Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Honor crime up 40% due to rising fundamentalism (United Kingdom)

This is an extraordinarily frightening trend for women, children, and other innocent people just trying to live their lives free of a nutjob, male supremacist ideology called a religion.

Honour crime up by 40% due to rising fundamentalism
By Rebecca Camber
Last updated at 6:08 PM on 07th December 2009

Diana Nammi of the Iranian and Kurdish Womens Rights Organisation has blamed the rise in fundamentalism for the increase in violence

Police have seen 'honour' crime surge by 40 per cent due to rising fundamentalism, new figures show.

Honour-based violence, including crimes like murder, rape and kidnap has rocketed in London during the past year.

Reported instances of intimidation and attempts at forced marriage have also increased by 60 per cent.

A report into the scale of the problem by Scotland Yard found there were 161 honour-based incidents recorded in 2007-8, of which 93 were criminal offences.

But in 2008/9 the number of incidents had risen to 256, with 132 being criminal offences.

The latest figures indicate that the trend is continuing, with 211 incidents reported in the last six months until October, of which 129 were offences - more than double the number in the same period last year.

Police define honour crimes as offences motivated by a desire to protect the honour of a family or community.

Diana Nammi, of the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, said the group is now dealing with four times more complaints relating to honour than two years ago.

She said: 'More women are coming forward. They are becoming more aware of their rights in the UK, that there is help available and they feel confident enough to report matters to the police.

'But I also think cases and violence are increasing.

'One reason is the rise in fundamentalism. The problem is increasing in communities around the UK.

'We are seeing a rise not only in honour killings, but also in female genital mutilation and polygamy.'

More...We're living a nightmare, say family of mother left to die after her hand was chopped off

She added: 'The rise in Sharia courts is another indication of more fundamental beliefs.

'There must be more support from the Government to organisations who are working to combat this problem.'

The Metropolitan Police also records incidents where no offences has been committed, such as complaints by women that they are under pressure to enter into forced marriages.

Recently there have been a series of horrific attacks linked to 'honour'.

Police are still investigating the death of 28-year-old Geeta Aulakh

Detectives are still investigating the death of mother-of-two Geeta Aulakh, 28, who was hacked to death with a sword in Greenford, north west London last month.

An 18-year-old student has been charged with her murder.

In July, a 24-year-old Asian man from Denmark lost part of his tongue and was left blind in one eye when he had acid thrown in his face in Leytonstone.

Police believe he was attacked over his relationship with a married Muslim woman.

Two men are awaiting trial over the assault.

Campaigners believe honour attacks are on the up due to rising fundamentalism in communities around Britain.

Up to 12 people are murdered every year in the name of honour, and police fear a further 500 people are forced into an arranged marriage or attacked.

One of the most high-profile cases was that of Banaz Mahmod who was murdered by members of her own family after falling in love with a man they disapproved of.

The 20-year-old, who had left an arranged marriage and started a relationship with Rhamat Sulemani, 29, was strangled with a bootlace at her home in Surrey in January 2006.

Her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and uncle Ari Mahmod, 50, of Mitcham, were later convicted of the killing after the pair decided she must pay 'the ultimate price' for bringing shame on them.

Earlier this year, police were issued with new guidance telling them to assume honour crimes have been committed in more circumstances.

Senior officers anticipated that the move would drive up figures as in many cases only limited information is available or a potential victim refuses to help police.

Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Campbell, of the Metropolitan Police, said: 'The description of this type of crime is misplaced. There is no honour in these crimes.'

Mr Campbell said the Met had improved its intelligence systems to better identify such crimes.

He said: 'Ten years ago our knowledge was almost absent but we have worked hard and our knowledge has improved substantially.'

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