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Honor Killings ==> Pakistan

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    Honor Killings ==> Pakistan

    "Honour" Killings
    of Women

    "Honour" killings of women can be defined as acts of murder in which "a woman is killed for her actual or perceived immoral behavior." (Yasmeen Hassan, "The Fate of Pakistani Women," International Herald Tribune, May 25, 1999.) Such "immoral behavior" may take the form of marital infidelity, refusing to submit to an arranged marriage, demanding a divorce, flirting with or receiving phone calls from men, failing to serve a meal on time, or -- grotesquely -- "allowing herself" to be raped. In the Turkish province of Sanliurfa, one young woman's "throat was slit in the town square because a love ballad was dedicated to her over the radio." (Pelin Turgut, "'Honour' Killings Still Plague Turkish Province," The Toronto Star, May 14, 1998.)

    Most "honour" killings of women occur in Muslim countries, the focus of this case study; but it is worth noting that no sanction for such murders is granted in Islamic religion or law. And the phenomenon is in any case a global one. According to Stephanie Nebehay, such killings "have been reported in Bangladesh, Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey and Uganda." Afghanistan, where the practice is condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban movement, can be added to the list, along with Iraq and Iran. (Nebehay, "'Honor Killings' of Women Said on Rise Worldwide," Reuters dispatch, April 7, 2000.)

    Focus (1): Pakistan

    Pakistan, where "honour" killings are known as karo-kari, is probably the country where such atrocities are most pervasive. Estimating the scale of the phenomenon there, as elsewhere, is made more difficult not only by the problems of data collection in predominantly rural countries, but by the extent to which community members and political authorities collaborate in covering up the atrocities. According to Yasmeen Hassan, author of The Haven Becomes Hell: A Study of Domestic Violence in Pakistan, "The concepts of women as property and honor are so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government, for the most part, ignores the daily occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families." (Hassan, "The Fate of Pakistani Women.") Frequently, women murdered in "honour" killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents.

    One of the most notorious "honour" killings of recent years occurred in April 1999, when Samia Imran, a young married woman, "was shot in the office of a lawyer helping her to seek a divorce which her family could never countenance." According to Suzanne Goldenberg,

    Samia, 28, arrived at the Lahore law offices of Hina Jilani and Asma Jahangir, who are sisters, on April 6. She had engaged Jilani a few days earlier, because she wanted a divorce from her violent husband. Samia settled on a chair across the desk from the lawyer. Sultana, Samia's mother, entered five minutes later with a male companion. Samia half-rose in greeting. The man, Habib-ur-Rhemna, grabbed Samia and put a pistol to her head. The first bullet entered near Samia's eye and she fell. "There was no scream. There was dead silence. I don't even think she knew what was happening," Jilani said. The killer stood over Samia's body, and fired again. Jilani reached for the alarm button as the gunman and Sultana left. "She never even bothered to look whether the girl was dead."

    The aftermath of the murder was equally revealing: "Members of Pakistan's upper house demanded punishment for the two women [lawyers] and none of Pakistan's political leaders condemned the attack. ... The clergy in Peshawar want the lawyers to be put to death" for trying to help Imran. (Suzanne Goldenberg, "A Question of Honor," The Guardian (UK), May 27, 1999.)

    Hina Jilani, Pakistani
    campaigner against
    "honour" killings.
    According to Goldenberg, "Those who kill for honour [in Pakistan] are almost never punished. In the rare instances [that] cases reach the courts, the killers are sentenced to just two or three years. Hana Jilani [the Jahore lawyer who witnessed Samia Imran's murder] has collected 150 case studies and in only eight did the judges reject the argument that the women were killed for honour. All the other [perpetrators] were let off, or given reduced sentences." (Goldenberg, "A Question of Honour.")

