Islam’s true face: Honour Killing

According to the United Nations, more than 5000 women and children are killed every year under the name of honour killing. The murder of Fadime Sahindal in Sweden brought about a lot of feelings and media coverage all over the world.

Following this tragic event, a lot of questions were raised and debates carried out as to why and how such a crime could have happened. A lot of people talked about the fact that women are killed in different circumstances and that it involves violence by men against women.

The fact that women are killed is a bitter truth. However, when women and children are murdered by their own close relatives and loved ones is a concept that has its roots mainly in the Middle East where women’s sexuality has always been the centre of power and production.

Power itself together with nationalistic sentiments and religion control the society. Following the honour killings of Pela and Fadime in Sweden; and Hursu in England, a lot of academics and pro cultural relativists said that “honour killing lives in the original culture that is still left in certain parts of the world and has nothing to do with religion”. If we accept this explanation then we have given all religions a free hand in interfering in women’s lives.

There is no doubt that honour killing is far more ancient than for example Islam or Christianity. However my question is why does it still happen? Does the original culture exist in Europe?

Obviously the political and religious situation and the consequence culture in the Middle East have a lot to do with the issue. After all it is not any coincident that most honour killings happen in the region or have their roots in the Middle East. For me, honour killing involves physical and physiological violence against women at home and in the society.

Women who choose to take control of their lives, choose their own partners, exercise their freedom, or choose to have sex before marriage are targets for honour killings.

The person who kills under the name of honour is trying to consolidate his/ her position in the society, in the family and community. He/she uses religion to achieve such position. Families who loose their honour are not taken seriously in the community. This is, without doubt, the consequence of the political power that dominates people’s lives. The same system and power imposes laws and regulations such as compulsory veil, negates the right to choose ones life and prohibits freedom of speech in the society. Political Islam steers women’s lives with the help of Sharia law.

In Iran the constitution is based on Sharia law where women are considered immature and imbeciles in every aspect of society. Today, there is a strong women’s movement all over the Middle East against religious injustice in women’s lives and against patriarchy. There are campaigns against honour killings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanon and Morocco. It is a movement for equality and human rights.

This debate has another angle in Europe. There is talk of “culture in ethnic minority communities”. It means women’s and children’s rights are tramped on, while cultural relativists take over women’s and children’s lives. Respecting culture takes precedence to human life and women’s rights. Imams and priests have become the representatives and speakers of these communities. It has created a situation where medieval culture is kept alive and religion takes over.

I put a few questions to you. Is this culture so progressive and an advance phenomenon in today’s society that needs to be preserved? Should we have a set of rules for ethnic minorities and another set of rules for the rest of the population? Doesn’t this remind you of apartheid system? Or is there something that I call state racism since it treats people differently?

The result of cultural relativism is worsening of women’s lives. Human history has shown that the old traditions and religious interference in women’s lives is not something that can be fought against without radical actions that show society stands by progressive values. Cultural relativism and racism are two sides of the same coin. It is about time that women activists and human rights organisations look at this issue seriously and change their position against reactionary forces in Europe and engage their energy and recourses into progressive and radical fight in the Middle East.

 

 

Abbas Rezai (2005):  A 20-year-old Iranian man, gets killed in Hogsby. The motive is supposedly that his girlfriend’s family, who comes from Afghanistan, could not accept their relationship. The trial found the girlfriend’s brother guilty and fined him four years in institutional youth welfare and banishment from Sweden for life. Her parents are free. The lawyer of the mother to the murdered man is convinced that they planned the killing and has the opinion that they also should be sentenced for the murder.

A Kurdish Wife (2003): A 28-year-old Kurdish man stabs his one-year-younger wife with 37 slashes in Strangnas. The man did not accept that his wife wanted to get a divorce. The trial found him guilty and fined him ten years in prison and banishment from Sweden for life.

