Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Not a 'Victim'"? Back It Up

Last month, I posted on a story involving an attempted "honor" killing in Australia after reading two or three articles in Australian newspapers online. Since then, I have been searching for updates on the tale to see if the details given were borne out by subsequent investigation and to discover the condition of the girl and her father. I could find nothing. Blogger Bos'un took up the search and wrote to several sources that might have additional information but to no avail.

Then in the wee hours of the morning, Anonymous left me this comment on my original post:

Hi Sorry to disapoint you but [name removed] was not a “victim” of an [attempted] honor killing. She killed her mother and stabbed her father after she came back from overseas. Her parents were quite angry with her after she married her heroin addict boyfriend and ran away to sydney (illegally, whilst she was still 16). After her parents forced her to move to the Gold Coast and sent her boyfrind to jail she was quite resentful to say the least. I hope you will think twice before jumping to conclusions about ones religion as there is NO ritual or honor killing in Islam. Killing is the greatest sin. to quote the Holy Qúrán Upon you is your own religion, and mine in upon me.
I hope this has cleared some things for you. PS she has not converted.

Right away there were a few things that disturbed me about the comment. First is the possibility that I posted a story in error. I'm just a little blogger, a nobody in the blogosphere who can do little damage to anyone, but truth is incredibly important to me, and I try very hard to post only things which are verifiably true, backed up by reputable sources. Before I posted the story in question, I had read it in at least two Australian publications, an American one, and a couple blogs. I've been seeking corroboration for the past few weeks (with the help of Bo'sun), prepared to give additional information on the topic, regardless of what it might be.

Next, it was bothersome that the commenter left no links whatsoever to even a disreputable source so I could check it out. Anyone can spout off lies. What we're searching for is truth. Back it up. But "Anonymous" didn't.

Third, the commenter failed to identify him/herself. Now, obviously, I don't have a problem with anonymity and welcome anonymous comments. Women, especially, have cause to write under pseudonyms. However, everything I write is traceable to this site. All one has to do to judge my words anywhere in the blogosphere is come to my site and see what I'm all about. This commenter dropped a bomb and left no way to follow up.

While I'm still searching for some kind of substantiating evidence for Anonymous's assertion regarding the true nature of the murder that nightmarish evening, part of his statement is demonstrably wrong. True, there are differences of opinion about whether Islam formally condones "honor" killings or not, with Qu'ran-ic verses flying all about. Nevertheless, his conclusion that there are therefore NO "honor" killings by followers of Islam is patently false. Sadly, even if the original reports of the attempted honor killing were incorrect, it is all too believable simply because "honor" killings do happen all too often. When the UN--- who would have its member states in an uproar if it wrote inflammatory and less than accurate statements about them-- writes a report highlighting the reality of honor killings in women's lives and deaths amongst predominately Muslim peoples, we can be sure that this is a real problem in the world.

Last, the commenter was from Australia. Given the circumstances, that was the main thing that caused me to take him even remotely seriously. Maybe, just maybe, he had heard something that I wouldn't have over here in the U.S.

Luckily for me, bloggers are incredibly helpful. I wrote to Tim Blair this morning, and he answered immediately. He's following up on his blog this morning. If anyone would know more about this case, it would be Australians. So far, none of his current-events-following friends can corroborate Anonymous's claims. But keep following the thread over there for updates.

And remember, if you're going to drop a bomb on someone's site, back it up. Bloggers will mine for truth.

Oh, and one last thing...If this young woman is actually the first degree murderer that Anonymous claims she is, thank goodness "she has not converted". I really hate it when people who claim to be Christians murder in cold blood. If all you say about her is true, Anonymous, feel free to keep her in the "religion of peace".

UPDATE:

Things are getting more interesting. Anonymous came back--thank you---and left a link this time. (That's better.) The only real fact in the link is that the girl has been arrested but not charged. The rest of his assertions are not backed up in the article. Either they are gossipy lies or Anonymous is close to the situation and has the ability to know. I expect that we'll find out in the weeks to come.

On Tim Blair's site, two other links were left with pretty much the same lack of particulars, just that the girl has been charged. Looking over my schedule for the next few days, I won't have much time to follow up on this myself, but please continue to add any updates to my comments section. And, as always, keep any heated arguments respectful and respectable. ;) I will continue to check in as I'm able and hopefully will have some time to update myself.

