Jasvinder Sanghera, Director of Karma Nirvana, a British anti-honor crime organization, addressed the seminar on forced marriage and honor violence. Using her own graphic story as a honor crime survivor, she explained the concept of honor in Islamic societies. The honor culture, she explained, involves a complex set of rules that an Asian woman must follow to protect the family name. It creates dependency, isolation and a loss of individualism. This harmful culture often leads to people - both men and women - living in fear of their immediate and extended family. Karma Nirvana operates the Honor Network Helpline in the UK, the only one of its kind.
Vigils - Stockholm
A vigil took place in the square in central Stockholm at which a number of MPs including Désirée Pethrus Engström (Conservative), Bodil Ceballos (Socialist) and Anna Steele Karlström (Liberal) expressed solidarity on the anniversary of Fadime Sahindal's murder. They called on Swedes to address the root causes of honor culture and violence in the country. They underlined the importance that material and other support to individuals and organizations that are active providing assistance to young people should continue. Sara Mohammad reminded attendees of the dangers that cultural relativism poses to combating honor culture.
On January 21st, a vigil was held from 12.00 to 13.00 at the graveside of Fadime Sahindal at the Uppsala cemetery. The city is located some 70km north of Stockholm and it was here that Fadime was murdered in 2002. Many local politicians as well as members of the general public attended. A Canadian documentarian, Raymonde Provencher filmed the vigil as part of a film on honor crimes and culture in Europe.