Fadime Sahindal (2002): A 26-year-old Kurdish girl, was killed in Uppsala in the evening of the 21st January. Her father did not accept that she had a Swedish boyfriend and wanted to have Swedish life style. The trial found her father guilty and he got a life sentence. Two months before she was killed she held a speech in the Swedish Parliament about her life and how she was treated by her family, relatives and Swedish authorities.

Pela Atroshi (1999): She was shot to death in Dhouk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her sister called the Swedish police and reported the murder. Two uncles got a life sentence for the murder. The father is still wanted by the authorities.

Umea (1996): A 15-year-old Iraqi girl in Umea was killed by her brother and cousin after a party. The motive was that she had a Swedish life style.

Palestinian Girl (1994): A Palestinian man in Vastmanland killed his 18-year-old daughter when she refused to marry the man the father had chosen for her.

Parvin Kaboli, Secretary of Organisation for Women’s Liberation

 

 

by Parvin Kaboli

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11 Comments

  1. A GIRL of 15 was tricked into a “telephone marriage” ceremony to a Sheffield man with a mental age of five in a ceremony recognised by sharia (Islamic law).

    When the girl arrived from Pakistan expecting to meet the handsome man she had been shown in a photograph, she found that he was 40 years old, unemployed and disabled.

    To make matters worse, her mother-in-law decided to exploit her attractive looks by forcing her into prostitution.

    The family invited men to the family home to rape her before she managed to escape to the police by bolting through the front door. She was taken into care and now lives in a refuge.

    The case is highlighted in a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion, which has found that policemen, councillors and taxi drivers are turning a blind eye or even conniving in enforcing the Asian community’s strict “moral code” on young women.

    The girl’s marriage last April was not recognised by the Home Office but was approved by the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain. She is typical of the runaway brides at risk of an “honour killing”. According to official figures, 10 to 12 women are murdered in Britain in honour killings each year, but the government has been warned by MPs that this is a serious underestimate. Police often record the deaths as cases of domestic violence, while other girls are driven to suicide or taken away to their family’s country of origin and never seen again. Many Asian parents would rather resort to violence against their children than see their reputation tarnished by the perceived dishonour of allowing them to become “westernised”.

    The report, Crimes of the Community, claims the problem is no longer an issue of first-generation migrants importing attitudes from “back home” but is “indigenous and self-perpetuating” because it is sustained by third and fourth-generation immigrants.

    The study reveals the case of Saamiya, a 16-year-old girl from Birmingham, whose parents were so angry when they discovered she had a boyfriend that they flew her to Pakistan and told her they had arranged a marriage two hours before the ceremony.

    “During the Islamic ceremony my dad was standing behind me with one hand on my shoulder and with his other hand he had a gun which was pointed at my back so that I didn’t say ‘no’,” Saamiya said.

    “To everyone else it looked natural — he was just standing there stroking my shoulder — but just before he had told me that he would shoot me if I didn’t go through with it.”

    She was rescued from Pakistan by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s forced marriage unit and now lives in a refuge in the Midlands, but has been told that she will be murdered by her brothers. The girl told investigators: “I haven’t been back home since then. My brothers say that they want to take me back to Pakistan so they can kill me basically. They’ll just pay the police there to keep quiet… I don’t want to be killed. I’m only 16. I want to live my life.”

    The think-tank’s report comes after Gordon Brown, the prime minister, said last week that he was extremely concerned that too little was being done to prevent honour crimes.

    The study criticises the police and schools for failing to take action in a misguided attempt to avoid offending cultural sensibilities.

    Karma Nirvana, a support group in Derby, claims it asked local schools last year to display warning posters produced by the forced marriage unit. It said the schools refused.

    Derby council last week denied that the group had made the requests, but the prime minister has pledged to investigate reports that the government unit cannot get its advice posters into schools for fear of upsetting local opinion.

    According to the report, women who go to the authorities to seek protection have been tracked down through their mobile phones or even by leaks of confidential information from government databases.

    Jasvinder Sanghera, director of Karma Nirvana, said that police who find girls who have escaped from their families often simply return them to their parents where they face further abuse, with some Asian officers actually colluding in crimes. Sanghera is taking a case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission of a girl who fled her family but was kidnapped by relatives and held prisoner. She claims that a police officer tipped off the family where the girl was staying.

