stayed at a Berlin women's shelter only long enough to complete middle school. Then she found a part-time job, moved into a tiny apartment, and enrolled in a vocational program.

Further enraging her family, she abandoned the hijab -- the traditional head scarf worn by some Muslim women -- in favor of earrings, makeup, and blue jeans. Her son, now 6, was the light of her life, friends say. But Surucu also loved movies and going out dancing.

''All she wanted, really, was to be an ordinary person, just a normal young woman," said Georg Neumann, a friend of Surucu's at the vocational school.

On the night of Feb. 7, 2005, at a bus stop two blocks from her apartment, Surucu was waiting under a street lamp when bullets tore into her chest and face at point-blank range.

The slaying, according to police, was a family affair.

Three of Surucu's five brothers have been charged with murder. One has already confessed in a chilling court statement. ''She wanted her own circle of friends" outside the family, Ayhan Surucu, 18, said of his sister. ''It was too much."

Ayhan, the youngest brother, is charged with pulling the trigger. An older brother is charged with acquiring the gun, and a middle brother is accused of luring his sister to the murder scene with a phone call in which he said the family wanted to discuss reconciliation.

''She was still so much wanting to be one with her family," Neumann said. ''She didn't want to be cut off from them. She only wanted them to accept that she could have her own life."

Britain opened a review of the suspicious cases after a Kurdish immigrant from Iraq, Abdullah Yones, held his 16-year-old daughter over a bathtub and slashed her throat in 2004 after discovering that she was trading love letters with a boy in her high school class in London. In court last year, Yones insisted that his daughter brought her fate on herself. On the day he was sentenced to life imprisonment, dozens of approving Kurdish men came to court to show solidarity with Yones, according to media accounts.

In a more recent German case, Goenuel Karabey, 20, the daughter of Turkish immigrants living in Berlin, refused a forced marriage last June and disappeared with her boyfriend, a Christian.

Humiliated, her father and brothers tracked her down in Wiesbaden, in western Germany, at the home of the boyfriend's mother. Karabey was shot dead in the garden after agreeing to speak with her family. Her brother, Ali, later surrendered the murder weapon to police, according to media reports.

Along with last year's subway bombings in London by home-grown Islamic zealots and riots in the Arab suburbs of France, the honor killings in Europe have horrified a continent that, until recent years, has paid little heed -- many politicians now concede -- to the religious fundamentalism breeding in its midst.

Moderate Islamic groups and some European leaders are warning that honor killings reflect a trend of fundamentalism that sneers at Western laws and values.

''There are two societies with two different value systems living side by side -- but wholly apart -- in Europe," said Seyran Ates, a Berlin lawyer of Turkish origin who often works with women trying to escape forced marriages.

The first two generations of immigrants, Ates said, found plentiful jobs and were generally content. But the generation of European-born Muslims now coming of age, Ates said, ''never integrated into Western society [and] are becoming more and more conservative, not less so."

A Berlin group, Wildwasser, provides hiding places for girls ages 12 to 18 who feel their lives are in danger, mainly because of their refusal to enter forced marriages or to quit school in favor of duties at home.

''So many cases we see involve young [Muslim] girls who are exposed to ideas of equality and freedom, and take to these ideas like flowers to the sun," said Mehriban Ozer, a social worker for Wildwasser. ''They want to go to school. They want a life. The violence comes from fathers and brothers . . . who now see the tiniest step toward freedom by a female to be a terrible break from tradition."

Although Muslims represent less than 5 percent of the German population, about half of the girls who come to Wildwasser fleeing violence at home are Turks, Arabs, North Africans, or West Asians from strict Islamic families, according to Trina Leichsenring, the group's director.

The rise of fundamentalism among Muslims in Europe can be blamed, at least partially, on the failure of countries to integrate the millions of Muslims who started arriving in large numbers in the 1960s. Two generations later, most lead lives largely segregated from the mainstream. ''It's been taboo to discuss integration. It offends those who say every expression of cultural difference is somehow wonderful," said Heinz Buschkowsky, mayor of the Berlin borough of Neukoelln, where more than a third of the residents are Arabs and Turks. ''But now, with culture being expressed by covering women's faces or killing a girl who refuses to marry some old man in the home village, perhaps it is time to break the taboo."

In Neukoelln's largely immigrant Thomas Morus school, not far from the place where Hatun Surucu was murdered, students greeted news of her slaying with loud approval. Her brothers were hailed as local heroes.

The principal, Volker Steffans, was so disgusted by the display that he sent a letter to parents, to be read and signed, explaining what he had always regarded as obvious -- that girls should not be harassed for refusing to wear head scarves; that girls should not be attacked for wanting to pursue careers; that women should not be murdered for expecting tolerance and equality in a Western society.

''A murder happened nearby; a young woman was killed. She died because she wanted to live freely," Steffans said. ''But we are shocked by the fact that students approve of this murder and say [Surucu] deserved to die because she 'lived like a German.' "

Petra Krischok, a news assistant in the Globe's Berlin bureau, contributed to this report. 

 

German court jails man for "honor killing"

Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:05 AM ET
By Kerstin Rebien

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court sentenced a man of Turkish origin to more than nine years in prison on Thursday for the so-called "honor killing" of his sister but found two other brothers not guilty of conspiring in the murder.

The murder of 23-year-old Hatun Surucu, who was shot while standing at a bus stop in a Berlin suburb last year, shocked Germany and sparked intense debate about a conservative Muslim immigrant community at odds with mainstream society.

Forced to marry a cousin in Turkey as a young girl, Hatun Surucu later broke with her Turkish-Kurdish family in Berlin and was living independently with her five-year-old son, to the intense disapproval of her relatives, prosecutors said.

