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Does Islam Endorse Honor Killing?

Posted by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM
  • 85 Replies

Does Islam Endorse Honor Killing?

What is the Islamic view on honor killing? The answer to this question depends on whether one adopts a legalistic or a cultural approach in defining Islam. The Jordanian campaign regarding Article 340 generated a revealing dispute among Muslim authorities regarding Islam's role in the evolution of honor killings. The state's religious establishment asserts that honor killing is unconnected to the Islamic religion; in contrast, the Islamist party in the Jordanian parliament sees honor killings as part of Islam's code.

The religious establishment in Jordan views honor killing as a remnant of pre-Islamic Arab tribalism, for Islam prohibits the "taking of the law into one's own hands." The Jordanian king's advisor on Islamic affairs, Sheikh 'Izz ad-Din at-Tamimi, stated that if a woman is proven guilty of adultery, the person entitled to carry out her punishment is "a specialized employee" designated by the government for such a purpose.31 The prohibition on taking the law into one's own hands does not amount to a moral denunciation of honor crimes; rather, it is a criticism of the technical transgression of authority. This notion is conventional in the Arab world; thus Egypt's Ifta ' Council of Al-Azhar University, a leading religious authority of Sunni Islam, issued a fatwa stating that applying the punishment on a female caught committing adultery or found in an adulterous situation, "should be up to the ruler."32 Following this same logic, the mufti of Gaza, Sheikh 'Abd al-Karim Kahlut, goes so far as to demand the death penalty for honor murderers, because "they are not authorized to carry out [the punishment] on the women. "33

Religious officials have only minor disagreements regarding the proper Islamic punishment the state should level at adulterers. Hamdi Murad, an official at the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf explains that if an adulterer, male or female, has a previously unblemished reputation, the proper Islamic punishment is one hundred lashes, while if the adulterer's reputation is blemished, the punishment is stoning to death.34 The Jordanian minister of awqaf (religious foundations), 'Abd as-Salam 'Abadi, finds that in the case of an unmarried female adulterer, "the Shari'a is clear and she should be lashed eighty times."35

The Jordanian Islamic Action Front (IAF) disagrees. In the heat of the Jordanian debate, this parliamentary coalition of several Islamist groups, most of whom affiliate with the Muslim Brethren, issued a fatwa that declared honor-killings are seen as favorable by Islam; male relatives should punish their female relatives and not leave this duty to the state. Ibrahim Zayd al-Kaylani, head of the IAF's Ifta ' committee, said that a man who restrains himself from committing an honor killing, leaving this unpleasant burden to the government, "negates the values of virility advocated by Islam." Article 340, Kaylani added, is based on "the Islamic principle that allows a Muslim to defend his honor, property, and blood."36 Muhammad 'Uwayda, dean of Zarqa University's Shari'a College and a member of the lower house, stated that while the Shari'a does prohibit individuals from taking the law into their own hands, "cases where a man catches his wife committing adultery are the exception."37 The IAF issued a fatwa to the effect that "canceling Article 340 would contradict the Shari'a."38 Thus the Jordanian Islamic Movement has suddenly declared that honor-killings are part of Islamic dogma rather than a detestable remnant of tribal paganism.

The Islamic establishment adopts a legalistic approach to the teachings of Islam, arguing that honor killings are not prescribed in the Qur'an. The Islamists, in contrast, see honor killings in the cultural context of Islamic teachings and find it consistent with "the values of virility."

An Islamic Practice?

For several reasons, the Islamists' view of the relation between Islam and honor killings is more connected to the reality of religious influence on the practice of honor murders than that of the religious establishment. In other words, the influence of Islam on the conduct of Muslims is not limited to what is written in sacred texts; rather, it includes cultural perceptions of Islam. First, there is the fact, noted above, that the Jordanian public and its elected representatives by a nearly 2:1 margin endorse men punishing their women-folk. This custom is, in other words, deeply rooted in a devout society that does not view honor killing as an aberration from the teachings of Islam. Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear honor murderers claim that they believe what they did was part of their religion.39

Second, if honor killing originated in pre-Islamic Arab tribalism, it has long since been incorporated into Islamic society and thereby become common throughout the Muslim world, including India,40 Pakistan, Turkey, and the Balkans. In Muslim Kosovo, for instance, thousands of Muslim women raped by Serbs during the war were abandoned by their husbands. Indeed, as one observer noted, most victims do not report the crimes because in Albanian society rape brings shame on the victims. Women who gave birth as a result of the rape, abandoned their babies and escaped from the hospital to live, "with no identity to prevent the disclosure of their situation, which would turn their life into hell."41

