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.
BAREILLY: Two brothers, enraged by the affair their 17-year-old sister was carrying on with a cousin, beheaded the girl and marched around the village with the severed, bleeding head. The incident occurred at Bamani Chowki village, under the jurisdiction of Paraur police station in Shahjhanapur district on Monday.
Gul Hasan, 25, and his brother Nanhey, 20, spotted their sister Phool Jahan outside the house of their cousin on Monday afternoon. The girl had also spent the night at her cousin’s house. She had earlier expressed a desire to marry him. Her brothers had opposed the idea of marriage and warned her to stay away from their cousin.
Enraged that she had also spent the night there, they dragged her away and cut her head off with a chopper. Marching around the village with their sister’s head, the brothers said, “Dekho, hamne apni behen ko maar dala aur pyar karney ki yehi sazaa hoti hai” (This is what happens as punishment for having an affair.)