“The killers routinely invoke Islam, but rarely can they cite anything other than their belief that Islam doesn’t allow the mixing of sexes. Even Pakistan’s hard-line Islamic Ideology Council, which is hardly known for speaking out to protect women, says the practice defies Islamic tenets.”
That is flatly false. According to Islamic law, “it is not lawful or valid…for a Muslim woman to be married to anyone besides a Muslim” (Reliance of the Traveller m6.7(5).) Islamic law also states 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.” (Reliance of the Traveller 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.
It is accordingly no surprise that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. 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, instead of covered up as AP does here, more women will be victimized.
“Why I had to kill my sister to defend our family’s ‘honor,’” Associated Press, October 3, 2016:
LAHORE, Pakistan — For two months, over the thunder of machines at the steel mill, the men taunted Mubeen Rajhu about his sister. Even now, they laugh at how easy it was to make him lose his temper.
Some people had seen Tasleem in their Lahore slum with a Christian man. She was 18, a good Muslim girl, out in public with a man. Even though the man had converted to Islam out of love for her, this couldn’t be allowed.
“Some guys got to know that his sister was having a relationship,” says Ali Raza, a co-worker at the mill. “They would say: ‘Can’t you do anything? What is the matter with you? You are not a man.’”
Raza can barely contain a smile as he talks about the hours spent needling Rajhu.
“He used to tell us, ‘If you don’t stop, I will kill myself. Stop!’” Raza says.
He raises his voice to compete with the sounds of the coal-powered mill, and workers blackened by its dust gather to listen. They too smile. A few laugh at the memory of Rajhu’s outbursts.
“The guys here told him, ‘It would be better to kill your sister. It is better than letting her have this relationship,’” Raza says.
Rajhu told them he had bought a pistol, and one day in August he stopped coming to work.
Rajhu discovered that his sister had defied the family and married the Christian. For six days he paced. His rage grew. How could she?
He watched her laughing on the phone, ignoring their mother’s pleas to leave the man.
On the seventh day, he retrieved the pistol from where he had hidden it and walked up to his sister. With one bullet to the head, he killed her.
For generations now in Pakistan, they’ve called it “honor” killing, carried out in the name of a family’s reputation.
The killers routinely invoke Islam, but rarely can they cite anything other than their belief that Islam doesn’t allow the mixing of sexes. Even Pakistan’s hard-line Islamic Ideology Council, which is hardly known for speaking out to protect women, says the practice defies Islamic tenets….