Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Killing in the Name of....Honor?

Just recently, Fox News ran a special about an Honor Killing in America. Sadly, this is an ever more common occurrence, both here in America, Europe and other non-Muslim lands. It has been a staple of Muslim nations since the creation of Islam. If it existed in those land before, I cannot say.

What has caused me to write this is a pair of videos found on YouTube, as well as a general interest in the topic, which I will get to in a moment.

So, why is this topic of interest and importance to me, a western man? Well, for me it's the word Honor. As those who have been on this blog and delved the archives, it's pretty clear that I'm a heathen Asatruar. In my religion and culture, there is not concept of sin, but rather deeds are judged by if they are honorable or shameful. It is one of the oldest cultures in Europe. Our Germanic/Celtic/Norse traditions of Honor have shaped the concept of that word in the West since the beginning.

Now, honor is different depending on culture. The honor of a Norseman is different from the Honor of a Japanese Samurai. That said, almost every culture has similarities about what is honorable and what to do if that honor is impugned. Typically, in Honor based societies, from England to Japan, it is the one who wronged you or your family that is dealt with, often by force, often to the death.

However, there is one culture that claims to be Honor based that deviates from this pattern. It is the Islamic nations. There, something odd, and dare I say both terrible and dishonorable happens. It is the victim, in the case of women, which is dealt with. This is the nature of the Islamic Honor Killing. A woman is raped, or even in many cases, talks to a man outside her own family with romantic intent or not, is slain in the name of restoring honor to her family. Often, the other party is left alone, or occasionally dealt with if currently in the presence of the woman at the time. In the case of the Honor Killing Fox News reported on, the Father murdered his teenage daughters, simply for dating a pair of Mexicans. His family was supportive of this decision, and his son believed he had done right.

This is a far cry from how my own Norse ancestors dealt with such matters, or even how Europeans dealt with this. Should a woman be involve or not, it was the task of men to defend honor against another man. This is where the duel comes from, as does trial by combat. If a woman was raped, it was the rapist who was killed. Blame was not placed upon the woman, nor was she harmed for being the victim of such a crime.

So, why the wild difference? Why is it that in Europe, the woman is cherished and protected in matters of honor, while in Islamic lands she is the one who must be killed to restore honor? This is a complex and difficult question to answer.

It is clear that the difference arises from the different cultures and religions involved. Both claim to value women, indeed many have made a big deal recently that Islam holds women to be precious and valuable and equal to men. One can argue that history disproves this claim, but we must remember that equality is often hard to qualify in cultures different from our own modern one, which has enough trouble figuring out what is equal. Indeed, many today hold that in Europe cultures both Christian and Pre-Christian were misogynistic, which as far as the Pagan cultures go, I would argue otherwise beyond a few exemptions among the Greeks. However, even if European cultures were suppressive of women, we never see anything resembling the Islamic Honor Killing.

It would be easy for me, in my bias, to claim that it is the inherent superiority of Polytheism over Monotheism that caused Europe to value women and move to defend honor against the aggressor. A case could be made for this, as well, but it tastes hollow to argue this, however true I may feel it to be. It is true that in polytheistic religions, women were far more valued than in Monotheistic religions (Judaism is the best in regards to equality, but while not as bad as Islam, Christianity is highly misogynistic). But the issue goes deeper than this, because when Christianity forcibly took Europe, we still didn't see the rise of Female Honor Killing. This could be argued as the ancient pagan cultures surviving in Christendom, but even so I feel that this is not the root of it. Also, Judaism never had Honor Killings like those of Islam. Therefore I conclude that the issue, though influenced by Monotheism, does not in fact arise from the believe in only One God.

The fact that, to my knowledge, this manner of Honor Killing occurs in only those who practice Islam, it can be concluded that it arises from Islam itself. Now, much of the "Moderate" Islam claims to come down against Honor killings. This, however, means little, as it is obvious that Honor Killing comes from Islam, as previously mentioned and that under Islamic believe it is okay to lie in the presence of Non-Muslims for the cause of Islam and it is a part of Shariah Law.

