The term “honour killing” should be banned as it plays into political correctness and hinders the police from investigating domestic violence, a Conservative MP has said.
Nusrat Ghani, the MP for Wealden, will on Tuesday introduce a Bill to the House of Commons which will ban the term ‘honour killing’ in official documents, as well as requiring the British authorities to prosecute those who beat and murder British women abroad.
It also includes measures to bring abused women home, and to pay for the repatriation of those murdered, The Telegraph has reported.
She said: “I have spoken to police officers who practice in the north of the country who said they have seen their fellow officers not deal with these cases as they would in other circumstances because the term brings in so much other baggage – that it just seems too complicated to deal with. But it is just domestic violence.”
The term ‘honour’ “disguises the horror of the violence that is inflicted” and can be used by the perpetrator “as an excuse to intimidate the prosecutor”, she added.
Noting that Britain has made progress on domestic violence including measures outlawing rape within marriage and the criminalisation of coercive control. But too often the same crimes within Asian communities are overlooked as police officers fear offending the community.
“We have to make sure every victim is supported, and no political correctness or assumptions are made about a victim’s background which means they cannot get equal support, respect and dignity when they come forward, and that they get the appropriate support,” Ghani said.
UKIP’s women and equalities spokesperson Margot Parker MEP has welcomed the bill, saying: “Last year my colleague Jane Collins MEP started a petition for a ban on the use of the term ‘honour killing’ by all BBC outlets which are funded by the license fee and on other media outlets to follow this policy voluntarily.
“It stated, quite rightly, that to use the term ‘honour killing’ when describing the murder of a family member – overwhelmingly females – due to the perpetrators’ belief they have brought ‘shame’ on a family, normalises murder for cultural reasons and sets it apart from other killings when there should be no distinction.
“Murder is murder, whether it be for cultural excuses or others. The term ‘honour killing’ is a euphemism for a brutal murder based on cultural beliefs which have no place in Britain or anywhere else in the world.
“There is nothing honourable in the brutal torture and murder of predominantly women for cultural reasons.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “There is no ‘honour’ in so-called ‘honour-based’ crimes and this Government is clear we will not allow political or cultural sensitivities to get in the way of tackling this terrible form of abuse.
“No-one should suffer because of who they are or what community they are born into.”