This is an especially egregious case. Apparently Muhammad Mudassir murdered his sister not because she had done anything wrong, but because he was denied an agreed-upon marriage with the ten-year-old sister of his sister’s husband.
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.
MULTAN: A man killed his 18-year-old sister in Kacha Khuh village of Khanewal District in a yet another case of ‘honour killing’.
Muhammad Mudassir, 27, has been arrested and charged with murder, the Kacha Khuh police said.
Amna, a resident of Chak number 4, had eloped with Muhammad Yasin. The couple tied the knot in a court around two months ago.
Mudassir, Amna’s brother, was infuriated when he heard about their marriage four days later.
One week ago, a local court (Panchayat) called both the families and after hearing their arguments, told Yasin’s family to marry off his 10-year-old sister to Mudassir.
Three days before the marriage, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday, Yasin’s father refused to give his daughter in ‘vani’ – a practice in which a woman is handed over or forcibly married to someone in return for the sins of her male relative(s).
To avenge his ‘humiliation’, Mudassir murdered his sister with an axe….