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.
SIALKOT: A couple was beheaded in cold blood by the family of the girl over love marriage in Satrah village of Daska tehsil, some 65km from here, on Friday.
According to the FIR lodged with Satrah police station, Sajjad Ahmed, 27, of village Hasanabad, Sialkot, had contracted a love marriage with Muafia Bibi, 23, of Satrah on June 18.
On Friday, seven members of Muafia’s family, including her father Dilshad alias Kulla, uncle Ghulam Husain, Shamshad, Afzaal Husain and Bashiran Bibi, stormed into house of the newly-weds in Hasanabad, bundled them into a van and took them to an outhouse at Satrah.
The suspects tied up the legs and arms of Sajjad and Muafia and cut off their heads with choppers in public but nobody dared stop them, the FIR said. The suspects fled from the village after the incident.
Sajjad’s family told Dawn the couple had come into contact several months ago and wanted to get married but Muafia’s parents didn’t agree to her marriage with Sajjad which led to their love marriage. They said the couple was issued threats by the girl’s family.
Police handed over the bodies to Sajjad’s family after autopsy at Daska Civil Hospital. They were laid to rest amid police security.
Daska DSP Rana Zahid Husain told newsmen that police were conducting raids to arrest the suspects. The FIR was registered under various sections of the PPC and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.