Honor Diaries: A Real Conversation on Women’s Rights or a Scratch on the Surface?

In April 2011, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, was sentenced to 34.5 years in prison for killing his 20 year-old daughter for becoming "too westernized." The case was deemed an "honor killing" because the daughter, according to the dad, dishonored the whole family.This story is one of many presented by the film Honor Diaries, a recently launched film project directed by Micah Smith, and produced by Paula Kweskin, Heidi Basch-Harod and Alex Traiman. The film … [Read more...]

Of Indian Marriage Laws and Conversions: The Case of Saifeena

Celebrity marriages always come with a lot of public anticipation, and this was the case with the wedding of Saif Ali Khan and  Kareena Kapoor, who after five years of  a very public courtship, married on Oct 2012. However, the speculation surrounding the relationship didn’t end post-marriage. Apart from being India’s heartthrob, Saif Ali Khan was crowned the Nawab of Pataudi in 2011, after his father’s death. The Nawab of Pataudi is considered to be the Islamic religious head in the state of Pat … [Read more...]

Dead Muslim Women As Opportunities

In April of 2011, 20 year-old Jessica Mokdad was allegedly gunned down by her stepfather Rahim Alfetlawi. The media uproar over the murder was immediate and, unsurprisingly, cloaked under the sensationalized trope of “honor killing.” While Mokdad’s family, including her biological father, stressed that Alfetlawi had issues of control and was not acting out of some religious convictions, the use of “honor killing” continued and served, also, most poignantly as a source for protest against even … [Read more...]

The Need to Be Proactive: Responses to Domestic Violences in Muslim Communities

On November 15, 2011, a number of Canadian Muslim leaders and organizations issued a press release condemning domestic violence and honor killings. This press release was backed up by over 50 Muslim organizations, and the Canadian Council of Imams called on imams around Canada to dedicate a khutba on December 9 to issues of domestic violence (you can watch a video of some of the December 9 coverage here). Yet, to some extent, the sudden attention to domestic violence and honor killings seems to … [Read more...]

“Honour Killings” and “Canadian Values”

Three family members have recently been charged in the deaths of three teenage sisters and a female relative.  The three girls--Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia--and their father's first wife, Rona Mohammed, were found dead in a car that had been submerged in the Rideau Canal.  Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji`oun (to God we belong and to God we will return.)Because the three accused of the murder are the parents and older brother of the girls, and because the family, although currently l … [Read more...]