A Horrific “Honor” Attack
By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It was as cold-blooded and vicious an honor crime as any the West has seen, but with one difference. This time, the victim was male.
A 24-year-old Asian man is clinging to life in a British hospital after seven men attacked him last week in London for having a friendship with a married Muslim woman.
The unidentified man, who is Muslim himself and has Danish citizenship, was stabbed twice in the back and beaten so severely with bricks that authorities report he is now blind in one eye and will probably lose sight in the other. Acid was also poured down the victim’s throat, damaging his tongue and throat so severely he will probably never speak again.
“The poor man got up and ran straight into a tree, then staggered back to his house, tugging at his burning clothes and banging on doors, shouting for water,” said one woman who witnessed the attack.
The victim’s body was also doused with acid, burning more than 50 per cent and leaving him in critical condition. News reports state he is not expected to survive. His assailants, police say, were all wearing gloves and masks for protection against the sulphuric acid, which was 92 per cent strength.
Police have charged two men in the attempted murder, one of whom is the woman’s 16-year-old brother. Underage male family members are often selected by their families to carry out honor killings in Western countries, since they receive lighter sentences. Some of these teen killers serve as little as three years in jail before being released.
The motive for the attack, British newspapers report, is that the woman’s family, which is from Pakistan, considered the man’s friendship with her “insulting” to the family’s honor. The woman has denied that the friendship was sexual.
The attack occurred almost at the same time police in Canada arrested three members of an Afghan family for the horrific honor killing of three daughters and the father’s first wife. But while the brutal reality of honor murders perpetrated against women, mainly from Muslim countries and India, is now largely recognized in the West, it is less well known that men are also victims. The reason for this probably lies in the fact that the number of females killed for reasons of “honor” is much higher than that for males.
Figures released at the Karachi Press Club in Pakistan earlier this month bear this out. Pakistan, which has the dubious distinction of being a world leader in this barbaric custom, had 79 female honor killings in one province alone between April and June this year, while 38 men were also slain.
A report published by the Pakistani Senate in 2004 stated more than 4,000 people died as a result of honor crimes in the previous six years, of whom about 2,700 were women and 1,300 were men.
And the situation does not appear to be getting better. It was reported last February that a young Pakistani couple, who married against family wishes, have taken up residence in a police station for fear of being killed if they venture outside.
The mainstream media’s liberal outlook constitutes another reason for the lack of attention regarding male honor killings. Some of the victims are murdered because of their caste, race or religion. In the liberal media’s eyes, only white, western cultures can be racist or intolerant and never those of visible minorities. Such an admission would damage the multicultural utopia they have long been advocating.
But what most victims of male honor crimes in the West, which include white males, have in common is that they were involved in a relationship, often secret or outright forbidden, with a Muslim woman. But while women are the ones usually attacked for their involvement in such liaisons, the list of men is growing longer.
Last year, a German teenager was murdered by two Muslim men armed with baseball bats for having had a relationship with a Muslim girl. In Munich, a Turkish father tried to kill both his daughter and her German boyfriend on a busy, downtown street because of their relationship.
Other prominent honor crimes against males reported in Europe in recent years include an Iranian man murdered in southern Sweden in revenge for his relationship with a daughter of an Afghan family. Six members of a Pakistani family in Denmark were also convicted for the shooting death of their daughter, who had married an Afghan man against her father’s wishes. The husband was severely wounded in the incident. A German also died in an “honor” attack from 40 stab wounds, inflicted by a Turkish man angered by the German’s relationship with his divorced sister.
The reason for such murderous rage is that some male Muslims regard female relatives as their property and themselves as the guardians of their “purity”, upon which the family honor depends. If caught associating with a man, such women would be considered “dirtied” and the family dishonoured. Thereafter, only the spilling of the offender’s blood is deemed acceptable for cleansing and restoring of that honor.
“The Islamic ‘law of revenge’ knows as atonement only pain or death in order to wash away the foulness,” said Necla Kelek, a Turkish-German feminist.
Incredibly, London police now expect the Pakistani family to attempt to further wash away more of that “foulness.” The woman, police fear, may be killed next and are trying to figure out how to protect her. But as the evil of honor killings becomes more endemic in the West, security officials will probably conclude the only sure protection for endangered men and women, like in Pakistan, is protective custody.
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