Author of Saving Democracy!, Wasted Genius and Common Genius

Columbia Univ. Dean: “Honor Killings Not a Problem”

CNN cable news ran a long story on July 8th headlined “Georgia Man Charged in ‘Honor Killing.’ A Pakistani man is charged with killing his 25-year-old daughter in Georgia (U.S.A.) because she wanted out of an arranged marriage, police said.Chaudhry Rashid, 54, of Jonesboro, an Atlanta suburb, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to face murder charges in the death of Sandeela Kanwal, according to court records.

Ligature marks were found on Kanwal’s body and police found an iron and cord by the doorway of her bedroom, where she was found. A necklace was found downstairs next to what appeared to be a prayer table.”Apparently she and the father had argued over the marriage and the fact that it was arranged, and at some point during the altercation he did end up killing his daughter,” said Clayton County police spokesman Tim Owens. “Honor killings” — the slaying by family members of a woman or girl thought to be bringing them shame — are usually kept quiet, making it difficult to determine how frequently they occur. The United Nations Population Fund estimated in September 2000 that as many as 5,000 women and girls fall victim to such killings each year.”

In a 1998 study the same number was given by the UN– 5,000 women killed by their fathers or brothers, mostly in Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The practice carries on an ancient Bedouin tradition to maintain the honor and supremacy of male family members, and is established in the statutes of most Arab/ Islamic states. Its popularity among the leaders of those states is illustrated by the fact that: In November 2000, twenty countries abstained from signing a draft resolution condemning crimes of honor, most of them Islamic nations, where tradition calls for a family to kill a daughter who has shamed them. However, individuals in the free world are mounting a campaign to abolish it.

Norma Khouri recently published a moving and gripping book, “Honor Lost,” to protest the practice after her best friend who had grown up with her in Lebanon was killed by her father for talking to a non-Isamic boy. She writes with the passion born of first hand observation: “I must find a way to expose honor crimes for what they are: legalized murder; to break through the official Jordanian code of silence and find a way to make all Arab women’s cries for justice and freedom heard around the world.”

Ms. Khouri’s passion was fueled also by the examing doctor’s description of the murder scene: Her friend Dahlia was dead, the doctor reported, when she arrived at the hospital. She had been stabbed twelve times in the chest by her father Mahmood, “driven in again and again, going beyond honor to the most primitive brutaility. . .after the stabbing he had waited before calling the ambulance to make sure that she could not be saved.” Thus, he allowed her to slowly bleed to death on the floor of their home, waiting for her to die. And Dahlia would have no coffin–part of the harsh end for honor-crime victims. Workmen merely dug a hole, dropped her body in, and shoveled dirt to fill it up. “These grunting men were the only witnesses at her gravside. No visitors, no flowers or tears were left on this unmarked grave.

Mr. Rashid in Georgia may have a harder time escaping punishment for this “traditional ritual killing,” since it happened in the United States, but such barbaric and semi-religious practices in the Middle East seem to be off-limits to our scrutinizing press. It is interesting to note that CNN never mentioned an Islamic or Arabic connection in their story–they merely referred vaguely to Asian customs. And they chose an equally opaque and politically-correct academic to comment on the murder:

“My immediate reaction was that this is an anomaly in the South Asian community,” Ajay Nair, associate dean of multicultural affairs at Columbia University, told CNN on Tuesday. “Most South Asian-American families enjoy wonderful relationships within their families.””I think there’s ways that we can rationalize it and make sense of it, particularly in thinking about new immigrant communities in the U.S. and thinking about some of the struggles that they face and the generation gap and the cultural differences that children do face,” he said. “I think there are some issues there, but by and large, this isn’t a rampant problem within South Asian communities. What is a problem, I think, is domestic violence, and that cuts across all communities.”Nair said he believes a “significant human rights campaign” is needed to address such killings.”I think more people need to recognize this as a global issue. It’s not just a U.S. issue. I think it happens across the world, and I think people need to recognize domestic violence and any kind of violence related to women as a serious, serious issue.”

As a dean of “multi-cultural affairs” Professor Nair hues to the party line that all cultures are equal, never mentions the actual devotees of this abomination except as “South-Asian,” dismisses it as not a rampant problem, but simply “an anomoly.” He continues his apologia by saying “we can make sense of it” and rationalize it! Then he quickly moves on to critique domestic violence throughout the world and basically changes the subject.

Only at Columbia could such a lame white wash occur–an extreme form of intellectual dishonesty designed to sustain their current love affair with multiculturism and moral relativism. If this murder had been perpetrated by a Christian it would have been excoriated at length as a sign of the horrors of Western civilization and Christianity. On a related note, the UN has also recently disclosed numbers concerning the trafficking in human beings–AKA the slave trade– and the numbers of female circumcision and mutilation victims worldwide–and the vast majority of both of those gross abuses of human rights are also confined primarily to the same Arab/Islamic nations.

While generalizations must be guarded, nevertheless, the fact remains that slavery, genital mutilation, and the stabbing of children to death, are all supported as respectable traditions in one part of the world. Americans and Christians should take pride that that part of the world is not ours. Americans and Christians have been condemned for things they did hundreds of years ago–but we reformed- The Middle East hasn’t. That differential in progress stands out as a testament against the tenets of multi-culturalism and moral relativism. In more concrete terms, The Differential in progress means that people are being murdered, mutilated and enslaved in one area of the world and not in another.

I suggest we can conclude four things from this sad story:
1.) Those three barbaric practices common in the Middle East place a big black mark on their civilization and make “The West” look good.
2.) Professor Nair is guilty of glossing over major distinctions between different societies, sacrificing both intellect and honest empathy, in order to hue to the established double-speak of his university colleagues.
3.) CNN News remains unchanged in never broadcasting pro-American news, but avoiding at all cost any slurs against our enemies. We can do no right, our enemies can do no wrong.
4.) American academics and reporters are deliberately presenting distorted news and faulty interpretations of politics and history that undermine any belief in their crdibility.