A headline in the Toronto Star discusses this: Were deaths of 4 women a matter of 'honour'?, July 24, 2009, by Andrew Chung in Kingston, Ont. and Daniel Dale in Toronto.
That's a good start but a better headline, in order to tell people what the story is about, would be either
The application of the phrase "honour killing" can be contentious, particularly for minority communities that fear being collectively tarred by the violence of a small number of people.Which is fine, but why did they ask a "professor who specializes in Islamic law" about it? Islam and Muslims hadn't been mentioned.
Anver Emon, a University of Toronto law professor who specializes in Islamic law, said he sympathizes with such concerns but supports the employment of the phrase when justified by the facts.
"From a social perspective, you don't want to criminalize a community by associating them with a particular, heinous act of violence," Emon said.
"On the other hand, from a legal perspective ... why 'honour killing' can be useful is that it captures the idea of a kind of premeditation — that this wasn't an in-the-moment, spur-of-the-moment crime of passion but something that may have been planned. . . . It speaks to a kind of evil and hideousness that we must at all times prevent."