A decade ago in London, a father terrorized then plotted to honor-murder his 15-year-old daughter. After attacking her twice, the girl simply…disappeared. Nevertheless, due to a British police decision to revisit and reclassify old cases, the father has just now been convicted of her honor murder.
Although her body has never been discovered, first-person testimony by the girl's mother, Hanim, by her sister, Hatice (in a video, taken before her death), and by the victim's fiancé, Halil Unal, led to this verdict. In other words: The villains were all Muslims — but so now are the heroes.
In an amazing break with tradition, a mother sided with her daughter, not with the man who fed, clothed, battered, and terrorized her. She exposed the kind of murderous, at-home tyranny with which women are expected to collaborate. Bravely, she broke with the kind of woman's inhumanity to woman that I write about in my book of the same title. Indeed, in Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, I describe a study in which two anthropologists documented the role that malicious female gossip played in an Arab village in the targeting of a woman to be honor-murdered.