Wealden MP Nus Ghani has used Theresa May’s first Prime Minister’s Question Time since her appointment to call on the Government to lead the way in ending the use of the term ‘honour crime’ to describe acts of terror.
Ms Ghani pointed to statistics revealing there had been 11,000 incidents of these self-styled honour crimes in the UK over the last five years.
She highlighted the recent case of Qandeel Baloch, who was murdered by her own brother in Pakistan last week.
The 26 year old was a global social media celebrity and activist, noted by the New York Times as ‘a symbol of women’s empowerment’. She was killed for apparently ‘dishonouring’ her family.
Ms Baloch’s brother, Waseem, has claimed he would be remembered with pride and honour for his actions, and that his place in heaven had been reserved. Pakistani law allows perpetrators to avoid facing charges for their actions if they are forgiven by their families, though it is reported that this has been prevented in this case by the Pakistan Government.
Speaking in the House of Commons last Wednesday, Ms Ghani said:
“Extremism takes many forms, from the atrocity in Nice to the violent murder of Qandeel Baloch by her own brother in Pakistan, justified as an ‘honour killing’.
“Does the Prime Minister agree that such crimes are in fact acts of terror, not honour?
“And will she therefore direct that her new Government shows the lead by ending use of the word ‘honour’ to describe these vile acts, in order to stop giving any legitimacy to the idea that women are the property of men?”
In response, Theresa May said Ms Ghani ‘is right’ to say extremism takes many forms and highlighted initiatives by the Government to tackle the root causes of ‘honour-based’ violence.
She said: “I absolutely agree with her. There is absolutely no honour in so-called honour-based violence – it is violence and a criminal act pure and simple.”