It is no accident or coincidence that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.
In this case it was not a daughter but a sister who was the victim. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”
Nonetheless, the media drumbeat is constant: honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. And as long as that continues, we will see more and more murders like this one.
“Jordanian man charged over honour killing,” from AAP, July 25 (thanks to George):
A JORDANIAN man has been charged with killing his 35-year-old sister when she was released from detention over allegedly having sex outside marriage, a judicial official said today.
“The suspect, in his 40s, was charged on Sunday with premeditated murder after fatally shooting his sister five times in Zarqa,” northeast of Amman, the official told AFP.
“She had been in administrative detention since February over a fornication case. Apparently she had (sexual) relations with a man who took advantage of her and pretended he wanted to marry her.”
Murder is punishable by death in Jordan but in so-called “honour killings” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim’s family asks for leniency.
Between 15 and 20 women are murdered in such killings each year in the Arab kingdom, despite government efforts to curb such crimes.
Separately, the official said a 35-year-old man was charged with premeditated murder for slitting the throat of his wife’s alleged lover, 26, before cutting off his penis in central Amman on Saturday.
“He handed himself in to police on the same day of the murder and confessed, giving them a bag that had the other man’s penis. He was charged with premeditated murder,” said the official.