According to CBS News, ‘honor’-based violence is not limited to distant others in developing countries:
Although many Americans may think that phenomena such as forced marriages and so-called “honor killings” exist only overseas, social service agencies, educators, and a growing number of law enforcement personnel know differently.
CBS says U.S. authorities have failed to capture data about ‘honor’-based crimes: “No national or state agency attempts to collect data on any kind of “honor” violence, including murders. But we know they are taking place…”
Det. Chris Boughey of Arizona’s Peoria Police Department, was the lead investigator in the ‘honor’ killing of 20-year-old Noor Almaleki. According to TIME, Noor’s father ran her down in a parking lot as punishment for allegedly shaming herself and dishonoring her family by abandoning the marriage arranged by her parents and pursuing a relationship with a man of her own choosing. Det. Boughey told CBS:
We don’t have the mechanisms in place here in the U.S. to take care of these girls. What do we do with a teenager runaway? Ninety-nine percent of the time, we take her home. But some of these girls end up getting killed.
In January, the murders of a Canadian woman and three girls by the girls’ father and brother brought heavy media attention to ‘honor’-based violence in North America. A New York Times article reports that, after the women’s bodies were found submerged in a car, “police wiretaps recorded the [girls’] father, Mohammad Shafia…saying that his daughters had disgraced him by dating and wearing what he thought was inappropriate clothing.”
Last month, 19-year-old Aiya Al-Tameemi was severely punished for refusing to marry the 38-year-old groom that her parents picked out for her. According to Reuters, Phoenix authorities recently arrested Aiya’s mother on allegations that she padlocked Aiya to a bed and burned her hands and chest. Aiya’s younger sister was also arrested for allegedly holding Aiya down during the assault.
In response to Aiya’s beating and Noor’s murder, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, authored an editorial that appeared in the Arizona Republic and USA Today, saying: “For every Noor Al-Maleki and Aiya Al-Tameemi, there are hundreds of other cases of honor abuse, from the mild to the extreme, that are often brought on by things like dating, drinking, [or] dressing ‘immodestly’.”