The perceptive observer may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing about the use of the phrase "honour killing". The short version is this: while it probably describes certain acts reasonably well, I basically see it as a dog-whistle for the crazy right -- like "death tax" or "partial-birth abortion".
But there are words that can be both accurate and totally useless, or worse serve to obscure and confuse matters. Consider that it would be technically accurate to describe Bernie Madoff as a crooked Jewish banker, but no newspaper worth the pulp it's printed on would describe him as such, and with good reason -- Madoff's crookedness had nothing to do with his Jewishness. (Just ask evangelical Christian Ken Lay.)
The sad fact of the universe we live in is that most women who die violently, die at the hands of men they know -- husbands, boyfriends, fathers, even sons. This is true of white Christians at least as much as brown Muslims. Indeed, given that Muslims are outnumbered by Christians in Canada about 30 to 1, and that substantial Muslim populations are a novelty in Canada's history, it's a absolute certainty that acts that could reasonably be described as "honour killings" have been committed far more frequently by white Christian men. Ergo crazy, shame-driven patriarchal violence has little or nothing to do with Islam, and only a little to do with religion.
The other problem is that all of this feeds in to an increasing, and increasingly stupid, view of Muslims within western countries. Mark Steyn has never had an original thought, so it's no surprise to learn that he didn't originate the genre of "scary Muslims are outbreeding us!" horror story. What's dispiriting is that some liberal voices are busy praising a book that is, if anything, just as incoherent and factually incorrect.
But what intrigues me is how tightly coupled, but incoherent, the two concepts are. Basically, the "Eurabia" thesis says that Muslims are fertile, confident, and have a strong culture that is overtaking Europe's, but the "honour killing" thesis says, effectively, that Muslim men are brittle, petty, and prone to avenge perceived slights with disproportionate violence.
None of this is any more illogical than we've come to expect from the Right. It's just a shame that when it comes to idiotic moral panics, too many lefties are busy joining them.