It is no accident or coincidence that 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.
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.”
Nonetheless, the media drumbeat is constant: honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. And as long as that continues, we will see more and more murders like this one.
“Jordan: Man cuts sister throat to cleanse family honour,” from ANSAmed, November 16 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – AMMAN, NOVEMBER 16 – A man from the southern city of Tafilah killed his sister in public by slitting her throat for being involved in a romantic relation, police sources said on Wednesday.
The 18 year old man attacked his sister in the main bus station of the town, before being arrested, said the sources.
Eye witnesses said medics arrived when the girl was making her last breath as investigation continued to determine other culprits in the brutal attack.
The killer told police he wanted to kill his sister to cleanse the family honour after the victim admitted involvement with a man who wanted to marry her, said the police sources.
The death brings number of women killed in the name of honour to nearly 15 since the start of the year, say officials.
The government promised to adopt an iron fist policy with such cases following campaigns from human rights groups.
But activists say strict social habits make it difficult to eradicate such phenomena.
Killers are often handed a sentence between six months to one year for the murder, say activists.
Six months to a year. So you see.