Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ignored Honor Killings

I have very little to add to this excellent bit of analysis other than to extend my deepest sympathies to those family members who give a rip about Noor Amaleki. This, of course, will not be classified as a "hate crime," since it is an accepted dogma in the United States of America that only conservative Christians are capable of hate. This, on the other hand, is mere multiculturalism.

And I'm sure that somehow, someway, Israel and George W. Bush are at fault.


bapticus hereticus said...

What is your intention, Bart, with this post? The "other than" competes with "accepted dogma ...," "... multiculturalism," and "... somehow, someway, Israel and George W. Bush are at fault."

Bart Barber said...

My intention with this post is to draw attention to two things:

1. This brutal injustice arising out of a worldview that denies religious liberty to millions of people worldwide.

2. The moral vacuity and inconsistency of American liberalism.

The ultimate goal is the utter demise of both.

Big Daddy Weave said...

I don't particularly see what this has to do with American liberalism.

However, the federal government could choose to prosecute this as a hate crime. Last I checked, religion was a protected class alongside race, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

I'm sure a prosecutor could argue that this girl was targeted by her father due to her more modernized Islamic faith - assuming she's Muslim. I really didn't discover many details in any of the links pertaining to the religious faith of this man and the victim other than the assertion that the daughter was too "westernized."

Although, I suspect an easier strategy will be simply to lock this guy up for the rest of his life with a 1st degree murder conviction.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: 1. This brutal [1] injustice arising out of a worldview that denies religious liberty to millions of people worldwide. 2. The [2] moral vacuity and inconsistency of American liberalism. The ultimate goal is the utter [3] demise of both.

bapticus hereticus: [1a] That injustice may arise when religion is denied is not disputed, nor is it when religion is affirmed, either. [1b] That religion is misappropriated is also not disputed, notwithstanding its liberal or conservative orientation. [2] Oh, my. [3] Would not a better goal be for both the liberal and the conservative to seek greater internal consistency in their arguments and thus also allow the tension between the two conceptualizations to serve as criticism that invites subsequent reflection? Until you are ready to pronounce the end of knowledge, it is woefully premature in calling for the 'utter demise' of American liberalism.

Bart Barber said...


The connection with American liberalism is that Matthew Shepherd becomes the namesake of a law because American liberalism is obsessed with homosexuality. Islamic honor killings are relatively ignored in reporting and legislation because American liberalism is bent-over-backwards to prove that we are not anti-Islam or anti-Arab.

I, of course, am not anti-Arab, but am indeed anti-anything-other-than-Christianity. I do not desire for the government to share my anti-anything-other-than-Christianity, but neither do I wish to see it establish protected victim status for some murdered victims over other murdered victims.

Your solution (LWOPP) seems to me a delightful one that would work well for the brutes who murdered Matthew Shepherd along with any other murderers, without us attempting to crawl into their heads and determine whether they had ideas that we dislike in addition to their actions.

Bart Barber said...

"allow the tension between the two conceptualizations to serve as criticism that invites subsequent reflection"

BH, the "tension" of which you speak is what comes about as a result of someone like me seeking the utter demise of liberalism. Sort of like the legal system: I'm a passionate advocate.

Big Daddy Weave said...

"The connection with American liberalism is that Matthew Shepherd becomes the namesake of a law because American liberalism is obsessed with homosexuality."

Naming a law after a homosexual does not prove that American liberals are "obsessed with homosexuality." Although, I do think an argument could be made that a number of folks are obsessed with homosexuality on both the left and right.

I think this law largely proves that liberals are obsessed with legislating against any and all forms of discrimination in society.

How many pieces of legislation, streets, schools, buildings, etc. etc. have been named after racial minorities who were persecuted based on the color of their skin?

We previously protected race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, and gender via legislation. Whether any class should be protected is a question that can be debated. However, there is no movement in American society to "unprotect" these already protected classes. Given that reality, it seems fitting to ALSO protect groups of people that have historically faced a disproportionate amount of discrimination such as homosexuals and the disabled.

Too often, the argument made against hate crime laws comes across as anti-gay. I think that's true to some extent. However, I'd have a little more respect for conservatives if they'd just come out and say, we don't think gays and lesbians deserve special protection nor do we think African-Americans and Jews deserve special protection.

