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.
“Pakistani woman stoned to death for marrying man she loves,” Associated Press, May 27, 2014 (thanks to Ravi):
Lahore, Pakistan — A woman was stoned to death by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved, police and a defense lawyer said.
Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, said police official Naseem Butt. He said Farzana Parveen, 25, had married Mohammad Iqbal, with whom she had been engaged for years in opposition to her family.
Her father had filed an abduction case against her husband, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said.
Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.
Hundreds of women are killed every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called “honor killings” carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.
Kharal said Parveen’s relatives waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare. As the couple walked up to the court’s main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, he said.
When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said.
Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.
“We were in love,” he told The Associated Press. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.
“I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” infuriating the family, he said.
Butt, the police official, said Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honor killing.”
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private organization, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in so-called honor killings in 2013.