    “Police have a long way to go before they get on top of honour crime. There is a lingering fear among officers of being dubbed racist for probing cultural issues. We’ve got to shake off that myth,” she said.
    Courtesy
    Times online
    Abul Taher

  2. It is truly abhorrent in its braindead enslavement to the authority of the Koran , clerics and Islamic law. It wears its anti-Semitism and hatred for infidels on its sleeve and is proud of it.
    John

  3. Honor killings, which occur with shocking regularity in certain parts of the Middle East and South Asia, target women whose actions – actual or suspected – violate the honor of their family, an honor which is thought to depend on the sexual purity of its female members. Victims are always being killed/slaughtered mercilessly by her own family members. Honor killing is a manifestation of global phenomenon in general and Muslim nations in particular. Since this terrible inhumane practice does exists only among the Muslims of the world—very often civilized people do blame Islam as the precursor of this dreadful act. Most others do not agree with this notion at all; and they try to put the blame on the tribal/cultural practice, and do not consider Islam is anyway responsible for it. In this essay I shall analyze the real issues, cause and origin, and pattern of this heinous act amongst the Muslims of the world to postulate if there is any link, or incitements that originates from the very core of Islam.

    What is honor killing?

    Honor killing is the bone chilling horrific cruelty committed by the family members—father, mother, brothers, brother-in-laws, even in some cases own sisters also. In this terrible episode the victim is always the daughter/sister or other blood related young women who get killed. Perpetrators are always the family members stated above. Family honor is one of the core values of Arab society. Anything from speaking with an unrelated man, to rumored pre-marital loss of virginity, to an extra-marital affair, refuses forced marriages; marry according to their will; or even women and girls who have been raped—can stain or destroy the family honor. Therefore, family members (parents, brothers, or sisters) kill the victim in order to remove the stain or maintain, and protect the honor of the family. Killers are given light sentences, sometimes with little or no jail time at all. The killers mainly defend their act of murder by referring to the Koran and Islam. Family guardian will say that they are merely following the directives set down in their Islamic ethical beliefs.

  4. Honor killing is committed by the family members – father, mother, brothers, brother-in-laws and even in some cases sisters

    These barbaric killings occur only to save the honor of the family, and not for any animosity or for wealth or gold. In 100% of cases—the killers have no animosity, rather they love the girl as their own daughter or sister, but they kill the girl anyway upon their ethical compulsion to save their family honor, or to erase family stigmas. The victims cry, beg for their life but the family members become merciless (out of their ethical prejudices and also religious burden of fear) and kill the victim. After killing family members usually mourn and cry for the victim (usually loving daughter or sister) but feel solace that they have done the right thing to save their family honor.
    And this kind of cruel killings to save family honor had happened, still happening, and will remain to happen—only to a Muslim family. Honor killings happen only to some designated Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, the Gaza strip and the West Bank (Palestine), Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Somalia, Turkey, Iran and some other south and central Asian countries. Bangladesh though a Muslim majority country—regular pattern of honor killings never happened as of today. But it is not unknown or impossible to record some stray incidences in Bangladeshi rural Muslim family (only) in which girl was poisoned by family members, or asked to commit suicide after being impregnated by unwed sexual intercourse. However, this same kind of case history was never heard, or recorded in the non-Muslim family of Bangladesh.

  5. Honor killing should never be confused with wife beating, or wife killings by husbands or other relatives.

    Honor killing should never be confused with wife beating, or wife killings by husbands or other relatives. Since pre-historic ancient time people assassinated, killed, or poisoned their wives or husbands, or other family members for either adultery, love affairs (Poro-keya prem) with other man besides her husband, or for property disputes—and these are simple homicide in English terminology. They are never called honor killing. This kind of homicides did occur, still occurs, and will occur in any nations, or race throughout the human history and these are not any race, or religion related happenings by any standard. Honor killings also should never be confused, or mixed up with killings for dowry, acid throwing by unsuccessful/disappointed love stalkers (as frequently happened in the Indian sub-continent), or any other violence against women. These are simply not honor killings, which is the topic of this essay.