Third, honor killings fit into a wider pattern of customs that flow from the texture of Muslim life without specifically being required by Islam, yet still enjoy the blessing of Muslim authorities. Female circumcision, now more often known as female genital mutilation, is another example: common mostly in Muslim African countries, it is not mentioned in Islam's sacred texts and did not originate in Islam. Yet in those countries, religious authorities associate this practice with Islam. In other words, female genital mutilation, a clearly pre-Islamic custom, was adopted by modern Islamic authorities, who declared female circumcision to be worthy Islamic conduct. Mufti Sa'id al-Hijawi of Jordan, referring to the practice of female circumcision in one tribe at the Rahma village in south Jordan, ruled that female circumcision is "a noble trait accepted by Islam even though it is not a necessity."42 This fatwa is in line with the rulings of many senior Egyptian Islamic authorities in recent decades. Former Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Jadd al-Haq 'Ali Jadd al-Haq, for example, ruled in 1983 that it is impossible to abandon the lessons of the Prophet Muhammad in favor of the teachings of others, even doctors, because medical science evolves and does not remain constant. The responsibility of female circumcision lies with the parents and with those in charge of the girl's welfare. Those who do not abide by it do not do their duty.43 It is noteworthy that Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid at-Tantawi issued a contradictory fatwa in his former capacity as grand mufti of Egypt stating that the decision on female circumcision should defer to the opinion of doctors.44 Sheikh Tantawi still holds to this fatwa as the current Sheikh of Al-Azhar.

Fourth, it bears noting that the policy of "not taking the law into one's own hands," which dominates Islamic authorities' circles, is less than an unequivocal moral and religious prohibition of honor murder. The refusal of Islamic authorities to unambiguously denounce honor killings signals to the public that this practice does not necessarily contradict Islam.

Fifth, the already ambiguous Islamic objection to honor killings becomes even less effective when considering the way mainstream Islamic scholars interpret the Qur'anic verse (4:34) that legitimates wife-beating. This verse states: "Men are responsible for women... So virtuous women obey [their husbands]... Admonish those of them on whose part you apprehend disobedience, and keep them out of your bed, and beat them." Various Islamic rulers have contemplated this verse in an attempt to regulate the beatings. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, dean of Shari'a at the University of Qatar and a leader of the Muslim Brethren, advocates non-painful beating:

If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife, he should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words, gentle persuasion, and reasoning with her. If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her, trying to awaken her agreeable feminine nature so that serenity may be restored, and she may respond to him in a harmonious fashion. If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts. In no case should he resort to using a stick or any other instrument that might cause pain and injury.45

Other Islamic scholars have come up with their own recommendations on wife-beating. Some rule out the breaking of bones and stress that in no case should the beatings be accompanied with "verbal assault."46 The Islamic rulings section of the Palestinian Authority's daily newspaper forbids stabbing.47 There is a consensus that the husband should avoid leaving bruises on his wife's body, and all scholars agree that wife-beating is the husband's last resort. Still, it is recommended when a couple finds itself on the verge of divorce: "It is better for the husband to beat his wife a little, to make her feel she was wrong, than to destroy the family through divorce."48

The faith, in short, cannot be confined to the narrow boundaries of the Qur'an and other early holy sources. It includes developments and interpretations that occurred after the sacred texts appeared. If this cultural reading of the teachings of Islam is accepted, then the role of the mainstream Islamic establishment itself is revealed in nurturing the "values of virility" that lead to honor killings.

The Outside World

Although the movement to end honor killings must come from within Muslim societies, they can be helped by the outside world. The international community should, first and foremost, establish its stand on this problem. A United Nations report issued in January 2000 dealing with extra judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions came close to establishing honor killings as a violation of basic human rights. The special rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, condemned honor killings as "practices affecting the right to life."49 Her report specifically condemned governments which maintain exemption and token penalties for honor murderers; she commended the Jordanian government and crown for their initiative to amend the Jordanian penal code to conform with international standards.

But a U.S. immigration court in December 1997 did not accept the view that the existence of honor killings constitutes a reason for granting asylum. A Jordanian woman who had engaged in premarital sex fled to the United States for fear of being murdered. The court record indicates that her father asked her brothers to kill her, and she claimed asylum on this basis.50 To be eligible for asylum, she had to show that honor killings are a general pattern of persecution of a social group defined in part by gender, and that the persecutor is either the government itself or a group the government is unable or unwilling to control. The judge did not accept that this situation obtained. In August 1999, the Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the judge's ruling and maintained that the woman's fear of being killed was speculative and resulted from "a personal family dispute," rather than official or semi-official persecution. Thus, the Board noted "that the Jordanian government attempts to provide some degree of protection to its female subjects and to punish those who harm women for violating societal norms," even if it does not do so to the extent that it should. (In contrast, Fauziya Kasinga, an African woman fleeing her country in fear of female circumcision, won American asylum in 1996.)51

Despite the successful Kasinga case, it seems that U.S. immigration authorities are still puzzled by non-political asylum appeals. Legitimate, though not necessarily justified, fears of mass immigration collide with the natural inclination to help an individual in distress. In the Kasinga case, the judicial authorities emphasized moral resolve; in the Jordanian woman's case, they emphasized the language of the law. The difference may be traced to outside the courthouse. The campaign against female genital mutilation has won a high media profile in recent years with women testifying to terrible personal experiences.52 The lack of such a media profile concerning honor killing may have harmed the Jordanian woman's case.

