The horror of gendercide ("honor killings" in Islam) is on the rise in the West as more Muslim immigrate to Western countries. The cover-ups and obfuscation of these cold-blooded murders by family members is nothing short of sanction. Gender aparttheid and murdering Muslim women in America is preferable to offending Muslims or insulting Islam.
This is the first initiative of its kind, dedicated to calling attention to this enforcement of the most savage elements of Islamic law against women: wives, daughters, and sisters. One can't even begin to fathom the lost dreams and ideals and promises and hopes for a full life extinguished by the tyrannical, hatemongering macho culture of Islamic supremacism.
Demand the world's condemnation of Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and the dehumanization of women. This should be the first of tens of thousands of memorials, but the point of the memorials does not end simply with the memorials themselves. The memorials show that we have not forgotten and will not forget these girls. And the memorials are just a part of a larger determination to show the Islamic world that we simply will not allow this barbaric practice of Islamic honor killing to stand in the West. We will plant millions of groves.
These girls, they're you, and they're me.
All in the family National Post (thanks to Gerry V)
While the courts must still render their verdicts, Canada may have witnessed two additional acts of honour-motivated killing this summer.
Late last month, Abdul Malik Rustam of Toronto is alleged to have made his way into the apartment of his estranged wife, Shaher Bano Shahdady, and strangled her to death. Not a week later, across the country in Surrey, B.C., Ravinder Bhangu's estranged husband, Sunny Bhangu, allegedly barged into her office at a Punjabi-English newspaper and murdered her.
In both cases, friends, relatives and community members of the victims have speculated publicly that their murders were motivated by the alleged killer's belief that their wives had sullied their honour. The alleged killers themselves have yet to publicly reveal their motives, and neither has been found guilty. But should these deaths eventually be confirmed to have been honour killings, that would make these cases numbers 14 and 15 on our Canadian list of murders of girls and women killed by relatives to preserve family honour.
Perhaps the best-known of these 13 confirmed cases was that of Toronto teenager Aqsa Parvez. Ms. Parvez had taken up a typically Canadian social life and refused to marry a man chosen for her in Pakistan. She was murdered in 2007 by her father and brother for her perceived shaming of the family. Ms. Parvez's killing and the considerable attention it received from the media helped define for Canadians what an honour killing is - until recent years, it was a largely unknown crime in Canada. It is not yet clear, however, that our police and courts are up to the challenge of grappling with this unfamiliar menace.
Honour killings are a very specific type of crime. In a typical murder case, punishing the murderer is a sufficient criminal-justice response. But honour-motivated murders often involve multiple members of a family, and are always for the same culturally-based reason. The father (of a targeted child) or husband (of a targeted romantic partner) is the leader of the conspiracy; if there are sons or brothers, they often are in-volved in the planning and execution. Women in the family do not usually execute daughters (although in one Canadian case, a Chechen widow strangled her daughter as a proxy for her late husband). But often they know about the planned killing, but don't prevent it by warning police.
The case of Ms. Parvez speaks to this complication. There were 10 or 11 people living in the household. Every one of them knew that a terrible punishment lay in store for the victim. Ms. Parvez had been living with friends when her mother lured her home with a false promise of reconciliation. That is when she was killed.
Police investigating alleged honour killings should be aware of such precedents. When the family's honour is found to have been the motive behind a murder, it is not always enough to imprison those who actually kill the victim. Every member of the family with foreknowledge of the crime, or who took part in it, should face scrutiny as well. In some cases, the investigation may come under the ordinary criminal law doctrine of conspiracy. In other cases, anyone with prior knowledge may be guilty of criminal negligence. In any event, where the evidence warrants, Crown attorneys should not hesitate to lay applicable charges against knowing family and friends of the murder victim.
This will certainly complicate the investigation of alleged honour killings. But if the problem of honour-based violence is to be addressed, society must send the message that everyone involved will be held to account - not just the one individual who is designated as the killer.
Honour killings are a vestige of unassimilated immigrant cultures that treat a woman's sexual virtue as a collective good. The people who commit and abet these crimes have been brainwashed into the belief that they are "cleansing" their family in some necessary way. We must use every criminal-law tool at our disposal to disabuse immigrants of this hideous misconception.