Sweden now joins several Muslim countries in giving lenient sentences for honor murders. Yes, he was a juvenile. But this was a savage murder.
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 Swedish appeals court has reduced a lower court's eight-year prison sentence for a 17-year-old boy found of guilty fatally stabbing his sister more than 100 times after she fled a forced marriage in Iraq, in what the court referred to as an "honour killing".
In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the Malmö Court of Appeals (Hövrätten), upheld the teen's guilty verdict, but discarded the lower court's eight-year prison sentence.
The court instead sentenced the boy to four years in juvenile detention because he was 16 when he killed his sister.
As the boy was only days away from his 17th birthday at the time of the attack, the lower court had decided to punish him as a 17-year-old rather than as a 16-year-old, allowing for a longer prison sentence.
The appeals court verdict stated that had the the crime been committed by an adult, it would have warranted a sentence of life in prison.
The appeals court's verdict also confirmed that there was enough evidence to tie the teen to the murder, restating that the apparent motive was the notion of protecting the family's honour.
The 17-year-old's sister had previously fled a forced marriage in Iraq and returned to Sweden. Her body was found with multiple stab wounds in her Landskrona apartment in April 2012.
Representatives of the Malmö-based organization Tänk om, which works to stop honour crimes, told local media at the time that the woman had been in touch with them for one year since returning to Sweden and that she slept with a knife under her pillow for fear of reprisals over her escape.
They claimed local authorities had ignored their warnings that the woman was under threat and needed protection....