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.
The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. 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.”
“Father, sons held for “˜honour killing” in Kuwait,” by Habib Toumi for Gulf News, June 10 (thanks to Benedict):
Manama: Four Syrian brothers are facing murder charges after they allegedly admitted that they had killed their teenaged sister after they were ordered to do so by their father, a newspaper in Kuwait reported on Sunday.
Authorities also detained the 19-year-old victim’s father who reportedly incited the “honour” killing.
The Al Watan daily report said the police in Jahra called the victim’s father and asked him to take his daughter home. The victim was initially reported missing prompting the police to conduct a search.
As they were going home, the father and his sons allegedly beat her up and strangled the victim inside the car. They then buried her in the Salmi desert area….
Thousands of women have been killed by their male relatives each year in the name of family honour or crimes of passion or dowry deaths.