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.”
In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders.
–˜Honour” crime: Man arrested for killing mother, four sisters,” from the Express Tribune, August 31 (thanks to David):
CHICHA WATNI: A woman and her four daughters were killed in a Chicha Watni village on Wednesday night allegedly by one of her sons.
The suspect, Khalid Allah Ditta, 26, has been arrested by Ghaziabad police who say that he has confessed to killing the women. The police said the suspect, a resident of Chak29-11 LK, was arrested by a police team from a neighbouring village on Thursday evening. They said a murder case against him was lodged on the complaint filed by his father, Allah Ditta.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Station House Officer Muhammad Wajid admitted that it was likely that the complainant would withdraw the complaint and refuse to press murder charges against his son. He said the police would be helpless in such a situation and would have to release the suspect without prosecution.
The SHO said the complaint could not be registered by the police on their own (to prevent a withdrawal at a later stage) because a relative’s application was available for the purpose. “We may proceed against the complainant (Allah Dita) on spreading false information charge if he revokes the complaint,” he said.
The complainant, Allah Ditta, who is the suspect’s father, stated that Khalid Allah Ditta had suspected his mother Irshad Bibi, 50, and four sisters Nazia Bibi, Shazia Bibi, Sajida Bibi and Khalida Bibi of having illicit relations with some men in the neighbourhood.
It said the suspect had drugged their dinner and killed them in their sleep with an azada (a digging tool). Two of the four sisters were married but were staying at their parents” house for some months. Talking to The Tribune, Khalid Allah Ditta’s younger brother said he and his other brothers had been warning the deceased “˜to mend their ways but they refused to listen to their admonitions”. He said he had learnt about the killings on reaching home in the morning on Thursday from his dera where he had spent the night….