Monday, April 28, 2008

Honor killing in Australia: "The decision to kill her was made by a council of male relatives"

"I haven't heard any statement from clergy in the region to say honour killing is wrong."

"Honour killing's Aussie link," by Sian Powell in The Australian (thanks to all who sent this in): MORTALLY wounded and bleeding profusely, Pela Atroshi covered her head with her hands, pleading "please don't shoot me, please don't shoot me". As her sister and her mother screamed, her uncle Rezkar Atroshi raised his gun and killed her. The family's honour had been cleansed.

Rezkar had already shot Pela twice in the back in the upstairs room. Helped downstairs by her mother and her younger sister, the 19-year-old Kurdish Swede was confronted by four resolute men - her father and his three brothers. The men pulled the women apart. Her youngest uncle then finished the job, shooting Pela in the head. The bullet went through one of her fingers and into her brain.

The decision to kill her was made by a council of male relatives, led by Pela's grandfather, Abdulmajid Atroshi - a Kurd who lived in Australia.

One of his sons, Shivan Atroshi, helped pull the women away from Pela so his younger brother could get a clean shot. Shivan, too, lived in Australia.

It is the first time an officially confirmed honour killing with a connection to Australia has ever publicly come to light, but it is likely there have been other Australian-connected honour crimes that have been kept hidden within the tight-lipped Australian Kurdish community. [...]

In Australia, Muhammad Kamal, a lecturer in philosophy at Melbourne University, remembers Pela's grandfather, Abdulmajid Atroshi - the patriarch.

In the early 1990s, Dr Kamal had been broadcasting a Kurdish program on SBS radio, and Atroshi was behind a campaign to have the program taken off air because he believed it was preaching immorality.

"He was a practising Muslim and a tribal man," Dr Kamal said, adding that religious leaders in Kurdistan never condemned honour crimes because they believed it was an essential bulwark against immorality. "I haven't heard any statement from clergy in the region to say honour killing is wrong," he said....


Anonymous said...

Here are a couple ideas:

1. Why don't we start economically boycotting countries that continue to treat their women like this and the companies that do business with them? We could do for women what the boycott of South Africa did for blacks when they were living under apartheid.

2. Why don't we write to our representatives and leaders and demand that they withhold some meaningful portion of our aid to these countries unless and until they materially, measurably, sustainably improve their human rights track records?

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"

GS Don Morris, Ph.D./Chana Givon said...

Thank you for your comments. You are correct-today, the EU has finally had the courage to step up re: Iran-much more needs to be done. I co-direct a group called "writing the wrongs" and we do exactly what you suggest-join us-we need letters, faxes, demonstrations, political pressure and more-all the best, doc