  6. Case-5: ABU QASH, Palestine: Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud (mother of 9 children) killed her daughter ‘Rofayda Qaoud’ who had been raped by her brothers and was impregnated. Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter’s room last Jan. 27, 2003. “Tonight you die, Rofayda,” she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda’s wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of “No, mother, no!” After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick. The 43-year-old mother of nine said. “I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family’s honor.”

    • Case-6: A 23 year old Rania Arafat, whose plight was broadcast live on national TV in Jordan. Rania was promised to her cousin as a very young child. Rania repeatedly told that she doesn’t love him and she is in love with someone else. She pled with her family to allow her to marry her lover, instead. She ran away twice, including two weeks before her forced marriage. She wrote to her mother and pled for forgiveness and understanding. Her parents promised that she would not be harmed and she could return home. On August 19, 1997, Rania returned home. The same night, her younger brother, Rami, shot her five times in the head and chest, killing her immediately. Her youngest brother was chosen to commit the murder not only to allow his defense to find protection under the laws protecting so-called honour crimes, but also because he was a juvenile. Rami served six months in jail for his crime.

    Case-7: Amal, another Arab woman and victim of honour killing was run away because she insisted on her independence. Her family said that they were ashamed because of that and the gossip of neighbors. One night, when she returned home and went sleep, her brother accompanied by Amal’s father, strangled her. He said: “I strangled her. She didn’t fight back. I recited the “Holly Koran” as she was dying… it took a few minutes and she was dead.” He and his father both given light sentences.

  7. • Case-8: Death of Aqsa Pervez: A reflection on Canadian Muslim-Pakistanis-Honor killing in Canada!, December 16, 2007
    A young Mississauga teenager (16-year old) Aqsa Pervez, was killed by her father last week who later called the police and confessed. Mohammad Pervez is now in police custody and his case hearings have begun. The young girl was killed by strangulation for her refusal to wear the hijab.

    Case- 9: Texas manhunt on for father of slain his two girls (January 3, 2008)
    Texas authorities continued a manhunt today for an Egyptian-born taxi driver accused of murdering his two teenage daughters. Yaser Abdel Said, 50, was wanted on a warrant for capital murder after police say he shot the girls Tuesday and left them to die in his taxi, which was found parked in front a hotel in Las Colinas, a suburb north of Dallas. Police said Mr. Said should be considered armed and dangerous.

    Friends of Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17, described the girls to the Dallas Morning News as “extremely smart — like geniuses,” saying the slain sisters had been enrolled in advanced placement classes and were active in soccer and tennis at suburban Lewisville High School. Family and friends told reporters that the girls’ Westernized lifestyle caused conflict with their Muslim father, who immigrated from Egypt in the 1980s.

    “He was really strict about guy relationships and talking to guys, as well as the things she wears,” Kathleen Wong, a friend of the girls, told KTVT-TV, the Dallas CBS affiliate. Two boys who said they had been dating the sisters told KXAS-TV in Dallas that Mr. Said was upset that his daughters were involved with non-Muslims.

    “She just wanted a normal life, like any American girl wanted,” one of the boys told the NBC affiliate station, adding that Sarah “was always kind, gentle, always cheerful, always had a smile on her face.”

  8. Honor killing is a cultural/tribal phenomenon!!!

    Most Muslim apologists and also some gullible westerners want to argue that the ‘so called “honor killing” is not Islamic and it’s a tribal/cultural vice.’ This statement is utterly untrue and only a wish full covers up. It’s true that in pre-Islamic Arab culture this heinous honor killing of women did exist; likewise, many other uncivilized practices like stoning, flogging, beheading, slavery etc also existed in the pre-Islamic Arab society. But Islam did incorporate entirely most of these inhumane/uncivilized practices of pagan society, which they now call them Allah’s laws.

