Honor Killing vs. Honor Dancing

I don’t get into reality shows much, particularly competition shows (i.e. – “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” etc.) Part of it is because I’m just not that interested. And I guess another part of me thinks there’s just too much else of greater importance going on in this crazy world of ours which demands our attention, careful thought, and sometimes action.


However, just occasionally, I’ll catch something on one of these shows that causes me to think about those more important issues.

A while back, I was watching “So You Think You Can Dance” and one of the contestants competing for a spot on the show was a young woman from Iran. While I’ve always appreciated performing arts (I went to a performing arts high school for two years) and have had some exposure to them, I’m far from a credible judge of talent. However, even I can honestly say along with Nigel, Adam and the rest of the judges that this young Iranian had some skills when it came to dancing.

This woman’s family (her mother and younger brother) accompanied her to the auditions and the looks of pride on their faces was evident as she moved across the floor during her audition routine and then accepted a ticket to Vegas from the judges afterward. It was gratifying to watch, as are many of the personal stories on that show.

However, I guess what made her story so much more gratifying (for me) to watch was the realization that this woman’s family had probably left Iran in order to come to the United States of America. The show did not say exactly why, and it really doesn’t matter. Because as I watched this girl dance, I kept thinking to myself that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this girl would face execution by members of her own family for dancing, not wearing a burqa, dancing promiscuously, you name it…which is probably at least ONE reason why her family has come to America to begin with. What’s more outrageous, however, is the fact that this girl’s killing would be totally and 100% justifiable under Islamic Sharia law.


Which brings me to another young Middle Eastern woman. Some time ago, I read another news story about a 16-year old Turkish girl who was found buried alive under a chicken coop near her home in Kahta, Turkey. The medical examiner who performed her autopsy found “large amounts of soil in her stomach and lungs.” Her offense: Talking to boys. Her killers: male members of her own family.

If this were an isolated incident, it would still be heart-wrenching. However, varying reports bear out that over 200 “honor killings,” as they’re referred to under Sharia law, take place in Turkey each year.

What is the difference between these two beautiful young women? Is one’s life more important than the other’s? Why does one woman get to dance and excel and pursue her dreams while the other is denied a life and a future. What kinds of gifts and abilities and dreams did the sixteen-year old Turkish girl have that will never be realized? We’ll never know.

And the reason we’ll never know is because she was subjected to the depraved and enslaving system of Sharia law while the older girl and her family chose America and freedom. Period. The older girl’s family, in other words, determined at some point (perhaps after several of their female relatives had suffered honor killings at the hands of murderous family members) that they wanted something more for their children than simply adhering to a deadly system of religious government. So they uprooted, moved to the States and are carving out a life for themselves while their daughter is pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional dancer…and excelling at it, too, I might add.


All of this leads me to ask a couple of questions. Why do we want Sharia law in our land? What on earth is possessing certain elements in our culture to seek implementation of the same menacing ideology that has left thousands upon possible millions of young Muslim women like this 16-year old brutally murdered? How on earth can someone watch a story like that of this beautiful Iranian woman who has an obvious gift for creating art through movement and then conclude that somehow, the system of government that her family has FLED deserves a place in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave??? How? I cannot think of a sicker blight on our nation’s ideological landscape than Sharia Law. It is misogynistic and oppressive and liberal-minded “progressives” ought to be ashamed of themselves if they even entertain the notion of promoting it in this great country.

How dare we bow to such an insidious force that actively promotes and endorses wholesale slaughter of innocent girls and women who dare to think for themselves or pursue their dreams?

To the young Iranian woman, I say “Dance on! And dance with honor and passion! Pursue your dreams, and be the best that you can be. Because that is what this ‘nation of immigrants’ is all about!”


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