So what is the reality? In Islam, which claims to value women, the opposite is in fact true. Women are viewed as subhuman and second class, barely above Non-Muslims. Women are the ones who brought sin into this world, and should a woman show her hair or other parts of herself, it is, according to Muslims, enough to incite men to rape her uncontrollably, and she will be blamed for it. Now, maybe it's my European heritage, where we value women equal and even a woman wearing the smallest bikini can generally be assured she is safe from rape among Europeans peoples, but I've never seen a woman so beautiful and alluring that I just had to rape her. I've always had better control than that, and traditionally, Men in most cultures (at least the European as that is what I know best) were the same as me. Sure, rape happened, but it was always an issue of power, not of lust, if modern science is to be believed. I would assume that power is the driving issue, not physical lust, that drives most rapes by Muslim Men. This can be seen by such crimes done by Muslims in Europe, but that is a different topic.

What is on topic is that Women are not valued by Islam. Therefore, if they have no value, there is no point in fighting for them (especially if they are responsible for eternal suffering and sin like they are in Islam, thus for Muslims it is logical to punish them). Very much the opposite of how women were viewed in traditional Pagan Europe, and while Christianity did bring these attitudes as well, it was mitigated by old European values.

Honor Killings under Islam are a perversion of the Universal Concept of Honor. This is why this issue touches me personally. People trying to stop Honor Killings decry the evils of "Honor System" and "Tribalism" two things that define Asatru. The fact that Islamic Honor is an insane inversion of what Honor really is, matters little to the average person. Islam is one of the most numerous religions in the world. It is certainly one of the most powerful ideologies out there.

So, what can we do? Well, personally I say we do the honorable thing. We step up and end it. We take our European honor, or even the larger, ancient concept, where Men are to be Manly and defend the women of their families and society, not punish them for being free thinking and liberated individuals. We step up, and speak for those who cannot speak. We step up and fight for those who cannot fight. We step up, and show Muslims that We are Men and Women of the West, and we will not stand for people being made slaves based on gender, nor slain for simply wanting to be with someone that their family doesn't approve of.


  1. Norse to continue from the GoV.

    You know well that Nationalists have slaughtered other citizens within their countries as well as invaded others.

    Furthermore, even ancient Norsemen did so. Not only among themselves inter-tribally, but far across the seas, raping, pillaging, slaughtering. The Vikings were a famous bunch.

    You claim that majority rule is dangerous. If that is so, then you would logically support the balkanization of nations into multiple minority groups, where none can dominate. But you dont.

    Squares and Circles


    Square and Circles

  2. EV, I don't recall that we've ever discussed that area of political theory, beyond the dangers of majority rule. So please don't tell me what I do and don't believe.

    Please keep your comments on the article topic. It is a serious issue and deserves respect.

    Thank you, the Norse Alchemist

  3. It is a pretty old custom. The code of Assura permitted the father of a defiled virgin to punish his daughter however he saw fit. In Ancient Rome, the male members of a family were expected to kill an adulterous female member. Similarly, a husband who caught his wife in adultery could kill her with impunity.

    The biblical story of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) tells that when Judah learned his daughter-in-law, Tamar, was pregnant via harlotry, he demanded she be burned to death. Tamar was spared when she revealed to Judah that he was the father of the child putting him at risk as well (See Lev 20:12). However, the story reveals that a family patriarch could order a female member killed for being a "harlot".

  4. Parabarbarian, thank you for the helpful comment. We can now see that the roots of the practice can be traced back before Islam, at least in the cultural practices of the middle east.

    That said, there is a large difference between killing an adulteress wife, a custom that is mostly universal, and killing a woman who simply speaks with another man, refuses to cover her hair, or wear western clothing. The reason I say this (and I base much of my knowledge on the Germanic/Celtic) is because in the case of adultery it is a matter of breaking personal oaths between a married couple (that and it is known that the Romans, and to an extent the Celts and Germanic people might have had a different view of adultery. I know Roman women were generally free to have lovers aside from their husbands). Again, a far cry from the causes of many Islamic Honor Killings.