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Posted in: Honor Killings

Published on Mar 11, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Islam on Trial: That’s What the Buffalo Beheading is All About


Maryam Namazie, the Muslim feminist founder of “One Law for All,” a group which opposes Shari’a law has just posted a report, images, and a video of her rally in London HERE.

I especially loved her placards: “End Racism and Cultural Relativism,” “Sharia Law Discriminates Against Women,” “Equal Rights for All,” and “No to Sexual Apartheid.” Judging by the images, the rally and the conference were attended by both men and women, and by Muslims, ex-Muslims, and non-Muslims. I loved the fact that Namazie described the rally as an “anti-racist rally against Sharia and religious-based laws in Britain and elsewhere.” An inspired touch.

Even more, I loved the fact that there was no violence, no threatened violence, and no signs demonizing either America or Israel; absolutely no scapegoats or diversions from the issue at hand.

Namazie’s rally and public meeting featured speakers from the Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism; the Central Council of Equal Rights Now–Organization against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Democratic Muslims; British Muslims for Secular Democracy; One Law For All; and many other groups and speakers including Kenan Malik, Naser Khader, A.C. Grayling, Terry Sanderson, Sohaila Sharifi, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, etc.

I wonder what these folks might have to say about honor killings in general and about the Buffalo beheading in particular, a gruesome incident, which has seen so much newsprint as of late. (NOW New York State President, Marcia Pappas, has just again been attacked, this time by a coalition of domestic violence workers, for having called the Buffalo crime an “honor murder” and for having related it to Islam; that will be the subject of a future blog).

Imagine: Muslim-American organizations, feminists, and domestic violence activists are now all insisting that “domestic violence” is the same as “femicide,” that a beating is the same as a beheading, and that there is no advantage, only a disadvantage, in looking at the special needs of different victims-of-violence.

A shelter for battered Muslim women who have escaped femicide, might require different skills than one for Orthodox Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant women. For example, they might require a halal kitchen, social workers who can speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Hindi, Urdu, and Kurdish for starters; mullahs and imams who have already begun the work of campaigning against domestic violence and against femicide/honor killing to counsel the women; law enforcement ties that understand that such victims, as opposed to victims of other cultures and other faiths, may require the equivalent of a federal witness protection program.

Let me end by quoting Namazie: “We won’t stand idly by whilst the British government relegates a huge segment of our society to sham courts and regressive rules and appeases the Islamists here or elsewhere. We will bring the political Islamist movement to its knees in Britain.”


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