The recent murder of two Lewisville, Texas Muslim teenager girls in the back of their Egyptian born immigrant father's taxi cab has highlighted a very ugly issue of culturally-sanctioned violence against women that has often been largely ignored by the Western media -- honor killings.
Ultraconservative members of Muslim societies emigrate to Western nations, and away from their culturally conservative Muslim communities, yet act out violence against women when either their wives or daughters become influenced by the more open morals and values of Western culture.
Honor killings are still officially sanctioned by law in many Muslim nations or communities such as Jordan, Syria or still practiced in parts of Iraq or elsewhere unofficially without the sanction of law. In many Muslim states, men are given a measure of an excuse to practice this violence against women.
For some reason, while some Muslims emigrate to Western nations such as the United States, the UK, or parts of Europe such as France or Italy, many families do not apppear to really want to fully assimilate into their new nation, and many rigid Muslim cultural barriers often remain, especially for the women of these families. Among the least literate of Muslim families, this phenomenon appears the strongest, and is where much of the annual world estimate of 5,000 honor killings of women take place each year, including a number of them in Western nations such as the the U.S., UK, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Germany as reported in 2004.
Some debate exists among Muslim scholars whether the Koran really condones honor killings or they are simply a form of culturally accepted violence largely practiced among the most ultra-orthodox of some Muslims that has slowly found itself sanctioned into the legal system of some Muslim societies. Western culture views the issue entirely differently and such violence is simply viewed as gender based violence against women, although the main Western news media has largely failed to understand the extent to which this culturally sanctioned violence against women is often practiced in Western societies.
It certainly seems strange that ultra-orthodox members of Muslim societies move to Western nations, with all their self-proclaimed vices and comparable cultural liberalism, especially in regards to entertainment and other areas, and then seem to be surprised when their female family members such as daughters do not want to better assimilate with their new culture, especially if attending college or becoming part of the workplace.
At any rate, the father of the two slain teenage girls is now on the lam. And American courts will only view whoever killed them as nothing but murder, no matter what role any cultural belief played in their slayings. Culture is not a valid defense to murder charges under American law.
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