Day By Day

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Limits of Multiculturalism -- Sharia Strikes Again

The Boston Globe reports:

BERLIN -- Life was just starting to look up for 23-year-old Hatun Surucu when the bullets cut her down.

After four years of grueling courses in vocational school, coupled with the demands of single motherhood, she was only weeks away from receiving certification as an electrician, a trade that would give her the independence she desperately craved.

It had been a rough road: Eight years earlier, her parents, Turkish immigrants, had yanked Surucu from eighth grade, bundled her off to Istanbul, and forced her to marry an older cousin. Miserable in Turkey, she had fled her husband and returned to Berlin with her infant son, determined to make her own way as a modern woman in a secular society, according to friends.

For a Muslim barely out of girlhood, it was an act of extraordinary defiance against her family. And it cost Surucu her life.

As Europe's Muslims become increasingly conservative, growing numbers of women are being killed or mutilated in the name of ''family honor," according to law enforcement agencies, women's activist groups, and moderate Islamic organizations. These cases usually involve an attack on a Muslim woman by a close relative -- typically a brother or father -- angered by her refusal to accept a forced marriage or her insistence on leading a Western-style life.

Read it here.

This is quite simply intolerable and cannot be justified in any circumstances.

I am reminded of the story, probably apocryphal but it makes the point, of the British officer in India who interrupted the ritual killing of a woman at her husband's funeral. "But you must understand, it is our custom" protested a local official, to which the officer replied "and it is our custom to hang men who murder women."

There can be no compromise on matters such as this. And, by the way for the authors of the article, this is not "conservatism". It is "radicalism". Let's keep our categories straight.

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