Current Issues: Honor Killing

Add your Comment >

United States

Honor Killing

There are varying issues affecting women around the globe that are particularly atrocious. The masses of disappearing women in Juarez, Mexico and in Guatemala is one of them, child molestation and exploitation in America, the sex slave industry, FGM in Africa, bride burning in India . . .

So-called "honor killing" has come to my attention recently as several incidences have been reported now in Europe and the United States. This is one of the most extreme outcomes of misogyny as it manifests in Muslim communities, when male family members take it upon themselves to murder their own daughters/sisters/cousins because they have been "bad Muslim women." Usually the woman's crime was that she sought some form of sexual independence, dating men outside the community, divorcing, etc.

I am working on a project that addresses several of these global women's issues in a serious, yet upbeat and optimistic way (by creating superheroines who kick butt); and I want to connect with women around the world by discussing our unique struggles and finding commonalities. Currently I'm working on the segment focusing on honor killings and I'd love to hear from anyone, but especially from any Islamic feminists, who have thoughts and feelings around this issue.

Arwa Alhoribi
Arwa Alhoribi
United Arab Emirates

Honor Killings...

First of all, I don't think I'm qualified to discuss honor killings. Having said that, I DO consider myself to be an Islamic feminist and I will *try* to explain to you what I think of it.

I think Honor Killings are most prevalent in ultra-conservative Muslim families-usually uneducated, usually (but not always) in isolated areas. It also seems to occur in some conservative Muslim Western societies. Why does it happen? Well, I'm sure you know that in "Islamic culture" the woman "carries" the "honor" of the family (Hence the "honor killing") If the neighbors find out someone's daughter sleeps around, their reputation is RUINED. But...this explanation obviously doesn't doesn't explain why a sane man would murder his daughter, wife, cousin or sister...all for a perverted version of "honor".

I try to separate myself from the horror of honor killings to analyze it from an unemotional perspective but I just can't seem to do it. It makes me too...frustrated and angry and just so...sad.

The only thing I can tell you is that it's a very touchy subject in many Muslim countries-even those who oppose it don't like to talk about it. Some because they don't see the point, and some because they feel it's not their "place" or business to decide what another family should do.

The problem is that dating, or having sex outside of marriage IS somewhat of a crime in Islam. Of course, honor killings aren't the legal (or Quranic) stipulated measures for "punishing" people who do these things.

There's just no clear cut solution to the problem of honor killings. It's such a complex and controversial issue. The only way I can see improvement is by educating people in areas of high honor killings rates-educating them about Islam, though. That is probably the only way they will listen.

I hope my ramblings helped you just a little bit. And I would love to hear about your super heroines who kick butt ;)

Honor Killing

The issue is very serious and sensitive prevailing in India. Honour killings have been reported in northern India-- Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar, as a result of people marrying without their family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. Among Rajputs,Jats or upper castes , marriages with members of other castes can provoke the killing of the married couple and immediate family members. Such form of honour killing is attributed to Rajput culture and traditional views on the perceived 'purity' of a lineage.
Honour killings are non-existent in South India and the western India-- Maharashtra and Gujarat.Perhaps, This is largely due to the activism and influence of reformist movements led by Spiritual leaders.Under these circumstances ,there is an urgent need to create awareness among the global community.

Emerging Concerns

The crucial or emerging concerns in the present set up is to study and analyse the status of women in the era of liberalisation, privatisaion and globalisation

Tags: No tags found.

Log In