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Posted in: Honor Killings

Published on May 09, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Are Honor Killings Domestic Terrorism?


My second study about honor killings was posted this week at Middle East Quarterly. The first study is here. The second study is a groundbreaking examination of 230 victims on five continents.

So far, I've been interviewed in the Hindustan Times (!) and the Edmonton Sun about honor killings. And, I was just interviewed by the most excellent Lauren Green on FOX's "The Strategy Room" about "faith and terrorism." I was encouraged to position honor killings as a form of domestic, Islamist terrorism. In reality, the same radically Islamist mindset responsible for 9/11 or the Mumbai massacre tends to keep their women in burqas, niquab, or hijab, segregated and subordinate. Such fundamentalists tend to follow radical Islamist mullahs who preach militant jihad and who do not preach against honor related violence, including honor killings.

(Left to right) Lynne Jordal Martin, Phyllis Chesler, Lauren Green

FOX had convened a panel to discuss the relationship between "faith and terrorism." We began by discussing the interview with Hussein Ibish, formerly the director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, now the Executive Director of the Foundation for Arab American Leadership, a non-member organization. Ibish made a series of false claims, all of which sounded reasonable, "fair," and logical, and he did so in excellent American English. For example, he said that Muslims were persecuted by pagans when Mohammed was alive and that's why there are some Qu'ranic verses that encourage or permit violence.

Poppycock!

Muslims under Mohammed were busy raping, pillaging, plundering, and enslaving the so-called pagans, trying to convert them; Mohammed and his soldiers genocidally slaughtered the Jewish tribes of Arabia. So, what Ibish is really saying is that when Muslims cannot convert another faith group to Islam, that Muslims feel "persecuted" and therefore resort to violence.

Nothing's changed.

But one more point: When Mohammed was in a weak position, he counseled "peace." When he was in a strong position, he counseled "no mercy, full jihad ahead."

I stressed the terrorists, home-grown and otherwise, are not motivated by poverty, unemployment, or lack of education. Remember that Bin Laden is a billionaire, the Christmas Day failed bomber Abdul Muttalab came from a wealthy family, Mohamed Ata was educated, as were Fort Hood Major Nidal Hassan and Times Square Faisal Shahaz. Mental illness does not "cause" terrorism. The Saudi Wahabi Salifist world-wide funding of mosques, madrassas, and Middle East Institutes does. Iranian funding of Hamas and Hezbollah funds and indoctrinates terrorism.

If a true and "peaceful" Islam–a pro-woman Islam–has been hijacked by maniacs then true and peaceful Muslims must stand up to them. If one's interpretation of faith can encourage a man to drive a car bomb into Times Square, it can also give good people the faith and courage to stand up and fight the extremists in their midst.

Faith can empower people to combat radical evil in a way that nothing else can.

I got to say all this—and much more. I am not sure if there will be a link posted to this interview but I will link to it if and when it becomes available.


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