Lately, so-called honor killings have been making the news in the United States and Canada. Over here, the very concept is not only appalling, but grotesquely surreal. It is not of our cultures here to accept that when a family member disobeys your wishes, you can murder them, and there will be no negative consequences for you. This issue crops up very close to home. I remember a case in NJ not too long ago where the judge accepted an absurd defense. Because Islamic custom dictates that a woman always submits to her husband, the judge ruled that when a Moroccan man here on a work-visa repeatedly raped and assaulted his wife, he did so without criminal intent. He dropped all of the wife's charges against him, and dissolved her restraining order. An appellate court reversed this stupidity. Frankly, I'm still surprised the woman isn't dead. Because this issue keeps cropping up here, so close to home, it has made me want to pay greater attention to what is happening to my sisteren in other parts of the world. Whatever is happening to them, if left unchecked, may some day be happening to my granddaughters. Remember what happened when the US was slow to help those who suffered during the Haulocaust? The fight landed on our shores, and we had to scramble around to make things right. I don't want the same thing to happen with this. A failure to protect women's rights anywhere is a failure to protect them everywhere. You know. "First they came..." etc. Because of a post made by Petite in the private women's forum, The Real Ladies of LPSG, I came across an article of interest. According to the article, there is a female lawyer in Pakistan who runs a women's shelter. It is a place that takes in women in danger of murder under Sharia law. The main point of the article is, "Eight of the women who sought refuge in Hina Jilani's Lahore shelter died later at the hands of their families. In the second part of our investigation, the lawyer explains how authorities covered up" As I read on, I was grossed out by the idea that Pakistan has laws in place which are meant to protect its citizens from being murdered. However, in practice, if the family forgives the disgusting murderer, the legal system will no longer pursue the matter. The victims, hated by their families, are abandoned by the legal system, and soon forgotten by the world. They are invisible. In fact, one story describes the plight of a particular woman from the shelter. She wanted to divorce her violent cousin, and her father refused to make it happen. She ran away to the shelter, and after a while was told her divorce would be granted. She went to the office of the attorney who runs the shelter to receive her divorce. Instead, her mother showed up with an Uncle who shot her twice. When the journalist who collected this story went to her home town to inquire about visiting her grave to pay his respects, he was told the burial site was unknown. No mourners can ever visit her grave. It is like she is removed from history; she does not exist. What do you think about any of this? What do you think are the dangers of our increasingly permissive judicial systems causing these crimes to be tolerated in the Americas? Where are the feminists? Why are they not acting on behalf of these sisters?