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In Berlin, two brothers killed their sister as a result of she wished to dwell freely, information that divides the German public

Mariam H. escaped several years ago. From Afghanistan to Germany. Far from constant killing, from the Islamist terror of the Taliban and from the coercion that reigns in an archaic-patriarchal structured society. In Germany, she had a chance to lead a free life and decide for herself.

But it seems that this was fatal for the 34-year-old mother of two. She was killed – and her two brothers, who thought she was living immorally, were charged with murder. A horrible crime, committed right in the German capital, liberal and open Berlin.

Suspicion of “honor killing” suspected

The state prosecutor’s office and the Berlin Office for the Fight against Crime are now conducting an investigation against the 22- and 25-year-old brothers. They are suspected of killing their sister together on July 13 in Berlin “because of the feeling of being injured.”

The state prosecutor’s office believes that on the same day, the brothers transferred their sister’s body in a suitcase to Neuburg in Bavaria, where the third, oldest brother lives. There, the two of them buried Mary X together. The body was found a little later.

The autopsy confirmed the suspicion of murder and that it was the sister of the suspects. The search for Mariam H. it lasted for several days: surveillance camera footage and witness statements were analyzed; the suspicions that the brothers had killed her were growing stronger, so that in the end they were arrested. By the way, the two of them have been living in Berlin for several years.

Hatred of the western way of life?

Discussions about the causes of such murders immediately flared up. They often revolve around the question: where does so much hatred for the Western way of life come from?

An important aspect is the patriarchal perspective, says Martin Lesentin, a spokesman for the International Society for Human Rights. That perspective is “often associated with a particular religious attitude that is also traditionally religious.”

At the same time, as Lesentin adds, it is a complex of men “who cannot expect success in life or have not had it, success in business that they would like to have in a free society, and even in competition with women. They basically want to by being born as men – they determine everything “.

Clara Rigoni of the Max Planck Institute for Crime, Security and Law Research also sees patriarchal structures as the main cause.

In essence, it is “male control of female sexuality and the sexual part of a woman that the family believes must protect her.” That, as he says, is not present only in Muslim families, because “killings from parts” are not necessarily religiously motivated everywhere.

Girls and women in all parts of the world suffer violence in the name of the traditional “part”, says Rigoni.

“There have been such patriarchal structures at different times and regions.” She cites Southeast Asia, Africa, as well as Latin America “where, for example, there are forced marriages. But it has been the same in the Mediterranean region in the past, and partly today.”

Political tension over terminology

The murder of Mariam H. it has long since taken on a political dimension. On that occasion, politicians from all parties took positions in the media and on social networks.

Everyone strongly condemns the murder and expresses sympathy for the victim and especially her children. When it comes to the causes, the ruling coalition talks mostly about “failed integration due to archaic notions of the world” or “murder from a part” for which the “archaic image of the world and women” is to blame.

The terminological approach is not the same for everyone. Thus, there is an opinion according to which the term “part murder” is inappropriate, because “it contains a justification for the perpetrators – murder and part do not go together”, and that is why the term “femicide” is better.

And there are (right-wing) attitudes according to which reactions like the previous one are not adequate and “again show the failure of the left-wing integration ideology which refuses to face reality – at the expense of countless female victims in Germany.”

What to do?

Everyone agrees, at least in the assessment that a liberal society like the German one must do everything to prevent such murders.

Martin Lesentin is sure that the basic precondition for that is education, “both in the long run and in a system that enables the experience of success”.

The president of the International Society for Human Rights cites the possibility of organizing “multi-year integration seminars and training opportunities” that would open up economic and social access to German society for migrants.

This is important because, as he says, “in the case of other waves of migration, we still see that people who are in Germany for the third or fourth generation, still catch the eye with their sexist behavior, until the murder from the unit.”

Clara Rigoni from the Max Planck Institute has a similar opinion, who believes that breaking up patriarchal structures is difficult, but that shortcomings in integration can be eliminated by persistent work on education and opening employment opportunities for migrants..

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