Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar, 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.
“Honour killing: couple beaten, strangled to death,” Pakistan Today, November 29, 2016:
A teenage girl and her male cousin were killed over the pretext of karo-kari at village Rasool Bakhsh Wessar within the jurisdiction of Sadar Police Station in Jacobabad district on Tuesday morning, it was learnt.
“A teenage girl identified as Gul Bano, 16, and her cousin Dur Muhammad, 18, son of Hakim Wessar, were killed over the pretext of honour killing by the father of the girl, Mushtaque Wessar, by beating them with baton and later strangling both to death,” said SHO Sadar Police Station Ayaz Pathan.
Police had arrested the accused Mushtaque Wessar and brought the bodies of the deceased to District Headquarters Hospital Jacoobabad for the post-mortem examination….