It's an interesting read, however, quite incorrect of how Muslims think. I know this, because I am reading a book of how the Muslim society work. You see, above else they put honor. Honor is closest think you can come to god, however, honor is not only something you can have on your own, but your honor reflects your family's honor. Muslim societies all are about bloodlines. Instead of asking the son to love his father, it would have been more akin to "do this so you won't dishonor the family". As you all know, dishonor will cause the family to actually abandon you. In Muslim society, everyone is dependent on the man in the house, the patriarch. He is the only that manages the household. The reason why women must veil themselves is to not dishonor themselves. If they dishonor themselves they thus also dishonor their family and bloodline, and it might end in honor killings. We have seen plenty of examples of this recently. Young females and girls getting killed by their father/brothers to save the family's honor. The reason why the father/brothers carry out the killing is because they are her closest relatives and carry responsibility over her. I should add, in Muslim society, women must veil themselves because otherwise they cannot control their sexual urges, not the other way around as one might think, since here in the West we consider men of having a sexual drive, not women. This is completely opposite in Muslim societies. They basically veil to protect themselves, how strange that now may sound...
In the eyes of a Muslim, the worst which can happen is to dishonor your bloodline and family. They all care about how they are conceived outwardly by other families and bloodlines. You can draw a comparison to the Noble families of the Middle Ages, where similar things could happen to keep up the family's reputation. The Muslim society is very confusing regarding sex. People are free to talk about it, but not among the other gender. So women can only talk about sex amongst themselves, while at the same time pretending sex doesn't exist. It's the same thing with marriage. It is forbidden to talk about having sex on the wedding day, while it might be very apparent such a thing happened. To openly tell about that too, is causing a minor dishonor.
I would assume honor killings is more like, in their wicked view of honor is, to protect the woman as well as the family's honor. A Muslim woman who greatly dishonored her family can no longer be part of her family, and must be cast out. In the eyes of a Muslim, this means the woman is left unprotected and can be beaten by other men etc. A Muslim woman has no legal rights on her own, since her father and then her husband deal with all economical matters and such for her. Thus, not having a family makes her very vulnerable. I guess they rather see her dead than letting that to happen.
I know I am derailing, but in the story above, I would assume no longer considering yourself a Muslim would be a great dishonor for the family and I am not sure if they would go so far to carry out a honor killing for such a thing. Men are more free than women though, it would be true however that this boy's family would no longer welcome him back as he brought his family great dishonor. It is quite easily resolved by him wanting to leave on his own, but someone who is raised in a Muslim family is probably well aware of the honor system, and question is whether they more would dare to go against that system and give the family dishonor.
Then again, I see no reason why that act would be worse than no longer being considered a part of a fundemanlist Christian family after declaring being an atheist, except the idea of honor killing might lie in the back of your head.
Nico Raj was a Muslim, who was raised in the Middle East (according to his blog). I was a Muslim and I also lived in the Middle East. No offense, LeaT, but I think that his perspective is a little closer to the reality than yours. You read a book. He lived it. I lived it.
That said, I find the whole 'father' thing troubling, because Muslims don't perceive god with a gender or as a father figure, and you know that Nico. But all of this 'don't ask questions' stuff is totally real. Honour is important, generally, but not every Muslim culture is monolithic. It's not like that across the board. It's also about social cohesion and the fear that the states implement in people. You are afraid to be different, afraid to be a lone voice, a wierdo - even if you are a faithful Muslim. Let alone the rest of us. The governments in power fear loss of control, and so conformity is rigidly enforced through the family and tribal system. Even our 'modern' culture of malls and music videos enforce conformity to certain ways of dressing, what kind of music you can listen to and so on. In our society, you are a 'rebel' if you listen to the shitty pop music that is like Britney Spears in Arabic.
The thing is, when dealing with Islam and Muslims and ex Muslims, it is of the utmost importance to be as intellectually honest and accurate as possible. Honour killings do not happen as widely amongst Muslims as you would have people believe. We need to look at the agendas of those who write the books and articles we cite - the Muslims as well as the non Muslims. Also, it is usually the cousin or brother who carry out the killing, not the father. The family chooses the one who is underage to carry it out in most circumstances. That excludes the father. Women are often the most hardline enforcers of this 'honour' stuff. Men and boys are also killed for 'honour'.
Also, although I am no longer a Muslim and am glad for it, again, we must be honest and real. I lived in the Middle East and had plenty of rights, from the right to vote to the right to work. Be honest, or Muslims who are doubting and questioning - even ex Muslims like myself - will not hear what you have to say. There's little enough support for us as it is.
Well yes, I should add that my monography was based upon Bedouins, but his story seemed quite free, and I didn't honestly check up his nationality and I wanted to add a different dimension. In the Bedouin society this couldn't happen.