I do wonder though, how bothered were conservatives by hate crime laws BEFORE there was a serious effort to have sexual orientation protected.

Luke said...


The shame of this all is that there are those who obviously do not think ALL murder stems from hate. The Word of God that so many in this country are opposed to clearly speaks to this issue in I John 3:11-13. These supposed hate crimes as delineated have nothing other than the goal of providing special rights, not equal rights. Equal rights would be that ALL murderers would be subject to the same fate REGARDLESS of who they committed murder against.

Bart Barber said...


Would I be opposed to hate-crimes legislation if homosexuals were not a (proposed) protected class? It's a good question, but one that I cannot possibly answer. I did not pay attention to such things in my adolescence, and the campaign to include sexual orientation has been going on for a long time.

I'm a law & order kind of guy, believing Romans 12-13 that God has authorized the state as a partial temporary agent of His vengeance, which it does well to execute. The "partial" adjective in there includes my conviction that government should not be in the business of prosecuting attitudes or beliefs. I see this as one foundational sentiment supporting the argument for religious liberty.

Would I be opposed to hate crimes in the situation that you've mentioned? I can't say for sure, but I can say that I hope I would be.

bapticus hereticus said...

Bart: BH, the "tension" of which you speak is what comes about as a result of someone like me seeking the utter demise of liberalism. Sort of like the legal system: I'm a passionate advocate.

bapticus hereticus: Thus "civil, respectful, mature and wise" discourse "begins" with assertions for the "utter demise" of the other's perspective? It does not follow that passion must be devoid of these attributes.

From the Middle East said...

Brother Bart,

A point of correction if I might:

Honor killings are not Islamic per se. Not if you are defining Islam according to religious tenets. It is a tribal cultural occurrence. This is evidenced by the occurrence of honor killings in the Arab Christian community as well as the Muslim community.

In this instance, Noor's father felt she had shamed their family because she was living with her boyfriend... in his eyes, this reflects directly upon his entire family's honor. And, to quote a oft-quote proverb, "Nothing cleanses shame, except for blood."

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East

r. grannemann said...

"(My) ultimate goal is the utter demise of (American Liberalism)" -- surely much too vague to be anything other than a rhetorical device.

I tend to be against laws in which conviction requires proof of a prejudicial motivation, as rigorous enforcement of laws against violent acts seems to me to be the best deterrent.

However, the case for a special class of hate crime legislation would seem to be this: crimes motivated by hate against a certain class have a greater social impact then say a robbery motivated by greed. For crimes in which prejudice is evident invites retaliation by the class against whom the crime was committed.

Anonymous said...


I am just glad to see that you read National Review. It's not the same since WFB died, but it's a great journal of opinion. There are others, as well, on varying sides of the political divide.

Wow. I am surpirsed at the lack of exposure some of my friends on this thread have to this issue.

Of course conservatives have been against "Hate Crimes" since their inception. Anyone who doesn't know that simply hasn't been reading.

The law has always recognized motive as a possibility for enhancement, and that include race, religion etc.

"Hate Crimes" are objectionable because they define the commission of a crime based on the attitude or heart of the person committing the crime. And, they result in inequal treatment and respect for victims.

Does a white girl's rapist not get indicted with a more serious crime just because his victim is white?

This makes no sense to me.

I could go on. But conservative legal scholars have opposed these "hate crime" schemes since their inception about 20 years ago. I am just surprised your readers don't know about it. Must be due to age. I am 48, and have been a lawyer for 23 years, so I have followed this for some time.

The concerns that many people have with so-called "hate crimes" are not only actual disproportionate justice (instead of equal justice under the law), but also selective prosecution based on political motives. And there are plenty of cases that raise that spectre.

It just seems some of the commenters on this thread are not particularly well-read in that area.

Maybe you should just send them all a year's subscription to National Review or some legal journals that really talk about this stuff.


r. grannemann said...

The only thing that might make me favor hate crime legislation is data showing a hate crime law reduced crime more than a corresponding law simply outlawing violence. I doubt the data would show this (in the event such data could reliably be collected). But the debate, it seems to me, hinges heavily on this point.

