Why Is the Washington Post Afraid to Use the Words "Muslim" And "Honor Killing" In The Same Article?
by Phyllis Chesler
In the last seven years, the print version of the Washington Post has covered honor killings sparingly, tangentially, briefly, and only in passing. Clearly, the mainstream media believes that some news is not fit to print.
For example, in 2004, in a Washington Post article which argued that the United States should grant political asylum to women fleeing violence, the authors note: "Persecution is a high standard to reach, involving extreme and offensive conduct, such as honor killings, sexual slavery and rape." Fine with me — but there is no discussion of what an honor killing is or who commits one. Two years later, in 2006, the Post ran a small item under "World in Brief" which reads as follows: "A 14-year-old Pakistani girl died of an infected wound a month after being shot four times in an attempted 'honor killing' in Karachi, police said. Nur Jehan was shot in the stomach, leg, knee and arm and left for dead by her relatives, who accused her of having sex with a young man."
In the summer of 2007, the Post ran a three-paragraph piece about the high-profile honor murder of a young Iraqi Kurdish woman in England. Later that same year, in the fall, the Post ran a full-length AP story about how Kurds in Iraq are attempting to stop the practice of honor killing their daughters. The piece is based on the story of one unmarried woman who was refused an abortion by every doctor she consulted, tried to kill herself, then chose to keep her pregnancy a secret and moved to a hidden location — all to avoid being honor-murdered and to avoid "shaming" her family so that her unmarried sisters would still be able to find husbands.
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