Monday, October 16, 2006

Young Muslim women forced to suicide

From Sweden comes the news (link to Danish newspaper) that as an replacement for honor killings young Muslim women are forced to commit suicide by their families.
"Balcony girls" is the term for girls who are forced to suicide by jumping from balconies of their homes. The young are forced to defend the honor of their families by committing suicide.

The girls may themselves decide on the method. They can suicide by overdosing on pills, hanging, jumping in front of a train or by jumping off the apartment balcony.

The suicides makes it easier for the families. They avoid getting blood on their hands. Not to mention avoiding problems with the authorities.

The girls are pressured into killing themselves by being told: Either you do it yourself or we will kill you.

How widespread is this phenomena? How many young women, including girls, children of 17 or less, are we talking about? We don't exactly know how many honor killings there are either - but many cases are well documented.

The news from Sweden state that 3 out of 5 young Muslim women who turn to the authorities and private support groups have felt pressure to commit suicide.

I am sure this is not only a Swedish problem. In how many western countries does this happen? What about the Muslim world? Maybe we are talking thousands of lives a year? Are there any statistics which confirm the practice? Do more young Muslim women commit suicide than other young women? Maybe a police inquiry in Sweden on three suspect cases will uncover some proof. Just how I don't know as it must be very difficult to prove.

I am deeply appalled. How can any father, mother or sibling kill or pressure a daughter or a sister into killing herself? And this in cold blood? This is barbaric, inhuman and sick. It is just another form of terrorism. Just imagine for one moment the terror of a young women, in some cases a child, when she finds out that her family desires her dead? The horror is unimaginable. How does a father or mother tell this to daughter? "Sweetheart dearest - we need you dead!"

We must do all in our power to fight this heinous practice - I do not want to share planet with that sort of "people".

There are some numbers and information in this article: A Matter of Honor, Your Honor?: In Holland researchers claim the suicide rate for immigrant girls is three to four times higher than that of non-immigrant girls.


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