More than 2,800 so-called honor attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family -- were recorded by British police last year, according to the first-ever national estimate of the problem.

The highest number of honor crimes -- which include murder, mutilation, beatings, abductions and acid attacks -- was recorded in London, where the problem has doubled to more than five times the national average.

Still, although the statistics provide the best national estimate so far, they do not give the full picture of the levels of honor violence in Britain. The real figure could be five times as high and in any case shows that Muslim parallel societies are now firmly established in Britain, thanks to decades-long multicultural immigration policies in the country.

The data on honor violence in Britain was released on December 3 by the London-based Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization (IKWRO), a registered charity that provides advice to Muslim women and girls living in the United Kingdom, who are facing forced marriage, honor-based violence, female genital mutilation and domestic abuse.

In an effort to provide the most complete picture of the problem to date, IKWRO sent Freedom of Information requests to all 52 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland asking how many incidents of honor-based violence they had recorded in 2010.

A total of 39 police forces responded with a total of 2,823 incidents. IKWRO estimates that a further 500 incidents may have been reported to the 13 forces that did not respond.

Twelve of the police forces also provided statistics for 2009, and nine of these showed an increase in the number of recorded honor crimes between 2009 and 2010. The overall increase across the twelve forces was 57%.

The top five worst areas in Britain are: London (495 incidents); West Midlands including Birmingham (378 incidents); West Yorkshire including Bradford and Leeds (350 incidents); Lancashire (227 incidents); and Manchester (189 incidents).

Police in Northumberland saw a 305% increase from 17 incidents in 2009 to 69 in 2010, while Cambridgeshire saw a 154% jump from 11 to 28. In total, eight police forces recorded more than 100 honor-based attacks in 2010.

Not surprisingly, the areas in Britain with the biggest honor-crime problems are also the areas with the greatest number of Muslim immigrants.

IKWRO says the increase was probably due partly to better police awareness and to more victims coming forward after coverage of high-profile prosecutions, but that violence itself was also increasing as young Muslim women increasingly refused to bow to the demands of their families.

Speaking to BBC News 24 television, IKWRO Director Diana Nammi said: "The number of incidents is significant, particularly when we consider the high levels of abuse that victims suffer before they seek help."

Honor-based violence is an "organized or collective crime or incident" orchestrated by a family or within a community, Nammi said, adding: "It can be by a relative and sometimes on the order of community members. The perpetrators will be even considered as a hero within the community because he is the one defending the family and community's honor and reputation."

The victims are, more often than not, Muslim women, whose personal conduct is perceived to have brought shame on her family. Reasons for perceived dishonor include having a boyfriend, being a rape victim, refusing an arranged marriage, seeking a divorce, and in some cases wearing make-up or inappropriate dress.

One 15-year-old girl known to IKWRO was subjected to beatings and house arrest after her father found text messages on her phone to male friends from school.

In another case, Banaz Mahmod, a 19-year-old woman in south London, was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they thought her boyfriend was unsuitable.

IKWRO believes the British government does not have a proper national strategy to deal with honor-based violence and that police still do not really understand the problem.

According to Nammi: "The problem is that there is no systematic training for police and other government forces in the UK such as social services, teachers or midwives … For some cases, police and some organizations just help them up to a length of time, then they will stop. With honor-based violence, the threat may be a lifetime threat for them."

The data comes on the heels of another report which shows that tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants in Britain are practicing bigamy or polygamy to collect bigger social welfare payments from the British state.

The September 24 report shows that the phenomenon of bigamy and polygamy -- which is permitted by Islamic Sharia law -- is far more widespread in Britain than previously believed, even though it is a crime there, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The rapid growth in multiple marriages is being fueled by multicultural policies that grant special rights to Muslim immigrants who demand that Sharia law be reflected in British law and the social welfare benefits system.

The report quotes two senior social welfare experts based in Lancashire (one of the most "multicultural" areas in Britain) who estimate that there are now at least 20,000 bigamous or polygamous Muslim unions in England and Wales. This would imply that around 300,000 people are living in polygamous families in Britain if the average size of such a "family" is 15 people.

The multiple marriages are encouraged by recent changes to the British welfare system, which allows Muslim immigrants to have a second, third or fourth wife (or in some cases five or more) treated as a single mother who can get a house and an array of other state payments for herself and her children.

The report shows how Muslim men can take a new spouse from anywhere in the world, father any number of children with her, and have British taxpayers assume responsibility for this family's upkeep and care.

Although all marriages that take place in the United Kingdom must be monogamous, Muslim immigrants can employ countless evasions to practice polygamy without running afoul of British matrimony laws.

A separate investigative report describes how Muslim women suffer as a result of polygamy. It quotes a government social worker who is active in Muslim neighborhoods as saying: "The first wives get depressed because they are so ashamed of their husband taking a second or third wife. Many wives have been here for years, but have never been allowed to learn English or even go out of the house alone. They have no one to turn to for help."

According to Baroness Shreela Flather, Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, the first Asian woman member of the British House of Lords, the problems of honor violence, forced marriages and bigamy and polygamy are being encouraged by multiculturalism and political correctness.

In a hard-hitting essay she says that the topics have been "taboo subjects for far too long … few people in Britain seem to want to face the disturbing truth."

Back in London, IKWRO says the figures on Muslim honor violence in Britain "are important because they demonstrate this is not a minor problem -- it is a serious issue affecting thousands of people a year, many of whom will suffer high levels of abuse before they seek help. We want the government to develop a national strategy on honor-based violence that covers not just policing but also issues such as education and community cohesion."

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

Related Topics:  United Kingdom  |  Soeren Kern receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list

Comment on this item

Name
Email Address
Title of Comments
Comments:

Note: Gatestone Institute greatly appreciates your comments. The editors reserve the right, however, not to publish comments containing: incitement to violence, profanity, or any broad-brush slurring of any race, ethnic group or religion. Gatestone also reserves the right to edit comments for length, clarity and grammar. All thoughtful suggestions and analyses will be gratefully considered. Commenters' email addresses will not be displayed publicly.