More on this story. And as I noted there, these are more than just tribal traditions. A manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy 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.
Why does this stipulation appear in a manual of Islamic law if this has nothing to do with Islam? I’m glad that some Pakistani lawmakers in this AP story expressed horror at what Israr Ullah Zehri said, but they will need to confront the tolerance for this practice in Islamic law if they ever hope to end it.
“Pakistani lawmaker defends honor killings,” from The Associated Press, August 30 :
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by northwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.
“These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them,” Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.”
The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch.
They were still breathing as mud was shoveled over their bodies, according media reports, which said their only “crime” was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing.
Zehri told a packed and stunned Parliament on Friday that Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity and then asked fellow lawmakers to stop making such a fuss about it.
Several lawmakers stood up in protest, describing the so-called honor killings as “barbaric.”…