The “Palestinians,” as you can see from the story below, are in complete denial about why these killings happen. 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.
“Palestinians see worrisome trend in ‘honour’ killings rise,” by Noah Browning for Reuters, December 11 (thanks to Twostellas):
AQQABA, West Bank, Dec 11 (Reuters) – A silvery green olive grove set in the red soil of a Palestinian village is a crime scene – testament to a practice so sensitive that it is spoken of only in whispers.
One night in late November, Rasha Abu Ara, a 32-year-old mother of five, was beaten to death and strung from a gnarled tree branch as a gruesome badge of “family honour” restored.
The woman’s alleged sin was adultery, and her killer was either her own brother or husband, security sources told Reuters. Both are behind bars while an investigation continues.
Her murder brought to 27 the number of women slain in similar circumstances in Palestinian-run areas this year, according to rights groups – more than twice last year’s victims.
The rise has led Palestinians to question hidebound laws they say are lax on killers, as well as a reluctance to name and shame in the media and society, which may contribute to a feeling of impunity among perpetrators.
“It feels like something that belongs to another time,” said one young man in Aqqaba who refused to give his name, the first hints of a beard on his chin. “But, it’s standard.”
A week after the crime, Aqqaba mayor Jamal Abu Ara, who is a member of the victim’s extended family, and his brothers sat in their village home, smoking cigarettes and choosing their words carefully.
“This act has no religion – it comes from closed, tribal thinking left over from an age of ignorance. People here are walking around in a haze; they want to know who did it and why. Of course, it’s the first time it’s happened here,” he said.
His brother added: “Islam requires you have four witnesses to prove the act of adultery. “It’s not right what happened. Especially since if it were a man, some would just say ‘boys will be boys’,” he said….
“Honour killing” is a social menace that occurs throughout the Middle East, though precise figures are often elusive. In neighbouring Jordan, for example, a Cambridge University survey of attitudes among young people published in June found that a third of respondents agreed with the practice. The researchers attributed the result to low levels of education and “patriarchal and traditional world views, emphasis placed on female virtue and a more general belief that violence against others is morally justified.”
The study estimated an average of 15 to 20 such killings occur every year in Jordan, with a population of around 6.3 million, compared to around 4 million in Palestinian lands….
But Soraida Hussein, whose rights group Muntada tallied this year’s killings, said the practice also has deep roots. “There is no balance in power relations between the genders. There is a patriarchal mentality…as always, the force and pressure in society is transferred from the strong to the weak,” she said….
The passing of stricter laws on violence against women is hamstrung by the absence of a Palestinian parliament, which has not met since President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas group fought a brief, bloody civil war in 2007.
Abbas has used his executive power to amend or cancel parts of the penal law, but has not yet changed all legislation which applies a separate status to domestic violence and has been used to justify killings and lighten prison sentences.
Palestinian Minister of Women’s Affairs Rabiha Diab saved much of her blame for violence toward women for Israel: “The Israeli occupation is the one practising the utmost violence … it’s the main thing keeping us from advancing….
Spreading awareness on the issue can open campaigners and journalists to criticism and even threats, which may partly explain its scant airing in public, however.
Press bulletins occasionally note the discovery of a woman’s body in what are called “hazy circumstances” – a common euphemism for honour killings.
Names are concealed and the news is rarely followed up on. “When you touch such stories, you’re up against a social taboo,” said Palestinian journalist Naela Khalil, whose work focuses on women’s issues. “Here, the family is stronger than even the security forces. I might criticise Mahmoud Abbas more easily than a father or a brother who killed a woman. Doing this may mean a struggle with a whole family or village,” she said.