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.
More than 11,000 cases of so-called honour crime were recorded by UK police forces from 2010-14, new figures show.
The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, which obtained the data, called for a national strategy for police, courts and schools to follow.
The crimes are usually aimed at women, and can include abductions, beatings and even murders.
Commander Mak Chishty, head of police policy on the issue, said there was now a better understanding of the problem.
So-called honour crimes are acts which have been committed to protect or defend the supposed honour or reputation of a family and community.
The figures revealed 11,744 incidences of these crimes between 2010 and 2014, consisting of data from 39 out of 52 police forces in the UK. They included forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of incidents at 2,188, followed by West Midlands Police with 1,269 and Bedfordshire Police with 1,106 examples recorded.
South Yorkshire had 1,009 unconfirmed incidents in 2014 alone while Lancashire Police had 1,049.
Diana Nammi, director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation – a charity that provides support to Middle Eastern women living in the UK who are facing “honour” violence – said the figures suggested incidence of the crime remained “consistently high” in the UK and that the issue was “not going away”.
She said: “Unfortunately they [the figures] do not show the real extent of the problem. So many crimes are unreported because the perpetrators are often the victim’s own family.
“We need a national strategy for all agencies – including police forces, courts, and schools – to be trained and to work together to end this problem.”…