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Posted in: Honor Killings, Global Culture

Published on Oct 24, 2013 by Phyllis Chesler

Published by New York Times

Letter to the Editor—Honor Killings

In "Policing Village Moral Codes as Women Stream to India's Cities" (news article, Oct. 20), you confirm that Hindus — not just Muslims — also perpetrate honor killings. However, the honor-killing motives among village Hindus are not confined to a taboo against marrying someone from one's own village (seen as a form of "incest"), but are mainly caste-related. Falling in love or marrying someone from an "inferior" caste is still viewed as a capital crime.

In addition, unlike Muslims, Hindus murder men along with women 40 percent of the time, according to a 2012 study published in Middle East Quarterly, of which I was a lead author. Indian Hindu immigrants to the West do not tend to bring this custom with them, whereas some Muslims do. As women everywhere of all religions and cultures seek freedom, they are endangered by ancient tribal misogyny.

New York, Oct. 21, 2013

The writer, a fellow at the Middle East Forum, is the author of 15 books.

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