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.
“False pride: Man kills daughter over ‘honour,’” Express Tribune, November 16, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
LAHORE: Police said on Saturday that a man had killed his 22-year-old daughter for honour late on Friday in Samanabad.
They said Shahzada Shahid Pervaiz, a resident of Samanabad, killed her after a heated argument. Police said he had knifed her. They said she was taken to Services Hospital where she had succumbed to her injuries. Police said the body had been sent to a mortuary for autopsy.
They said Pervaiz had surrendered to police and produced the knife he had used to kill her. Police said a case had been registered against him on the complaint of his wife.
Pervaiz said he had no remorse. He said he had been compelled to kill her as she wanted to marry for love. A forensic surgeon at Mayo Hospital said the deceased had been stabbed in the stomach, chest and shoulders. He said the body had been returned to the family of the deceased for burial. The complainant refused to speak to The Express Tribune regarding the incident. A neighbor said the deceased had wanted to marry a teacher of hers. The deceased was pursuing a degree in sociology at the Punjab University.