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44 women killed in the name of honor in a single Pakistani district

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The numbers of honor killings are rising despite “increased awareness of the crime.” And why not? Honor killing and violence is in accordance with Islamic mores and tradition. Increased awareness would result in an increase in honor violence.

A recent survey showed that 91 percent of honor killings worldwide are committed by Muslims, and 84 percent of honor killings in the United States were done by Muslims. This is no surprise. A manual of Islamic law approved by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates that “retaliation is obligatory…against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” In other words, Islamic law sets no penalty for a parent who kills his child. Also, the legal codes of Jordan, Syria, and other Muslim countries have substantially reduced penalties for honor murders as compared to other murders, and Islamic clerics have resisted efforts to stiffen penalties for honor killings. (source)

“44 women killed in the name of ‘honour’ in Swat,” Express Tribune, October 19, 2017:

SWAT: Swat has witnessed the murder of 44 women in the name of “honour” during the current year, many of which have been concealed under the name of suicide, non-government organisation Awakening has revealed in a study.

Speaking with Pakistan Today, the NGO’s director Irfan Hussain Babak said that the rate at which “honour killings” were being carried out this year had increased sharply from last year. The year 2016 had seen 53 cases of honour killings in Swat. The NGO, which works for women’s rights in Swat and provides legal aid to families of the victims, has revealed that a lot of these cases are disguised as suicides.

Swat police have denied the reliability of these reports. Figures taken by Mingora superintendent of police (SP) claim that there had been 11 instances of honour killings this year, while there had been 6 cases in 2016.

Mingora Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Habibullah told Pakistan Today that Swat police were working hard to tackle the issue of honour killings in the district. He said that cases of honour killings would be filed by the state now, expressing his hopes that this would deter the evil practice and bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. According to the police, three cases have been filed by the state and are all under hearing at court.

The police said that members of the victims’ families were usually involved in honour killings and to prevent themselves from disgrace, the other aggrieved family members did not bring the cases to the police, preferring the local jirgas to resolve the matter instead. If the police did make arrests, people did not appear before court to testify. This allowed criminals to escape readily from punishment, they said.

Swat bar senior lawyer Sohail Sultan observed that Swat came under the provincially administered tribal areas and therefore many laws which safeguarded women’s rights had not been extended to the area, which was a direct cause of the growing number of honour killings in Swat.

According to the Swat’s women jirga head Tabassum Adnan, the main reason for the rise of honour killings in Swat was the lack of effective legislation, which allowed criminals to run free without fear of punishment….

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