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Do young British Muslims support ‘honour’ violence?

Do young British Muslims support ‘honour’ violence?

Here is a classic piece of Islamophobic reporting by the Daily Mail, featuring the paper’s usual contempt for factual accuracy when it comes to coverage of the Muslim community.

Headlined “More than two thirds of young British Muslims believe ‘honour’ violence is acceptable, survey reveals”, the article begins: “Most young British Muslims support violence against women who ‘dishonour’ their families, a Panorama investigation will claim today.”

In reality the Panorama documentary Britain’s Crimes of Honour does nothing of the sort. The ComRes poll commissioned by Panorama, to which the Mail‘s scaremongering headline refers, found that 69% of respondents agreed with the proposition that “Families should live according to the concept of ‘honour’, or ‘Izzat'”. That particular question made no reference at all to violence. Furthermore, the poll was conducted among British Asians of various faith communities. 70% of Muslim respondents said they agreed with living according to the concept of honour, but so did 79% of Sikhs, 64% of Hindus and 62% of Christians.

What the Panorama documentary claims, based on the ComRes survey, is that 18% of young British Asians believe that some forms of behaviour by women which could affect their family’s honour justify physical punishment. And even that figure is based on a one-sided reading of ambiguous findings.

In fact only 6% of respondents agreed with the proposition that “In certain circumstances, it can be right to physically punish a female member of the family if she brings dishonour to her family or community”. The figure was also 6% for respondents aged 16-24 and 7% for those aged 25-34. There were more Christians (8%) who agreed with this proposition than Muslims (6%).

The 18% figure was arrived at by presenting respondents with a number of possible “offences” by young women (disobeying their father, marrying someone unacceptable to the family or community etc) and then asking which of these actions respondents thought were “reasonable justifications for physical punishment”. 18% of British Asian in the 16-34 age bracket said they thought one or more of these actions could be regarded as “reasonable justifications”, three times more than those who thought it was “right” to carry out physical punishments.

Neither ComRes nor Panorama saw fit to try and explain this anomaly, preferring instead to emphasise the higher and discount the lower figure. An obvious explanation for the disparity, however, is that respondents might think that their family or community could regard certain actions as reasonable justifications for physical punishment while disapproving of such punishments themselves. Which puts a rather different complexion on it.

What seems to have happened here is that the Panorama documentary makers set out by assuming that support for “honour” based violence is rife within British Asian communities but found that the ComRes survey provided little support for this assumption. So the poll findings were not interpreted objectively but rather hyped up to suggest that there is solid evidence of widespread support for such violence.

As for the Daily Mail, it couldn’t even restrict itself to publicising Panorama’s dubious claims but had to invent its own.

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10 Comments »

  1. don’t know what the british think. don’t care. but here is what the “divine revelation” says:

    24:1

    سورة أنزلناها وفرضناها وأنزلنا فيها آيات بينات لعلكم تذكرون

    [This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember.

    24:2

    الزانية والزاني فاجلدوا كل واحد منهما مائة جلدة ولا تأخذكم بهما رأفة في دين الله إن كنتم تؤمنون بالله واليوم الآخر وليشهد عذابهما طائفة من المؤمنين

    The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.

    “The 18% figure was arrived at by presenting respondents with a number of possible “offences” by young women (disobeying their father, marrying someone unacceptable to the family or community etc) and then asking which of these actions respondents thought were “reasonable justifications for physical punishment”. 18% of British Asian in the 16-34 age bracket said they thought one or more of these actions could be regarded as “reasonable justifications”, three times more than those who thought it was “right” to carry out physical punishments.”

    so they didn’t ask about zina? lol. ya’ll are funny. can we assume it’s 100% of muslims who agree with “physical punishment” as in torture, 100 lashes for adults having consensual sex outside of marraige?????????????

  2. Mike, get a life.

  3. Yep you got us there. You only forgot to mention that in order for ANYONE to be punished for the crime of Zina, there is a requirement of 4 witnesses to the act. Aint gonna happen is it?!

    Oh and yes it’s true that a husband can accuse his wife of infidelity, if he takes an oath on it. However if the wife swears that she is innocent invoking the punishment of God on her if she is lying she must be acquitted. Horrendous these Moooslems aint they???!!!

  4. “You only forgot to mention that in order for ANYONE to be punished for the crime of Zina, there is a requirement of 4 witnesses to the act. Aint gonna happen is it?!” no i didn’t forget to mention that. it doesn’t matter if you need 4 or 4 hundred or 4 million. btw do those have to be MALE witnesses? or can two females substitute for one male? guess you have never heard of video tape? lol. are you really so tied to an ancient law that you can’t see the stupidity of it. really the four witnesses thing? the burden of proof is so difficult that torture is never going to happen? so if you can never prove zina, then why create a law that punishes it with torture? let me guess “the corruption of society”? so us kuffar have nothing to fear from muslims. sorry moooooooslems. lol. lmfao. paris hilton and kim kardasian (she’s armenian too boot(ty)) might want to watch them selves.

    “Aint gonna happen is it?!” are you a total id……nevermind.

