While the world is addressing the need to eradicate the unfair and discriminatory Islamic Practice of ‘Triple Talaq’, there is another inhuman practice in Islam that needs to be expunged ….‘Honour Killings’. The severity of this evil practice is blindfolded as most of these killings are passed as Suicides or accidental deaths. Islam is the fastest growing religion across the globe and is expected to overtake Christianity in another 4-5 decades. Hence the exigency to address the complicated issues of Islam is the need of the time.
A few days back, Maldivian model and medical student, Raudha Athif aged 20 was allegedly killed by Bangladeshi Extremists for wearing western clothes. Last year the honor killing of the Pakistani model/ actress QandeelBalochby her own brother made quite big news. She had brought ‘dishonor’ on the family by uploading ‘supposedly’ obscene videos. There are thousands of reported honor killings every year in Pakistan alone.
Here is the reason why Honor Killings in Muslims are on the rise. Islamic Sharia Law which is partially or fully in practice in many countries grants Legality to the Honor Killings. The Article 340 of the Jordanian Penal Code states, “He who catches his wife, or one of his female un-lawfully committing adultery with another, and he kills, wounds, or injures both of them, is excused and benefits from an exemption from penalty.”
The following are some of the acts or behaviors by a Muslim woman or girl that can make her a target for Honor Killing. The allegation could be just a gossip, arbitrary thing or a suspicion.
- Speaking with an unrelated man.
- An extra-marital affair.
- Refusal to a forced marriage.
- Marrying according to personal choice.
- Becoming an innocent victim of rape.
- A rumor regarding pre-marital loss of virginity.
- A woman who desires to leave her abusive husband.
- A woman who bridge religious divides by engaging socially with other communities.
19 year old Zarsheed shot his mother because the elders advised him to do so. His mother’s constant trips to the market had become a topic for gossip in the village. Shamim, a mother of four was killed in her bed because her husband’s brothers accused her of adultery. Two of her killers were Policemen. Samia Shahid, from Bradford, England, who had divorced her husband and married a man of her choice, was called by her family to Pakistan on the pretext to visit the ailing father. After her arrival, on 20th July, 2016, she was strangled to death. What’s more horrendous is that the woman was rapedby the family before the honor killing!
On 27 May 2014 a pregnant woman named Farzana Iqbal was stoned to death by her family in front of Pakistani High Court for eloping and marrying the man she loved. Samia Sarwar from Peshawar was gunned down by an assassin brought along by her own mother in the office of her lawyer Hina Jilani. Her crime was that she divorced her abusive husband and remarried as per her choice. Now, as per the Pakistani Penal Code that was amended in 1990 to embrace Islamic Principles, the heir of any murder victim could forgive the killer and stop the prosecution. In this case, the father of Samia forgave his wife and the hired assassin and the case was closed. As almost all the honor killings are conducted by the family members, the laws are open for them to conspire to kill someone and forgive and forget! The accused ‘throw’ Islam and Quran on the faces of Judges. So, the convicts are spared with the light sentence of one year jail term or no jail term at all.
In fact, in Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, the Gaza Strip, Tunisia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia, little or no action is taken against the criminals of honor killings.
It is still understandable about Islamic countries embracing the vices of Sharia. But could you digest the fact that even United Kingdom allows Sharia Courts to sanction the Honor Killings? Not long back, in a British Sharia Court in Lancashire, a plaintiff got the judgment in his favor wherein he got a right to exact the death penalty on his neighbor’s children. The origin of the dispute was a small quarrel between two neighbors. In another case, a Sharia Court in the UK ordered a young woman to return to her abusive, rapist husband.
The fact is that the Muslim Immigrants in UK have overrun the place and exhibiting the medieval brutal mentality inspired by Sharia. More shocking is the fact that Britain allows the practice of Sharia to override its own constitution and principles of human rights!
Protests of Human Rights all over the world have compelled the Islamic Countries including Pakistan to amend their weak laws for Honor Killings to some extent. But the ground reality is that the brutal honor killings are still persistently on rise in Muslim Community across the globe.
They may call Islam as the Religion of Peace. They may bluff that Islam doesn’t approve the Terrorism. The fact is that ‘Kafirs’ who don’t embrace Allah should be killed as per Sharia. The ISIS Terrorists who shout ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ before their attacks are actually following Sharia. Likewise, lies of Muslim apologists calling Honor killing as non-Islamic are again caught by Sharia. What Muslims should do is to discard the faulty clauses of Sharia and treat their women as well as Non-Muslim ‘Kafirs’ as Human Beings!
Jyothi Suparna Chincholi**