Here are the links:

The Australian and another from the same paper

13 Comments:

At 11/05/2006 2:15 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Here is a link for you. It is dated Oct. 11, but there are comments that continue to come in: Religion Link to Stabbing by The Courier Mail (Australia).

If anyone wants to argue that this does not happen, here is another article for you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1058135,00.html.

I was paying attention, and I heard that she is doing fine in the hospital. The question now is whether or not she will be returned to her father or his family. Have a great day.

 
At 11/05/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger michele said...

This is the problem with reporters, the never answer the burning questions. Like, how the heck did the dad get stabbed? Sounds weird.

 
At 11/05/2006 3:35 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

That's what I was wondering, Michele from the start, and why I was searching for more information. It's why what "Anonymous" said was so important to follow up on and why it was incredibly irritating that he left no source.

Our clues:
The neighbors heard screams. They heard an obviously female voice scream, "Help me! They're trying to kill me."

So two people are trying to kill a female. Why would the daughter and father gang up on the mother?

How did the mother end up stabbed to death?

Was she attacked by the father, as the Muslim source told one of the papers, because he blamed her when the daughter went astray?

Did the daughter get the knife and stab the mother when "they" came after her?

Did the mother step in between the father and the daughter when it became clear that he was going to kill the girl?

Did the mother plan to kill the daughter because she was ordered to kill the girl only to decide she really couldn't and turn the knife on the father who got it back and stabbed her to death?

Did the daughter get the knife or a knife in defense of the mother?

The questions are myriad, and I've had them for a while. If the original news stories were wrong, I'll issue a retraction and update on my story. But no one's come forward with any new information until Anonymous who failed to cite any sources. It was because of the great interest I've had in this story that I wrote to Tim Blair.

Regardless, there are honor killings in Islam and in the Middle Eastern cultures even if Islam doesn't teach it. Many reputable sources have studies that phenomenon and written about it. I think a UN report on the subject, for example, can be trusted.

 
At 11/05/2006 4:03 PM, Blogger michele said...

What's annoying is that the reporters don't anticipate these questions in their report. What good are they?

 
At 11/05/2006 9:02 PM, Blogger The_Bos'un said...

Michele,

This was not just a game of pin the blame. There were several independent news stories regarding this unfortunate incident.

I have sent inquires to several sources in Australia in hopes of finding out if there have been recent developments regarding this case. One of the sources has already told me that anonymous may have gotten it wrong. I have not verified that yet.

According to the United Nations, 5000 women and girls are killed a year because of Honour Killing. Honour killing occurs in other societies besides Islam. Moderate Arabs do not believe in Honour Killing, however, certain radical sects in the frontier region of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other areas more aligned to Taliban like fundamentalism have been known to murder people for apostasy and other crimes against their radicalized faith.

Samaira Nazir, was murdered by her relatives (in Britain) after she asked to marry an Afghan man - instead of marrying someone in the Pakistani family circle.

An unidentified source at World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC) whom I correspond with passed on to me information that British police have recently re-opened around 150 cases in Britain that police now suspect may have been honour killings. Most deaths were originally listed as suicides and accidents and unknown etc (fell off the balcony etc). However the common threads in those deaths are young girls (age 16-26) of Kurdish, Middle Eastern etc parents..

The linked article from BBC "One in 10 'backs honour killings'" ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5311244.stm ) corroborates what the unidentified WEA RLC staffer shared with me (mentioning that (British) Metropolitan Police are investigating 200 deaths linked to honour killings.)

Michele, you may wish to visit the website International Campaign Against Honour Killings to get additional information regarding this subject. Their link is: http://www.stophonourkillings.com/

Unfortunately there appears to be a lot injustice in the world today. We (the world community) has to confront it and do something about it..

Back to Anna's dilemma regarding her post and anonymous's comments, we will get to the bottom of it. Perhaps the girl was involved in the demise of her mother and her father's injuries. Perhaps she was not.

Right now, I am going withhold my opinion until we get additional facts regarding the matter.

Michele, good luck on your educational experience. I suggest that you talk with missionaries who have served in the countries mentioned and ask them if honour killings occur?

