Dishonorable Killings Continue

Lahore City Centre

Lahore City Centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just read this devastating account of a couple in Lahore, Pakistan, who killed their 16 year old daughter because she was talking to a young man. In many Shariah-compliant Muslim communities, parents are driven to kill their children (almost always their daughters) in order supposedly to preserve the honor of the Muslim family.

As I have written before, I cannot think of much that could be more dishonorable. Yet, this kind of killing is not uncommon. In Pakistan, for example, there have reportedly been at least 1,000 such killings this year. Astounding, isn’t it?

More News About Christians in Egypt

As feared, the revolution in Egypt appears to be escalating the violence against Christians in the home place of the pyramids.  According to this news report, Christians in the village of Soul (which is 30 kilometers from Cairo) were ambushed by a mob of 7,000 angry Muslims.  The Muslims stormed the Church of St. Mina and St. George, setting the facility ablaze.

The church and all of its contents were lost.  Included in the loss were a number of ancient relics which the church had preserved.  In addition, the whereabouts of the pastor and three deacons is unknown.  Some have said that they perished in the blaze; others claim they are being held captive by the Muslims.

Nina Shea, who has been covering this story for the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, reports that the churches in Egypt are now more vulnerable than ever because the guards who once were keeping watch over them now are engaged in other matters relating to the protests and demonstrations.  The churches in the provincial areas remain unguarded and have become easy targets for Muslim violence.

On February 23, there were heavy machine gun attacks by armed men against two monasteries in Egypt.  Allegedly, these attacks were in response to “zoning violations.”  In the Soul village attacks, the reason for Islamic ire was ostensibly a rumored relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.  Muslims apparently were outraged that a Muslim girl would be involved with a Christian man, on the one hand, and irate, on the other hand, because of the unwillingness of the girl’s father to kill her in order to restore honor to the village. (See more on honor killings).

According to International Christian Concern, a similar instance occurred in a separate village which ended with two people being killed and another church torched. And, in yet another attack against Christians,  Nina Shea also reports that members of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed a Christian school in downtown Asyut, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” while attempting to take over control of the school.  The school was built a century ago by Presbyterians.

Suffice it to say, the news does not look good for Christians in Egypt.  Of course, some may say that the Christians must learn to stop angering the Muslims.  Maybe the Christians should work harder to comply with local, arbitrary zoning laws so armed militants won’t be forced to storm their unarmed facilities and unload heavy machine gun fire on peaceful monks.  Or, Christians could possibly commit themselves to refusing any urges of affection toward Muslims of the opposite sex.  Yet, even then, I suspect that some other reason for outrage would emerge.  It almost seems like Muslims in the Middle East just want to kill Christians.

(Dis)Honor Killings

Mark Steyn, as usual, does a very nice job of outlining the severity of the problem of so-called honor killings.  This short article by him links to other important articles on the subject.  There is a history of Muslims killing daughters, wives, nieces, and other women who wish for freedom from Islam.  No one wants to be controversial.  However, we would rather be controversial than silent against the oppression (and killing) of women.  As Steyn asks, who will speak for these women?

Rifqa Update

Rifqa–the young Muslim from Ohio who fled to Florida because of fears of being killed by her family–is now in a much more precarious situation than before.  She is in danger of being deported back to Sri Lanka; it appears that her parents were living here illegally for the past 5 years.  The story linked here explains why her lawyer is being urged to seek political asylum for her.

Rifqa Update

In case you haven’t been following the Rifqa Bary story, here is the latest report, which says that she has been granted a reprieve which will allow her to stay in Florida for now.  This 17 year old convert to Christianity has caused quite a stir in the media.  We all still await the outcome of the legal battle.  We may find that her story wasn’t true, as some suspect.  Or, we may learn that Rifqa’s fears are not unfounded.

Time magazine framed the story as yet another sensationalized “domestic dispute,” noting the Sunshine State’s proclivity for such spectacles.  Though they have a sidebar picture concerning the “Happy Muslims Who Confuse You,” they do at least mention the fact that the U.N. acknowledges 5,000 Muslim honor killings per year.  The Time article also notes the case of the 2 Dallas teens who were victims of an honor killing, allegedly killed by their own father.  The Time article does not mention that 50 or more cases of honor killings have been reported in the U.S. (See here). 

The case is a difficult one for those in authority in Florida. I am an advocate of parental rights.  In this case, however, I think the Florida authorities are doing the right thing granting this reprieve.

Kidnapping or Honor Killing?

This story about Rifqa Bary is interesting on a number of levels.  She is in danger.  Some say the threat is kidnapping.  She claims the danger is from her family killing her.  This young woman is only 17; so, she is still considered a minor.  It’s possible that the pastor in Florida or others helped her.  Potentially, laws have been broken by people who helped her run away and get to Florida.  If so, then those who broke the law should answer for their violations.

That being said, I find it astounding that this AP article never mentioned honor killings.  I have posted before on honor killings.  There are tons of tragic stories from around the world and from the U.S. which validate the young woman’s claim that she might be killed by her own family.  The article–incredulously–never considers the possibility that the young woman may be in danger.  They make no mention of honor killings.  We should keep our eyes on Rifqa in the days ahead.  Obviously, we don’t know yet whether she really is in danger, but we must admit she may be.