Last night, Buthaina Abu Ghanem, from Ramleh, was murdered in cold blood. Buthaina is the tenth - yes, you are seeing the correct number - the TENTH - woman from her family to be murdered under similar circumstances.

Skimming through the media, I find the English edition of Times of Israel is using the term "honor killing." The Arab website Arabs 48 has reported that the Israeli police are incapable of dealing with these kinds of murders in what they refer to as "the Arab street."

To the term "honor killing" I say: NO. These are not honor killings. These murders have nothing to do with honor. These are gender-based murders. These women were murdered in cold blood simply because they were women, and simply because they attempted to live a normal life and to exercise their rights and freedoms. And to those commentators on the Times of Israel article who blame Islam, I also say no. Religion has nothing to do with it. These women were murdered because some men still think they have the right over women's bodies and the right to control women. Religions are not violent. If a person is violent, then his Islam/Christianity/Judaism/Buddhism will be violent. People are violent, not religions.

The names of the ten murdered women are buzzing through my head. Buthaina Naiefa Sharihan Dalia Sabreen Suzan Zeinat Amira Reem Hamda

Ten women from the same family. Sharihan was only 16 when she was murdered. Dalia disappeared at the age of 16 and to this day the police have not found her body. Reem was murdered because she refused to marry a man she didn't want to. Hamda was murdered because of too many phone calls.

I am sitting in the safety of my home, and my heart goes out to the women of the family who are still alive, and I cannot imagine the horror they must live through, not on a daily basis, but moment to moment.


Comment on this Post


Dear Khulud,

I read your post with great sadness and I agree with you when you said "Religions are not violent. If a person is violent, then his Islam/Christianity/Judaism/Buddhism will be violent. People are violent, not religions." truer words have not been penned.

In this day and age and with such enlightenment it is truly sad that women are murder because they seek freedom of life, thought and expression. Where is the honour is exercising ones depraved lust and control of power over another human being?

Where is the honour when others who sit comfortable and have the authority to do and say something remain silent? One thing I am certain off and that is if we forget those women who have been brutalized and killed we too shall be forgotten.

Let your voice ring out in remembrance and in speaking out against this atrocity.

Regards, Sherna Alexander Benjamin Sister in Unity, Technology, Service, and Voice "Breaking the Silence is not a popular choice, it is the right choice" "There may be times when we are powerless to preven

Yvette, I think that if we keep going back to religion as the source of violence, we are saying that violence is justified. There is no justification whatsoever for violence. I mentioned religion in my note only because people are always blaming Islam. For me, there is no connection. What makes me angry even more is that violence against women is always only blamed on religion in the context of Islam.

"One woman is killed every week in Australia by a current or former partner." According to Chan, A and Payne, J (2013). Homicide in Australia: 2008–09 to 2009-10. National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report. Canberra. Australian Institute of Criminology. In the USA, "Each day - Three or more women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands on average." According to the American Psychology Association.

In these cases, nobody is blaming any religion, and religion is not part of the discourse, as it shouldn't be. There is violence against women all over the world, and non of them have anything to do with religion, or with "honor". These are all gender-based, and the discourse cannot be limited to a religious discourse.

p.s. I personally have nothing against any religion, but neither am I an advocate of any religion. I am an atheist.

solidarity, khulud

Thank you, Khulud, for your response.

Religion has impacted all human societies. Those who most loudly condemn Islam are those with the blood of their religious forefathers on their own ancestral hands. It seems to me that all "god(s)" are capricious and prone to violence when displeased. The "god(s) mimic human power methods, rather than presenting as completely calm and in charge.

I submit that we must realize the impact that religions have had on human beliefs and behaviors in order to create a new paradigm for the worldwide social contract of humanity on our only earth.

Continue being a blessing.