A huge piece on honor killings in "Palestinian" occupied territories. Al Reuters spills an awful lot of ink explaining how it is not related to religion. Thou doth protest too much.
Even in death, the victim is violated again, as the motive is denied or refused. Perhaps honor killings are spiking because they are sanctioned by sharia law, sanctioned by Muslim countries and sanctioned by a silent Western media.
The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but "the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour 'provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'" And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values." (Source: Jihadwatch).
It matters that honor killing has Islamic sanction. Robert Spencer explains here:
In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders.
A manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2).
In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. In accord with this, in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values."
And related to the practice is this:
"The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside." -- Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4457
Khadir, or Khidr, figures in sura 18 of the Qur'an. He is traveling with Moses, and: "Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he [Khadir] slew him. Moses said: "Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!" Khadir replies: "As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man). So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection...." (18:74, 18:80-81).
Why does it matter that the practice of honor killing has Islamic sanction? Because if the roots of honor killing are never discussed and always ignored, the practice will never stop. Until the Islamic roots of the practice are discussed openly and human rights groups begin calling for reform, honor killings will continue in the Islamic world -- and in Muslim communities in the West.
"A silvery green olive grove in the red soil" ...... sheesh.
"Palestinians see worrisome trend in "honour" killings rise," By Noah Browning, Reuters
A silvery green olive grove set in the red soil of a Palestinian village is a crime scene - testament to a practice so sensitive that it is spoken of only in whispers. One night in late November, Rasha Abu Ara, a 32-year-old mother of five, was beaten to death and strung from a gnarled tree branch as a gruesome badge of "family honor" restored.
The woman's alleged sin was adultery, and her killer was either her own brother or husband, security sources told Reuters. Both are behind bars while an investigation continues.
Her murder brought to 27 the number of women slain in similar circumstances in Palestinian-run areas this year, according to rights groups - more than twice last year's victims.
The rise has led Palestinians to question hidebound laws they say are lax on killers, as well as a reluctance to name and shame in the media and society, which may contribute to a feeling of impunity among perpetrators.
"It feels like something that belongs to another time," said one young man in Aqqaba who refused to give his name, the first hints of a beard on his chin. "But, it's standard."
A week after the crime, Aqqaba mayor Jamal Abu Ara, who is a member of the victim's extended family, and his brothers sat in their village home, smoking cigarettes and choosing their words carefully.
"This act has no religion - it comes from closed, tribal thinking left over from an age of ignorance. People here are walking around in a haze; they want to know who did it and why. Of course, it's the first time it's happened here," he said.
His brother added: "Islam requires you have four witnesses to prove the act of adultery.
"It's not right what happened. Especially since if it were a man, some would just say 'boys will be boys'," he said.=
A representative of the slain woman's family declined to speak to Reuters.
"Honour killing" is a social menace that occurs throughout the Middle East, though precise figures are often elusive.
In neighboring Jordan, for example, a Cambridge University survey of attitudes among young people published in June found that a third of respondents agreed with the practice.
The researchers attributed the result to low levels of education and "patriarchal and traditional world views, emphasis placed on female virtue and a more general belief that violence against others is morally justified."
The study estimated an average of 15 to 20 such killings occur every year in Jordan, with a population of around 6.3 million, compared to around 4 million in Palestinian lands.
Some activists believe the rise in honour killings indicates social and economic problems are mounting in the territories, where Palestinians exercise limited self-rule but Israel holds ultimate sovereignty, including over commerce.
"There is no balance in power relations between the genders. There is a patriarchal mentality...as always, the force and pressure in society is transferred from the strong to the weak," she said.Palestinian female participation in the labor force stands at 17 percent, a figure the World Bank called "abysmally low," noting that employers appeared to favor men, among whom joblessness was almost a third lower in 2013.Hussein said that most of the killings related to "the movement and the freedom of the woman, so (perpetrators) say it's an 'honour killing '... also, there's still no clear law to discourage the practice."Many of the cases had economic underpinnings, such as connections to disputes over inheritance, or may have been committed to cover up incest, she added.The passing of stricter laws on violence against women is hamstrung by the absence of a Palestinian parliament, which has not met since President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas group fought a brief, bloody civil war in 2007.Abbas has used his executive power to amend or cancel parts of the penal law, but has not yet changed all legislation which applies a separate status to domestic violence and has been used to justify killings and lighten prison sentences.Palestinian Minister of Women's Affairs Rabiha Diab saved much of her blame for violence toward women for Israel: "The Israeli occupation is the one practising the utmost violence ... it's the main thing keeping us from advancing."There's been a deterioration, financial and psychological pressure on our society, poverty. But there are also certain backward cultural legacies that must be combated," she said.