Thursday, 13 August 2009

These are the faces of "honour" killings.

Anti-feminist rightwing religious zealots like "Debra Moore" are using the language of feminist activism to vent their xenophobic spleen.
"Women are being brutally murdered throughout the world in the name of Islam, and the mainstream media is totally silent. Someone needs to stand up for these women who are being executed by those whom they should be able to trust the most: their family members, through a crime known as an “honor killing”. And it is not unique to the Middle East; it is taking place in the West, including the United States.Where are the feminists? MIA once again. If there ever was an instance when feminists should speak up, this is clearly the case. But, it is not politically correct to insult Islam. The result is more and more women will die because no one is willing to confront this abominable practice."
From here. Moore is a self-styled fundamentalist christian crusader. She could be describing garden-variety 'domestic' femicide (except for the strident islamophobia), a form of violence against women and children that is tolerated in many cultures and countries. Until feminists in the 1970's started diligently and systematically dedicating themselves to the establishment of shelters and to reforming criminal laws, "family" violence was largely viewed as a private matter in North America. Even when women and children died. Even now, Antonia Zerbisias writes here:
Toronto author Brian Vallee points out in his 2007 book The War on Women, nobody counts the dead, nobody connects the dots, nobody calls out the problem. "Compare the raw numbers," he writes of the period 2000-06. "In the same seven-year period when 4,588 U.S. soldiers and police officers were killed by hostiles or by accident, more than 8,000 women – nearly twice as many – were shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death by the intimate males in their lives. In Canada, compared to the 101 Canadian soldiers and police officers killed, more than 500 women – nearly five times as many – met the same fate."
These are horrific numbers; where is the rightwing christian fundamentalist outrage?

Dennis Gruending thoughtfully yet rigorously dissects a type of news reporting that’s little more than floridly opinionated and pretentious tabloid coverage. Respected for his well-researched and eminently knowledgeable writing on spiritual and political matters, Gruending observes:

The unfortunate truth is that men have used the power of religion for millennia to force women into submission. Some fathers of the Christian church, including Pope St. Gregory, Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, said women should be ashamed of themselves for merely being women, that they were slow, unstable, naïve and useful only for “animal sex and motherhood.”

Some will argue that Christian churches don’t hold those views today. I would respond that while most Christians do not view women as inferior, a fundamentalist minority continues to do so.

Has it finally occurred to you who the murdered/missing women in the photographs are? Those are the confirmed and presumed victims of Robert 'Willy' Pickton's religious mission. Those are "honour" killings, as defined by the terms of his christian upbringing. The defense argued that Pickton suffered from diminished intellectual capacity yet in his letters to a pen-pal, he clearly lays out the inspiration, the reasons behind his campaign to eliminate evil, as he understands the Bible to tell him so.

Two letters The Sun obtained ... may provide the public with the first real insight into what motivated the mass murderer. ... “I know I was brought into this world to be hear today to change this world of there evil ways. They even want to dis-re-guard the ten command-ments from the time that Moses in his day brought in power which still is in existence today,” wrote Pickton ...The letter was written Feb. 26, 2006, at the beginning of Pickton's voir dire, to California resident Thomas Loudamy who has a hobby of corresponding with prisoners and collecting their return letters. The second letter, written Aug. 22, 2006, is also replete with biblical references and Pickton provided his own interpretation of Ephesians 5:5. “You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will in-herit the kingdom of God .... Don't be fooled by whose who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him,” Pickton wrote.

The Sun looked up Ephesians 5:5 in The Jerusalem Bible and found a chilling interpretation, given the fact Pickton has been convicted of killing sex-trade workers: “For you can be quite certain that nobody who actually indulges in fornication or impurity or promiscuity — which is worshiping a false god — can inherit anything of the kingdom of God.” ... In the religious portions, Pickton refers to himself as a “condemned man of no wrong doing” just like his “father.” Pickton also referred to Acts 14:22, which he interpreted as: “In each city they helped Christians to be strong and true to the faith. They told them that we must suffer many hard things to get into the holy nation of God.”

Altering a quote from Mark Steyn, plucking at one of the islamophobic chords in his MASSIVE repertoire: "Must be convenient to have a [biblical] code that obliges all your pathologies."

The photo montage came from Montréal Simon's blog, here.


Mike said...

Let me know when the onslaught comes...Steyn sicced his flying monkey brigade on Dymaxion World a few days ago when John dared question Steyn's intelligence and call him on his anti-Muslim tunnel vision.

deBeauxOs said...

How flattering, in a left-handed compliment sorta way, that you'd think Steyn, the aging enfant terrible and demi-deity of rightwingnutz, would pay attention to our unpresumptuous DAMMIT JANET!

brebis noire said...

Thanks for this dBO. I have always wondered why evangelical Christian have been so silent about the abuse and murder of aboriginal women in Canada and throughout North and South America for that matter (Juarez comes right to mind). I finally realised it's because they are so preoccupied and paranoid about Muslims in Europe and elsewhere to notice what is and has happened under their own noses. And how their interpretation of Christianity contributes to it.

You can read much of the Old Testament as a recipe for mass genocide.

Polly Jones said...

Good post...I think it is important to remember that Liberal feminists have also been ready to jump on the Islamphobia bandwagon...

for instance, Feministing and Tennessee Guerilla Women's shameless promotion of the Red Burka T-Shirt...unfortunately, I can't seem to post links in the comments...

Bina said...

Evangelical women seem to be as dead silent as they accuse the rest of us of being (about Islam) whenever a woman is murdered by a militant Christer.

I would say I wondered why, but I think I already know. They're just trying to save their own necks, of course!

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