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Honor killings are murder not an Islamic teaching

Originally posted on Moral Outrage:

Leading Muslim thinkers wholeheartedly insist that “honor murders” have no place and no support in Islam.

“There is nothing in the Quran that justifies honor killings. There is nothing that says you should kill for the honor of the family,” said Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in England.

“This idea that ‘somehow a girl has besmirched our honor and therefore the thing to do is kill her’ is bizarre, and Muslims should stop using this defense,” he said, arguing that the practice is cultural, not religious in origin.

“You cannot say this is what Islam approves of. You can [only] say this is what their culture approves of,” he said.

Yet several Arab countries and territories, including Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, have laws providing lesser sentences for honor murders than for other murders, Human Rights Watch says. Egypt and Jordan also…

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

3 Comments on “Honor killings are murder not an Islamic teaching”

  1. Ayanna Nahmias Says:

    I approved your comment because it is important to explore and discuss dissenting views/opinions. True, the majority of honor killings are committed by Muslims but this has less to do with the religion and more to do with the culture. There are Hindus who practice honor killings, in Africa there are animists and some Christians who practice honor killings. This happens in fiercely patriarchal cultures, and among people who are exceedingly poor. As they have little of value, and since they do not value women beyond what they can command in dowry from marriage, once she has been ‘spoiled,’ she becomes expendable. They can no longer afford to feed her, care for her, protect her against the ire of the community, Nor Do They Want To……..

    Even in America, women were subjected to killings, when they were burned at stake for offending the community’s moral standards during the era of the Puritans. If not burned at the stake or otherwised harmed through public flogging, dunking, and drowning, the ‘lucky’ one were branded either physically or symbolically as in the book ‘The Scarlet Letter.’ During the Spanish Inquisitions a woman could be tortured, repeatedly raped and then killed for the mere whisper of impropriety.

    The issue of honor killings is an issue of women’s rights, gender equality, and the belief held by many people/cultures that a woman is less than a man and should bow to her husband’s authority. This is a Christian belief espoused by many fundamental Christians here in America.

    This belief has been used to counsel women to stay in psychologically and physically abusive relationships, despite the evidence that her husband was abusing her and not treating her in a Godly manner. My point is that abuse of women is not limited to one religion or culture or group of people. Because of the ‘War on Terror,’ Islam has come front and center into the minds of the American public. Thus, all of its many failings are constantly on display. We must avail ourselves of every opportunity to speak out against human rights abuses, and we choose to focus on women and children’s rights specifically.

    I have been an adherent of all three faiths and maintain close ties with each. Christianity – my mother is an ordained Baptist Minister. Islam, I was raised in this faith. And Orthodox Judaism to which I converted. Because I have lived in all three faiths as an adherent, I have a different perspective than those with a cursory knowledge or people who has been ‘told’ what to think or believe.

    Investigate for yourself. Read for yourself. Take the time to read the Bible – not just the weekly Sunday snippet of a passage out of context. Read the Torah to determine if the ‘Old Testament’ is so different from the ‘New.’ Read the Qur’an and make your own determination.

    You will be surprised at how similar these three faiths are, and how could they not be? They all originated from God through Abraham, who was but a simple nomad from a traditional, tribal community, generally accepted by all faiths to have been born in Ur of the Chaldees, in Mesopotania, what is commonly known as Iran today. What man does and has done to the ‘Word of God’ and ‘In the Name of God’ does not make his actions correct. It only demonstrates his limited understanding and fallibility.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and for providing a link to an alternative perspective. ~ Ayanna Nahmias

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Honor Killings in Islam (Video) « Iran Aware - 19/03/2012

    [...] Honor killings are murder not an Islamic teaching (ayannanahmias.com) Rate this: Please Share Me:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  2. Honor Killing / Can We Say Not Here When Religious And Cultural Beliefs Are Used As A Defense For Murder? | Archemdis's Blog - 06/02/2012

    [...] Honor killings are murder not an Islamic teaching (ayannanahmias.com) [...]

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