Could we please call 'honour killing' murder?
The news that Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed have been found guilty of killing their daughter Shafilea because she had become 'westernised' brings to an end a very lengthy trial in which a collision of cultures was brought into the media spotlight. The jury determined unanimously that these two professing, devout Muslims suffocated their daughter with a plastic bag in the family home because she was committed to her education, comfortable with her white friends, and eschewed the hijab.
Disgracefully, much of the media is referring to this as an 'honour killing', without even placing the term in scare quotes. This has the effect of qualifying the crime and mitigating the offence. To bring 'honour' into this particular equation relativises our values and bestows a degree of socio-cultural legitimiacy upon a vile action.
This is not 'honour killing': it is murder. We should not tolerate such alien values, and we should not be ashamed to say so.