Monday, 19 March 2012

Panorama: Britain's Crimes of Violence

honour-based violence: click for useful contacts on the Panorama siteThe latest harrowing offering from Panorama on BBC1, Britain’s Crimes of Honour, traces the root cause of horrendous attacks and even 10-12 murders per year to forced marriage.

The BBC was brave to screen this documentary, given its past paralysis at the thought of offending Muslims, the chief offenders in the UK – see, for instance, its refusal to countenance binning a Koran on Room 101.

Laura Wilson - click to read moreWhat was concerning was the Corporation’s continuing insistence on confounding Muslims with Asians: we were continually bombarded with references like "south Asian men" and "a mixed white and Asian community". "Asian" is no more a synonym for "Muslim" than "white" is for "British". The "Asian born here" who killed Laura Wilson (left) for dishonouring his family (ie being his girlfriend) may well be British: Blair and Brown nationalised Islamist bigotry like never before.

Unfortunately, like Adil Ray’s documentary about Pakistani men grooming young girls, at key points in the documentary there were subtle suggestions that the problem was in fact Sikh.

A poster behind a telephone counsellor who dealt with girls who were forced to marry, or thought they were at risk of this, was a poster saying "Forced marriage is abuse not cultural". This is the basic error underlying the approach to HBV. As the British Freedom Party says, "it’s about culture, not colour. If the culture is abusive, abuses like forced marriage and HBV will continue while that culture is tolerated in our midst.

I would suggest that if we can make Britain a safe space for the survivors of HBV to reimagine Islam, they will gestate a cultural/religious phenomenon that cleaves to Western civilisation easily, unlike the beard-and-burqa imperialism presently hegemonic. But for this to happen we need to return to Mrs Thatcher’s mantra that "a crime is a crime is a crime": ethnicity, like ignorance, is no excuse.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Click to go to 300 words: The first British honour killing? I don't think so

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