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 sister, 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.
“Girl found dead in well, police suspect brother killed her for ‘honour,'” by Riaz Ahmad, Express Tribune, April 26, 2017:
PESHAWAR: A teenage girl was found dead in a well at her home in Arbab Tapu area on Wednesday and police suspect that her brother murdered her for ‘honour’ and dumped her body there.
An officer at the Mattani Police Station told The Express Tribune that Kainaat, 17, was shot dead by Qaisar Khan, her brother. Later, Qaisar threw his sister’s body in a well at their home.
“The body is extremely decomposed as several days have passed since the murder. A Rescue 1122 team fished it out of the well after a lot of effort,” the officer added.
A resident of the area said the girl had gone missing when she was 12. He added that the girl was kidnapped by her relatives and sold several times.
She was then forced into prostitution in Lahore. Her father kept searching for her and was finally able to find her….
The resident said after the girl was rescued, she had identified the relatives who had kidnapped her when she was a child but they were never booked.
The police said Qaisar had accused his sister of having illicit relationships with some men and that could have been the motive behind the murder.