In an earlier post, I wrote about American newspapers, honor killings, and Mark Steyn's claim that "multiculturalism trumps feminism, and so the media accept a two-tier sisterhood in which Muslim girls are run over, stabbed, strangled, drowned and decapitated for wanting to live like the women they read about in The New York Times and The Washington Post. No matter how novel or arresting the details of a story are, the PC blinkers go on immediately."
Later in the same post, Mr. Steyn writes:
The media's attitude to "honor killings" is not only shameful and dishonors the dead; it's also part of the reason why America's newspapers are sliding off the cliff: Their silence on this issue is merely an especially ugly manifestation of how their news instincts have been castrated by political correctness.
I pointed out the many, many occasions that The New York Times -- a single American newspaper -- has written about honor killings over the years. (See my original post.) I took this as a rather handy rebuttal of the idea that American newspapers are "silent" on this issue, or that they refuse to cover it due to "political correctness" or "multiculturalism."
On The Corner, however, Mr. Steyn objects that his post was only talking about the "silence" of American newspapers when it comes to honor killings in the United States -- apparently their proclivity for dishonoring the dead, being politically correct, and bowing to multiculturalism stops at the water's edge.
What Mr. Steyn neglects -- beyond stories cited in my original post, like the Denver Post column titled "Honor Killing Comes to US" and a USA Today story titled "Honor Killings in US Raise Concerns" -- are two facts: 1) newspapers are covering the issue abroad more than at home because it is relatively rare here, unlike in Syrian or Turkey or even Germany; 2) but even if we restrict our analysis to cases he mentions, his original item is still wrong.
As an example, take Noor Almaleki, whose father ran over her with a car near Phoenix, Arizona. Were American newspapers silent? Let's take a look at The Arizona Republic to find out. The Gannett paper, the largest in Arizona, published the following coverage about the case:
10/24/09 -- Lifestyle May Have Put Woman in Hospital.
Police interviews with friends and family revealed that Faleh, a Glendale resident, had threatened his daughter before for becoming "too Westernized" and failing to live by traditional Iraqi values.
Social experts say that a long history of tribal cultural tradition dictates that women who live outside the group's moral code dishonor the entire family. For many, it's a terminal offense, leading to an "honor killing."
10/29/2009 -- Subtracting 'honor' from 'honor killing.'
10/30/2009 -- Glendale man accused of running over daughter found.
11/02/2009 -- Woman in Suspected Honor Killing Dies.
11/06/2009 -- Glendale honor killing victim, 20, just wanted to be normal.
12/21/2009 -- Glendale dad accused in honor killing faces murder charge.
01/13/2010 -- Religion issue raised in case of Glendale man in 'honor killing.'
There are other mentions too.
Mr. Steyn cites Noor Almaleki as an example of American newspapers going silent when honor killings happen in their backyard. But obviously that isn't the case -- when an honor killing happened in its backyard, The Arizona Republic covered the case exhaustively. As I asserted in my original post, Mr. Steyn's writing on this subject gives his readers a misleading impression of reality.