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.
“Police suspects honour killing in Meerut,” The Hindu, June 20, 2015:
A seventeen-year-old girl was allegedly killed by her father in what appears to be a case of honour killing. According to police, Yusuf Ali Quraishi, a resident of Adda village in Meerut, strangulated his daughter Rubina on Friday allegedly for having an affair with her neighbour Ajju.
“Quraishi strangulated his daughter while she was in deep sleep. Rubina’s family didn’t like Ajju and was against the affair between the two,” Mundali police official Wasim Khan told the media.
“Rubina’s body was found in a drain in the neighbouring Ghaziabad district. Rubina’s family is missing and a search is on to nab them,” the police official said.