BBC SURVEY SHOWS ONE IN 10 BACKS 'HONOUR KILLINGS'
(4 September 2006)
in 10 young British Asians believes so-called 'honour killings'
can be justified, according to a poll for the BBC's Asian Network.
Of 500 Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims questioned, a tenth
said they would condone the murder of someone who disrespected their
family's honour. Figures show 13 people die every year in honour
killings, but police and support groups believe it is many more.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating 200 deaths linked to honour
killings. Religious leaders said they would hold a national conference
on the issue.
killing is a brutal reaction within a family - predominantly Asian
and Middle Eastern - to someone perceived to have brought "shame"
upon relatives. What constitutes dishonour can range from wearing
clothes thought unsuitable or choosing a career which the family
disapprove of, to marrying outside of the wider community. Kidnaps,
beatings and rapes have also been committed in the name of "honour".
Booth, from Asian Network, said clerics from all the faiths would
hold the gathering later in the year to discuss how to make honour
killings a thing of the past.
16 to 34-year-old age group interviewed in the survey needed to
be persuaded such killings were not acceptable, they said.
interviewee told the radio station: "A lot of people treat
their family as everything they have got. So if someone hurts their
family the law might do nothing about it, you might have to deal
Akhtar, a journalist who has been examining the issue, said honour
was ingrained into Asian society. "Most of the Asians who are
in Britain today come from very tribal communities. Honour is a
big deal, it's kind of caught up with your property, it's caught
up with your women and if anybody comes close to threatening you,
you have to avenge your honour."
Aisha Gill, a lecturer in criminology at Roehampton University,
told BBC Five Live that convincing the Asian community that honour
killings were not acceptable was the right approach. "I think
it's absolutely essential that there is a collective responsibility,
and this is not just for agencies, but for communities that are
affected by it.
government should] send out a clear message, an unambiguous message
that such violence against women will not be tolerated."
one recent case, two men were jailed for life for murdering their
relative after she fell in love with an asylum seeker. Greengrocer
Azhar Nazir, 30, and his cousin Imran Mohammed, 17, stabbed Nazir's
sister Samaira 18 times at the family home in Southall in April
2005. The 25-year-old recruitment consultant was killed after she
asked to marry an Afghan man - instead of marrying someone in the
Pakistani family circle.
HONOUR & OBEY
Peter presenter Konnie Huq makes her debut as the first presenter
of the BBC Asian Network's hard-hitting new documentaries. The first
Asian Network Report - Love, 'Honour' and Obey - will look at the
horrifying instances of honour killing in the UK Asian community
and will be broadcast on Monday 4 September 2006 at 6.30pm within
the Adil Ray programme.