In the case of a murdered Afghan woman, investigators assume that the motive was insulted honor. Elke Breitenbach wants to address violence against women in general.
Berlin’s Integration Senator Elke Breitenbach (Left) sees the killing of 34-year-old Afghan Maryam H., who was allegedly killed by her brothers in Berlin because they did not approve of her sister’s Western way of life, no honor killing.
[If you want to have all the latest news live on your cell phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]
"In Germany every third day a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner. This is not an honor killing, this is femicide," she told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. "And, unfortunately, I have no idea how to integrate men better. It is not about the origin and nationality of the perpetrators, it is about the question of gender."Breitenbach told the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa) on Monday that she considers the term "honor killing" inappropriate because it "justifies the perpetrators" plug. "There is no honor in murder", Breitebach told dpa, which is why she uses the term "femicide".
It is always a matter of patriarchal structures. "The perpetrators are husbands, partners, fathers, sons, brothers and other male relatives."These structures must be broken through. "This is also why there are calls to define femicide in criminal law," Breitenbach said. He said it was important to support, protect and empower women if they wanted to break out of these structures.
Berlin prosecutors believe the two brothers, aged 22 and 25, murdered the mother of two children. The men are said to have killed her "out of an offended sense of honor", it is said that the way the woman lived did not correspond to the moral standards of the suspects: she was divorced, is said to have had a new partner, put on makeup, dressed in western style – and without a headscarf. They are said to have taken the body in a suitcase by train to Bavaria and buried it there.
Breitenbach’s assessment was met with sharp criticism from the CDU’s top candidate for the House of Representatives elections, Kai Wegner: "Such answers are part of the problem. Ms. Breitenbach denies reality to stabilize her fragile worldview. Those who deny the religious-cultural background of so-called honor killings protect the perpetrators and leave the victims in the lurch. But we need a culture of looking. We need zero tolerance when it comes to the oppression of women in the name of a supposed honor."
Wegner: Those who refuse integration must expect consequences
Those seeking protection in Germany from countries with archaic ideas of honor should be taught the basics of living together in mandatory integration courses. "Everyone who comes to us must know: Gender equality, religious freedom, sexual self-determination, and advocacy for the protection of Jewish life are non-negotiables. The courses must be concluded with a binding integration agreement."
Those who refuse to integrate and disregard the legal system must expect consequences that can extend to the loss of their residence permit. A consistent approach against honor killings, forced marriages, oppression and family structures of coercion is owed especially to women with a migration background who want to live in Germany in freedom and self-determination.
Giffey: "This has nothing to do with our free society"
The top candidate of the Berlin SPD, Franziska Giffey, also disagreed with the senator. "It must be clearly stated that this is nothing more than a terrible honor killing", Giffey declared on Twitter late Sunday night. "Only if we do that, if forced marriages and honor killings and also their religious and cultural backgrounds are not taboo subjects, can we effectively tackle the causes."
Berlin’s SPD chairwoman called for tough punishments for perpetrators. "It is an archaic view of the world and women against which such acts are committed", wrote Giffey. "This has nothing to do with our free society." The constitutional state must "resolutely confront this and defend our open society".
Psychologist Mansour: "Very many people relativize these problems"
The German-Israeli psychologist Ahmad Mansour sees the danger of talking down honor killings. The author, who is of Arabic descent and has worked with refugees for many years and is involved in projects against oppression in the name of honor, explained in an interview with the Tagesspiegel: "There is hardly any awareness in society of the problems that exist in the integration of migrants. Many people suppress or relativize these problems. Honor killings are referred to as femicide, the general phenomenon of violence against women."
[In our people newsletters, we report weekly from Berlin’s twelve boroughs. You can order the newsletter free of charge here: leute.tagesspiegel.de]
Of course, there is general violence against women, "but if we ignore the cultural and religious background of certain phenomena, it doesn’t help." He had the impression that partly the general discussion about the devaluation of women and the rejection of emancipation and equality leads to the fact that "we do not get anywhere in particular."
Greens: "Have so-called honor killings early in focus taken"
Benedikt Lux, the domestic policy spokesman for the Green Party in the House of Representatives, told the Tagesspiegel: "We focused on so-called honor killings very early on. We must fight misogyny and break down patriarchal structures wherever we encounter them. With the Hatun Surucu Award, we have long been committed to creating more visibility for the issue and to clearly state that women must be able to lead a self-determined life. Berlin has expanded various instruments in the field of integration, prevention and protection of women in recent years."
Whether and how there had been concrete measures in the present case, one could not judge yet. "This must be evaluated, then one can make concrete deductions. In any case, the constitutional state must consistently prosecute such heinous crimes and make protection and prevention offers better known."
The murdered woman and her brothers came to Germany as refugees. According to the "B.Z."The brothers are said to have repeatedly exerted pressure on their sister. They would have tried to prevent contact with all other people. The mother, who had lived in a refugee shelter in Lichtenberg before moving to Hellersdorf, had lived in constant fear of death.
More on the topic
Psychologist Ahmad Mansour in interview Oppression in the name of honor
The case recalls the death of Hatun Surucu. Am 7. February 2005 had been murdered the 23-Jahrige at that time in a bus stop in Tempelhof by their youngest brother with three head shots. She had freed herself from the marriage with her cousin and had moved with her son Can from Istanbul back to Berlin.