    Had it been the tribal/cultural practice, ‘honor killing’ would exist amongst the Arabs only. But honor killing does happen amongst the non-Arab Muslims also. Also Arabs belonged to all religions (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bhai etc.) would practice honor killing with equal prevalence. Fact of the matter is—no Arab Christians, Jews or Bahai etc do practice this uncivilized act at all. Only Arab Muslims do practice this heinous act with a regular pattern.

    Honor killing does happen only amongst the Muslims and these honor killings get support and encouragement from the ethical teachings of religion Islam. In 1986 this kind of honor killing did happen in the United States of America in an Arab Muslim family. In 2003 honor killing happened in Sweden again in a Muslim family. However, some very rare, sporadic case of such killing might have happened in other society or people of other religion. But they are no where near to compare with the regular pattern, or routine feature of honor killings which do happen in the Muslim nations that I have mentioned. It has been reported that in Pakistan and in Jordan several hundreds of “honor killings” do happen every year. Perhaps, it will be more plausible to name this so called ‘honor’ as the “Islamic honor”, which Muslims stupendously try to save by killing their love one!

    Dictums of Quran and Hadiths which may dictate/incite honor killing:

    Quran- 4:15 “If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four (reliable) witness from amongst you against them; if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them. Or God ordain for them some (other) way.”

    Quran-24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with hundred stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the last day.”

    Quran-17:32 “ Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

    Quran-33:33 “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display.”

    Now some sahih hadiths:

    Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 196:
    Narrated Abu Huraira: A man from Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Apostle while he was in the mosque and called (the Prophet ) saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” On that the Prophet turned his face from him to the other side, whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse.” The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side whereupon the man moved to the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and repeated his statement. The Prophet turned his face (from him) to the other side again. The man moved again (and repeated his statement) for the fourth time. So when the man had given witness four times against himself, the Prophet called him and said, “Are you insane?” He replied, “No.” The Prophet then said (to his companions), “Go and stone him to death.” The man was a married one. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari said: I was one of those who stoned him. We stoned him at the Musalla (‘Id praying place) in Medina. When the stones hit him with their sharp edges, he fled, but we caught him at Al-Harra and stoned him till he died.
    (See also Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 63, Number 195.)

    Sahi Bukhari: 8:6814:
    Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari: “A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse; and he bore witness four times against himself. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.”

    Sahi Muslim No. 4206:
    “A woman came to the prophet and asked for purification by seeking punishment. He told her to go away and seek God’s forgiveness. She persisted four times and admitted she was pregnant. He told her to wait until she had given birth. Then he said that the Muslim community should wait until she had weaned her child. When the day arrived for the child to take solid food, Muhammad handed the child over to the community. And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al-Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on her face he cursed her.”

    Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 2. pg 1009; and Sahih Muslim Vol 2. pg 65:
    Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Abbaas (Radiallahu Anhu) narrates the lecture that Hadhrat Umar (Radiallaahu Anhu) delivered whilst sitting on the pulpit of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Hadhrat Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “Verily, Allah sent Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with the truth, and revealed the Quran upon him. The verse regarding the stoning of the adulterer/ess was from amongst the verse revealed (in the Quraan). We read it, secured it and understood it. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) stoned and we stoned after him. I fear that with the passage of time a person might say, ‘We do not find mention of stoning in the Book of Allah and thereby go astray by leaving out an obligation revealed by Allah. Verily, the stoning of a adulterer/ress is found in the Quraan and is the truth, if the witnesses are met or there is a pregnancy or confession.”

    Al-Bukhari:
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever guarantees me that he will guard his chastity, I will guarantee him Paradise”.

    Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i and others:
    Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “No one commits adultery while still remaining a believer, for faith is more precious unto Allah than such an evil act!” In another version, it is stated, “When a person commits adultery he casts away from his neck the bond that ties him to Islam; if, however, he repents, Allah will accept his repentance”.

