When people migrate they leave their countries behind but often times they take their culture and traditions with them. They aggressively try to enforce their beliefs and continue to live by the traditions that they are accustomed to even it is not in keeping with what others would consider to be normal behavior.
The idea of Honor Killing is deeply embedded in certain societies and family honor is more important than life itself. In most instances there is a gross misrepresentation of the word ‘Honor’. Usually it is the woman in the family who has to sacrifice her happiness to uphold the family honor.
Let us look at the following scenario: A girl is forced to marry a man almost twice her age. He beats her, sexually abuse and tortures her. Yet if she leaves her abusive husband it will be looked upon as bringing disgrace on the family by people who are obsessed with maintaining family honor. She is therefore expected to live a life of misery and suffer silently because her family believes this is the honorable thing to do.
Families will go to the extreme to maintain their family honor. It is therefore not surprising that on October 20, 2009 Faleh Hassan Almaleki a native of Iraq living in Glendale Arizona mowed down his twenty year-old daughter Noor Almaleki in what was considered a honor attack. Noor died as a result of the injuries she sustained.
Her crime? Her father felt she had become “too westernized”; he was also angry that she had left the man she married in Iraq and returned to Arizona to live with her boyfriend and his mother. Faleh felt his daughter had brought disgrace on the family and took matters in his own hands. He became judge, jury and executioner. The punishment for her transgressions was death and he executed her punishment by running her over in his Jeep Cherokee. Her boyfriend’s mother also suffered injuries in the attack.
After the attack he fled the country, driving to Mexico and taking a plane to London. He was detained by British Police and extradited back to the US. In February 2011 a Phoenix jury found him guilty of second degree murder in the death of his daughter. He was also convicted of aggravated assault for injuries suffered by the mother of his daughter’s boyfriend in the 2009 attack.
For those who continue to practice this monstrous act I hope the day will come when they will realize that they are the one bringing disgrace on the family. In a normal society family member don’t go around killing each other. Even animals form packs to defend and protect their kind. There is nothing honorable about being a murderer! There is nothing honorable about taking the life of someone especially the people around you whom you should love and protect. It is the murderer in the family who should be seen as bringing disgrace on the family.