Thursday, July 23, 2009

There Is No Honour

In killing your family.

One of the great oxymorons to be imported from abroad is the notion of Honour Killings. While the case now unfolding in Montreal is not yet understood to be a "mercy killing", the charges laid today speak to that very pattern. I was fairly certain when the car was found that the murderers who perpetrated this act had to be close to the victims.

The murder of a family member - no matter the reason - is, under Canadian law, murder. There is no concept in our laws of "honour killing" that makes it somehow a lesser act - in fact arguably, these are among the most premeditated of murders - ones where the victim is known to their killers, and the killer has the luxury of time to plan and execute their deed.

Tragically, it most often seems to be the women of these families who are murdered by outraged fathers or brothers for some perceived infraction of the rules.

There is no honour to be had in killing your sister or your daughter...or a brother or son, come to that. So what if your sister "dressed inappropriately", or perhaps had the misfortune to be raped? Killing her won't address either problem - nor does it restore (or create) any honour. Instead, the perpetrator demeans themselves even further and enters the ranks of our most reviled of criminals - the murderers.

Nobody's honour is "restored" by killing a family member; and in reality, the killers themselves demean not only their families, but themselves. Never again will they walk in our society as a trusted member; forever more they will be seen with fear and mistrust - for not only did they take a life, but they took the life of their own family.

I'm all about respecting the diversity of people and cultures we have in this country. But respect does not mean that I have to remain silent about things happening on Canadian soil that violate Canada's laws. This is one "cultural practice" best left behind when you come to Canada, for there is no profit in it - ever.

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