As much as we might try to deny it, radicalized religion is everywhere in the world today. This includes the United States. Honor killings in America do happen and it happens more than people might think. Honor killings can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but the purpose is the same: to restore a perceived injustice to the reputation of a family where religious edicts have been violated.
Statistics on Honor Killings in America
1. In North America, fathers are involved in 52% of all honor killings. Internationally this is true just 33% of the time.
2. 91% of the honor killings that happen in America are due to the fact that the victim appears to Western in their overall beliefs or appearances.
3. Torture before an honor killing happens in 1 out of every 2 instances worldwide.
4. Multiple murders that occur during an honor killing incident happen most frequently in the United States.
5. Additional victims of an honor killing often include a spouse, significant other, siblings, parents, and even children.
6. The percentage of honor killings in America that are motivated because of sexual impropriety, infidelity, or other forms of fornication: 9%.
7. Half of all the American victims of an honor killing originate from the family of origin.
8. Husbands who aren’t victims of an honor killing or more likely to be a participant in the event than an innocent bystander.
9. 30% of the worldwide victims of an honor killing are killed by multiple perpetrators, but is extremely rare in America.
10. Thus far, in North America, no known members of the family of origin have participated in the honor killing of an older-age victim.
11. Younger girls and women who are the victims of an honor killing were killed by their families of origin 94% of the time, which is the highest rate in the world.
12. In North America, fathers have a hands-on role in 100% of the cases of honor killings when the daughter was eighteen-years-old or younger.
13. The average age of an honor killing victim in the United States: 25.
14. There are 33 known honor killings that have happened to date in North America.
15. Only 7% of the victims of honor killings are men.
16. The United Nations estimates that 5,000 women die from honor killings every year.
17. The number of annual deaths in the U.S are unknown simply because there has been no national effort to gather these statistics.
18. 90% of the known honor killings that have happened in the United States have been Muslims committing the crime against other Muslims.
Honor Killings Explained
Although honor killings are a form of domestic violence, they differ from traditional motivations that intimate partners have for violence. They cannot be treated in the same way. In order to stop the epidemics of honor killings in America, we must all begin to know and understand why these murders are different. It isn’t passion for anger for a psychopathic need that drives someone to commit and honor killing. It is the requirement of a moral code.
Knowing the statistics of honor killings in America and around the world is important, but it is also important to understand that these statistics are likely a small reflection of this actual problem. Most honor killings are not actually as such. They are rarely processed and even if they are, they usually receive light sentences where honor killings are considered normal. Even in the United States, when and honor killing happens, even the please still tend to stop from calling it what it is.
It is a misconception to believe that only Muslims commit honor killings. Every religion in the world today has certain statutes that can be misinterpreted as a need to enforce a moral code with violence. This is why radicalized religion is so dangerous. The statistics prove it.
Victims of Crime
Honor killings in the United States today is where domestic violence was in the United States 25 years ago. It is seen as a family problem more than it is seen as a crime. This means many victims wind up not finding any just whatsoever.
In order to prevent honor killings from happening, we all have to be able to recognize that this is a problem which needs to be addressed. Even if only a handful of cases in the last 10 years have come to light, it is important to recognize that the threat of an honor killing is growing, especially within the Muslim community. From an American perspective, this means that we need to identify radicalized fathers who may be prone to killing their children before such an event happens.
To do this effectively is difficult. There are American rights in place that allow for privacy. Most jurisdictions allow fathers to discipline their children in whatever way they see fit as long as an injury does not last on the child for more than 24 hours. When reports are made to child protection agencies about potential abuse victims, this could be an important place where the first steps for screening against radicalized religion and the potential of an honor killing could take place.
It is also important to remember that religion in itself is not the problem. It is the emphasis on proving that one particular form of religion is better than any other religion that humans practice in the world today that is problematic. In the United States, revoking the nonprofit status of organizations that promote radicalism through political rhetoric and inflammation won’t shut down every radical teacher, but it could limit their exposure to the general public.
As long as there is religion, there will be honor killings in America. Religion doesn’t seem to be outlawed and most people are outstanding pillars of their community. The problem lies in the hidden radicalization of disenfranchised people, and especially American fathers. The time to act is now so that this problem can be stopped before it becomes an epidemic. If we choose not to act, then the stories of honor tongues are bound to become more frequent.