Tragedy

Honor Killings in America

Honor killings don’t only happen in the Middle East: The brutal Arizona killing last year of Noor Almaleki by her own father has catalyzed Human Rights Watch and Marie Claire magazine to join together in a campaign to renew the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which expired in 2008. Noor’s father, Faleh Almaleki, disapproved of her American lifestyle (wearing jeans, posting on MySpace) and dreams (marrying for love). He beat her and ultimately ran her over in his SUV, not once but twice, to prevent her from dishonoring the family, equating her with a “small fire” that needed to be extinguished in order to keep the family safe. He is in jail, awaiting trial for first-degree murder. “For an Iraqi, honor is the most valuable thing,” he said after his arrest. “No one messed up our life except Noor.” Noor’s mother supported him, saying, “You are not a criminal. I know how good-hearted and compassionate you are.”