    A human-rights report published in March 1999 stated that "honour" killings took the lives of 888 women in the single province of Punjab in 1998 (Hassan, "The Fate of Pakistani Women"). Similar figures were recorded for 1999. In Sindh province, some 300 women died in 1997, according to Pakistan's independent Human Rights Commission. (Goldenberg, "A Question of Honour.") It is unknown how many women are maimed or disfigured for life in attacks that fall short of murder. Pamela Constable describes one such case:

    Zahida Perveen's head is shrouded in a white cotton veil, which she self-consciously tightens every few moments. But when she reaches down to her baby daughter, the veil falls away to reveal the face of one of Pakistan's most horrific social ills, broadly known as "honour" crimes. Perveen's eyes are empty sockets of unseeing flesh, her earlobes have been sliced off, and her nose is a gaping, reddened stump of bone. Sixteen months ago, her husband, in a fit of rage over her alleged affair with a brother-in-law, bound her hands and feet and slashed her with a razor and knife. She was three months pregnant at the time. "He came home from the mosque and accused me of having a bad character," the tiny, 32-year-old woman murmured as she awaited a court hearing ... "I told him it was not true, but he didn't believe me. He caught me and tied me up, and then he started cutting my face. He never said a word except, "This is your last night." (Constable, "The Price of 'Honour'," The Gazette (Montreal), May 22, 2000.)

    Bangladeshi women scarred in acid attacks.
    Perveen's husband stated in court that "What I did was wrong, but I am satisfied. I did it for my honour and prestige." Often burning or scarring with acid are the preferred weapons of the men committing such crimes. "The Progressive Women's Association, which assists attack victims, tracked 3,560 women who were hospitalized after being attacked at home with fire, gasoline or acid between 1994 and 1999," according to Constable. About half the victims died. Lawyer and women's activist Nahida Mahbooba Elahi states that "We deal with these cases every day, but I have seen very few convictions. The men say the wife didn't obey their orders, or was having relations with someone else. The police often say it is a domestic matter and refuse to pursue the case. Some judges even justify it and do not consider it murder." (Constable, "The Price of 'Honour.'") Such crimes are also rife in Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, where some 2,200 women are disfigured every year in acid attacks by jealous or estranged men. (Ellen Goodman, "How Long Before We Take the Honor out of Killing?," The Washington Post [in the Guardian Weekly, April 6-12, 2000.)

    In August 1999, an international furore erupted when the Pakistani Senate rejected a resolution by former Prime Minister Benazhir Butto to condemn "honour" killings in the country. (See Zaffer Abbas, "Pakistan Fails to Condemn 'Honour' Killings", BBC Online, August 3, 1999.) In April 2000, the head of the Pakistani military regime, General Pervez Musharraf, pledged that his government would take strong measures to curb "honour" killings. "Such acts do not find a place in our religion or law," Musharraf stated. "Killing in the name of honour is murder, and it will be treated as such." Most observers were skeptical, however, that Musharraf's words would be followed up by committed actions. (See "Honour Killings Now Seen As Murder", The Sydney Morning Herald [from The Telegraph (UK)], April 24, 2000.)

    While the victims of Pakistani "honour" killings are overwhelmingly female, tradition dictates that males involved in the "crimes" should face death as well. But the accused women are standardly killed first, giving men a chance to flee retribution. Moreover, targeted men can escape death by paying compensation to the family of the female victim, leading to an "'honour killing industry' involving tribespeople, police and tribal mediators," which "provides many opportunities to make money, [or] obtain a woman in compensation," according to Amnesty International. The organization also states: "Reports abound about men who have killed other men in murders not connected with honour issues who then kill a woman of their own family ... to camouflage the initial murder as an honour killing." (Amnesty International, "Pakistan: Honour Killings of Girls and Women", September 1999.)

    [Note: For more information on "honour" killings in Pakistan, contact the International Network for the Rights of Female Victims in Pakistan, P.O. Box 17202, Louisville, KY 40217, USA; e-mail: [email protected].]

    this is "BS"....if this was true regarding the MAJORITY in pakistan....we would never have had a WOMAN PRIME MINISTER.

