- Published on Sunday, 05 August 2012 07:20
Yesterday Iftikar and Farzana Ahmed were sentenced to life imprisonment for being found guilty of killing their 17 year old daughter Shafilea in an act of ‘honor killing’ in 2003. Their reasoning was that Shafilea was seen to be leading too much of a westernized life and therefore bringing disrepute to their honor in the wider community.
Cases like this are rare in the UK but in other parts of the Middle East and Asia there is shamefully a significantly higher number of ‘honor killings’. Those who usually carry out these degenerate acts usually use the cloth of religion to justify their actions. Over the years the practice has become wrongly intertwined or accredited to Islam. This is a false dichotomy to make as honor killings historically were practiced even before any major religion came into existence. Plus for those who claim some sort of a religious bearing for this act have obviously missed out a major sin in Islam, one which is highlighted best in this verse of the Quran:
For that cause we decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (5:32).
Another thing to note is that even when a person has a legitimate claim to any case of wrong doing, Islamically the law cannot simply be taken into your own hands as the claim needs to be judged in a court of law before a ruling of any sort can be made.
Also, there is a blatant sexist divide in the logic that guides honor killings. The main target and victims of these killings are mainly woman, which begs the question if you were to use this theoretical argument of honor, does a man not dishonor his supposed family? Why is it only the women who seem to bear the honor of their family member’s reputation on their shoulders? Can a man do as he pleases without shaming or dishonoring his family? A shameful act is a shameful act regardless of a person’s sex. Having male organs and a bit of stubble/beard doesn’t exempt you from that.
What also puzzles me is how twisted the logic behind honor killings really is. How does it make sense in Shafilea’s parents mind? So their daughter has apparently brought shame on their family for being too westernized. The solution in their mind to this problem of shame was murder? Does the conviction, prison sentence and airing of their torrid affairs in public not merit any shame? Pop on a mini-skirt? No no. Murder someone? Go right ahead; just make sure you’re back for breakfast. I’m pretty sure on a sliding scale of dishonor the taking of someone’s life trumps listening to lady gaga and visiting the cinema.
Regardless of what anyone says honor killing should be given its deserved title, murder. Whatever way you look at it, be it religiously, culturally, theoretically etc. murder is a forbidden and callous act. It’s truly saddening to see that cases like this even exist in the first place. The people who are supposed to be your guides in life end up being the adjudicators to your abrupt and brutal death. The ease in which these parents manage to switch of their paternal and maternal instincts to nurture, love and care for their child no matter what is disturbing. Unfortunately for Shafilea, as the judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans put it most succinctly whilst addressing her parents:
“Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child.”
And that is where the true dishonor and shame lies.By Hiba Alhejazi, Wellapparently blog
This content is courtesy of Hiba Alhejazi