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.
“Three women shot dead in Pakistan ‘honour’ killing,” from AFP, September 16 (thanks to Block Ness):
Relatives have shot dead three women in a lawless tribal area of northwest Pakistan after one of them left her husband, officials said Monday.
The “honour” killings happened in Jawaki village in the Darra Adam Khel district, between the cities of Peshawar and Kohat.
A 22-year-old woman from Karachi who married a Jawaki shopkeeper about two years ago was accused of fleeing her husband’s house and marrying another man in the northwestern Swat valley with the help of her aunt and cousin, a local administration official told AFP.
The local tribal council or jirga intervened in the matter and decided on Sunday that the women should be killed.
Relatives shot the three dead at their house late Sunday and buried them on Monday morning, he added.
“It is a case of honour killings and was settled under tribal customs where the Pakistani criminal code is not applicable,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“According to the information gathered from local sources, the girl was not happy with her husband.”
Local intelligence officials confirmed the killings.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says 943 women and girls were murdered in 2011 after being accused of tarnishing their families’ honour.
The statistics highlight the violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.
Here again, the mainstream media uses “conservative” to refer to Sharia adherents, while also using “conservative” to refer to Sharia opponents.