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. In accord with this, 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.”
Why does it matter that the practice of honor killing has Islamic sanction? Because if the roots of honor killing are never discussed and always ignored, the practice will never stop. Until the Islamic roots of the practice are discussed openly and human rights groups begin calling for reform, honor killings will continue in the Islamic world — and in Muslim communities in the West.
“Spain: Moroccan tries an Honor Killing, stabs 20 times his daughter,” from Tea and Politics, July 29:
The Basque Autonomous Police (Ertzaintza) detained on Sunday night in Portugalete (Vizcaya) a 43-year-old man of Maghrebi origin, accused of stabbing his 20-year-old daughter 20 times and of hurting another two sons, according to the Basque Interior Department.
The attack began inside the family”s home, in Ruperto Medina’s st, when the man stabbed his older daughter. Her teenage brothers, another girl and a boy, tried to end the quarrel and got hurt. She has a cut in one hand. He fell off the stairs.
Both of them suceeded [sic] in fleeing the house asking for help, while the stabbed girl got in one neighbour’s house. But the father followed the first ones and had a hard discussion with his son in the street. According to another neighbour, who was woken up by the “shouts”, everything happened very quickly. Several minutes afterwards, the Police arrived at the scene and arrested the man. “He was shouting like a mad man and was very difficult to handle”, the witness say. (“¦).
(“¦) According to the police, the dispute was caused by the cultural clash between the two generations of this family of Maghrebi origin. While the two sisters were very well known and appreciated in their Portugalete district, no one know the father.