Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blame-shifting - the time honored tool of the world's worst demagogues to shift attention from evil onto those who have nothing to do with said evil

Blame-shifting: why blame-shifting is used to shift attention from evil onto those who have nothing whatsoever to do with said evil
Canada has nothing whatsoever to do with muslims butchering their daughters

The subject of “honor killings” is gradually becoming a matter of public controversy these days. The incidence of these crimes appears to be rising although the response to them is ambiguous and vacillating. There is little doubt that something alarming is happening—and has been happening for a long while—and that what we are really witnessing is a form of culture-specific violent behavior. But the general tendency among Muslim spokespeople and social activists is to average out these tragic events as part of a garden variety social phenomenon that is statistically inevitable.

When 16 year-old Aqsa Parvez of Mississauga, Ontario was strangled by her father for refusing to wear the hijab, Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, dissembled the murder as “the result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to colour and creed” (National Post, December 12, 2007).

On the following day, a spokesman for the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations was quoted in the same newspaper, informing us that “Teen rebellion is something that exists in all households in Canada and is not unique to any culture or background.”

For Sheikh Yusuf Badat, Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, “It wasn’t about Islam” but merely a question “of parenting and anger management”; and Mohammed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, whitewashed the killing as a “teenage issue.” Mohhamad Al-Navdi of the Canadian Council of Imams, while regretting the slaying of the young girl, responded by stressing “the duty [of parents] to convince their kids that this [the hijab] is part of their culture.”

The real crime, apparently, was not the actual killing, but the “failure” of the parents to inculcate the proper religious ordinances and to control the adolescent tendency to domestic revolt. Sheikh Alaa Elsayed of the Islamic Society of North America Canada agreed: parents should teach their daughters “to do the right thing” (National Post, December 14, 2007).

What these authorities do not tell us is that, in the Muslim tradition, a man’s honor is constituted by his possession of the three Z’s: zar (gold), zamin (land) and zan (women). It is when his possession of the latter is perceived as compromised that he will often resort to the extreme act, which is regarded as the legitimate disposal of his property. Teen rebellion is not the issue here; honor killings are.

Canada has been largely spared such atrocities relative to many other countries. The toll in Germany, for example, officially stands at 48—though even as I write, a 49th honor killing has been reported in which 16-year-old Morsal Obeidi was stabbed to death by her brother on May 15, 2008. 280 “honour crimes” have been recorded in Denmark, although, according to a state prosecutor, the number is certainly far greater (Politken, October 11, 2008).

In whatever country they occur, such honor killings, as is common knowledge, are found far more frequently among one particular religious and ethnic group than any other, and it is pure cozenage to affect otherwise. Honor killings may also be cross-gendered, a fact generally ignored by the media. Germany has recorded several cases of non-Muslim men murdered for being in relationships with Muslim women.

The reverse is also true. In October 2007, a young Polish girl, Lidia Motylska, was murdered in Leeds, England, by an Iraqi immigrant, Abobakir Jabaril, who objected to her dating his Kurdish flat mate and restored the honor of his faith by strangling, stabbing and slitting her throat “from ear to ear” (Yorkshire Post, November 13, 2008). Naturally, the male, Muslim half of the relationship, Ajeem Jabarridia, was never in any danger.

But what has come to be known as “honorcide” is only the tip of the iceberg, the most visible manifestation of the Islamic ethos. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in Britain has calculated that as many as 17,000 women of the Islamic persuasion are subjected to “forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the ‘honour’ of their family”—35 times higher than the official figures (, February 11, 2008). Children as young as 11 are regularly repatriated to their “home countries” to enroll in madrassas where they are indoctrinated in the fundamental tenets of their faith or contracted to be married. Young women who object or who eventually leave such loveless marriages are often in danger for their lives. But Muslim spokespeople have consistently tried to shift the blame away from their own culpable community onto society at large.

Such chicanery is on conspicuous display in a letter written by McGill University Engineering Professor Ehab Lotayef to the Montreal Gazette (January 4, 2008), which exposes better than any etiological analysis ever could the pathology at work in the practice of self-delusion. While “cringing” before the specter of Muslim violence, Lotayef assigns the blame for such unfortunate episodes to “the failure of a community and the society at large to provide healthy ways for individuals, especially those belonging to minorities, to express their frustration in a healthy and productive manner.” We need to understand that the teenager who firebombed a Jewish school in Montreal “might have felt frustration toward the indifference of society to the death and suffering of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli army…”