  5. Surat An-Nūr (The Light) – سورة النور بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    24:1

    سورة أنزلناها وفرضناها وأنزلنا فيها آيات بينات لعلكم تذكرون

    [This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember.

    24:2

    الزانية والزاني فاجلدوا كل واحد منهما مائة جلدة ولا تأخذكم بهما رأفة في دين الله إن كنتم تؤمنون بالله واليوم الآخر وليشهد عذابهما طائفة من المؤمنين

    The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.

    24:3

    الزاني لا ينكح إلا زانية أو مشركة والزانية لا ينكحها إلا زان أو مشرك وحرم ذلك على المؤمنين

    The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.

    24:4

    والذين يرمون المحصنات ثم لم يأتوا بأربعة شهداء فاجلدوهم ثمانين جلدة ولا تقبلوا لهم شهادة أبدا وأولئك هم الفاسقون

    And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient,

    24:5

    إلا الذين تابوا من بعد ذلك وأصلحوا فإن الله غفور رحيم

    Except for those who repent thereafter and reform, for indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    24:6

    والذين يرمون أزواجهم ولم يكن لهم شهداء إلا أنفسهم فشهادة أحدهم أربع شهادات بالله إنه لمن الصادقين

    And those who accuse their wives [of adultery] and have no witnesses except themselves – then the witness of one of them [shall be] four testimonies [swearing] by Allah that indeed, he is of the truthful.

    24:7

    والخامسة أن لعنت الله عليه إن كان من الكاذبين

    And the fifth [oath will be] that the curse of Allah be upon him if he should be among the liars.

    24:8

    ويدرأ عنها العذاب أن تشهد أربع شهادات بالله إنه لمن الكاذبين

    But it will prevent punishment from her if she gives four testimonies [swearing] by Allah that indeed, he is of the liars.

    24:9

    والخامسة أن غضب الله عليها إن كان من الصادقين

    And the fifth [oath will be] that the wrath of Allah be upon her if he was of the truthful.

    24:10

    ولولا فضل الله عليكم ورحمته وأن الله تواب حكيم

    And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Accepting of repentance and Wise.

    24:11

    إن الذين جاءوا بالإفك عصبة منكم لا تحسبوه شرّا لكم بل هو خير لكم لكل امرئ منهم ما اكتسب من الإثم والذي تولى كبره منهم له عذاب عظيم

    Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment.

    24:12

    لولا إذ سمعتموه ظن المؤمنون والمؤمنات بأنفسهم خيرا وقالوا هذا إفك مبين

    Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”?

    24:13

    لولا جاءوا عليه بأربعة شهداء فإذ لم يأتوا بالشهداء فأولئك عند الله هم الكاذبون

    Why did they [who slandered] not produce for it four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then it is they, in the sight of Allah , who are the liars.

    yeah, this is what we should be implementing in our courts. 80 lashes. that’s for drinking too right gordie??????? ain’t going to happen either? omg, i can’t stop laughing. islam uber alles!!!!!

  6. Mike
    I feel like you misunderstood A LOT of these ayahs.

    First:
    Do you know of the hadith of the woman who committed adultery and came to Muhammad (S) asking him to have her stoned? Do you know what he did? He turned her down. Again and again, over the course of 2 years. He told her to repent. If you commit a sin secretly, like this lady, you repent, but sometimes if you sin and a whole town witnesses it, you should be punished. But again, forgiveness comes first.

    There was a hadith about a man who continued to drink and drink and drink. He was a joke. The Sahaba would drag his drunken, passed out body to Muhammad and tell him he should be punished. Muhammad would always say “No, take him home, let him rest. Let him repent.” The Sahaba would always ask why he was so lenient with “repeat offenders”, and he answered “Because I want the Lord to be forgiving of me, so I must be forgiving.” and that’s true.

    If you did me wrong, what with my short fuse and low level of patience, I would’nt forgive you and instead, I’d slap you’re face silly. It’s hard to forgive, but imagine how God can forgive the worst of sins.

    A woman coming to Fajr prayer was attacked and raped once, and two men were caught. One was a man trying to help, the other was the offender.

    Both were brought to Muhammad. He told the woman that she was going to be protected, and she was safe, brave, and he prayed for her. The man who helped her was praised for helping someone in need, and the man who raped her? Muhammad was upset by this, and Omar Ibn Al-Khattab cried, “Stone the man who committed fornication!”. Hey, you gotta protect a woman from rape, right? Muhammad, being forgiving but firm, said “No, he has asked for repentance. Let him follow it with good deeds.”

    And there are other times where it was differnt. A mancame to Muhammad and said “Oh Rasool, I have comittedfornication, what must I do?” Muhammad asked “Is your mother alive?” and the man said, “No.” and Muhammad said, ” Then pray for forgiveness, Ihave no more advice.” (The mother reference is all about treating women with the utmost respect.”

    2. Surat Noor (4,23)
    Yes, we are aware of the ayah, but you misunderstood. The accused woman is innocent until proven guilty. The ACCUSER must find 4 witnesses of her and another man together (like in the middle-not just talking or walking together, which is in the case of Aisha).

