Honor killing is broadly tolerated in some areas of the Islamic world. 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 tolerated and even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this.
And even worse, now American authorities are considering a reduced penalty for Arizona Islamic honor murderer Faleh Almaleki, as I explained here.
Do you want honor murderers to get off lightly in the U.S., as they do in Jordan and Syria?
Pamela Geller is calling for a letter-writing campaign to Judge Roland Steinle of the Maricopa County Superior Court, urging him not to allow a plea deal for Faleh Almaleki. Please write a letter. Here is her letter, which is an excellent sample to follow when you write your own:
Case # CR 2009-007938-001 Defendant: Faleh H. Almaleki
Judge Roland Steinle
Maricopa County Superior Court
201 W Jefferson St # 4
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Dear Judge Steinle,
I am writing to urge you not to allow a plea deal for Faleh Hassan Almaleki.
In November 2009, the Arizona Republic reported that, according to state prosecutor Stephanie Low, Faleh Almaleki admitted that he ran over his daughter Noor Almaleki on purpose: “By his own admission, this was an intentional act and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family. This was an attempt at an honor killing.”
If he admitted to intentional murder, it would be an unconscionable miscarriage of justice not to sentence him to the full required legal penalty for his act, and instead to allow him to cut a deal for a lesser punishment. In light of public defender Billy Little’s appalling statement that the sentence in this case should give “no appearance that a Christian is seeking to execute a Muslim for racial, political, religious or cultural beliefs,” a plea bargain for Faleh Almaleki will give the opposite appearance: that an American court is tolerating brutal and premeditated murder out of political, religious and cultural considerations. It will show other Muslim girls who are threatened by honor killing that American courts will offer them no refuge.
Noor Almaleki is not the only Muslim woman in the United States who has been murdered in an honor killing. To allow Faleh Almaleki to plea bargain will send the signal that the Muslim community in the U.S. need undertake no reform, but rather can continue with these heinous religious and cultural practices with impunity.
I urge you to stand instead for the American principle of justice for all, and to sentence Faleh Almaleki to the most severe possible legal penalty for his crime.
Freedom lover, Human Rights Activist