Women Must Take Their Own Decisions

Well. There’s not much to say. I’ll just quote a little. From International Spiegel Online.

Hatin’s crime, it appears, was the desire to lead a normal life in her family’s adopted land. The vivacious 23-year-old beauty, who was raised in Berlin, divorced the Turkish cousin she was forced to marry at age 16. She also discarded her Islamic head scarf, enrolled in a technical school where she was training to become an electrician and began dating German men. For her family, such behavior represented the ultimate shame — the embrace of “corrupt” Western ways.

And because ‘her family’ own her, it’s not enough just to dislike or disapprove of her behavior – they have to turn her into nothing. She can’t just decide what to do with her own life, because it doesn’t belong to her, any more than she belongs to herself.

Tens of thousands of Turkish women live behind these walls of silence, in homes run by husbands many met on their wedding day and ruled by the ever-present verses of the Koran. In these families, loyalty and honor are elevated virtues and women are treated little better than slaves, unseen by society and often unnoticed or ignored by their German neighbors. To get what they want, these women have to run. They have to change their names, their passports, even their hair color and break with the families they often love, but simply can no longer obey.

And from BBC News.

“Women must make their own decisions,” read one of the banners at her shrine. Mrs Surucu’s killing has led to an unusually strong public reaction – with Turkish women taking to the streets to protest. “This tragedy has shaken us awake. We’ve been very surprised by the response,” says Eren Unsal from the Association of Secular Turks.

But don’t get too optimistic.

But not everyone shares the outrage. On a school playground, just yards from where the killing occurred, children were heard praising it. The victim, they said, had lived like a German…”I heard a young Turkish lady said on a Turkish radio station ‘she deserved it because she took off her headscarf’. This is incredible,” says Ozcan Mutlu, one of the few Turks sitting on the Berlin city council.

See? See why I’m not rejoicing that Shabina Beghum won her case? See why I’m not convinced when people claim that the hijab is a matter of choice and freedom? Because it isn’t, that’s why. It’s mandatory, and seen as mandatory, and seen as grounds for murder if treated as optional.

He says the problem has been exacerbated by the German authorities turning a blind eye to it.
“For instance, when a Turkish man beat his wife, he didn’t get the same punishment as when a German did it. They tried to explain it with the culture, the traditions, and with the religion.
“That’s stupid, you cannot do that. There is no cultural or religious excuse for beating women, and there can be no less punishment for honour killings. But in Germany it was the fact in the past years.”

Go, Ozcan Mutlu. You rock.

Honour killings are, she says, just the most extreme form of repression faced by the people who come to her. “All these girls who come to us are locked in, in the house, by their families. They only go to school because they have to by law – otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed. They have to stay at home and cook, and care for the sisters and brothers. The parents don’t accept that the girl decides anything by herself.”

And it’s not only the Berlin cops who turn a blind eye. As we’ve noticed, it’s also a lot of fuzzy lefties – who mean well, but who for some reason seem to be immovably convinced that it’s more important never to say a critical word about Islam or the practices of some Muslims than it is to criticise the murder and total subordination of women. I can think of some fuzzy lefty blogs that will, I can predict with fair confidence, never say a word about all this. Not a syllable. Hatun Surucu will not be mentioned. I find that chronically depressing. (You know who you are. Go on, prove me wrong. I’d love to be wrong.)

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