Ask them what the sentence is for Apostasy.

Fight against domestic violence and violence against women and childre wherever it occurs and whatever society it occurs in.

Additional sources you my like to explore:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=17569

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=17318


Respectfully,
Bosun

 
At 11/05/2006 9:04 PM, Blogger The_Bos'un said...

Link to the bbc article is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5311244.stm For some reason the "m" was left off the end of the url.

 
At 11/05/2006 9:19 PM, Blogger The_Bos'un said...

Michele,

Here is another "story" from a British newspaper you may want to read. Of course, maybe it was made up or the reporter had another agenda, but, it still deserves some consideration:

Men 'murdered six-year-old girl in honour killing arson attack'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/20/nhonour20.xml

I realize it does not have anything to do with the Australia "story" but is has a familiar ring to it. Just perhaps anonymous got it wrong that there is no such thing as Honour Killings in Middle Eastern Islamic culture.

Respectfully,
Bosun

 
At 11/06/2006 12:54 AM, Blogger Nick and Nora Charles said...

Hi Anna,
As per the e-mail I left on your original post.

I spoke to one of the police officers who attended the scene and the husband of an emergency medical worker who helped treat the husband.

The attempted honour killing is real.

Your anonymous commenter is a liar.

I suspect the culprit is amongst the Bosnian Muslims who live on the Gold Coast and who trawl the web. We've had a few visitors to our own blog. I've found they disappear once you withdraw the anonymous posting feature on Blogger.

-- Nora

 
At 11/06/2006 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry i don't like to leave my name, but i only commented with good intensions.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Teen-arrested-over-Qld-stabbing-murder/2006/11/06/1162661606413.html

 
At 11/06/2006 8:24 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Thank you. That's better. The link doesn't give much information, however, just that she is being charged. What about your other assertions? Are you particularly close to the situation with first hand knowledge? Or are these just gossipy tidbits that you've heard around?

As for there therefore being no honor killings, I'd have to disagree as the reality of them is well-established by human rights groups and the UN. Actually, the fact that there are honor killings amongst Middle Eastern populations is exactly why a girl could claim that was what had happened and be believed.

Nevertheless, the truth in this case is important and I do appreciate the update. Truth should always prevail. Send more links from reputable sources as you have them.

 
At 11/08/2006 6:10 PM, Anonymous Rumi said...

I believe anonymous was right all along.

I do not know the family. But the family on discussion here is from Bangladesh where I come from too. Moreover, the father (the killer turned victim), who is a doctor, went to the same med school I went to.

I wrote the first blog (http://www.drishtipat.org/blog/2006/10/13/immigration-conflict-religion-teenage/ ) a couple of days after the incident and like Anna, kept on the pursuit for the follow up and here is the second follow up on this issue http://www.drishtipat.org/blog/2006/11/08/when-stereotype-clouds-the-truth/.


I made several phone calls to my physician friends in Brisbane and I feel that the story mentioned by Anonymous is true. However I do not have any idea who anonymous can be.

Here are some more mainstream media reports on the story which will all support the assertion of anonymous.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20713791-5007200,00.html

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,20715407-5001021,00.html



I will not talk about Islam, but I can tell, with conviction, that there is nothing called honor killing in Bangladesh, where the family has migrated from.


Sincerely

Rumi
Wisconsin, USA

 
At 11/08/2006 7:54 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Thank you so very much, Rumi, for sending me these two recent articles. Wow. It's just sickening to me. Either story, parents killing child or child killing parents just blows my mind. I cannot fathom ever wanting to harm my own like that and I certainly never wanted to hurt my parents. Once I gather my thoughts and have a break in my schedule, I'll try to put something together. I haven't even had time to follow, let alone post about, the elections.

Thanks again, and please do leave me any further info as you come across it.

 
At 12/01/2006 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumi, you say you knew the father, Thats one side of the story, but did you PERSONALLY know the boy friend to claim that he is a heroin addict, and all that other stuff anonymous said? NO 100% doubt it, the "BOYFRIEND" just so HAPPENS to be one of my BEST friends. No he has never even SEEN heroin in his life, dont you guys know the damn media LIES!

 

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