Law enforcement is more likely the primary factor influencing the crime rate, apart from people's beliefs, attitudes, behavior and financial worth (which increases the penalty for bad behavior) -- things which tend not to change much over a lifetime.

Big Daddy Weave said...


I'm quite aware that conservative legal scholars have consistently opposed hate crimes legislation or any legislation that affords special protection to one class over another.

However, there has been no movement to unprotect these classes (even when the GOP was in power) from the conservative side of the aisle. In fact, most arguments I hear and read are simply against affording gays and lesbians protected status. These arguments are not about ALSO unprotecting African-Americans and Jews, etc.

I found Bart's response to be refreshingly honest but definitely not the type of argument made by the conservative legal scholars you alluded to above. Any position that is willing to protect some groups of people but exclude gays and lesbians (who are the most common victims of hate rimes) is incoherent in my opinion.

My position is IF we're going to have protections on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity - then sexual orientation should be protected as well.

However, I tend to sympathize with the position of Andrew Sullivan (who opposes ALL hate crimes laws). Sullivan has accused gay rights organizations of using Matthew Shepard to raise money which is disgusting. As someone who favors gay rights, I - like Sullivan - am bothered by the strategies pursued by groups like the HRC. A common-sense approach to gay rights is needed rather than an approach driven by Washington liberals. Numerous studies have shown that there is much greater support for gay marriage (and overwhelming support for civil unions) when such legislation is coupled with strong religious liberty protections and exemptions.

Yet, gay groups resist those exemptions and resist exemptions to nondiscrimination statutes that now protect on the basis of sexual orientation. Do you know how much political capital and public support gays and gay rights leaders could have gained had they stood side-by-side Catholic leaders in California and Massachusetts and said "we support freedom of conscience and support exempting Catholic adoption agencies from these new laws so that they won't have to be forced with a decision between compromising their faith and shutting down business."

Seriously, how many gays would actually seek adoption services from a Catholic adoption agency? This exact scenario played out in the UK a few years ago. Catholic adoption agencies were refused exemptions and ultimately forced to place children with same-sex couples. However, there was never any indication that same-sex couples had even requested the services of the Catholic agency in the years prior.

On both the left and the right, the voices of militant ideologues need to be excluded rather than included in policy discussions.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Big Daddy Weave wrote, "Too often, the argument made against hate crime laws comes across as anti-gay. I think that's true to some extent. However, I'd have a little more respect for conservatives if they'd just come out and say, we don't think gays and lesbians deserve special protection nor do we think African-Americans and Jews deserve special protection."

I'm neither running a race to be considered by the readers as conservative, nor trying to make a statement to gain someone's respect. But I will say it, I don't think gays and lesbians or African-Americans and Jews -- or Christians, Muslims, men or women -- deserve special protection. Equal protection sounds like a good plan. If one murders Matthew Shepherd or James Byrd or Noor Almaleki or "Bubba" or anyone else, that person should be convicted of murder. We (generally, I think) already have laws for that.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the additional info. You are well versed in this debate.

I do not believe, however, that because people who oppose hate crimes generally have failed to try and repeal hate crimes means that they are any less opposed to them. If, for example, I were an elected member to Congress, I would not seek to move to repeal hate crimes laws until there was a substantial amount of public outcry for that move.

The reason is that once something is passed, and becomes the part of the legal regime, an effort to repeal can be so easily painted as racist, anti-religious etc. that it is practically indefensible. I do not fault anyone for refusing to fall on their sword just to make a point - even though it's a point that should be made.

Neither do I believe that it's "incoherent" for people to extend hate crimes to yet another group. The gays and lesbians get the attention because that's the only unprotected group (that I can think of - I am sure there will be another one, but I can't think whom they might be).

It is not incoherent to simply say that there are laws in place that protect gays and lesbians and be done with it.

There are differences between the gay and lesbian person and the issues surrounding race, gender etc., and as you have rightly noted, the refusal of those promoting gay and lesbian "rights" to compromise, recognize religious freedom should tell us something about the nature of the debate and why people are suspicious of this entire project.

