Sunday, July 18, 2010

Honor Killings

Honors killings are on the rise and they are growing at a fast rate in the United States. Finding their roots in the practices of Middle East and Asian tribes, an honor killing is when a woman or man has "disgraced" the family's honor and is allowed to be killed to preserve or return honor to the family name. Mainly targeted at women, honor killings are usually overlooked by government officials and accepted in areas where tribal culture and rule dominates that of the state.

Human Rights Watch today released a call for India to prosecute those responsible in a sudden rise of honor killings throughout several provinces. There are no actual figures for honor killings in these provinces because often, the family will make it look like a suicide or a natural death. However, on June 21 2010, "in Haryana, after the bodies of a young couple whose relationship had been condemned for violating kinship rules were found hanging from a tree, six family members were arrested for murder." (read the full article here)

Marie Claire August 2010 has an excellent piece about honor killings here in the United States. Many often think that these crimes occur on the opposite side of the world, in backward communities that don't know better. But the truth is that this horrible action occurs in our country, in our states and in our own backyards. Just read this excerpt from "An American Honor Killing":

"But honor killings in America are a chilling new trend. In Texas, teen sisters Amina and Sarah Said were shot dead in 2008, allegedly by their father, because they had boyfriends. That same year in Georgia, 25-year-old Sandeela Kanwal was allegedly strangled by her father for wanting to leave an arranged marriage. Last year in New York, Aasiya Hassan, 37, was murdered in perhaps the most gruesome way imaginable: She was beheaded, allegedly by her husband, for reportedly seeking a divorce. And this past spring, 19-year-old Tawana Thompson's husband gunned her down in Illinois, reportedly following arguments about her American-style clothing." (Marie Claire)

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