Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Honor Killings & Clergy Abuse: The Exceptions That (Don’t) Prove The Rule?

Stories about clergy abuse and honor killings have something interesting in common: the horror rarely seems to faze the truly faithful — or at least not the faithful who haven’t experienced it in their immediate circles. In my reporting and casual conversations, it seems the vast majority of Catholics/Muslims always agree that these are terrible but isolated cases — just a tiny fraction of priests/fathers have been implicated! — that absolutely do not represent their religion.

Fair enough?

Of  course, this kind of thinking isn’t limited to Catholics and Muslims… It’s human nature to believe the best of your own community, and the worst of outsiders, right?


Here’s a sample of recent stories:

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.


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posted February 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

So what exactly is being asked here? Is it “It’s human nature to believe the best of your own community, and the worst of outsiders, right?” Or something else? (I’m trying to avoid the reprimand in advance this time.)

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Nicole Neroulias

posted February 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Sorry if it’s not clear. The post is about clergy abuse and/or honor killings, and how people perceive crimes from their own faith community vs. a different group. But, I’ll accept comments about clergy abuse and/or honor killings in general.

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posted February 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

The American honor killing is enlightening. This father was convicted of 2nd degree murder. He’s removed from society for a long time, but when and if he gets out there are many of his religion that think he shouldn’t have been convicted, such as a woman from his Mosque that said, when asked, “Don’t you think love should come first before hurting someone”, she replied, “You shouldn’t love anyone who does wrong”. Now that is a big, big divider between being Christian and Muslim. How do we live alongside people who can kill their own children, to defend their Muslim honor?? He also warned his daughter something “bad” would happen if she didn’t do what he said. Then he claims plowing into the older woman his daughter, that she was helping was an accident? He just wanted to spit on her, he said. He could have spit on her in the office he saw her in a few minutes before if that is what he wanted to do. It’s a travesty of justice he wasn’t given life in prison.

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Apuleius Platonicus

posted February 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

The real question is whether or not these genuinely constitute exceptions. That question is NOT resolved, or even meaningfully addressed, by the number of individuals directly involved in honor killings/clergy abuse.
Take the situation at Abu Ghraib, for example. No one would ever argue that a majority of US military personnel are sadists, or at least no reasonable person would. And yet that does not in any way address the real issue of whether or not the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was a systemic problem or “just a few bad apples”.

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posted February 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I can’t say whether it was an “honor killing” or not, but it was clearly intentional. And the fact he allowed his attorney to pretend he only wanted to spit on her shows that he has no honor.
And any society that allows them is a backward, ugly society at least in that respect; likely others.

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posted February 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Obviously this guy wasn’t acting by the Qur’an. In 24:2 it explicitly states that anyone found guilty of adultery is to be given 100 lashes. Nowhere does it say it’s ok to do that with a speeding car.

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Charles Cosimano

posted March 1, 2011 at 3:53 am

People who believe in honor usually believe in killing.

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