It is not at all surprising that the State Department would not mention Islam in connection with honor killings. But this steadfast and universal refusal to identify the root cause of honor murders only ensures that there will be more of them.
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. In this case, of course, the victim was the murderer’s wife, a victim to the culture of violence and intimidation that such laws help create.
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.”
You can see video of the State Department spokesperson’s statement here.
“Condemning ‘Honor Killings,’ State Dept. Cites ‘Tradition’ But Not Religion as a Factor,” CNSNews.com, May 30, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
The State Department on Thursday condemned the stoning of death of a Pakistani woman and other violence against women “in the name of tradition and honor,” but made no reference to religion as a factor.