Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Examination of “Honor Killings": A Case of Reciprocal Behavior?

It is not uncommon to find Western commentators criticizing “honor killings” in Muslim countries. Their rhetoric of championing women rights is window dressing for their subliminal attempt to portray Islam as religion that sanctions such killings.

That is a simply not the case.

Human Rights Watch, a non-profit organzation, testified before the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights that:

“Honor crimes are not specific to any religion, nor are they limited to any one region of the world. Human Rights Watch has worked on this issue in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Although there is increased awareness of this issue, states remain reluctant to take the necessary steps to end impunity for honor killings. For example, although the Supreme Court of Brazil struck down "defense of honor" as a justification for murder of a wife in 1991, ten years later, courts still fail to prosecute and convict men who claim they kill their wives because of their alleged infidelity.”

Given these considerations, let us examine an interesting case where a Pakistani woman beheaded her husband for his infidelity.

"The victim was said to bear a passion for women and Khatoon, who was already fed up with her husband's extramarital activities, got annoyed when he said he was going for a fourth marriage," said another police officer, Akhtar Shah Bangash.”

Would this be a reciprocal case of a “honor killing?”


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