Here is an awesome blogpost by Dennis Gruening Gruending, an Ottawa-based author, consultant and former NDP MP, on the recent drownings in Kingston, the media and the ''honour killings'' hysteria. (I added the boldface.)
The unfortunate truth is that men have used the power of religion for millennia to force women into submission. Some fathers of the Christian church, including Pope St. Gregory, Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, said women should be ashamed of themselves for merely being women, that they were slow, unstable, naïve and useful only for “animal sex and motherhood.” Some will argue that Christian churches don’t hold those views today. I would respond that while most Christians do not view women as inferior, a fundamentalist minority continues to do so. I would argue, as well, that most Muslims in Canada likely cannot be described as fundamentalists. The problem is with fundamentalism more than with religions, although most religions still have a long way to go in promoting gender equality.
And what explains the deaths of so many other women at the hands of men in Canada? I recall the case of a young man in Ottawa who murdered his former partner using a powerful crossbow. There was another Ottawa case where a man strangled his companion, a young medical doctor, and later hung himself in his prison cell. There is the medical doctor in Windsor who stalked and murdered a nurse on his hospital staff, then took his own life. There was no reportage about the religious affiliation of these three men and most likely religion did not play a part in what they did. These are sometimes described in Canada as crimes of passion but they are as senseless and gruesome as honour killings and the victims are every bit as dead. This is all about men who believe that they can or should have total control over the lives of women.
And the motivation. (So many women get killed after they leave their abusers.)
And the pattern. (It happens all the time.)
Speaking of which, here's a story from Montreal that set me off today. My translations are in italics, and the accompanying photo is from La Presse.
Naïma Naboulsi arrived in Quebec in May, visa and all. The 54 year old woman from Morocco will stay in Montreal until she achieves what she came here for: to win the guardinship of her grandaughter, orphaned since April.
La petite Yasmine, âgée de un an et demi, a perdu ses deux parents dans des circonstances qui peuvent difficilement être plus tragiques. Le père de l'enfant a présumément tué sa mère avant de se suicider quatre jours plus tard.
Little Yasmine, aged one and a half, lost both her parents which couldn't have been more tragic. Her father presumably murdered her mother before killing himself four days later.
Naïma Naboulsi est la mère de la victime, Lamiâa Bouchekkif. Elle souhaite entreprendre un recours en Cour supérieure dans l'espoir de ramener l'enfant au Maroc. Le présumé assassin, Alirio Herreno Lopez, a confié la tutelle de sa fille à son frère quelques heures avant de s'enlever la vie.
Naïma Naboulsi is the mother of Yasmine's mother, Lamiâa Bouchekkif. She hopes to go to court in order to bring the child to Morocco. The alleged killer of her mother, Alirio Herreno Lopez, gave guardianship of his daughter to his brother a few hours before offing himself.
Pour Naïma Naboulsi, il est insensé et hors de question que l'enfant grandisse dans la famille d'un présumé assassin. «J'ai perdu ma fille, mais je n'accepterai pas de perdre ma petite-fille», souffle-t-elle.
For Naïma Naboulsi, it is outrageous and out of the question that her granddaughter be raised by the family of the presumed assassin. "I lost my daughter, but I will not tolerate losing my granddaughter,'' she said.
The rest of the story discusses how the dead mother had complained of abuse from her estranged husband plus the legal implications regarding custody.
Guess what? The grandmother faces a battle.
Even from the grave, this man maintains control.
Stunning -- but not surprising.