    Parde ilm hazaar kitaaba...kaddee apnai aap nu parya naee.." BULLEY SHAH


      Originally posted by Masooma:
      this is "BS"....if this was true regarding the MAJORITY in pakistan....we would never have had a WOMAN PRIME MINISTER.

      ab log paachtatey hain "PRIME MINISTER" bana kar ek aurat ko.


        Serial Guppy- Why do you sound awfully similar to one of our banned members? Low shot, only because you used the generalized word 'aurat' in your sentence.


          Originally posted by Masooma:
          this is "BS"....if this was true regarding the MAJORITY in pakistan....we would never have had a WOMAN PRIME MINISTER.
          Ye, it is all bull****! And, Islam is nothing like what is practised in Iran, Saudia, and ex-taleban's afghanistan. You have truly an OVERACTIVE Imagination.

          Brutalities against women are DIRETLY as a result of their low-status in islam.

          BTW- The WOMAN pm that you so proudly refer to would have NEVER become one in an Islamic State. The only reason Benazir became a pm was because Pak was a secular sate at that time and many religious leader had issued fatwas against a women leader of state.

          SPEAKING of honour killing there was such an incident in the USA where a Pak national killed his neice on the street to avenge the dishonour she brought. It is the news.

          Good luck to you.


            Honor killings are wrong, but if one is found guilty of it then the penalty is observed islamcally only when illlegal sex is involved and islam sanctions the penalty for a married person and with witnesses.

            [This message has been edited by reza khan (edited April 19, 2002).]


              Originally posted by Ace:
              Serial Guppy- Why do you sound awfully similar to one of our banned members? Low shot, only because you used the generalized word 'aurat' in your sentence.

              I should have said "uss aurat ko" (banazir), to keep morons like you happy. It was bit too "offensive" (nazook bacha/bachi) for you or what? chill.


                Honor killings of Women are signs of Jahiliat , Ignorance , and cannot be Explained from Islamic Perspective..

                Islam gives the propper right to Women..

                Moreover these killings are carried out by , strong hold ppl, like wadeeras, panchait to keep their influence on ppl..

                altogether its jahiliat. lack of Knowege and Wisdom...

                and i strongly condemn that...

                Serial . One sentence. That "aurat" was not in power, it was zardari who was ruling..

                Dont think "you can" know "you can"
                .::. ﷲ ﻼﺃ ﷲﺃ ﻶ .::.


                  I read a few months back, a story about a mentally retarded teenage girl in the tribal areas (i think), who was raped by a thirty year old man. When the town heard, they decided the best remedy was to stone the poor girl to death, which is what they did!! In the end, honor upheld, people went on with their lives, humble as always, with Allah in their hearts, just as good muslims should... I dont know what happened to the 30 year old guy, he probabaly got away scot free...


                    Originally posted by FlameZz:
                    Honor killings of Women are signs of Jahiliat , Ignorance , and cannot be Explained from Islamic Perspective..
                    It is starnge and sad that so many things that are wrong Islamically are being practiced daily by Muslims?

                    Our religous leaders and Mullahs should focus on why so many Muslims are going against Islam. Instead they are busy finding faults in Ahmedis, Shias, and Sufis, and declaring people kafir as opposed to solving issues that Muslims face.


                      The truth is that the Jumuah Sermon's are not based on what is happening in the society at present.

                      Since childhood I have been hearing the same sermon's being repeated.

                      It seems that there is one book of Sermon's which is being used since ages.

                      Everyone seems to ignore what is happening around us today and they don't feel the need to address these issues.

                      There are so many "honor killings" that are not even reported. And it is all accepted by the society and that too in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

                      WE haven't been able to implement the basic principles of Islam but we all want to apply "stoning to death"!

                      How can we justify this? How can we apply the "criminal law" without applying the other "laws" that prevent that crime to take place?

                      No, that no one wants to do.


                        must be another boring article, i aint got time to read it.