Conclusion

The honor murder phenomenon has become a social plague in many Muslim societies around the world. Despite its clear pre-Islamic pagan origins, contemporary Islamic authorities usually refrain from unequivocally condemning it. Some important Islamic scholars in Jordan have even gone further by declaring honor-crimes an Islamic imperative that derives from the "values of virility advocated by Islam." This unwelcome development does not come as a surprise when the almost consensual approval of both Muslim public and leadership is considered. It may be a while before reduced sentences for honor murderers are abolished from the laws of Arab states. Yet the campaign against Article 340 of the Jordanian penal code has already proved successful in at least one important aspect: it shattered the silence that shielded these atrocities.

Yotam Feldner is a researcher at the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.

1 Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1998.
2 United Nations Report of the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Asma Jahangir, on Civil and Political Rights, Including Questions of Disappearances and Summary Executions (New York: United Nations, Jan. 2000), p. 27.
3 The Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2000.
4 Joseph Ginat, Blood Revenge: Family Honor, Mediation, and Outcasting (Brighton, England: Sussex Academic Press, 1997), pp. 129-130.
5 The Jordan Times (Amman), Feb. 15, 2000.
6 The Jordan Times, June 15, 2000.
7 Such legal procedures are apparently common in traditional societies in other parts of the world, including Latin America: see The New York Times, Mar. 8, 1997.
8 'Iyad al-Luzi, director general of Jordan's Justice Ministry, Al-Ayyam (Ramallah), Oct. 7, 1998.
9 The New York Times, June 20, 1999.
10 Al-Hayat al-Jadida (Ramallah), Apr. 5, 1999; also the Mufti of Gaza, Sheikh 'Abd al-Karim Kahlut, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Apr. 22, 1999.
11 Ash-Sh'ab (Ramallah), July 24, 2000.
12 Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 6, 2000.
13 Al-Ayyam, June 1, 2000.
14 Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 12, 1999.
15 Ar-Risala (Gaza), June 11, 1998.
16 Al-Ayyam, June 1, 2000.
17 Newsday, Apr. 1, 1989.
18 The New York Times, Oct. 21, 1994.
19 The Jordan Times, July 22, 1999.
20 According to The Star (Amman), Nov. 30, 1999, similar laws exist in the Palestinian Authority, Egypt (Article 237 of the Penal Code), Syria (Article 548), and Lebanon (Article 562).
21 The Jordan Times, Nov. 11, 1999.
22 The Jordan Times, Feb. 15, 2000.
23 The Jordan Times, Mar. 10, 2000.
24 The Jordan Times, Nov. 9, 1999.
25 Ad-Dustur (Amman), Nov. 30, 1999.
26 Ad-Dustur, Nov. 30, 1999.
27 The Jordan Times, May 18, 2000.
28 Ad-Dustur, Nov. 30, 1999.
29 The Jordan Times, Nov. 30, 1999.
30 Al-Ayyam, Feb. 25, 2000.
31 The Jordan Times, Nov. 9, 1999.
32 The Jordan Times, Feb. 24, 2000.
33 Ar-Risala, July 11, 1998.
34 The Jordan Times, Mar. 14, 2000.
35 The Jordan Times, Nov. 30, 1999.
36 Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Feb. 23, 2000.
37 The Jordan Times, Feb. 25, 2000.
38 The Jordan Times, Feb. 24, 2000.
39 Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 12, 1999.
40 The Hindu, Apr. 25, 1999.
41 Al-Quds, Jan. 17, 2000.
42 The Jordan Times, Dec. 2, 1999.
43 Gad al-Haq, Gad al-Haq 'Ali: Khitan al-banat, Al-fatawi al-islamiyyah min dar al-ifta' al-masriyyah, Wazarat al-awqaf, Cairo, 9(1983): 3119-3125, quoted in Sami A. ad-Deeb Abu Sahlieh, "To Mutilate in the Name of Jehovah or Allah: Legitimization of Male and Female Circumcision," July 1994, http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/aldeeb1/.
44 "Egypt: Court Asserts Doctors' Right to Perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)," July 1997, http://www.equalitynow.org./action_eng_8_3.html.
45 Yusef al-Karadhawi, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam (Beirut: The Holy Koran Publishing House, 1985), p. 205.
46 Ar-Risala (Gaza), Oct. 1, 1998.
47 Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 1998.
48 Ar-Risala, Oct. 1, 1998.
49 U.N. Report on Civil and Political Rights, pp. 27-29.
50 The Washington Post, Feb 2, 2000.
51 The Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2000; Board of Immigration Appeals at http://www.uchastings.edu/cgrs/law/bia/a-_bia.pdf.
52 Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller, Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad (New York: William Morrow & Co, 1999).

