Honor Killings Show Culture Clash in Berlin
The latest slaying of a Muslim woman in the German capital has sharpened the debate over the place of immigrants in Europe.
BERLIN: Frost covers the roses, and the scrawled eulogies are tattered near the sidewalk where Hatun Surucu was gunned down. The attackers appeared on a cold night more than a month ago. Three shots were fired and the young Turkish woman crumpled in the blurred glare of a streetlight.
The accused assailants fled to a place that Surucu knew well: the home where she was raised. Her killers, police say, were her brothers.
A 23-year-old single mother seeking to escape tradition and religious constraints, Surucu was the sixth Muslim woman to have died in the German capital since October in suspected "honor killings," slayings arranged by families who believe that their reputations have been stained.
Such crimes are rarely mentioned in Germany's newspapers.
But Surucu's public slaying has instigated fresh debates on politics, immigration, human rights and a rigorous Islam adopted by a minority of Muslims confronted with poverty, discrimination and liberal European attitudes. The case is a portrait of contradictions -- much like Surucu, whose memorial pictures show her either wearing the hijab, the head scarf of her Eastern heritage, or with the uncovered hair of her Western aspirations (Jeffrey Fleishman, The Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2005).
[TBC: The numerous killings by Islamic assailants is further proof that Islam is not a religion of peace.]