I’ll say it again: Syria recently 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.'”
That’s right: two years for murder. 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.”
What’s more, 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.
That’s why these honor killings keep happening — because they are broadly tolerated, even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this.
And this story has an especially absurd edge: the girl was going to become a suicide bomber. To prevent that and preserve the family’s honor, her father murdered her instead. Well, that certainly fixed the problem.
“Iraqi killed daughter for being al-Qaeda recruit,” from AP, December 25 (thanks to Ken):
BAGHDAD – An Iraqi man told authorities he killed his 19-year-old daughter out of shame after he discovered al-Qaeda had recruited her as a suicide bomber, a police spokesman said….
The father, Najim al-Anbaky, was detained during the raid, and during questioning he told police he had killed his daughter, Shahlaa, a month earlier because he found out she intended to blow herself up in a suicide attack for al-Qaeda, al-Karkhi told The Associated Press….
Another police official said authorities were investigating the possibility that the woman had a boyfriend in al-Qaeda. The official said that according to local police records, the man killed a sister in 1984 in what was described as an honour killing.
A senior Iraqi army official said authorities, acting on a tip that the daughter was going to blow herself up, pulled the father in for questioning, at first not knowing that the daughter was dead.
The father at first denied his daughter had any links to the terror group, but after further questioning admitted to killing her. He described it as an attempt to protect the family’s dignity and said his daughter had been recruited by al-Qaeda to be a suicide bomber….