by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM
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annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Honor killings: When the ancient and the modern collide

by Cinnamon Stillwell
SFGate.com
January 23, 2008

http://www.meforum.org/2468/honor-killings-ancient-modern-collide

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Throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, young Muslim women are being targeted for violence. Lest it be thought hate crimes are to blame, it is, in fact, their own relatives who are the perpetrators. So-called honor killings, whereby a Muslim male family member, typically the father, murders his daughter in order to defend the family's honor, is a growing problem.

While statistics are notoriously hard to come by due to the private nature of such crimes and the fact that very few are reported, the United Nations Population Fund approximates that as many as 5,000 women are murdered in this manner each year worldwide. Undoubtedly that's a low estimate, as reports from Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories, among other locales, are filtering in at an alarming rate. Add to the list Germany, Sweden, other parts of Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and it's clear that young Muslim women in the West are becoming increasingly vulnerable.

While fathers are commonly responsible for honor killings, they often act in concert with their daughters' brothers, uncles, and even female relatives. For infringements upon a Muslim daughter's "honor" constitute the greatest humiliation possible to the religious and tribal tradition from which many such immigrant families emerged. Acts that demand "punishment" include refusing to wear a hijab (or headscarf), having non-Muslim boyfriends or male friends of any origin, being sexually active, rejecting arranged marriages, aggressively seeking employment and education, and, more than anything else, attempting to assimilate into Western culture.

Trying to balance a tightrope between the demands of competing and in some cases incompatible cultures, young Muslim women in the West are caught between two worlds. And all too often they pay the ultimate price. Indeed, two such cases have rocked the United States and Canada in recent months, bringing the specter of honor killings much closer to home.

On New Year's Day, residents of Lewisville, Texas were shocked to hear about the brutal murder of teenage sisters Sarah and Amina Said. The two were found shot to death in a taxi after having made a last phone call to a police dispatcher asking for help. The police immediately issued an arrest warrant for the girls' father, Egyptian-born cab driver Yaser Abdel Said, who remains at large to this day.

A Muslim married to a Christian woman, the elder Said had a history of physical and sexual abuse toward his daughters. This past Christmas, his wife, Patricia, finally fled the state with the girls and set up residence in Tulsa, Okla., under an assumed name. Said's violent and domineering behavior was apparently motivated by his concern that, as the Dallas Morning News describes it, "Western culture was corrupting the chastity of his daughters." Honor students and athletes at Lewisville High School, Sarah and Amina were the quintessential American teenagers. Amina had been awarded a $20,000 college scholarship and Sarah planned to study medicine. Photos of the two young women demonstrate a vibrancy and attractiveness that undoubtedly induced fear in their controlling father. The emergence of non-Muslim boyfriends was the final straw.

Although the girls' mother denied that Said was motivated by religion or culture and their brother, Islam, claimed it was not an honor killing, all evidence points to the contrary. While, reportedly, the family was not terribly observant, Said, as described by the Dallas Morning News, "often espoused his version of traditional Middle Eastern values," including marrying his then 15-year-old wife when he was 30, threatening to take one of his daughters "back to Egypt and have her killed," where, as he put it, "it's OK to do that ... if you dishonor your family," trying to break up one of his daughters and her non-Muslim boyfriend, and threatening to kill both his daughters on multiple occasions over disputes surrounding their social lives. Summing it all up, the sisters' great-aunt Gail Gartrell stated unequivocally, "This was an honor killing."

The slayings of Sarah and Amina Said came on the heels of another apparent honor killing, that of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez in Mississauga, Ontario, last December. Aqsa was a vivacious and popular young woman whose attempts at a normal, Western teenage social life angered her Pakistani father, Muhammad Parvez. Aqsa, who was opposed to wearing a hijab and sometimes changed her outfit once she got to school, often clashed with her father and had left the family home a week before the attack out of fear. But she eventually returned, only to be met with strangulation at the hands of her own father. She died later in the hospital and the elder Parvez, who initially called the police, was charged with her murder. Aqsa's 26-year-old brother, Waqas, was charged with obstructing police.

