Friday, April 07, 2006

Do They Now Have Honor? 

Haaretz has the story of an honor killing in the Israeli Arab community:

A gag order was lifted on Thursday on the arrests of five brothers from Lod who are suspected of murdering their 19-year-old sister in the name of family honor.

The young girl, Rim Abu Ganem, was killed after her brother Suliman, a 33-year-old pediatrician at Assaf Harofeh Hospital, allegedly gave his brothers an anesthetic with which to drug her. According to the suspicions against them, her brothers, whose ages range from 20 to 33, choked her to death after she fell asleep.
This just makes me sick.

Obviously the actual perpetrators must be condemned and punished. Having committed this crime within Israel they may actually face legal consequences -- as opposed to the norms in much of the rest of the Arab world, where honor killings are winked at and rapists run off while their victims are punished.

And that's the heart of the problem -- these so-called norms. It's not enough just to punish a perp now and again. The culture has to change. That anyone can think they will actually gain honor within their community by murdering a family member is an outrageous indictment of that community's values.

If you are a moderate Muslim reading this and are afraid to stand up when the extremists preach eternal warfare against Israel and the West -- assuming you disagree with them -- then here is an easier first step that might not get you killed. Organize demonstrations on behalf of the lives of your own sisters, wives and mothers. Condemn this behavior with the loud voices you've been holding back for a worthy cause that doesn't involve Israel or Jihad.

The honor killings will stop only when the honor stops.

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