“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

THE DEATH OF A MUSLIM WOMAN, the Dishonor of Honor Killing

Quran, Surah 4. Women

15. If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.

16. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.

As discussed in the previous post, honor killing continues. It is astounding how little attention is given to this practice in the MSM. It is the ultimate hate crime and it is an institutional hate crime. We in the West should demand that Islam conform to normal and acceptable Western standards. At a minimum we should be hearing from the defenders of human rights and woman issues. If you are already familiar with the details of this vicious crime, scan to the bottom of the post to two related stories.

"The Whore Lived Like a German"

By Jody K. Biehl in Berlin der spiegel
First published in March 2, 2005, ( worthy of a review if you missed the story.)

In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? Trying to break free and live Western lifestyles. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes for preserving their family dignity. How can such a horrific and shockingly archaic practice be flourishing in the heart of Europe? The deaths have sparked momentary outrage, but will they change the grim reality for Muslim women?

The shots came from nowhere and within minutes the young Turkish mother standing at the Berlin bus stop was dead. A telephone call from a relative had brought her to this cold, unforgiving place. She thought she would only be gone for a few minutes and wore a light jacket in the freezing February wind. She had left her five-year-old son asleep in his bed. He awoke looking for his mother, who, like many Turkish women in Germany, harbored a secret life of fear, courage and, ultimately, grief. Now her little boy has his own tragedy to bear: His mother, Hatin Surucu, was not the victim of random violence, but likely died at the hands of her own family in what is known as an "honor killing."
Hatin's crime, it appears, was the desire to lead a normal life in her family's adopted land. The vivacious 23-year-old beauty, who was raised in Berlin, divorced the Turkish cousin she was forced to marry at age 16. She also discarded her Islamic head scarf, enrolled in a technical school where she was training to become an electrician and began dating German men. For her family, such behavior represented the ultimate shame -- the embrace of "corrupt" Western ways. Days after the crime, police arrested her three brothers, ages 25, 24 and 18. The youngest of the three allegedly bragged to his girlfriend about the Feb. 7 killing. At her funeral, Hakin's Turkish-Kurdish parents draped their only daughter's casket in verses from the Koran and buried her according to Muslim tradition. Absent of course, were the brothers, who were in jail.

The crime might be easier to digest if it had been an archaic anomaly, but five other Muslim women have been murdered in Berlin during the past four months by their husbands or partners for besmirching the family's Muslim honor. Two of them were stabbed to death in front of their young children, one was shot, one strangled and a fifth drowned. It seems hard to fathom, but in the middle of democratic Western Europe -- in Germany, a nation where pacifism is almost a universal mantra -- murderous macho patriotism not only exists but also appears to be thriving. It may even be Germany's liberalism -- and its post World War II fear of criticizing minority cultures -- that has encouraged ultra-religious families to settle here.

The problem is that much of this insular and ultra-religious world is out of public view, often hidden in inner-city apartments where the most influential links to the outside world are satellite dishes that receive Turkish and Arabic television and the local mosque. Tens of thousands of Turkish women live behind these walls of silence, in homes run by husbands many met on their wedding day and ruled by the ever-present verses of the Koran. In these families, loyalty and honor are elevated virtues and women are treated little better than slaves, unseen by society and often unnoticed or ignored by their German neighbors. To get what they want, these women have to run. They have to change their names, their passports, even their hair color and break with the families they often love, but simply can no longer obey.

Precise statistics on how many women die every year in such honor killings are hard to come by, as many crimes are never reported, said Myria Boehmecke of the Tuebingen-based women's group Terre des Femmes which, among other things, tries to protect Muslim girls and women from oppressive families. The Turkish women's organization Papatya has documented 40 instances of honor killings in Germany since 1996. Examples include a Darmstadt girl whose two brothers pummelled her to death with a hockey stick in April 2004 after they learned she had slept with her boyfriend. In Augsburg in April, a man stabbed his wife and 7-year-old daughter because the wife was having an affair. In December 2003, a Tuebingen father strangled his 16-year-old daughter and threw her body into a lake because she had a boyfriend. Bullets, knives, even axes and gasoline are the weapons of choice. The crime list compiled by Papatya is an exercise in horror. And the sad part, said Boehmecke, is that it is far from complete. "We'll never really know how many victims there are. Too often these crimes go unreported."
In many cases, fathers -- and sometimes even mothers -- single out their youngest son to do the killing, Boehmecke said, "because they know minors will get lighter sentences from German judges." In some cases, these boys are revered by their community and fellow inmates as "honor heroes" -- a dementedly skewed status they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Currently, six boys are serving time in Berlin's juvenile prison for honor killings. "In a way, these boys are victims, too," she said. Sometimes they are forced to kill their favorite sister.