Like the Said sisters, Aqsa had long suffered abuse at the hands of her father, reports of which were never adequately pursued by Canadian authorities. But Aqsa's friends saw trouble brewing and, according to the National Post, noted that "she had been threatened by her strictly religious family before." According to one of them, Ebonie Mitchell, Aqsa held conflicting opinions with her family on wearing a hijab. As she put it, Aqsa "just wanted to dress like we do. Last year, she wore like the Islamic stuff and everything, the hijab, and this year she's all western. She just wanted to look like everyone else." As another friend, Krista Garbhet, noted, "She just wanted to be herself; honestly, she just wanted to show her beauty." However, as Aqsa was to discover, the latter desire can have dangerous consequences for young Muslim women in the West.

In the wake of Parvez's murder, one would hope for moral clarity from the Canadian Muslim community. But with a few exceptions, the usual suspects issued the usual apologetics.

Following Parvez's funeral, an anti-violence vigil was held at the Mississauga Civic Centre and organized by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations. Unfortunately, CAIR-CAN, like its American counterpart, is part of the problem, not the solution. Working to further acceptance of Sharia (or Islamic) law in the United States and Canada and trying to silence - either through accusations of "Islamophobia," libel lawsuits or boycotts - voices of criticism and reform, CAIR's agenda would seem to be working against the advancement of Muslim women's rights.

Accordingly, representatives of other allegedly mainstream Muslim groups, instead of taking the opportunity to address the scourge of honor killings, downplayed the religious and cultural angle. Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, claimed that "The strangulation death of Ms. Parvez was the result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to color or creed," while Sheikh Alaa El-Sayyed, imam of the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, came to the following conclusion: "The bottom line is, it's a domestic violence issue."

In contrast, Canadian Muslim reformer Irshad Manji, in addressing Aqsa Parvez's murder, put it like so:

Moderate Muslims have warned that we shouldn't leap to conclusions. Who knows what other dynamics infected her family, spout hijab-hooded mouthpieces on Canadian TV. Not once have I heard these upstanding Muslims say that whatever the 'family dynamics,' killing is not a solution. Ever. How's that for basic morality?

Similarly, Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, labeled Parvez's murder "a blight on Islam." "In my mind," he added, "this was an honor killing."

Until this kind of self-reflection and self-criticism become the norm in the Muslim community, much-needed reform will remain elusive. This includes addressing the root causes of honor killings and sanctioned violence against Muslim women. Although the Koran does not authorize honor killings, Quran 4:34 instructs men to beat disobedient wives and send them to sleep in separate beds. Then there are tribal leaders such as Jordanian Tarrad Fayiz, who tells followers that "A woman is like an olive tree. When its branch catches woodworm, it has to be chopped off so that society stays clean and pure." Op-eds such as the one in the Yemen Times earlier this month recommending violence against women and clerics delivering sermons and speeches doing the same further muddy the waters.

Also at question are the vagaries of the Arab honor/shame culture, in which men's "shame" (or that of the family or tribe) at the prospect of women's sullied "honor" (or chastity) must be avoided at all costs. Honor killings are not, as the apologists would have us believe, simple acts of domestic violence akin to those that take place in all communities. They are specific to Muslim religion and culture and must be addressed as such if ever honest debate about the matter is to ensue.

Regrettably, silence is the more typical reaction to these crimes. Fearful of giving offense or being branded with the ubiquitous "Islamophobia" label, law enforcement, journalists, social workers, government officials and, most of all, Western feminists are allowing a grave threat to women's rights go unaddressed. The

Feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women, which put out an occasional press release decrying honor killings, need to make combating this practice as high a priority as defending choice and railing against "glass ceilings." Instead, it is a precious few who are telling it like it is when it comes to the oppression of women in Muslim culture. Ironically, many of them are on the right side of the political spectrum or, like author, blogger and activist Phyllis Chesler, have been cast out of the leftist-dominated feminist movement for speaking the uncomfortable truth.

As I have noted previously, the challenges posed by the Muslim world are the next frontier for women's rights and all those interested in advancing such goals will have to rise to the occasion. It is up to every one of us to speak out where, not only women's, but human rights are in question. Young women's lives are at stake.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the Northern California Representative for Campus Watch. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org.

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Making sense of honor crimes to prevent them

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4 March 2012 / ALYSON NEEL , İSTANBUL
The Shafia murder trial headlined newspapers, dominated talk shows and "trended" Twitter and other social media not only in Canada but around the world.

Mohammad Shafia, his second wife and 21-year-old son were found guilty last month in the murder of Shafia's three teenage daughters and first wife in an effort to maintain the family's honor.

But it was what happened after the "honor crime" that has driven cross-cultural psychologist Leyla Welkin to travel to the United States.

In the midst of the worldwide condemnation of the Shafia honor killings, experts have pointed to the racist overtones that abounded in media coverage, political responses and even the courtroom.

Shahrzad Mojab, a professor at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and an expert witness in the Shafia trial, described on a Canadian online news forum how she was asked to read the following "overtly racist" passage from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights' report of the "Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences": "Honor killings in West Asia have their roots in the crude Arabic expression ‘a man's honour lies between the legs of a woman'."

