When it involves the horror of honor crimes, even a high profile, professional world boxing champion was not able to escape the incomprehensible and savage violence of this barbaric custom.
A trial nearing its conclusion in Berlin, Germany, has outlined how a family drama in that country ended in the non-fatal shooting tragedy of Rola El-Halabi, a 26-year-old Muslim woman originally from Lebanon. Like hundreds of other mostly female victims of honor crimes in the West, the reason for the shooting was that El-Halabi had wanted to establish her independence from her culture's restrictive and archaic customs and be with the man she chose to love.
But unlike most other honor crime victims, El-Halabi was unique in that she enjoyed the unusual distinction of being a well-known sports figure who once held two world championship belts in women's boxing in the lightweight division. In 2010, the talented El-Halabi defeated American Mia St. John for the WIBF and WIBA titles in Ulm, her hometown in Germany, giving her a perfect 11-0 record. El-Halabi even had one of her matches televised by Al-Jazeera television to the Middle East where it was seen by 22 million people.