So-called “honour crimes” have risen by 40 per cent in five years in London, with the number of forced marriages doubling in the same period. According to the figures, obtained by the Evening Standard, some of the children involved in the abuse were younger than ten-years-old.
Since 2012, honour crimes reported to the Metropolitan Police rose to 1,081 and those relating to forced marriages shot up to 367. Women and girls were the victims in the vast majority of reported incidents, with over half coming from “Asian” backgrounds, the paper reports. ["Asian" is a code word in the UK for "Pakistani". Ed.] Knives and guns were involved in more than 70 incidents, and dozens of rapes and other sexual crimes were reported.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Faulkner, of the Met’s Community Safety Unit, said the crimes stem from communities using “cultural and/or religious justifications for male violence against women and girls and other people”. They were often based on traditions whereby “an individual, family and community’s honour is weighted on women and girls”, he said, including refusing to go along with a marriage. “We see an increase in these types of offences as a positive step, an indication that victims have more confidence to report offences to police and seek the support they need”, he added.
Politicians today called the findings “troubling”, “shocking” and “abhorrent”.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, told the Evening Standard: “Too many of these awful crimes are still hidden. There is no ‘honour’ in violence against women, rape, torture or abuse of a family member. These are deadly crimes and there is still too little protection, too few prosecutions and too much stigma which prevents people coming forward. It’s vital that when victims do speak out they get proper help from support groups and from the police to keep them safe.”
The figures, obtained using Freedom of Information requests, show that “violence against the person” was the most common “honour” attack, accounting for 85 per cent of incidents. Sexual violence was the second largest category, with 56 rapes and 11 “other sexual” crimes. 84 per cent were perpetrated against women, with “Asian” women accounting for more than half.
Notice how--in the public statements--any reference to Islam has been cut by the officials. They speak of "religion" but don't identify it. Doubtless it is Christians committing these terrible crimes. Why not? After all, every religion is basically the same.
Secondly, note how the police prefer to speak of crimes arising out of a culture, rather than its dominant-if not exclusive-religion. The "Asian" culture made them commit "traditional" of murder, rape, and honour killing, don't you know. A resounding question is begged: since Pakistan has been dominated by Islam for centuries, which comes first--the culture of people in Pakistan, or the religion in which the particular culture has thrived? After all, a culture is nothing other than the outworking of a particular set ultimate beliefs, about the deity, man, sexual relationships, salvation, the afterlife, and so forth. Pakistan has held a remarkably consistent set of religious beliefs for centuries. Out of those beliefs has come this particular "Asian" culture. But never, ever mention the I-word. It's not politically correct to do so.
Thirdly, either Islam is a potent religion or it is not. Either Islam speaks to all of life, in every place, addressing every square inch of creation, or it does not. If it does--and it clearly claims to--then either Islam is reflected accurately in the Pakistani traditions of honour killing and rape, or it is not. Which is it? Is Islam a potent, all embracing religion, or is it not? Is Islam ineffectual and weak in the face of Pakistani cultural traditions, or is it powerful and all-shaping? Detective Chief Inspector Sam Faulkner is implicitly defaming Islam by treating that religion as irrelevant and impotent in these matters. It's the official silence that is deafening. And that get's pretty close to a "hate crime" in its own right, non? Cultural traditions are the sovereign power; Islam must be pathetically impotent and unable to work cultural change in Pakistan. It has been impotent and unable to drive out rape and honour killings from the culture--despite the fact that it is virtually the only religion in that place.
As we say in New Zealand: "Yeah, nah." Islam, as it is believed and practised in Pakistan has endorsed and promoted and caused honour killings, rapes, and other hate crimes against women. These are acts of Islamic faith, not Pakistani traditions and culture overlaid upon an impotent religion. It is well past time for a spade to be called a spade. [JT]