The Canadian media erroneously focused on the "Arabness" and Islamic elements of the honor killings, Mojab explained. The Shafia family was Afghan, she pointed out.

And the judge in the trial went so far as to call a "twisted concept of honor" the root cause of the "coldblooded, shameful murders" that "had absolutely no place in any civilized society."

Welkin is among the many experts who have called the overwhelming racialization of the murders, of which Arabs and Islam have been largely targeted, evidence of a fundamental lack of understanding of the complexity of honor crimes.

While many may scoff or cringe at the idea of making sense of what they call "heinous" and "barbaric" crimes, Welkin argues there is no other way to effectively address the problem.

"My goal is prevention. If we don't understand what motivates honor crimes, how can we expect to prevent them?" she asked.

Author and journalist Nicole Pope, who returned last week from her tour of the United States for her recently published book on honor killings, agreed the West must learn how to better handle honor crimes. "The focus must now turn to prevention. Teachers, social workers and police officers need to be trained to detect early signs of domestic pressure and ensure that cries for help are heard and acted upon. Social workers with a good understanding of social relations in migrant communities need to be involved," wrote Pope in a Reuters report earlier this month.

Welkin, who has worked for more than 30 years with victims of gender-based and honor crimes in both Turkey and the United States, plans to do just that.

Embarking for the States on Monday, Welkin will sit down with psychotherapists, trauma specialists, community correction officers and academics in an effort to help dispel the misconceptions and lay the foundation for a more accurate understanding of honor crimes.

All of the Western countries, but especially the United States, which have seen a rise in immigration from the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia could use a lesson in honor crimes, experts agree.

An article in the spring 2009 edition of Middle East Quarterly found the United States trails Europe in its understanding of honor killings. Unlike Europe, the US has failed to acknowledge honor killings are a special breed of domestic violence that call for specific training and programs to protect the women most affected by it.

"No one gets it," Welkin sighed. The general public tends to view honor crimes as unadulterated viciousness and perpetrators as "backward brutes," according to Welkin. And on the scientific side, Welkin said there is a lack of understanding of a collectivist sense of identity, where the prestige, respect and propriety of a group can be spoiled by the behavior of one.

"If we ever hope to put an end to honor crimes, we need to help people understand why perpetrators might commit these crimes and why communities might feel so defensive and isolated that they don't report and even cover up such crimes," Welkin stressed.

Honor Crime 411

Honor-based crime is a cross-cultural, cross-religious problem all around the world, Welkin and other experts explain. Every year more than 5,000 people are killed by their relatives in the name of honor, UN statistics report.

According to Welkin, honor crimes are an "effort to either punish or control the behavior of family members whose behaviors are interpreted as immoral and, therefore, implicate the propriety of the family." Because women are generally considered the holders of the family's sexual morality and propriety, their sexuality becomes a family possession that must be protected to maintain the family's honor.

An emphasis on a woman's virginity and sexual purity predates Islam and is an idea that is common to many cultural groups and ethnicities, Welkin and Mojab said. In response to the racialized Shafia trial, imams from across Canada and the US issued a fatwa, or religious edict, as a reminder that honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny are un-Islamic and crimes in Islam.

The root cause of honor crimes is not a particular race or religion but patriarchy and feudalism, according to experts.

 

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM

No, Islam does not condone 'honor' killings. smh

Ruling on honour killings
ar - en - ur
I would like to know what the ruling on Honor killings would be and how it should be punished acording to the Laws of the Shariat. 

Praise be to Allaah.

Killing a Muslim unlawfully is a serious matter and a grave crime. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him”

[al-Nisa’ 4:93] 

al-Bukhaari (6355) narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer will continue to be encompassed by the mercy of Allaah so long as he does not shed blood that it is forbidden to shed.” 

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has explained to us the reasons for which it becomes permissible to shed this blood. He said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god but Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah except in three cases: a life for a life (murder), zina of one of who is previously-married (adultery), and the one who changes his religion and forsakes the jamaa’ah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6370) and Muslim (3175). From this it is clear that zina on the part of one who is married is one of the reasons that make it permissible to kill a person, but the zaani (adulterer) cannot be killed unless two conditions are met: 

-1-

He should be previously-married. The scholars have explained what is meant by previously-married in this case. Zakariya al-Ansaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Asna’l-Mataalib (4/128): The previously-married person, whether male or female, is any adult of sound mind who has previously had intercourse within a valid marriage. End quote. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Zaad (6/120): There are five conditions for (being described as) previously-married: 

1-    Intercourse

2-    Within a valid marriage

3-    Being an adult

4-    Being of sound reason

5-    Being free (i.e., not a slave). 

End quote. 

-2-

The second condition is that it should be proven that the hadd punishment is deserved, by the testimony of four male witnesses who saw the private parts meet, or the person should freely admit to having committed zina, without being forced to do so. 

