[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
'Honour' violence 'terror-linked'
Scotland Yard
There were a dozen honour killings recorded in the UK last year
There are links between some cases of "honour" violence in Britain and extremist groups abroad, a BBC investigation has been told.

Victims of such attacks are alleged by their families to have disgraced them.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Islamist terror groups were behind one murder, as well as a case where a woman was threatened and is in hiding.

But the Muslim Council of Britain said "honour" violence was a cultural practice, and nothing to do with faith.

The CPS pointed to the death five years ago of Heshu Yones, 16, who was stabbed to death by her father.

Nazir Afzal, the CPS's national lead on honour crime, told BBC Radio 4's File on 4 programme the threats to kill a woman known as Miss B, who is now in hiding, came from her family but originated in an Egyptian terrorist group.

He said: "They told her husband that if he didn't put his wife in her place then they would do it themselves."

You have a second generation youth who have an exaggerated concept of what home is like
Nazir Afzal

Heshu Yones was stabbed to death by her father, Abdalla Yones, who had associations with a Kurdish nationalist organisation, says Mr Afzal.

While he was on remand, the group raised substantial amounts of cash to try to secure his release on bail.

Mr Afzal said honour violence was not confined to fathers and grandfathers, but was carried out by younger relations too.

"You have a second generation youth who have an exaggerated concept of what home is like," he said.

"They get their identity and their ethnicity from these traditions.

Banaz Mahmod
Banaz Mahmod paid the price for leaving her arranged marriage

"We know they are bizarre and outdated but they get their identity from those traditions and they feel very strongly that how you treat your women is a demonstration of your commitment to radicalism and extremist thought."

However, Reefat Drabu of the Muslim Council of Britain told the BBC she disagreed with Mr Afzal's comments.

She said: "First and foremost there has to be clarity that this is nothing to do with any faith, in particular Islam.

"It is a cultural practice and there is nothing in any faith that would condone it or say that it is the right thing do it.

"This is to do with misguided notions of family honour. It has nothing to do with radicalism or terrorism."

Contract killers

According to the United Nations Population Fund, 5,000 women a year die in honour killings.

There were a dozen such murders recorded in the UK last year although some police officers and campaigners say there may be many more.

Two weeks ago, three men were found guilty of the murder of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod who was found in a suitcase buried in a garden in Birmingham last year.

She had been strangled with a bootlace by contract killers on the wishes of her father because she had fallen in love with a man her family did not approve of.

Her case is now being reviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after it emerged she made several attempts to warn police that her life was in danger.

File on 4 will be broadcast on Tuesday 26 June 2007 at 2000 BST, repeated Sunday 1 July at 1700 BST.

Mobile footage of 'honour killing' victim

Hyper File on 4




Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

Podcast Help


Honour killings: Are police doing enough?
26 Jun 04 |  Have Your Say


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific