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.
A Bedouin man from southern Israel is the prime suspect in the murder of his 16-year-daughter, whose body was found in a well in the Kuseife community in the Negev.
The man is suspected of an act of “honor killing,” allegedly throwing his daughter down the well over what the family deemed an “undesirable romantic involvement.”
The investigation in the case was launched after the father filed a missing persons report with the police on Sunday, saying his daughter had disappeared. He expressed concerned that she might have fallen into a local well.
Following an extensive police searches, which also included the district diving unit, the girl’s body was found.
The man was promptly arrested following the investigation’s opening, and remanded for an additional four days on Monday.
During his arraignment hearing, the police revealed that they had evidence suggesting that the family was opposed to the girl’s romantic affair. The father is currently refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The judge noted that “The family is maintaining a conspiracy of silence. This is the gravest offense in the rulebook. When it’s an ‘honor killing,’ it makes it even worse.”
The police said that all leads point to the father, who has a violent criminal record, with the possibility that he was assisted by other culprits.
The police representative at the hearing said that “The father knew what he did and that she was in the well. The event occurred in the last two days and there’s more than a reasonable suspicion implicating the father with murder.”
A preliminary autopsy by the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine found evidence of drowning, but the girl’s time of death is unknown as yet.
The suspect’s attorney denied the allegations and accused the police of “shooting in the dark.”