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.”
Until the encouragement Islamic gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer.
HYDERABAD: Brothers of a woman, who married for love without the consent of her family, shot at stabbed to death her husband and left her injured in an attack on their house in Latifabad Unit No12 on Sunday, said police.
A-Section police station SHO Sikandar Bhatti said that Nabeel, 25, and Samina Rani Rao, 22, daughter of Idrees, who were neighbours married in court on Feb 4 without the consent of the girl’s family and fled to Karachi after the wedlock for fear of the family’s backlash. They had been in hiding since the marriage.
On Sunday, the brothers of Samina learnt about their presence in Nabeel’s parents house. They barged into the house, stabbed and shot at Nabeel, and tortured Samina, said police.
The SHO said that one of four brothers of the girl named Zahid had been arrested and a pistol had been recovered from him. Samina suffered minor injuries. Police said the case had not been registered so far.