Religion of Misogyny watch

February 5, 2010

In Turkey, two men are under arrest for the murder of a teenage girl. Her crime? Befriending boys. Her punishment? To be buried alive. And her killers are were her father and grandfather:

A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by relatives in southeast Turkey in a gruesome honour killing just because she reportedly befriended boys, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, police discovered Medine Memi’s body in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre-deep hole in a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta town, Adiyaman province, 40 days after she went missing, the agency said.

A subsequent post mortem revealed that she had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, meaning that she was buried alive, foresic experts told the agency.

“The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl — who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood — was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.

Medine’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, the agency said.

The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy she had male friends.

Honor killing, the butchering of women to preserve a family’s “dignity,” isn’t restricted to remote, barbaric corners of the world, much as we’d like to believe. It happens in “civilized” Western countries, too, such as the UK, Canada, and even America.

The perpetrators are almost always Muslim. As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out:

In 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

And a manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2).

In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

That’s why these honor killings keep happening — because they are broadly tolerated, even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this.

And yet to call-out Muslim spokesmen for the miserable status of women in Islam is to be labeled Islamophobic. The fault is always ours, never theirs.

LINKS: More at The Jawa Report. The Middle East Quarterly has a good article on honor killings. Stop Honor Killings is an organization dedicated to fighting this outrage, without regard to religion or sect.