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.
“Israel sentences man to life for killing sister,” from Ma’an News Agency, July 15:
BEERSHEBA (Ma”an) — An Israeli court on Monday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his sister in the Negev.
Jihad Khamaysa, 24, from Rahat in southern Israel, was convicted of killing his sister Firyal Khamaysa, a mother of three, in June 2011.
According to their confessions, Jihad Khamaysa, his brother Salman Khamaysa and their cousin Omra Khamaysa kidnapped the victim and took her to a field in Rahat, where Jihad Khamaysa choked her, cuffed her hands and feet and then dragged her to a pit to bury her alive.
When she started screaming and begging for her life, he stabbed her twice and buried her.
Jihad Khamaysa was sentenced to life and Salman Khamaysa and Omra Khamaysa were sentenced to seven years each for the kidnapping.
In court, Jihad Khamaysa claimed he was protecting his family’s “honor.”
Firyal Khamaysa was married twice. She had three children from her first marriage but none from her second marriage to her cousin.