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 the victim was the murderer’s daughter, 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.
“Pakistani Internet Celebrity Qandeel Baloch Killed in ‘Honor Killing,’” by Qasim Nauman, Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2016:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—An internet celebrity who pushed the boundaries of what is considered acceptable behavior for women in Pakistan was strangled by her brother in a suspected “honor killing,” the police said Saturday.
Officials said Qandeel Baloch, a 26-year-old who was described as the country’s Kim Kardashian, died at her parents’ house in the central city of Multan. They said they would know after an autopsy if Ms. Baloch died Friday night or early Saturday.
“According to a preliminary [investigation] and statements from her parents, her brother strangled her,” said Azhar Akram, Multan’s police chief. He said authorities were searching for her brother.
The police said the initial investigation pointed to an honor killing, although all possible angles would be investigated.
Ms. Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, became one of the country’s best-known media figures for posting videos and selfies on her social-media accounts, which have hundreds of thousands of followers.
Many of her videos, including one where she offered to striptease if Pakistan beat India in a cricket match, enraged conservative Pakistanis. While there was no nudity in her social-media posts, critics said her commentary, poses and clothes were inappropriate, overly sexual and violated Pakistani and Islamic norms.
Her slaying is likely to reignite debate about honor killings in Pakistan. Over 1,000 women were killed in such incidents last year in the country, according to data compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent body. Many women are ed by male relatives who feel their behavior or decisions have “dishonored” the family.
Most recently, Ms. Baloch drew nationwide attention for her selfies with Abdul Qavi, a prominent Islamic cleric. Mr. Qavi was criticized by religious circles for meeting with her and suspended from a religious panel….