While the world holds its breath, for some it is business as usual.
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.
The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. 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.”
In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders.
“Honour killing: Man kills sister, shoots another,” from PTI, November 5 (thanks to Block Ness):
DEHRADUN: In a suspected case of honour killing, a man allegedly strangled his teenage sister and shot a relative of her lover in a village in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district in the wee hours on Monday. Ishtekhar flew into a rage and throttled his 17-year-old sister after finding her making love to Irfan in the early hours in Kheri Shikohpur village, police said.
After throttling his sister to death, Ishtekhar went to the house of Irfan, who had fled from the scene, and fired at him with a country-made pistol, they said. But the bullet missed the target and hit Irfan’s uncle Bhoora in the abdomen wounding him seriously, police said.
Ishtekhar had been taken into custody, they said.