    Al-Bayhaqi:
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O mankind! Beware of fornication/adultery for it entails six dire consequences: three of them relating to this world and three to the next world. As for the three that are related to this world, they are the following: it removes the glow of one’s face, brings poverty, and reduces the life-span. As for its dire consequences in the next world they are: it brings down the wrath of Allah upon the person, subjects him to terrible reckoning, and finally casts him in hell-fire.”
    The above Quranic verses and authentic sahih hadiths clearly demonstrate beyond doubt that Prophet Muhammad, under Allah’s direction, stoned adulterers to death and flogged fornicators. Allah’s decree/choice of death for fornicators (Quran: 4:15) and flogging adulteress 100 times with no mercy (Quran: 24:2, which also could lead to certain death) has clearly sanctioned/dictated dreadful punishment for sexual intercourse outside marriage. It is from these scriptural divine spirits Iranian fundamentalist Islamic government practices stoning and flogging adulterers even today. The Iranian Supreme Court sanctioned that an adulteress should be buried up to her chest and stoned to death. Mullahs of Iran know the hadiths quite well. This august body is closely following Allah’s prophet. It is also quite prudent to consider that Muslim parents those who are practicing honor killing are directly motivated, or influenced by the above scriptural and historical (Hadiths) support; hence they are able to commit heinous crime called ‘honor killing’ with (almost) impunity, exultantly and with ample satisfaction that they are following the strict Islamic ethical code to guard chastity, as the holy Prophet repeatedly cautioned Muslims so seriously to guard their women’s chastity.

  9. Islamic ethics for adultery:

    The Arabic word ‘Zina’ means all extramarital sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. According to Islam “Zina” constituted social suicide—an entire society commits suicide over time if it allows fornication and adultery to go unpunished in the Islamic style. As per Islamic justice—unmarried fornicators receive a hundred stripes, but married adulterers must die by stoning, as described in the sahih hadiths.

    Opinion of some famous Islamists about Zina

    The Saudi Ambassador to London, Ghazi al-Qusaibi, says that stoning may seem irrational to the western mind, but it is “at the core of the Islamic faith.” An intellectual, the Saudi ambassador to London asserted that stoning adulterers to death is a legitimate punishment for society. He also says that Westerners should respect Muslin culture on this matter.

    Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
    “Adultery in Islam is one of the most heinous and deadliest of sins. Its enormity can be gauged from the fact that it has often been conjoined in the Qur’an with the gravest of all sins: shirk or associating partners with Allah.”

    Hani Ramadan head of the Islamic Center in Geneva (Hani Ramadan is the elder brother of famed Swiss Muslim intellectual Tarek Ramadan, who are both the grandsons of Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.) stated,
    “Islam has taken a firm and decisive stance against Zina (fornication or adultery). Allah, the Almighty, commands in explicit and unequivocal words: “And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.” (Al-Isra’: 32).”

    Mufti Muhammad Aashiq Illahi Muhajir Madani (Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Qur’an, Karachi, Pakistan, Zam Zam, 2003) also follows this tactic of describing society that does not undergo Islamic punishments for the two sexual crimes. Families fall into ruin, which means society also is ruined. Sexual sins also cause widespread disease (vol. 6, pp. 360-66).

    Al Skudsi bin Hookah , (roving reporter and foreign correspondent for The Gaza Gajeera.):
    “I am very unhappy. Our way of life is under attack. And we are not fighting back. Deep down, we know that when a woman has disgraced her family, nothing will restore honor except by killing her. This is understood in Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, the Gaza strip and the West Bank. So why are we Arabs telling the Western press that honor killing is cultural, that it is not really part of Islam? Our way of life is based on maintaining our honor. And make no mistake about it: a woman does tarnish her family’s honor by engaging in pre-marital sex, or by getting herself raped, when she seeks divorce and when she marries against her family’s wishes. And keeping our women pure is a big part of our honor. So there’s no point saying honor killing isn’t really part of our religion. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor.”

    Bassam al-Hadid, (A Jordanian with an American doctorate who spent 12 years as a hospital administrator in the United States): “I would do what I have to do,” said, when asked whether he would kill a daughter who had sex outside marriage.”