Epilog: The youngest brother, Ayhun, was sentenced to nine years and three months imprisonment, close to the ten year maximum applicable to minors in Germany. The two other brothers, Alpaslan and Mutlu, were not convicted due to lack of evidence, although the prosecution had asked for life sentences for the crime of conspiracy; they beleived that the older brothers planned the murder and acquired the weapon.

Related stories: 10/23/06 Payvand, Iran, news
Cries from the heart: History of torture and abuse of women in Iranian prisons

Are Muslim Women Oppressed? reason online


  1. Again, a Westerner, who should know better, claims that Islam can be reformed, implying that reform is identical to liberalization.
    “Michael Ledeen, rejected Sultan's assertion that Islam is irredeemably anti-woman. He noted that the idea that some religions cannot be reformed runs counter to the history of religions.”

    "‘In a way, these boys are victims, too,’ she said. Sometimes they are forced to kill their favorite sister.”
    The poor lads have to put down their favorite puppies.

  2. As an addendum to the previous post, RWE at the BC takes a supportable tack on reformation:

    "RWE said...
    Unfortunately, I firmly believe that the only way to "reform" Islam is the same way we reformed the religions of the Nazis and Japanese: kill enough of them so that they look at one another and say "You know, Vern, this ain't working out all that well. Maybe we oughta try something else."

    I am reading an excellent book on the B-29 raids on Japan in WWII, and one interesting observation is that the Japanese press swung neatly from saying that the Empire was winning all over the place to decrying the inhumanity of the "US Army Air Force Terror Attacks" when 89,000 people were killed in Tokyo one March evening. They started reforming their religion then."


    Since reformation is one of those confusing ideas that can be grasped only by constant repetition, bin Laden is the Martin Luther of Islam. Bin Laden and the other so called radicals are attempting to return Islam to its purer, original self.

    The fate of Islam as a religion should be left to the Muslims. The fate of a militant, political Islam should be left to the West. While Muslims and ignorant, sympathetic liberals will, at first, have difficulty making the distinction, sufficient pain, as RWE says, will bring them around.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Interesting article at the Washington post by Anne Applebaum. Does she lurk at The Elephant? She does an essay on the "veil", that may have a sound of familiarity to Elephant visitors.

  5. Of course I am being a little facetious and self-flattering to think that WAPO needs to check the Elephant to find out the latest. But what is interesting, is that there is a sea change in reaction to the continuing demands, viloence and institutional outrage of Islam. In less than a year, the vocabulary has changed and the tolerance of Islam has noticeably lessened. That is a good thing.

  6. This young man is every father’s fondest dream and worst nightmare. He is the reason that the US must have a war policy based on integrity and not the cynical political calculus of the Baker Boys.

    And this Euro-trash is why America’s foreign policy must never rely on the friends of George and Condi.

    Not all men are equal, some are heroes, others are vermin. May America always follow the heroic.

  7. re: post of 8:56 AM

    For reasons unknown, the links failed. The paragraph, beginning "This young man", refers to 2nd Lt. Joshua Booth.

    The second blue blob, beginning "And this Euro-trash”, refers to Gerhard Schroeder.

  8. For 2nd Lt. Joshua Booth and Gerhard Schroeder see,

    Gateway Pundit

  9. We at the EB should be proud of our cutting edge reporting and analysis. The tale of Sweden’s brave Muslim, Ms. Sabuni was carried here at least two weeks ago. The Gates of Vienna had it up yesterday. If you surf, you cannot help be notice that the discriminating contributors to the Elephant Bar are way out front most of the time.

    Ms. Sabuni

  10. Deuce,

    Unless I missed it, C4 is giving you the cold shoulder. He is apparently not up to debate on his most closely held belief: fascism.

  11. Deuce,

    re: Euro-trash

    Hope were you able segregate and post that link?

  12. C-4 is afraid to take me on. He know in his heart that there is an uncontrollable sickness in his soul that he can hide and perhaps fights, but he is not capable of defending it when it appears. I do not believe he is evil or that he is a true anti-semite. I think he just likes trash talking Jews when he thinks he needs to get it out. I am convinced he has close relationships with Jews and needs to vent it on line. I do not believe that the Jews who know him have any idea there is that side to him. He will never engage you nor will he engage me, because both of us are willing to engage him in a debate. His purpose is to shock and antagonize.

  13. C-4 ( unlike a lot of the posts over at BC that tend to be grandiose) makes some interesting observations. He has recently filled a vaccum and is a more frequent poster. When he responds to a posting, he does so with caution. He will not engage in rapid fire, like some of the hair triggers found over here.

  14. Mush more needs to be broadcast about the President’s men gone wild. Like the State Department’s Mr. Fernandez, these Federal officers speak for Mr. Bush.

