When will Muslims learn that honor killing simply isn’t honorable? In Turkey, a Muslim teenager was arrested for murdering his sister’s boyfriend by stabbing him more than 60 times and burying him alive. Why would he do this? Honor, of course, the victim, 16-year-old Onur Sandal, was reportedly involved in a pre-marital sexual relationship with his sister. The boy, 18-year old Akin Tokdenir and his father Ahmet were both arrested on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Surveillance footage has surfaced showing both Akin and his father beating Onur, then placing him in a car that was driven away by Akin, presumably to bury him alive.
The father, Ahmet, says he’s sorry Onur is dead, but says it was “a matter of honor for us.” Akin turned himself in to authorities and confessed to the murder after the body of Onur was found in a forest outside the city of Denizli. Both cite as their reason the fact that Onur refused to become engaged to his girlfriend even after being found to be sexually active with her. Sorry, that’s completely unacceptable to everyone but hyper-conservative Muslims.
Turkey has been fighting so-called honor killings for a very long time, they estimate that in that country alone, 237 women lost their lives in senseless honor killings in 2013. This doesn’t count the men like Onur who similarly get killed for doing something to “dishonor” the family. In 2000, the U.N. estimated that there are more than 5,000 honor killings committed by Muslims worldwide. But what can you do? These killings tend to be most prevalent in small, insular communities where there isn’t a big secular police presence and many officers just look the other way when it becomes clear that the killings are religious in nature. It’s really difficult to come up with a solution when you’re talking about very primitive cultures and religious beliefs, where women really mean nothing and men rule the roost.
Regardless, here’s another case of religious violence to fill Horror Show Wednesday. How many more people need to die before we stop giving the religious a pass?