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 law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer.
“Man kills wife over ‘honour’ in Mansehra,” by Muhammad Sadaqat, Express Tribune, April 30, 2016 (thanks to Thomas):
In another case of honour killing, a woman was gunned down by her husband in a remote village of Oghi in Mansehra, police said on Saturday.
The woman’s husband, Zaman, claimed she was allegedly involved in an extra marital affair with his cousin, Shabbir. Zaman killed his cousin in February after finding out about the affair and now, killed his wife, Fatima Bibi, 49.
The accused confessed to the police and said the murder was aimed at salvaging his family’s honour.
“I am quite satisfied with what I have done. Every man in his [Shabir’s] position would have chosen the same path. I had no other option because it was intolerable to see my wife in a video with someone else,” he said.
According to the police, Zaman and Fatima’s brother, Ali Muhammad, allegedly gunned down Shabbir on February 3, after a video of Shabir and Fatima surfaced on social media.
Earlier this year, Zaman became suspicious of Bibi’s relationship with Shabbir who was of the same village.
Fatima went missing the same night Shabbir was shot dead. As investigation into his murder was underway, Zaman went in search of his wife who was found at the home of their mutual relative in Lahore.
Once she was brought back to the village, she was allegedly shot six times. Fatima Bibi was married to Haider Zaman for 15 years and they had four children.
After killing her, Zaman went to the Oghi police station where he confessed. According to reports, Fatima’s brother’s had no objection to the murder but Fatima’s son, Azhar, filed an FIR against his father.
Further, Zaman told media and the police that he gave Fatima the option of divorce but she insisted that he kills her. A one day physical remand of the accused was granted by the judicial magistrate in Oghi on Saturday morning….