    Border Patrol agents sentenced to prison, 11-12 years for shooting drug-smuggling
    suspect in buttocks as he fled across frontier.

    Federal Perps:

    Inspector General Homeland Security
    U.S. Attorney
    U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone (Bush appointee, 2003)


    If you are looking for a story that will get your heart pounding, read the article.

    H/T Tiger at Observanda

  15. Unless I missed it, C4 is giving you the cold shoulder. He is apparently not up to debate on his most closely held belief: fascism.

    If he wanted debate on fascism he could go to any other forum besides BC, which not only winks at it, but encourages such talk.

  16. re: mush = that mass between my decaffeinated ears

    "Much" is the word.

  17. Teresita, It is hard to debate over there as Wretchard discourages the one on one, although that may have changed. At one time, I thought there was a possibility that C-4 was a nom de plume for another frequent poster.

  18. Teresita,

    re: fascism and the BC

    You would not suggest the censorship of C4?

    People like C4 need to be engaged at every opportunity. While in this cynical age it is presupposed that everyone is a manipulative cynic, there are true-believers and a mass of impressionable undecideds.

    Moderns think of the Nazis as mere propagandists, using age-old European prejudices to gain and maintain power. In fact, the elite were true-believers. Consider Himmler. On New Year's Day, 1945, he was casually ordering the mass executions of Jews. Ninety days later, he was anxiously meeting with a representative of the World Jewish Congress to arrange the mass release of Jewish prisoners. Had he changed his mind or finally shown his true colors as a political exploiter? No, Himmler expressed no regret; he simply sought to save his hide.

    Unlike the President, I do not presume to tell Nazis and Muslims what they should believe. I take it for granted that they can make decisions for themselves. Instead of parroting the mantra "Religion of Peace", the premises of Islam should be disputed whenever possible for the sake of the undecided and the consequences for violations of Western autonomy should be made simultaneously clear to the true-believers.

  19. Tiger Hawk has up a great piece speaking to the abuse of Muslim women in Canada and the usual male Muslim arrogance and disingenuity.

    The Muslim woman's veil

    This is a good read. The Canadians have had a few “honor” killings, although little publicized.

  20. This is why journalists should master more than writing.
    “Lundgren… a lay minister of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an offshoot of the Mormon church.”

    Facts are such troublesome things. At the death of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, his family and a group of followers claimed that Smith had designated his son leader of the movement. Other Mormons disputed this and made the journey to Utah sans Smith and company.

    The followers of the Smith family, i.e. those of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, consider the followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be interlopers and usurpers. By reason of place and pedigree, Mormons are an offshoot of the Reorganized Church rather than vice versa.

    Ohio executes cult leader for 5 killings

    There are no reports of Mormons of either stripe threatening to take to the streets in violent protest to the execution of a cold-blooded murderer.

  21. tp,

    re: reformation

    I take your point.

    However, if people insist on calling for the reformation of Islam, then Luther and the Reformation must follow, for sake of comparison.

    You may take my point. Both Luther and bin Laden sought a return to an earlier, purer religion. Bin Laden's reformed Islam would be more fundamental and violent than the Islam of the past few hundred years. That is the only comparison I seek to make. If others read more into that than is there, that is not my problem.

    Sorry for the disjointedness, I'm rushing out on an errand.

  22. tp,

    re: Reformation

    As you say, any number of popes attempted various reformations. However, for the West, there is only one Reformation. Anyone using the word, therefore, must accept the consequences of misnomer, if it is misnomer.

    Luther wanted the Catholic Church to return to its apostolic/evangelical roots. The early Christian church and its "Dark Age" progeny accomplished the conversion of pagan Europe peacefully. Indeed, according to Christian history and lure, thousands did not resist martyrdom, much less perish in battle.

    Bin Laden wants Islam to return to the unblemished Islam of the Prophet. Given the violent nature of Islamic conquest/conversion during the century following the invention of Islam, it may be assumed Mohammed was not a pacifist. Moreover, the whole concept of Jihad as practiced by Muslims for over a millennium does not support the idea of peaceful coexistence. This being the case, the unalloyed Muslim propensity for violence is consistent with the earliest form of Islam.

    Succinctly, the only thing in common between these two men is the desire to return to the halcyon days of yore. Their ultimate goals and the means to the ends of reformation are diametrically opposed.

    To further clarify my position, I am not a Roman Catholic, Luther, or Protestant. In fact, I am not a Christian. Therefore, I have no dog in the fight and make no judgment as to the veracity of the contestants or to the validity of their claims.

  23. TP,

    re: alien

    Yeah, I know. Think nothing of it. Indeed, there are those like Ash would agree with the characterization.