Friday, June 30, 2006

Searching for Ghazala Khan

Ghazala KhanGates of Vienna has been reporting recently on the trial, conviction, and sentencing of the family of Ghazala Khan for her honor-killing murder in Slagelse, Denmark. During a 36-hour period on Wednesday and Thursday I noticed that a lot of internet searchers were finding their way here, looking for Ghazala Khan. Out of 295 searches during that time, 119 (more than 40%) were trying to find out more information about her.

Re-creating some of the searches showed that Gates of Vienna was indeed in the top three sites listed, in most instances.

I’ve standardized the spelling and punctuation of the search strings involved in order to consolidate the statistics in the table below:

Search string #  Pct
denmark ghazala 1 0.3%
denmark honor-killing 2 0.7%
denmark killing women 1 0.3%
father jail danish honor killing 1 0.3%
ghazala khan 23 7.8%
ghazala khan abu laban 1 0.3%
ghazala khan blog 1 0.3%
ghazala khan convicted 1 0.3%
ghazala denmark 25 8.5%
ghazala father brother denmark prison aunt in law years 2 0.7%
ghazala khan ghulam abbas 1 0.3%
ghazala khan honor 2 0.7%
ghazala khan denmark honor killing 4 1.4%
ghazala khan kill 1 0.3%
ghazala khan killing 3 1.0%
ghazala khan malkin 1 0.3%
ghazala khan murder 3 1.0%
ghazala khan 1 0.3%
ghazala khans 1 0.3%
ghazala khans husband 1 0.3%
honor killing case denmark 1 0.3%
danish honor killing 30 10.2%
honor killing ghazala 1 0.3%
honor killing of ghazala khan 1 0.3%
honor killing sentence denmark 1 0.3%
honor killing slagelse 1 0.3%
honor killing trial in denmark 1 0.3%
honor killings viking 1 0.3%
news ghazala khan 1 0.3%
nine family member denmark 1 0.3%
sentence killing daughter denmark 1 0.3%
stories of honor killings ghazala khan 1 0.3%
symbols of courage in denmark 1 0.3%
true story about murder of ghazala khan in copenhagen 1 0.3%
Totals 119 40.3%

Most of the searches seemed to originate from within Denmark. I couldn’t pull the countries of origin for the ISPs directly from the site meter statistics, since I was dealing with a subset of all the searches; instead, I had to go through the details of each search individually. It was a laborious and time-consuming process, and I ran out of steam after doing 58 of them, but here’s the breakdown for those:

Location # Pct
Denmark 33 56.9%
The rest of Europe 6 10.3%
Other 19 32.8%

Of the non-Danish Europeans, three were from Sweden. Most of the “other” locations were in the USA and Australia, but there was one from the UAE and one from Turkey.

The murder of Ghazala KhanWhat puzzles me is why the Danish searchers were looking in English-language sources for information about the case. On Wednesday and Thursday, when I was looking for information in the online Danish newspapers, there seemed to be plenty of stories available about Ghazala Khan and the trial; there was no news blackout. So why would Danish readers need to do English-based searches in Google?

Do the Danes doubt the accuracy or completeness of information in their own media? Or are there other reasons for these searches? Scandinavian readers are welcome to venture their opinions in the comments.

Dymphna’s theory is that the Danes want to see how the news media in the Anglosphere are handling the story. If that’s the case, they must have noticed by now that our MSM outlets — the keepers of Truth, the guardians of the portals to all news worth reading — were almost completely silent on the topic.


X said...

There's a lot of english and english-speaking people in denmark these days, working for various large companies and multinationals. I expect more than a few danes are also looking to see how the rest of the world is reacting.

Zerosumgame said...

I do have to admit that I am amazed at how well Danes, Swedes and Dutch speak English. Yes, I realize that they have access to a lot of American popular culture, but so do many other European nations where people do not speak English so well.

Their English is a heckuva lot better than my Spanish.

Starling said...


the one search from the UAE was likely mine. I googled for more info on Ms. Khan after reading your post. Don't recall the exact searc phrase though.

Baron Bodissey said...

Mackety --

Yes, you are making complete sense, and I thank you for your input. It's good to have Danes involved in these discussions.

Dymphna is pleased that you essentially agree with her!

Baron Bodissey said...

Starling --

Well, that's interesting! And here I thought someone was searching for items for their "Jihad News From Abroad" column in a local UAE paper... ;)

Dan Kauffman said...

They are interested in how WE think about things, My blog is not in your league at all but

Denmark the Netherlands and Germany together split 3% of my traffic almost equally between them
at #s 3, 4 and 5

Zerosumgame said...


I agree with you about the decline of Europe in general. As everyone here has read, I'm no fan of the continent, but I know that my views on this are not in sync with most knowldgeable Americans. Those who do think and care about this issue share my disdain for "Old" Europe but would like to see a successful "New" Europe.

Most American Jews have very negative feelings about Poland. Most other Americans admire them.

Jason Pappas said...

... our MSM outlets ... were almost completely silent on the topic.

... which is why I come here and to other worthy Internet sites. Keep up the good work. I sure there are many silent readers who share my feelings.