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A Frenzy of Honor Killings By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas Media | Monday, June 29, 2009


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The world has just watched the cold-blooded murder of Neda in Teheran. The last sentence she uttered was: “Death to the Dictator.” Many of us are now about to see the haunting film about the real-life stoning of another Iranian woman, known as Soraya M. These two tragedies took place in a Muslim country.

The blood of real (not just reel) Muslim women, murdered either by the state or by their families, continues to cry out—not only in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa but also in the West.

Two days ago, on June 24, 2009, in Germany, a Turkish father, Mehmet O, a kebab shop owner, repeatedly knifed his fifteen-year-old daughter, Bursa, while she was sleeping. Despite the fact that Bursa, her mother, and her sister all wore hijab, Mehmet O. still felt Bursa was too “westernized,” and that she did not want her “strict Muslim father to control her life.”

Bursa’s friends described her as a “fun-loving girl, (who) loved hip hop music….But that is no reason to kill someone.”

This is certainly not the first honor killing in Germany or in Europe by a Muslim father or brother.

This very June, in Norway, an Iraqi woman, Vian Bakir Fatah, who had divorced her violent husband, converted to Christianity, and was dating a Norwegian man, was stabbed to death by her ex-husband and by her violent 16-year-old son.

Earlier this year, on March 4, 2009, a Turkish brother strangled his 20-year-old twin-sister, Gulsum Semin, because she allegedly had an abortion. Her father has been arrested as an accessory to this murder.

On May 15, 2008, Ahmad-Sobair Obeidi, a twenty-four-year old Afghan, brutalized his 16-year-old sister, Morsal for months—then stabbed her twenty three times in a parking lot. He was ashamed of his sister for wearing “inappropriate clothing” and felt that she had “disconnected from her family.” Ahmad himself had a long history of criminal behavior. Obeidi was sentenced to life in prison.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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