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Phyllis Chesler
Books By Phyllis

A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings

An honor killing is the cold-blooded murder of girls and women simply because they are female. Being born female in a shame-and-honor culture is, potentially, a capital crime; every girl has to keep proving that she is not dishonoring her family; even so, an innocent girl can be falsely accused and killed on the spot.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler has been studying the nature of honor killings for the last fifteen years. During that time she has published four studies at Middle East Quarterly and is working on a fifth. While this barbaric custom is tribal in origin, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam have not tried to abolish it as a crime against God or humanity.

Honor killings are also a family conspiracy, one in which women (mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers-in law), as well as men (fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, grandfathers) play a role. Those girls and women who manage to escape must live in hiding for the rest of their lives as their families will never stop coming after them.

A girl's fertility and reproductive capacity is owned by her family, not by the girl herself. If a girl is even seen as damaged goods, her family-of-origin will be responsible for her care for the rest of her life. This is a killing offense. Her virginity belongs to her family and is a token of their honor. If she is not a virgin, the shame belongs to her family and they must cleanse themselves of it with blood; her blood.

Most Westerners refuse to understand that this crime is not like western-style domestic violence and requires different approaches in terms of prevention, intervention, and prosecution.

Honor killings (or femicide) is part of a shame-and-honor tribal culture as is gender apartheid. It is a human rights violation and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, anti-racism, diversity, or political correctness. As long as tribal groups continue to deny, minimize, or obfuscate the problem, and Western government and police officials accept their inaccurate versions of reality, women will continue to be killed for honor in the West.

The battle for women's rights is central to the battle for Europe and for Western values. It is a necessary part of true democracy, along with freedom of religion, tolerance for homosexuals, and freedom of dissent. Here, then, is exactly where the greatest battle of the twenty-first century is joined.

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"Phyllis Chesler is by far the bravest and most outspoken American feminist to address the plight of Muslim women. I recommend [that her work] be put on the reading list of every American school." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

"Phyllis Chesler brings an aloquent and righteous anger to bear against Western feminists for their dual habit of overlooking the plight of Muslim women and blaming Israel for the woes of that region." - Daniel Pipes

"To read Phyllis Chesler is to encounter one of the most challenging and original minds in the world today." - Alan Dershowitz


Selected reviews:

After living for many years in Oslo, I've been based for the last few years in Notodden, a town of about 12,000 people that is located in the mountains about two hours' drive due west from the Norwegian capital. Notodden, Norway's ninetieth largest municipality, used to be most famous as the headquarters of the energy firm Norsk Hydro; it's now best known for its annual blues festival, which is held every August and which in recent years has featured a “blues school” run by Steven van Zandt. This year it will feature Bonnie Raitt. - by Bruce Bawer at FrontPage Magazine:

Continue reading: https://phyllis-chesler.com/articles/a-murder-in-the-mountains

Comprised of ninety-nine chapters, along with an Introduction, this latest book by Jewish feminist, academic and media commentator, Phyllis Chesler, A Family Conspiracy brings together material going back to 2004. The theme that binds all together is Chesler’s concern to bring into focus the phenomenon of “honor killing,” an extremely controversial term. For while it covers a variety of crimes against women perpetrated by families against their own mothers, wives and daughters with the spurious and vague rationalization of protecting or avenging the honor of the family, it is distinct from what is known as “domestic abuse” in westernized countries where such violence against women is against the law and not tolerated by the general public. - by Norman Simms at FrontPage Magazine

Continue reading: https://phyllis-chesler.com/articles/a-family-conspiracy-honor-killing

The introduction to this volume is excerpted in part at Tablet Magazine: https://phyllis-chesler.com/articles/honor-killing-is-not-just-a-muslim-problem

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