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Terrorists Admit to Raping Israeli Women –  The Culture of Honor Killings in the Muslim World Explored

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Terrorists Admit to Raping Israeli Women –  The Culture of Honor Killings in the Muslim World Explored

Edited by: Fern Sidman

During a recent phone call with President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Hamas attack “barbarism that has not been seen since the holocaust.” During the call an Israeli official also confirmed that women were raped during the surprise attack.

On Wednesday, a video circulating on social media showed a Hamas terrorist being interrogated by the Israeli Secret Service in which he admits to have repeatedly raped Israeli women before killing them and also told his interrogator that women who are being held hostage are also raped by many Hamas members.

Then there’s the video of a teenage Israeli woman being pulled by terrorists from the back of a vehicle in Gaza. In the video, she is barefoot, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, and as she turns, you can see the back of her sweatpants covered in blood that came from between her legs, as was reported by Jewish Journal Editor-At-Large, Monica Osborne in her op-ed that appeared on Tuesday on the Newsweek.com web site.

These videos, broadcast on social media and Telegram for the world to see, were filmed and shared by Hamas with pride. There is no effort to hide or minimize what they are doing to women. In fact, the rape and brutalization of women has been the crucial hallmark of this brutal attack, Osborne wrote.

According to one survivor of the Hamas pogrom,  “They came to slaughter, to destroy. I know they kidnapped girls. They raped women even after killing them.” Osborne recalls another survivor who told of returning to the site later to look for his friends, and seeing mostly bodies “of young women, lying cold and mutilated.” Another widely-shared video showed a young woman’s nearly naked body, lifeless and mutilated, being paraded through the streets of Gaza in the back of a pickup truck. Palestinian men sat on her, draped their legs over her, pulled at her hair, and spit on her: a broken female body brandished like a trophy, as was reported in the Newsweek op-ed piece by Osborne.

Using rape as part of warfare has tragically been conducted for thousands of years, however rape of women in the Muslim culture and the grotesque phenomenon of “honor killings” is exclusive to this patriarchal society in which women are considered property of men and are worth next to nothing in their warped religious beliefs.

However, the historical framework for dealing with illicit sexual behavior does place a substantial burden on women to maintain societal chastity. While the Qur’an commands both men and women to protect their chastity and cast down their gazes, it specifically regulates only women’s dress. This has contributed to the perspective that the separation of men and women should be enforced by secluding women and limiting their interactions with others.

An honor killing is the cold-blooded murder of girls and women simply because they are female. Being born female in a shame-and-honor culture is, potentially, a capital crime; every girl has to keep proving that she is not dishonoring her family; even so, an innocent girl can be falsely accused and killed on the spot, according to Professor Phyllis Chesler, who has conducted extensive research for the last 25 years on honor killings.  Her shocking findings are available in her compelling book, “A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killing.”

Having said that, it should come as no surprise that Hamas terrorists would rape Israeli and Jewish women in order to subjugate, humiliate and utterly defile them in the most violent and ruthless manner possible.

These brutal acts are alarmingly frequent in certain parts of the Middle East and South Asia and are perpetrated against women and girls whose actions, real or suspected, are perceived to dishonor their families. In this deeply troubling context, honor is closely linked to the perceived sexual purity of female family members, and anything from speaking with an unrelated man to rumored pre-marital loss of virginity can be used as a pretext for attacks, often carried out by family members.

While this barbaric custom is tribal in origin, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam have not tried to abolish it as a crime against God or humanity.

Dr. Chesler notes that honor killings are also a family conspiracy, one in which women (mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers-in law), as well as men (fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, grandfathers) play a role. Those girls and women who manage to escape must live in hiding for the rest of their lives as their families will never stop coming after them.

A girl’s fertility and reproductive capacity is owned by her family, not by the girl herself. If a girl is even seen as damaged goods, her family-of-origin will be responsible for her care for the rest of her life. This is a killing offense. Her virginity belongs to her family and is a token of their honor. If she is not a virgin, the shame belongs to her family and they must cleanse themselves of it with blood; her blood.

Most Westerners refuse to understand that this crime is not like western-style domestic violence and requires different approaches in terms of prevention, intervention, and prosecution.

Honor killings (or femicide) is part of a shame-and-honor tribal culture as is gender apartheid. It is a human rights violation and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, anti-racism, diversity, or political correctness.

In a 2020 article on Dr. Chesler’s findings that appeared in the Middle East Forum and written by general editor, Gary C. Gambill, the list of offenses that can trigger an honor killing is long, including engaging in sex outside of marriage, refusing an arranged marriage, marrying outside of one’s religious sect or cast, having infidel friends, and becoming too Westernized. Since the aim is to recapture family honor, not punishment, it matters little whether the accusations are true. In rare cases where honor killers are prosecuted, according to Chesler, “they claim that they’re only acting in self-defense, that communal norms drove them to it.”

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