I have yet to meet any Christian who would take issue with punishing the people who killed Matthew Shephard with the most severe punishment. But I have met many people, Christian and non-Christian, who are uncomfortable with using that young man's death to prove some point that is ultimately (in my opinion) aimed at goals other than equal justice under the law for glbt community.

You mention civil rights for the glbt community and so-called "gay marriage" and civil unions.

I have followed this, but am not as knowledgeable as many. One thing that puzzles me as a lawyer is the necessity of creating a so-called gay marriage or civil union. It seems that the things the glbt community wants that are the products of those arrangements could be dealt with on an ad hoc basis.

Also, and I am getting pretty far afield here, but did you read some of the news surrounding Gore Vidal's death? I found it interesting.

The thing that I found most interesting was his complete disdain for the concept of so-called "gay marriage". He believed as other homosexuals had for centuries that the decision to perform homosexual acts was a conscious decision by a person, and that to say otherwise trivialized being homosexual and denied the homosexual the human dignity of having set one's own course. Vidal thought that claiming it was genetic reduced the choices he had made in his lifetime to pre-programmed fatalism.

Nowadays, of course, it's all the rage to claim that the homosexual has not choice and that it's genetic. I suspect that is not true and the human sexuality is very complicated and involves many components. I don't know what that does for the bi-sexuals and transgendered folks either!

You write well and I am glad to dialogue with you, as always.

I am sure that you have said so before, but can you tell me - do you pastor, are you a student. If a pastor, do you pastor a CBF type church? I am not finding fault, just trying to get my memory straight on this.

Take care.


Joe Blackmon said...


Good points. What is "incoherant" is someone claiming that homosexuality is equal to race and we must give it protected status. People do not choose to be born black or white or bi-racial. People choose who they have sex with. Homosexuals have no more right to be protected that any other individual.

No Christian would be pro-gay rights because they recognize that it is sin. Of course, pretend chrisitans are happy to grant special status to gay people because pretend christians don't stand for what the Bible stands for.

r. grannemann said...


When I was in college, I had a friend who told me the story related below. It is about two guys he personally knew who told him what they did on repeated occasions. I have the story second or third hand, but I consider it fairly reliable.

The two guys would go to a gay bar, pick up a couple men, then drive out to the place we called the West Mesa, vacant prairie land west of Albuquerque, NM. The picked up men assumed they were going to the West Mesa for gay sex. When the two straight guys got the gay men out there, miles away from the city, they would beat the living daylights out of them, leaving them on the ground and driving off.

Certainly we have laws against this kind of behavior, and the story doesn't necessarily imply the need for special group protection laws. But since gays have been specially targeted in the past by prejudicial hatred, perhaps you can see why some people, even a Christian, might favor special protection laws even while not condoning the gay lifestyle

Joe Blackmon said...

Nope. Sorry. Don't see it. It doesn't matter who the victim is. If someone commits a crime, they should be punished. Judges have some control over the severity of the sentence if the perp if found guilty. In the case you describe, I think the judge should use the stiffest penalty possible.

The purpose of the hate crimes laws is to start us down the road where Christians are told "Don't you DARE call what I do wrong or sinful." The sad part is, many pretend chrisitians really want things to go that way because they are so weary of the mean spirited, awful, terrible culture war.

Oh, and before it gets said, regardless of our freedom of speech laws, they can (and will) criminalize Christians from proclaiming what the Bible says about homosexuality. Just look to the North in Canada and you'll see where that has already happneed.

CB Scott said...

Matthew Shepherd was not killed because of his sexual orientation. His death was due to just another drug deal that went bad.

Those who killed him got the maximum punishment possible even had there been Hate Crimes laws in force at the time.

Hate Crimes legislation will not be a good thing for this nation.

BTW, would the perpetrator of the killings at Fort Hood be guilty of Hate Crimes? No one has mentioned this in any of the mediums I have read, watched or listened to thus far.


volfan007 said...


Good question. The USA needs to wake up and see that Islam is not a peaceful religion. How in the world can we send a teenage girl back to parents that she's afraid of...that they might kill her for converting to Christianity? And, how can a Muslim terrorist be an Army psychiatrist in our army????