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.
“Muslim father strangled daughter, 19, to death in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms for sex with her forbidden boyfriend in Germany,” by Allan Hall, MailOnline, September 28, 2015:
A Muslim man has confessed to strangling his 19-year-old daughter to death with his bare hands after learning from police she had been caught shoplifting condoms to have sex with her forbidden boyfriend.
Asadullah Khan and his wife Shazia then dressed dead daughter Lareeb, a dental technician, in her clothes.
They then wheeled her in a wheelchair from their high-rise apartment to the family car, drove to a secluded embankment in their home city of Darmstadt in Germany, and tipped the corpse down it.
Khan, 51, with tears streaming down his face, admitted the killing because in his eyes she had brought ‘dishonour’ on the family with her love for a boy he didn’t approve of. He and his wife were wed in an arranged marriage and he wanted the same for her.
Khan and his wife, originally from Pakistan, are on trial for murder at the State Court in Darmstadt. Shazia, 41, described how she was a downtrodden woman, totally in the thrall of her husband, and unable to save her daughter.
The court heard how the parents sent Lareeb’s sister Nida, 14, to a relative on the evening of the murder in January this year.
Nida gave evidence against both her parents, saying her mother was as strict as their father, often striking both of them.
The mother held out her arms to Nida when she appeared in court on Friday but Nida refused to acknowledge her.
Nida said: ‘My Mama was not suppressed, she could do what she wanted. She used to hit me with a stick.
‘We were never allowed to talk about her boyfriend. My father used to say my sister should be forcibly married in Pakistan.’…
Shazia said that on the night of the murder Lareeb had quarelled again with her father and hit him. He later crept into her room as she slept, knelt astride her and strangled her….
‘Lareeb stayed away from the home for several nights in a row and stopped wearing the headscarf. One day we received a letter from the police saying she had been caught trying to steal condoms.
‘At this point it became clear that there was sexual contact. When I showed the letter to my husband he snapped.’
Killer Asadullah, who speaks no German, said he ‘loved’ his daughter.