Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John Esposito Attempts to Dilute the Honor Killing Issue

Gary Fouse

John Esposito

Pro-Arab, anti-Israel Georgetown Professor John Esposito has written an article posted in the Huffington Post pointing out that so-called honor killings are not committed solely by Muslims. He chiefly points the finger at Hindus.


To which, Phyllis Chesler has taken him to task in Pajamas Media, in which she points out that Hindu honor killings are basically confined to India and not exported to the West, as they have been by Muslims.


Not to steal Ms Chesler's thunder, but there are a couple of other points I would like to add.

First of all, if Hindus in parts of India are also engaging in this practice, I will gladly condemn that as well. Were they to attempt to continue that practice in the West, I would react in outrage as well. According to Ms Chesler, that is not the case. It is the case among certain Muslims, however, as has been demonstrated in Europe, Canada and the USA.

"Studies show that gender equity is cited as a reason for the public's mistrust of Islam. Mass media message and biased campaigns -- such as the one Ms. Pamela Geller waged in Chicago in August -- that link so-called honor killings to Islam miss the opportunity to address what is truly intolerable: Gender-based violence. Such violence refers to crimes committed against females and cuts across numerous faiths, cultures and societies."- Esposito

True enough, but "gender-based violence" includes a lot of categories; rape, date rape, wife-beating, spousal murder, and so on. Those things occur across the world.
Shall we talk about OJ Simpson here?

Yet, the idea that a family could murder a daughter, sister or wife because of infidelity or leaving the religion (Rifqa Bary) or adopting Western customs etc is something we can never allow to gain a foothold in our free and tolerant societies. For Esposito to attempt to blend honor killings in with all these local problems we already suffer is misleading and disingenuous.

"So-called honor killings occurred in ancient civilizations, including Babylonia, Biblical Israel and Rome."-Esposito

So what? They also crucified people for religious heresy.

"The Geller ad campaign omitted that in recent years, Muslim scholars, commentators and organizations have condemned these so-called honor crimes as an un-Islamic cultural practice. To illustrate, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent Shii spiritual leader, issued a fatwa banning so-called honor killing and describing it as a "repulsive act, condemned and prohibited by religion." Shaykh Ali Gomaa, Egypt's grand mufti, also has spoken out against these crimes.- Esposito

Yes, there are always a handful of imams and clerics who will speak out, but Esposito cannot come up with more than that handful as he has appropriately been challenged by Chesley. The sad fact is that that handful of clerics is outnumbered vastly by those clerics who will support honor-killings or who simply remain silent.

"The United Nations has also taken actions to comprehensively address gender justice and has not addressed so-called honor killings are an exclusively Islamic problem."-Esposito

Of course they have. The same UN that has placed Iran on the UN Council on the Status of Woman even as they are in the midst of lashing a woman 99 times and preparing to stone her to death for adultery and being photographed without her veil. That same UN, which is pretty much under the thumb of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. Of course, the UN will take the stance that honor killings are a problem in every society.

Not surprisingly, Esposito finds a willing forum on the politically-correct Huffington Post. He will find a receptive audience among the so-called feminists in America, who have studiously ignored the plights of women like Rifqa Bary and the poor woman in Iran who awaits her barbaric fate. The end result of Mr Esposito's contribution to this debate is to prolong the practice and sentence yet more unfortunate Muslim women to this horrible fate.

Who will speak for them? Surely not John Esposito. For him, they are just lost in the mix of "gender-based violence".

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