I recently ran across this posting on LGF Watch. The story is about a murder in Germany. Follows is a summary by one of the commentators on the post:
the "honour killing" story is basically about a fanatically devout Christian man, who had a family of a wife and 12 kids. He used to spend his time preaching to people, reciting bible quotes in every occasion and trying to missionarize his neighbors and friends.
He used to set very strict rules for his children, regarding behaviour, and mostly abstinence. Occasionally he would resort to hitting as a means of upbringing. His oldest son, an independant and ambitious young fellow started getting into conflicts with his father about many things, especially about relations with girls. To cut a long story short, the son who had left home for college sometimes passed by his house when the father wasn't there. When they did meet though, things became ugly. They got into a huge row about girls, the father insisting that a good Christian should marry a virgin, the Son replying that most girls aren't virgins anymore, and said in the end on his way out: "I'm off to rape a 13 year-old."
In reaction, the father jammed a kitchen knife into the son's back, in order to prevent this horrible deed, which was probably only meant as a provocation. The son died soon later of his wound.
Is that an "honor" murder? There are, sadly, too many cases where parents kill their children or where husbands kill their wives. Are all these murders due to "honor"?
"Honor" murders or "honor" killings are murders that occur because the victim did something to taint the family's honor and that honor will only be redeemed by murdering them. By definition, "honor" murders can only occur in a society which approves of them. If society does not approve, then it will not see the victim as "tainting the family's honor" and, of course, no honor will be redeemed by a murder.
Here's a short checklist of questions to keep in mind when reading the news.
1. Is the word "honor" mentioned as a reason for the crime?
2. Was the murder done by a brother, father or uncle? (in European countries: was the murder done by a minor?)
3. Is the victim a sister, daughter or niece?
4. Was the murder done or planned by more than one family member?
5. Does the murderer think he had no choice? Is he proud to go to jail for his deeds?
6. Was the murder planned in advance?
7. Did the family agree with the murder? Did the victim 'deserve' to be killed?
8. did the victim say/show in the past she was afraid of her family?
9. Is the family helping the police?
10. How do the family's neighbors and extended family react? Did they think it was expected? Are they helping the police?
In the case LGF Watch brings, the only connection with "honor" murders is that the murderer was the father. Fanaticism and psychopathy might have been causes, but honor had nothing to do with it.
Redefining "honor" murder to include every "family drama" and every murder within the family might sound better for Western ears. Somebody who doesn't live in a society bound by honor will simply not understand how critical it is to preserve the family honor. However, being politically correct makes it much more difficult to help out the women who are in danger of being killed for defiling their family's honor.
See also:The disgrace of honor murders, Sharia in the Netherlands? , Book Reviews: On Arab Tribalism