The ruling is good, the AP report less so. This is not about “traditional taboos.” 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.
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.
“US appeals court: Jordanian woman faces threat at home,” by Dan Sewell, Associated Press, November 24, 2017 (thanks to Leo):
Cincinnati — A recent U.S. appellate court ruling offers a window on “honor killings,” an ancient practice across the globe that calls for defending a family’s reputation by slaying female relatives who violate traditional taboos.
Three 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges voted this month to block U.S. removal of a Jordanian woman who says a cousin in her homeland has vowed to kill her because she got pregnant out of wedlock. Their unanimous ruling stated that the case record “overwhelmingly supports” her belief she would be persecuted if returned to Jordan, where she would face an honor killing or involuntary incarceration for “protective custody.”
The decision by the Cincinnati-based court sends the case of Olga Jad Kamar, who lives in the Detroit area, back to the Board of Immigration Appeals for further review.
Her attorney, George Mann, called the ruling “a very important step forward not just for our client, but for many similarly situated women. It is a recognition by our courts that these practices are against our values and women who are subjected to what amounts to barbarian practices deserve our protection.”
The Justice Department didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment. Immigration authorities had rejected Kamar’s appeal in 2016.
Kamar, born in Lebanon in 1964 but a Jordan-raised citizen, lost her visiting student status in the United States when she left school, court records show. She was married and had three sons; she divorced and then became pregnant in 2007 before marrying the father.
She and her sister testified in federal immigration proceedings that a first cousin has said it his holy mission to cleanse the family name and restore honor by killing her, following local tribal traditions.
“You understand what the punishment is for a girl like you who brings shame upon your family,” she quoted a letter from her cousin as saying.
The Associated Press reported this year in Amman, Jordan, that Jordan’s main criminal court dealt with nine slayings of women in 2015 that were labeled “honor crimes” and eight more honor killing cases in 2016. Even rape victims have been “punished” in honor crimes, and some Jordanian laws have allowed lenient treatment of those who kill or assault female relatives.
Jordanian legal officials say that Jordanian courts have imposed harsher sentences for honor crimes, and that no convicted killer has received a sentence of less than 10 years since 2010….