If it is proven that he deserves the hadd punishment, it is not permissible for individuals to carry out this punishment themselves. Rather the matter must be referred to the ruler or his deputy to prove the crime and carry out the punishment, because if individuals carry out hadd punishments, that will lead to a great deal of corruption and evil. 

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo’ (6/53): It is haraam for anyone to carry out a hadd punishment except the ruler or his deputy. This is something on which the fuqaha’ of Islam are unanimously agreed, as was stated in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/280): The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the one who should carry out hadd punishments is the ruler or his deputy, whether the punishment is transgressing one of the limits of Allaah, may He be exalted, such as zina, or a transgression against another person, such as slander. End quote. 

Concealing one who has committed this evil deed so that he may repent and set his affairs straight before he dies is better than exposing him, let alone killing him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from Maa’iz (may Allaah be pleased with him) after he admitted committing zina, and he ignored him until he had repeated his confession several times, then he carried out the hadd punishment on him. 

Based on this, that which is called “honour killing” is a transgression and wrongdoing, because it is killing one who does not deserve to be killed, namely the virgin if she commits zina (fornication), but the shar’i punishment in her case is flogging and banishment for one year, not execution, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “(The punishment for zina) of a virgin with a virgin person is one hundred lashes and exile for one year.” Narrated by Muslim. The one who kills her has killed a believing soul whom Allaah has forbidden to be killed, and there is a stern warning concerning that, as Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse ___ and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace”

[al-Furqaan 25:68-69] 

Even if we assume that she deserves to be executed (if she was previously-married and committed zina), no one should do that but the ruler – as stated above. Moreover, in many cases killing is done on the basis of accusations and speculation, without proving whether the immoral action even took place. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:53 PM

flogging, one hundred lushes...hmm... OK

So if all those conditions met, a person can be killed?

Another question, men , muslim men, probably  could be cheaters too.

Why we don't hear them being beaten or killed?

Quoting muslimahpj:

No, Islam does not condone 'honor' killings. smh

Ruling on honour killings
ar - en - ur
I would like to know what the ruling on Honor killings would be and how it should be punished acording to the Laws of the Shariat. 

Praise be to Allaah.

 

Killing a Muslim unlawfully is a serious matter and a grave crime. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him”

[al-Nisa’ 4:93] 

al-Bukhaari (6355) narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer will continue to be encompassed by the mercy of Allaah so long as he does not shed blood that it is forbidden to shed.” 

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has explained to us the reasons for which it becomes permissible to shed this blood. He said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god but Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah except in three cases: a life for a life (murder), zina of one of who is previously-married (adultery), and the one who changes his religion and forsakes the jamaa’ah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari(6370) and Muslim (3175). From this it is clear that zina on the part of one who is married is one of the reasons that make it permissible to kill a person, but the zaani (adulterer) cannot be killed unless two conditions are met: 

-1-

He should be previously-married. The scholars have explained what is meant by previously-married in this case. Zakariya al-Ansaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Asna’l-Mataalib (4/128): The previously-married person, whether male or female, is any adult of sound mind who has previously had intercourse within a valid marriage. End quote. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Zaad (6/120): There are five conditions for (being described as) previously-married: 

1-    Intercourse

2-    Within a valid marriage

3-    Being an adult

4-    Being of sound reason

5-    Being free (i.e., not a slave). 

End quote. 

-2-

The second condition is that it should be proven that the haddpunishment is deserved, by the testimony of four male witnesses who saw the private parts meet, or the person should freely admit to having committed zina, without being forced to do so. 

If it is proven that he deserves the hadd punishment, it is not permissible for individuals to carry out this punishment themselves. Rather the matter must be referred to the ruler or his deputy to prove the crime and carry out the punishment, because if individuals carry out haddpunishments, that will lead to a great deal of corruption and evil. 

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo’ (6/53):It is haraam for anyone to carry out a hadd punishment except the ruler or his deputy. This is something on which the fuqaha’ of Islam are unanimously agreed,as was stated in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/280): The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the one who should carry out hadd punishments is the ruler or his deputy, whether the punishment is transgressing one of the limits of Allaah, may He be exalted, such as zina, or a transgression against another person, such as slander. End quote. 

Concealing one who has committed this evil deed so that he may repent and set his affairs straight before he dies is better than exposing him, let alone killing him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from Maa’iz (may Allaah be pleased with him) after he admitted committing zina, and he ignored him until he had repeated his confession several times, then he carried out the hadd punishment on him. 

