There is no clearer indicator of a “clash of civilizations” than the prevalence of honor killings in the Arab world. With all due respect to pluralism, universalism, and respect for the Other, here is a piece of intolerance that can unite all of us, left and right, liberal and conservative. The idea that one’s relationships are one’s own business is a cornerstone of liberal thinking. That a disapproved-of relationship justifies murder — that one should take pride in killing one’s own sister because of it — well, that’s just way, way outside the pale of anything we Westerners can handle. Honor killings are so shocking to even the most tolerant among us, that one wonders why the West has failed to express its moral outrage.It's one thing for Palestinians to kill Israelis--the excuses for that have found a willing audience, the narrative of 'the cycle of violence' is one. But murdering one's sister or daughter because she is having a relationship with someone the family disapproves of--this is a whole new ball game.
...This is exactly the kind of phenomenon that Western diplomacy cannot handle, for it suggests so great a cultural gap—a moral gap—as to bring an end to the compromise and the compulsive smoothing-over that seems to be a prerequisite for a long career at State.
That is why the narrative for that is still being developed. Take for example the editorial in The Toronto Star in response to the murder in Canada of Aqsa Parvez at the hands of her father:
And leading Muslim groups such as the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Social Services Association and the Islamic Society of Toronto are all urging "zero tolerance" for domestic abuse and violence against women.All it takes is relabeling Islamic honor killings as 'domestic abuse', 'family violence', and 'violence against women'--a problem in the general culture--leaving the question of just how prevalent in Canada is the murder of daughters by their fathers and brothers in response to disapproved relationships?
Moreover, family violence is not a "Muslim issue," in any narrow sense. Or even an "immigrant issue." It is a deeply rooted problem in our society, regardless of race, religion or length of time in Canada.
Families that are relatively new to Canada may well face extra pressures – adapting to different lifestyles, cultural expectations, workplace demands, languages and the like. Sometimes, kids can feel trapped between two worlds. But families everywhere struggle to work through generational issues. [emphasis added]
Of course, once you can blame this on the pressures on adjusting to life in Canada, how long before honor killings by Palestinian Arabs is blamed on Israel?
That narrative is probably being spun even now.
Crossposted at Soccer Dad
Technorati Tag: Honor Killings and Palestinians.
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