    Mike, how would you like it if your wife cheated on you?
    If someone accused you of cheating on her?
    C’mon, these are sins for a reason.
    They can hurt you, the people around you, these things get ugly.

  7. elle,

    no haven’t heard those hadiths. was told of one where i guy tried to confess adulty and wanted be stoned. after the requisite turning away four times (there’s that 4 again), muhammad prayed with him. and then said something along the lines of allah has kept your sin secret. so he didn’t stone him. but i do know of at least 3 haidths where he did stone people. the jew and jewish, the wife with rich guy’s son. the guy who ran away when they started stoning him and they chased him down. come on elle you know those too. don’t make me post them again. what about the drunk guy nicknamed “the donkey” who made the prophet laugh. didn’t he get lashed. don’t make me go to faith in allah and scan through them again. so which is it? are we throwing out the hadiths when he chose to torture people? sounds good to me.

    i understand the four witnesses. i’m saying i’ve been to rock festivals where people were fornicating in public. lot more than 4 people saw them.

    never have had a wife. but i would hope that if i had a wife who cheated on me, and let’s say i wasn’t paying enough attention to her physically and emotionally, working too hard, always travelling, whatever. i would hope i could find it in my heart to forgive her. but that’s a what if that i don’t think anyone could answer until it has actually happend to them. i don’t think swingers care though.

    “sins for a reason.” well you can make anything you want a sin. but that doesn’t mean it should be a crime. and even if you want to outlaw something you can’t torture them as punishment.

    “these things get ugly” that’s the kind of “slippery slope” reasoning that leads to laws like women having to dress a certain way or to not being allowed to drive or, did you see my afghan link (moral code of conduct, allows for husbands to beat their wives, issued by a councel of imans) on the 10 women you should know page?

    anyways, next time you are at an interfaith meeting with christians, bring up ““Because I want the Lord to be forgiving of me, so I must be forgiving.”” any christian worth their salt should be like omg, that sounds just like the lord’s prayer. “and forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us”

  8. in addition, notice that in the Surah you posted, any accusation leveled by the accuser on a woman can be parried simply by her swearing 4 times (there’s that 4 again) that he is lying, and on the 5th to swear to suffer the curse of Allah if he is lying.

    so essentially, any wrong committed is unable to be persecuted unless the person confesses, in which case the person is repenting, and the offense is forgiven.

    As for the Hadiths, they are to be taken with a grain of salt. They are not divine revelation, they are the acts of Muhammad, who was a man, was fallible, and could sin as easily as any other, hence why the Koran only records what he said while under divine influence (and of course, we can only wonder if some of these were not under such influence…). Also, the Hadiths were written by men, and so there could be transcription error, bias, or outright lies contained in them.

    And again, a full understanding of Arabic is likely needed to truely interpret the Koran. Because medieval Arabic is a very non-specific language in many cases (some words had as many as 27 distinct meanings), the interpretation is pretty much up to the individual. Unfortunately, if you leave the interpretation up to medieval old men, of course the text is going to take on a medieval patriarchal bias.

    Therefore, why don’t we keep the discussion to the discrimination against Muslims in the west (keeping in mind that most Muslims, like most Christians, probably do not follow every tenet of their holy scripture, and therefore you cannot accuse every muslim of being a mysoginist any more than you can call every Christian a homophobe), and leave the scriptural analysis for when each of us learns to read fluent Arabic. In the meantime, i would suggest reading the sublime Koran, a translation by Laleh Bakhtiar, with a very different interpretation of the text from that of medieval old men

  9. siyajkak,

    i think you don’t understand the verses. “any accusation leveled by the accuser on a woman can be parried simply by her swearing 4 times” no not any. that is as goran, so deftly points out a case of a husband accusing a wife without witnesses. so if there is video evident. how about pregnancy?

    “so essentially, any wrong committed is unable to be persecuted unless the person confesses, in which case the person is repenting, and the offense is forgiven.” seriously. come on your smarter than that. so no one who hasn’t confessed is unpunishable? yet if one confesses they are unpunishable because they are repenting. lol. that’s why no one has ever been punished under sharia. dude you are trying so hard to defend the indefencable that you have stepped all over you own logic.

    “grain of salt’ yeah you said that. i agree. you do know people who confessed to adultry to “the prophet” were stoned. so much for repenting. see the point of being asked to be stoned is that stoning washes away the sin. or so i heard here. so i guess your repenting is to die. so the muslim community is doing a favor if they stone on of their own to death. not the arabic thing, really. so god in it’s infinate wisdom chose to make his divine revelation in a language no one understands? lol. yes i saw the 10 women you should know article. so the sublime koran translates lash differently now. i’ll check it out. i doubt it.

    goran, elle, siyajkak,

    you mis the point. the burden of proofis not important. it’s the idea that god proscribed torture.

  10. http://www.islamrevolution.org/fornicationadultery.htm

    symbolic. not sure why they didn’t bring up the story of lot telling god he would lash his wife after she cursed god for lot’s sickness. when lot got better he didn’t want to break his oath to god but didn’t want to really whip his wife. so he picked 100 blades of grass and tapped her on the wrist with them. that is also use to abrogate 4:34, but not really abrogate, explain. lol

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