  10. Status of Women in Muslim society:

    According to Islamic tradition the woman is an object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life. The social and religious traditions lead to the isolation of the woman in her home. She is required to cover her entire body in order to maintain the honor of the man. In Qur’an, prophetic tradition and law, one finds a very strong presumption of women’s chastity along with numerous safeguards to prevent any imputation of un-chastity A Muslim feminist sexual ethics must help create the conditions for the Qur’anic and traditional values of modesty and chastity to be lived by Muslim women and men in ways that are faithfully chosen and equitably maintained.
    A woman who is either raped or commits adultery becomes the source of shame to her family. People will not marry her because she has been spoiled; she and her family becomes the object of gossip of everyone in the society; hence the entire family can lose prestige. No one would give a daughter to the brothers of that girl in marriage and no one would marry her sisters. The family and even the extended family are maligned and become outcasts. This can only stop if the family cleanses that stain with blood. The woman thus defiled must be killed even if she is a victim of rape.

    Role of Misogynistic attitude in Islam:

    Islam is dreadfully anti-women. This statement can be proven with 100% guarantee by the well known and established fact that—women folks in every Muslim country in general, and in every Islamic paradise (country where Islamic Shariaat is enforced) in particular, are severely subjugated, oppressed, and considered less than second class citizen. Women in Islam are considered half human and in the Quran women have half the rights of men, sister has half the rights of brother, and women are considered deficient in intelligence.

    Practically and Literally Islam consider women as the sources of great shame. Prophet Muhammad said women are awrah which can be translated as object of shame. What is awrah? The Encyclopedia of Islam defines ‘awrah’as pudendum, which is the external genitals, especially of the female. The word Pudendum derives from the Latin pudor which means sense of shame and modesty. Therefore, awrah signify an object of shame that needs to be covered.

    Interestingly, in the Indian sub-continent (Bangladesh-India-Pakistan)—women have another alternative name calling, in spite of having their usual name for the English word woman in the respective language. And this famous name calling is “Auraat” and common in all the three countries of the Indian sub-continent. Obviously this common word “Auraat” for women came from the Arabic word Awrah. This common word “Auraat” is usually used as the synonym for woman with empathy, hatred, mercy and shame.

    According to the following Hadiths, women not only have ten ‘awrah, but the woman herself is perceived as ‘awrah: “The woman is ‘awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her” (Ihy’a ‘Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-‘Elmeyah, Beirut , Vol II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65. Reported by Tirmizi as a true and good Ahadith).

    Hazrat Ali (rightly guided Caliph) reported the Prophet saying:
    “Women have ten (‘awrah). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten.” ( Kanz-el-‘Ummal, Vol. 22, Hadith No. 858. See also Ihy’a).

    In most fanatical Islamic nations when a woman loses her awrah by e.g. through rape, she becomes the object of shame for her entire family, and also for the society. Only way to remove that shame and restore the honor is to remove that defiled woman. It is practiced in most Islamic countries with a regular pattern. The more religious is a country, the more is widespread the honor killing. As for example, Pakistan a Muslim majority nation did not have practice of honor killing until the fanatic and despotic Military dictator General Ziaul Hoq came to power. This despotic ruler by his decade long dictatorship turned Pakistan into an Islamic Sharia country. Along with intense acceleration of making Pakistan into a hub of Talibans, and Islamic terrorist’s country, citizens of Pakistan also started vigorous practicing of honor killing on a regular basis.

  11. Conclusion:

    Judging everything I have described in this essay, one can very genuinely lead to the conclusion that ‘honor killing’ is indeed the vice of Islam. Islam has much to do with honor killing practices which only do exist amongst the Muslims of the world. Had it been un-Islamic practice, we would have seen some Muslim nations prohibiting such cruel practice by Sharia law. We have not seen any Muslim country did enact any such law to curve honor killing. We have seen innumerable cases of fatwas by Mullahs to prohibit alcohol drinking, pork eating or listening western music; but never ever heard any such fatwa against honor killing. Rather, honor killing has silent support from the devout Islamists of all kinds. Islamists condone honor killing silently! No wonder that the Al Skudsi bin Hookah (reported of Gazagejeera) so passionately said: “So there’s no point saying honor killing isn’t really part of our religion. Honor and Islam are inextricably bound; they are what give our life meaning. A strong religion demands we choose to maintain our honor.”

