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Sunday, October 20, 2013 

Muslims in Canada can't distinguish between race and religion

The Algemeiner tells how Canadian Muslims are opposed to investigating honor killings, and even Muslim women are willing tools in opposition:
...according to a recent report from Women’s e-News, many Canadian Muslim women now are speaking out against the government’s new focus on these crimes, arguing that honor violence is no different from any other form of domestic abuse. Opponents of the idea call the projects “racist,” and claim they put an unwarranted and biased focus on Muslim and Hindi families. “When women of color are killed, we ask these larger questions around their culture. We ask what’s wrong with their entire people – their culture, their religion – instead of a particular person,” Itrath Syed, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in “Islamophobia” in Vancouver, for instance, told Women’s e-News.

What is so tragic about this remark is not just the half-dozen or so ways in which it is patently untrue, but that it seeks to nullify the horror that is honor violence, to deny the profound distinctions between honor crimes and other forms of domestic violence and femicide.

It is both absurd and disingenuous to suggest that all non-white victims and perpetrators of abuse are investigated on the basis of “culture” – particularly given the fact that the majority of Canadian domestic violence victims are Canadian Aboriginese. (In the U.S., too, most domestic abuse victims are black or Native American, yet questions of “culture” or “religion” are not addressed when dealing with those cases.) Culture doesn’t excuse domestic violence whether the perpetrator is black, white, or brown.

What Syed really was referring to was religion, not race. Or rather, the implication that domestic abuse in Muslim families is related to Islam, and that Muslim families are therefore treated differently than everybody else. It’s a common accusation, and an ongoing question: are honor crimes culturally-based, or founded in interpretations of the Koran?

It’s a bit of both
, according to Carla Rus, a psychiatrist in the Netherlands who specializes in working with victims of both domestic abuse and honor violence. “Honor violence involves a kind of ideology, which you don’t find in domestic violence,” she points out. “In [Islamic] cultures, where church and state are not separated, it’s difficult to distinguish whether honor violence comes through cultural or religious motives – culture and religion are inseparable in those cases.”

Moreover, not all domestic violence occurring in Muslim families (some of whom are white) is automatically categorized as an honor crime. But call a crime what it is. When Mohammad Safia curses his daughters for “dishonoring” and “betraying Islam;” when Iraqi-American Aita Altameemi’s mother burns and beats her for engaging in “non-Islamic behavior” – and the family says they “are proud of it” – there is no reason not to take them at their word.
I would just note that many Muslims are white. Specifically, those from Arabic countries, and even "whites" can be darker complected, so I don't understand how anybody could think Arabs aren't white. And whether culture or religion, that's no defense for violence against family. On top of that, those Muslim women who avail themselves as tools to protest researching their belief system should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

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