Based on this, that which is called “honour killing” is a transgression and wrongdoing, because it is killing one who does not deserve to be killed, namely the virgin if she commits zina (fornication), but the shar’i punishment in her case is flogging and banishment for one year, not execution, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “(The punishment for zina) of a virgin with a virgin person is one hundred lashes and exile for one year.” Narrated by Muslim. The one who kills her has killed a believing soul whom Allaah has forbidden to be killed, and there is a stern warning concerning that, as Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaahhas forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse ___ and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace”

[al-Furqaan 25:68-69] 

Even if we assume that she deserves to be executed (if she was previously-married and committed zina), no one should do that but the ruler – as stated above. Moreover, in many cases killing is done on the basis of accusations and speculation, without proving whether the immoral action even took place. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM

The rules apply to both men and women. There isnt a set of rules for women and another set for men. 

Hmm, did you fail to read the stipulations that must be met before any punishment could be handed out?

Quoting annabl1970:

flogging, one hundred lushes...hmm... OK

So if all those conditions met, a person can be killed?

Another question, men , muslim men, probably  could be cheaters too.

Why we don't hear them being beaten or killed?

Quoting muslimahpj:

No, Islam does not condone 'honor' killings. smh

Ruling on honour killings
ar - en - ur
I would like to know what the ruling on Honor killings would be and how it should be punished acording to the Laws of the Shariat. 

Praise be to Allaah.


Killing a Muslim unlawfully is a serious matter and a grave crime. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him”

[al-Nisa’ 4:93] 

al-Bukhaari (6355) narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The believer will continue to be encompassed by the mercy of Allaah so long as he does not shed blood that it is forbidden to shed.” 


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has explained to us the reasons for which it becomes permissible to shed this blood. He said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god but Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah except in three cases: a life for a life (murder), zina of one of who is previously-married (adultery), and the one who changes his religion and forsakes the jamaa’ah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari(6370) and Muslim (3175). From this it is clear that zina on the part of one who is married is one of the reasons that make it permissible to kill a person, but the zaani (adulterer) cannot be killed unless two conditions are met: 

-1-

He should be previously-married. The scholars have explained what is meant by previously-married in this case. Zakariya al-Ansaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Asna’l-Mataalib (4/128): The previously-married person, whether male or female, is any adult of sound mind who has previously had intercourse within a valid marriage. End quote. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Zaad (6/120): There are five conditions for (being described as) previously-married: 

1-    Intercourse

2-    Within a valid marriage

3-    Being an adult

4-    Being of sound reason

5-    Being free (i.e., not a slave). 

End quote. 

-2-

The second condition is that it should be proven that the haddpunishment is deserved, by the testimony of four male witnesses who saw the private parts meet, or the person should freely admit to having committed zina, without being forced to do so. 

If it is proven that he deserves the hadd punishment, it is not permissible for individuals to carry out this punishment themselves. Rather the matter must be referred to the ruler or his deputy to prove the crime and carry out the punishment, because if individuals carry out haddpunishments, that will lead to a great deal of corruption and evil. 

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo’ (6/53):It is haraam for anyone to carry out a hadd punishment except the ruler or his deputy. This is something on which the fuqaha’ of Islam are unanimously agreed,as was stated in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/280): The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the one who should carry out hadd punishments is the ruler or his deputy, whether the punishment is transgressing one of the limits of Allaah, may He be exalted, such as zina, or a transgression against another person, such as slander. End quote. 

Concealing one who has committed this evil deed so that he may repent and set his affairs straight before he dies is better than exposing him, let alone killing him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from Maa’iz (may Allaah be pleased with him) after he admitted committing zina, and he ignored him until he had repeated his confession several times, then he carried out the hadd punishment on him. 

Based on this, that which is called “honour killing” is a transgression and wrongdoing, because it is killing one who does not deserve to be killed, namely the virgin if she commits zina (fornication), but the shar’i punishment in her case is flogging and banishment for one year, not execution, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “(The punishment for zina) of a virgin with a virgin person is one hundred lashes and exile for one year.” Narrated by Muslim. The one who kills her has killed a believing soul whom Allaah has forbidden to be killed, and there is a stern warning concerning that, as Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaahhas forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse ___ and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.

69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace”

[al-Furqaan 25:68-69] 

Even if we assume that she deserves to be executed (if she was previously-married and committed zina), no one should do that but the ruler – as stated above. Moreover, in many cases killing is done on the basis of accusations and speculation, without proving whether the immoral action even took place. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A



Peanutx3
by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM
1 mom liked this

Sigh

muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Tell me about it.

Quoting Peanutx3:

Sigh


Peanutx3
by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
2 moms liked this

Just so tired of people saying how wrong or evil a different persons religion is.  

Quoting muslimahpj:

Tell me about it.

Quoting Peanutx3:

Sigh



muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Yep, me too.

Quoting Peanutx3:

Just so tired of people saying how wrong or evil a different persons religion is.  

Quoting muslimahpj:

Tell me about it.

Quoting Peanutx3:

Sigh




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