    One may argue that Quran does not say clearly about honor killing! Fact is there are plenty of things Muslims practice that are also not mentioned in the Quran. Stoning death also not available in the Quran. Yet Iranian Islamic government does practice stoning death by the decree of Islamic court. Afghan Taliban government did routinely practice stoning and flogging of adulterers. Most importantly, Quran did not create any scriptural instruction to ban the so called Arab tribal practice of “honor killing” either! Besides, if the honor killing was simply a tribal practice—then it would have been prevailed amongst the Arabs of all religions. There is no evidence to support that a Christian or Jewish family of Jordan or Palestine did practice honor killing.

    Muslims who are stunningly devout and laden with Islamic superstitious beliefs do commit crime of Honor killing to fulfill their obligation of preserving Islamic ethics, and women chastity. The more a country gets fanatically religious the more frequent are honor killings (Pakistan is a perfect example). Islam has incorporated many pre-Islamic practices of Arab pagans (stoning deaths, flogging the fornicators, slavery, war booty, beheading the criminals, cutting hands and foots of thieves, many rituals of animal sacrifice, annual pilgrimage to Mecca etc.) and readily called them Islamic or Allah’s laws. Honor killing is one such pre-Islamic practice of Arab pagans which has been practicing by some devout Muslim families of many good Islamic nations of the world.

    Because of the fact that the “honor killings” do have silent support from Islam, the killers are given light sentences, sometimes with little or no jail time at all. The killers are primarily influenced by Islamic ethics, and mainly defend their act of murder by referring to the Koran and Islam. They usually justify their evil deeds by the directives set down in the Islamic ethical beliefs and principles. Koran is very strict and belligerent regarding how to control women’s sexuality, and Islamic Law; Sharia, rules harsh punishments including lashing and stoning to death for women’s voluntary sexual activities. And it is because of these Islamic elements of support, no Islamic government dares to enact any criminal law to ban this barbaric slaughtering of innocent family girls. Even then some Islamists will still say that “honor killing” has nothing to do with Islam; just the way they say “Islamic terrorism” has nothing to do with the so called peaceful Islam. Their hypocritical denial is utter nonsense and stupendously deceptive. I urge those Islamists to tell us why this “honor killing” never happens among the non-Muslim Arab families? They must also tell us—why no Arab and non-Arab Muslim government dare to make any strict law to ban honor killings in their land?

    Denying the truth is tantamount to committing this heinous crime to humanity, and denying will never solve this chronic problem of Islamic nations. Only way honor killing can be stopped is to admit the truth (real cause), and stop controlling public lives by the draconian laws (Sharia) of Islam. Let there be a strict separation of ‘Mosque and State’ in every Muslim majority nation of the world. Honor killing will definitely cease to exist.
    References:

    1. Honor killing-maintaining family honor: by Al Skudsi bin Hookah, roving reporter and foreign correspondent for The Gaza Gajeera. Jan 20, 2003

    2. The Seattle Times: ‘Honor killing’ shakes up Sweden after man slays daughter who wouldn’t wed: By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Link.

    3. Culture of death? Palestinian girl’s murder highlights growing number of ‘honor killings’. Link

    4. Honor Killing: By Ali Sina Link

    5. The Holy Qur’an, Translated by A. Yousuf Ali, Published by Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland, 1983

    All the comments except for the first two are by by Syed Kamran Mirza( thanking him)

    6. Buchari Sharif, Bengali Translation by Maulana Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Sulemani Printers and Publishers, Dhaka, Second edition-1999.

    7. “Crimes of Honour” Women’s Tragedy under Islam & Tribal Customs By Azam Kamiguian.


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