Uzma Naurin was shot, along with her husband Saif Rehman, three weeks ago near the city of Gujrat in Pakistan. The couple lived in Glasgow, but were on holiday when their car was ambushed by gunmen. Every report I’ve seen, heard or read has used the term ‘honour killing’ in connection with this crime. The BBC website currently reports that: “The former in-laws of a woman killed in Pakistan in a suspected honour killing have been questioned by police.”
One of the frustrating things about the mainstream media (not to mention our abject political class) is that they don’t trust us, the great unwashed, to have grown-up discussions and disagreements about matters of race and culture. In polite company, people -for the most part- are afraid to express anything less than complete approbation for the tenets of multiculturalism, for fear that they might leave themselves open to accusations of racism. I would suggest that if you compel folk to walk on eggshells to that extent, all you will do is build up a store of resentment that, sooner or later, will find an outlet.
This incident should have been named, shamed and condemned as a crime and reported accordingly. When the mainstream media use the term 'honour killing' they give the murder a status it did not deserve. By using the ridiculous nomenclature, they acknowledge that there is a cultural /religious aspect to the killing. They then compound that mistake by disallowing any debate on those cultural /religious aspects for fear of offending those who belong to that culture /religion.
The mainstream media can't have it both ways. If they report stuff like this simply as 'murder,' it can be put in the same file as other horrible crimes of a similar hue.
If, however, they insist on using the term ‘honour killing’ (and it doesn't matter whether or not they put inverted commas around it), they have to be big enough to accept that people will want to talk about the cultural /religious aspects of that term.