Honor killing: the rational hate crime
It would be appropriate to cover these stories of abortion-doctor killings as expressions of religious "cleansing" and as a further refinement of the "hate crime".
While murderers of abortion doctors do seek a kind of cultural "cleansing", the act is not, strictly speaking, an honor killing in the same way that the murder of Noor al-Maleki was. They are analgous acts, but they have distinct histories and religious origins. It is critically important to maintain that distinction in order to understand, "in their own words", the cultural and religious systems that generate those impulses.
But the goal here is to move the coverage of the force and unique power of religion - as a set of idea incentives for rational actors - closer to the center of our news coverage. The uniquely bewildering act of an honor killing simply provides the latest object lesson in why doing so matters.
Richard Potts is the editor of TheMediaProject.org.