Monday, May 09, 2005

Honor Killings: Lie About Women in Order to Save Them

I am a member of several discussion lists, one of which is concerned with women and Islam. Recently someone there posted a review of a book about "honor" crimes committed against women in the West Bank. For those interested in the review, it skewers the book, marketed as a true story by a woman who underwent horrible torture and mistreatment, as being basically completely made up. The evidence the reviewer marshalled to prove her point was pretty damning. The book was riddled with inconsistencies and falsehoods that anyone who had lived in the West Bank or even had a very basic knowledge of Arab culture would recognize.

The review is at http://www.antiwar.com/orig/ttaylor.php?articleid=5801 ... (Cannot seem to get this to create a link, sorry)

Now, this discussion list is pretty progressive, and people on there are very feminist and all of them are horrified by "honor" crimes and loudly denounce them and try to fight them in various ways, such as doing Amnesty letter-writing campaigns and similar things to fight the medieval practice. I have been a member of the list for several years.

A new person to the list, however, seemed to think that a critical review of the book was a whitewash for the practice of honor killing, and stated the following amazing idea:

"I did say that it does not matter whether it is true or not and I
am not going to take that back. The point and the main aspect of
the story was the matter of "honor killing" and the treatment of
women. So, what if she glaring mistakes in reference to important
matters of area and the Palestinian people, for all you know the
story could have been written by someone here in the U.S. who has
never set foot in the Middle East, but to dwell solely on her
mistakes and ignore the plot and meaning of the story then "honor
killing" will remain an hidden secret."

I read this statement over and over again. She really is saying that a book full of lies is supposed to be read without noticing the lies and instead merely focusing on its polemics, or else "honor" killing has no solution.

Are there a lot of people out there that think lying is OK in order to get people involved in an issue? Why is the truth not just as OK, or more OK? I want to say more about this but it will take some thought. There is just so much wrong with the idea that I am unsure of where to start.

Crossposted at my own blog, Annalysis.

5 comment(s):

  • I think it is really important that any reserch or material that is published on issues like honnour killing should be based on fact. This is becuase the attitudes toward Mulsim men and women are so negative (all mulsim women are victims all muslim men are abusers) that it is imperative that when these issues come up that they are based on fact, not 'myth'. I agree totaly that these issues need to be brought out into the open but using lies to do it only plays into the hands of the islamaphobes/the far right etc who have a vested interest the maintance and propergation of racist views of muslims. Moreover how do you win the hearts and minds of muslims over to the beleif that these issues need to be dealt with (stopped) when the material relating to these issues is in fabricated? Particularly in a Palestinian context where so many people have so many vested interests in portraying muslims/palestinians in a negative light. Honnour Killings are not confined to islamic cultures, they occur in most cultures. I am aware of this pracitce in Italy, greece, and india in a non muslim context, however you don't see these crimes publicised in the media. Why not, I wonder......Lying about issues like this does nothing to help women and does nothing to help people understand the issues involved. Nore does it help the people trying to fight them to be taken seriously.

    By Blogger ummiskander, at 5/09/2005 04:55:00 AM  

  • the United States and their cronies have not the slightest desire to "win hearts and minds" - it is not possible to do this while attacking and slaughtering Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan.

    So, as in the "cold (sic) war" against the Soviet Union, stories are planted, rumors are spread to undermine and disorient Muslims.

    Books like these are just a tip of the iceberg, and more blatant. The more insidious approach is to "change the face of Islam." None of this is new - see Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent for a well documented read on planting of stories in the New York Times etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/12/2005 11:34:00 AM  

  • Hi there. I'm an Arab-Jew. A Sephardic. I support all of your sayings and identifies deeply with your toughts and feelings. I would like to add an important note: Those dirty technics (the book and the comment on the list) are used by the zionists (the ashkenazic allegedly 'jews', those east- europians).
    As a person who unfortunately was forced to grow up in the zionist state I recognize those schems miles a head. Those sub-humans made up the same kind of books and still do against the Arab-Jewish congragations. I will never forget the love and appriciation my family still feels towards there origin country Morocco and its people. I think they are doing now the same to the Muslims around the world as a paid service to the u.s. and with cooparation with the "new-conservatives" (ashkenazic-zionists) which "hijacked" the republican party and the u.s. forien policy.
    They do the same every day in our, middle eastern and north african jews, discussion lists. Be strong Muslim brothers and sisters, the Jewish scriptures said 2,000 years ago that the Muslims will dominate the world some day about this era.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5/25/2005 10:29:00 PM  

  • Sir,
    Do you know that you can have eternal life and favor with God through faith in Jesus Christ? Thou shalt not covet, it says Exodus 20. Don't covet the favor that the Jews have, rather, repent of cursing the seed of Abraham. God's chosen are not sub humans, neither are you and your people. According to God's promise and covenant with Abraham, for whom blesses Abraham, God will bless, and curses for curses.

    By faith in the son of God, given for Jews and non-Jew, you will be blessed in this life and the life to come, you and your whole nation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/27/2005 11:38:00 AM  

  • Dear A-L-L-A/G-O-D/HASHEM believer.
    1) If you have such an enlightening message to me and to the world, and you are a true believer in the Almighty, why do you hide your name for?
    2) Those who chose evil are only Jews biologically if at all, the seed of Ibrahim/Abraham/Avraham are those which follow his moral and merciful ways. The religious Jews do not see those who "hijacked" the nation of Israel in our days as a part of the Jewish people, but see them as the worst enemy of justice and Judaism.
    3) As a true Cristian, with G-O-D in front of your eyes, I expect you to condemn the crimes commited by that small group of evil people to the Palestinian people.

    Repentence is in the small and big things alike.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/27/2005 10:00:00 PM  

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