Ayhan Surucu, 20, who confessed to pulling the trigger, was sentenced to nine years and three months, close to the 10-year maximum allowable as he was a minor at the time of the killing.

"This young woman, who loved life, was a victim because she lived life as she saw fit, and that's why she was shot by her brother right here among us," Judge Michael Degreif said.

The older brothers, Mutlu, 26, and Alpaslan, 25, who were accused of aiding him in the murder but who denied any involvement, were found not guilty after the court ruled prosecutors had not proved they had conspired to organize the murder.

They cheered briefly on hearing the judgment, while their brother, who said he acted alone, laughed. Prosecutors said they would appeal against the decision.

Public outrage at the murder was exacerbated when boys at a nearby school with many pupils from immigrant families were reported to have openly applauded the killing shortly afterwards because the victim had lived "like a German".

ALIEN

The case has added fuel to a simmering debate over the descendants of the mainly Turkish "guest workers" whose labor helped fuel Germany's post-war "economic miracle" but who remain in many ways foreigners in the country.

The Surucu family lived for years in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg but "wasn't really living in Germany," Degreif said.

The case is one of a series of incidents that have added to concerns that Germany's large immigrant community, many out of work, poorly educated and not holding German citizenship, may be drifting further away from the rest of the country.

As details of the Surucu case emerged over the past year, the trial opened a window onto a world whose values are completely alien to most Germans, who since the end of World War Two have prided themselves on an open, tolerant society.

"It's a view that assumes that what it considers the moral integrity of the woman has to be defended at all costs and sees the honor of the family is the highest good," said Eren Unsal, of the Turkish Federation in Berlin and Brandenburg, which has condemned the murder and worked to foster integration.

No reliable statistics exist on how widespread the phenomenon is but several cases of "honor killings" have been recorded in Germany in recent years.

The Surucu verdict comes just weeks after an uproar in a notoriously disorderly school in Neukoelln, a rough district of Berlin with high unemployment and a large Turkish and Arab population, where teachers said they had lost control.

Politicians from all sides have jumped on the issue with a slew of proposals, including making immigrants take compulsory language training and tests to ensure they share basic social and cultural values.

Some conservatives, who say lax "multicultural" policies have encouraged authorities to turn a blind eye to abuses, have also said that immigrants guilty of serious breaches of German law should be deported.

But many experts say the problems have been allowed to build up under successive governments of all parties, which for a long time acted as though foreigners would one day return home.

 

German court jails man for "honor killing"

Apr 13, 2006
By Kerstin Rebien

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court sentenced a man of Turkish origin to more than nine years in prison on Thursday for the so-called "honor killing" of his sister but found two other brothers not guilty of conspiring in the murder.

The murder of 23-year-old Hatun Surucu, who was shot while standing at a bus stop in a Berlin suburb last year, shocked Germany and sparked intense debate about a conservative Muslim immigrant community at odds with mainstream society.

Forced to marry a cousin in Turkey as a young girl, Hatun Surucu later broke with her Turkish-Kurdish family in Berlin and was living independently with her five-year-old son, to the intense disapproval of her relatives, prosecutors said.

Ayhan Surucu, 20, who confessed to pulling the trigger, was sentenced to nine years and three months, close to the 10-year maximum allowable as he was a minor at the time of the killing.

"This young woman, who loved life, was a victim because she lived life as she saw fit, and that's why she was shot by her brother right here among us," Judge Michael Degreif said.

The older brothers, Mutlu, 26, and Alpaslan, 25, who were accused of aiding him in the murder but who denied any involvement, were found not guilty after the court ruled prosecutors had not proved they had conspired to organize the murder.

They cheered briefly on hearing the judgment, while their brother, who said he acted alone, laughed. Prosecutors said they would appeal against the decision.

Public outrage at the murder was exacerbated when boys at a nearby school with many pupils from immigrant families were reported to have openly applauded the killing shortly afterwards because the victim had lived "like a German".

The case has added fuel to a simmering debate over the descendants of the mainly Turkish "guest workers" whose labor helped fuel Germany's post-war "economic miracle" but who remain in many ways foreigners in the country.

The Surucu family lived for years in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg but "wasn't really living in Germany," Degreif said.

The case is one of a series of incidents that have added to concerns that Germany's large immigrant community, many out of work, poorly educated and not holding German citizenship, may be drifting further away from the rest of the country.

As details of the Surucu case emerged over the past year, the trial opened a window onto a world whose values are completely alien to most Germans, who since the end of World War Two have prided themselves on an open, tolerant society.

"It's a view that assumes that what it considers the moral integrity of the woman has to be defended at all costs and sees the honor of the family is the highest good," said Eren Unsal, of the Turkish Federation in Berlin and Brandenburg, which has condemned the murder and worked to foster integration.

No reliable statistics exist on how widespread the phenomenon is but several cases of "honor killings" have been recorded in Germany in recent years.

The Surucu verdict comes just weeks after an uproar in a notoriously disorderly school in Neukoelln, a rough district of Berlin with high unemployment and a large Turkish and Arab population, where teachers said they had lost control.

Politicians from all sides have jumped on the issue with a slew of proposals, including making immigrants take compulsory language training and tests to ensure they share basic social and cultural values.

Some conservatives, who say lax "multicultural" policies have encouraged authorities to turn a blind eye to abuses, have also said that immigrants guilty of serious breaches of German law should be deported.

But many experts say the problems have been allowed to build up under successive governments of all parties, which for a long time acted as though foreigners would one day return home.

 

MAIN INDEX

BIBLE INDEX

HINDU INDEX

MUSLIM INDEX

MORMON INDEX

BUDDHISM INDEX

WORD FAITH INDEX

WATCHTOWER INDEX

MISCELLANEOUS INDEX

CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX