“Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; take honor from me and my life is done”

William Shakespeare 

There is no any doubt that a Muslim who killed his daughter or sister for losing honor was following the above mentioned Shakespeare’s thought. The honor in the western world is shaped differently than the honor in the  Muslim world and those two  standards are often against each others, when it comes to the feeling of  disgrace.

Honor killing or shame killing  is a specific term connected usually with Muslim population but it is happening all over the world and it followed the historical pictures as well. This is a homicide mostly  of a female member of a family, by another members who believe that the shame, which that female person has brought upon the family’s  honor is permanent and unforgivable. What is disgrace for a strict religious oriented family union? It is very logical to guess that any kind of female’s behavior towards independent emotional  or even sexual  decisions, refusal of arranged marriage or starting the forbidden relationship, apostasy too   could be considered, according to radical Islamic way of thinking, as a ground of shame and introduction in loss of honor for all times. Not only those dimensions of social life but also the rape, as a form of violence against the female individuals, is often used as an excuse for some Muslim family to punish by death their daughters or sisters. However, this honor killing doesn’t apply only on women but also on men, especially if some man is caught in relationship which is not allowed, according to his family, no matter if that is heterosexual or homosexual.Leaving of Islam is also a  very  powerful motive for many families to punish their targeted victims. Sometimes, but not so often, the active and progressive role of some young man or woman in closed and Islamic inspired systems causes that they get a negative focus of majority of believers. Unfortunately, not so long after, the disgrace knocks on the family’s door so those people pay for their activism and revolutionary spirit, being destroyed by homemade sword of saving honor policy.

Pakistan Honour Killing

Pakistan honor killing

The honor killing is a violent act committed by family against the chosen member, who is accused for bringing the shame and derision by a community upon a family’s reputation. If woman is caught to be in disproved relationship or having a sex outside the marriage or man is discovered that doesn’t follow the rules of Islam, there are basic foundations for making a plan to punish them, wash  the bloody hands after , please the community and bring back the lost honor or at least being relieved from pointing fingers and moral convictions. Because of strong family honor in many cultures, such a kind of crime is never legally processed and it is understood as a color of a tradition and furthermore it is always justified and accepted as a cure against breaking the rules by individuals.Family members make a council, they debate and finally make a decision which determine the whole destiny of a target. That destiny is dark and sad, once for all times, burred into  sand and sacrificed for God who could never hate as people believe He does.The typical methods of killing, if it is not forced suicide are: stoning, stabbing, beating, burning, beheading, hanging, throat slashing, acid attacks, shooting  and it is practice in very radical societies that these forms of punishment are performed in public, like a theater scene, so the potential sinners could think more if they would really act as they think they would. The level of punishments depends on the country and its common culture and tradition of honor. The Indian subcontinent has many of them combined as well as the Middle East. In Western societies, among Muslim families, the dimension of punishment is also adjusted to the local customs but not less lethal.For me it was more than interesting to analyze how Islam as a religion replies on the honor killing. The theologian in Islam states the following: “The practice of so-called ‘honor killing’ is in reality an act of murder. It is usually carried out against a female family member who is seen by relatives as dishonoring their family through real or perceived acts of indiscretion, such as premarital sexual relations or unapproved dating. In many cases of ‘honor killing’, the accused woman is innocent, and is killed purely based on suspicion. In other cases, the issue of ‘honor’ is used as a cover to justify a murder that was really committed for other purposes. No matter what the reason is, ‘honor killing’ is a despicable crime.There is absolutely no justification in Islam for ‘honor killing’ of women or men.” So, Islam obviously forbids the so called honor- shame killing. Those who stand up against this barbarian ritual find the verse in the Holy Qur’an:“Whoever kills a believer intentionally, their reward will be Hell, to abide therein forever, and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon them, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for them.” (Holy Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 93) That would be more than advanced if  it is understood and accepted by primitive people who claim they read Qur’an but at the same time, they do not go for rules which are directly opposite positioned than their interests and tribal way of acting. Look on the part of the article of one Islamic thinker, who could be hypocritical but who could also comes up with the real facts:“No society, Muslim or otherwise, should tolerate such extrajudicial murder. This is especially true if these murders are carried out in the name of Islam or any other religion. There is no justification or leniency in Islamic teachings for such murder crimes. Those who commit these crimes are either ignorant of Islamic teachings, or they try to invoke religion to get lenient treatment. In both cases, they must be punished as murderers in order to establish justice and in order to act as a deterrent to those who would consider committing such crimes.There is no historical background in Islam for ‘honor killing’. No verse in the holy Quran and no saying of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) sanctions such crimes. There were no cases of ‘honor killing’ during the early period of Islam. This is a concept that seems to have appeared only recently, and is based only upon ignorance of the true teachings of Islam, and perhaps some ancient customs that pre-date Islam.” All good and fine, I could almost think that honor killing came from some hybrid religion or even satanism but reality informs us that about 91% of honor killings worldwide  are committed by Muslims and the crimes are occurring everywhere, with more or less similarities in methods or reasons. Honor killing is not a part of Islamic law, as they claim, but it is somehow implemented into practical implementation of Shari’ah law. That we can see through the searching for excuse for shame killing in many ways. The written verse 93 from Holy Qur’an demands retaliation as an obligatory against anyone who commits a murder unless that is a mother or father or their parents who can kill their offspring.Then the obligatory of retaliation is not applicable on them and then the silently the honor killing is approved by Islam itself. We shouldn’t forget that there are some extreme measures for punishment according to Shari’ah law like punishing for sex outside a marriage or homosexual relations or robbery by stoning to death and those crimes are implemented in modern Islamic states as a part of Islamic folklore against increasing of crimes or preventing them, as they like to conclude. But, honor killing is not accepted and I am wondering why the same couldn’t have been covered by adultery crime and punished like that, regarding to Shari’ah law penalty. The Islamic law requests before any final decision to be found 4 witnesses and that sinner confess the crime. Nevertheless, we all know that where is the system that who sues you he usually judges you, it doesn’t surprise the  number of 5.000 women who are victims of honor killing annually. Many of them are daughters of disgraced fathers or sisters of ashamed brothers. Some of them are women punished for loving someone else who is not husband. These adultery could be packed also in crimes of passion what aren’t reserved only for Muslim societies. It is happening all over the world in increasing level of disturbance. In the US, about 1.200 of women are killed every year by  jealous partners, the Mediterranean part of Europe has no better statistic. Importing the immigration from the Muslim world, the US, Australia and Europe are facing up with the possibility to be the part of hybridized honor killing and mixed with the westernized crimes of passion. If that happens, Shari’ah Law will give us the worst of itself and we will never get it down. Primitive rules accepted by primitive people have capability to last longer than any civilized framework for behavior.

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Honor killing is a tribal and barbaric form of punishment and it is a murder according to the modern legal world. It is linked up with Muslim societies because of the people over there  who don’t adopt  the new and updated forms of social relations and they are still holding on the old and regressed. Unfortunately, the honor killing is not only Islamic product. It was the element of the global judo-christian history and it is very well described in many books but as we can note, the developed world is  getting rid of that shameful tradition whilst the Muslim world still keeps it as the secret weapon against so called sins. In the time of constant progress, sins are changed and modified and something which was shameful yesterday today is a reason of being proud. That is the main attribute of civilization. It doesn’t sleep. It moves all the time. Forward. It is a mandatory of all of us to work on stopping of these brutal forms of violence against people and to prevent them through the rational and law based system. There is no man who could be above God when it comes to life or death. Shari’ah Law must accept the man made law which stops oppression or it brings it under the roof of Dike, justice. That is the main sign we dont live in 1437 but in 2016.

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  1. Well articulated text and it is my hope and trust that works such as yours will help in bringing to an end this unjustified and inhumane behavioral killings.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words which made me more devoted to write and to try to bring justice and happiness on this world. Weall fight together against the evil and I am glad that people worldwide are awaking. Keep head up!


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !