This is horrifying… and fascinating: Third of teens in Amman, Jordan, condone honor killings, study says. Here’s the horrifying part:
Almost half of boys and one in five girls in Jordan’s capital city, Amman, believe that killing a woman who has “dishonored,” or shamed, her family is justifiable, a study of teenagers’ attitudes published Thursday revealed. A third of all teenagers involved in the study by researchers at Britain’s Cambridge University advocated so-called honor murders.
Here’s the fascinating part:
A key finding was that support for honor crimes was not connected to religious beliefs, but is far more likely in adolescent boys with low education backgrounds from traditional families.
It’s easy to blame Islam for honor killings and other atrocities… but it’s not clear to me that such is true or fair. Alas, the case cannot be made by pointing to the violence in the founding of Islam or in its texts. The history and texts of Christianity or Judaism bear little resemblance to the ways that these religions are practiced today.
That’s not to say that I regard Islam in any kind of positive way. My point is simply that I don’t regard it as inherently or inexorably worse than any other religion. Like all religions, it’s influence will run from mildly bad to horrifically awful, depending on the ways in which people choose to attend to, interpret, alter, and apply its ideas.
People have free will, and they exercise it in all kinds of strange and unexpected ways… even with regard to their fundamental religious and philosophical beliefs.