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Honor Killings in Pakistan

The Muslim Women's League strongly condemns any and all honor killings as being completely inconsistent with the teachings of Islam.  The recent case in Pakistan where Nazir Ahmed murdered his 25 year old stepdaughter and 3 daughters (all under the age of 9) is an aberration, reflecting the actions of a deranged, mentally unstable individual ("Honor killings shock Pakistan," 12/28/2005, Associated Press).  However, the general devaluation of female children along with the culturally acceptable notion that women bear the burden of honor for their entire family create an environment where such a heinous act could occur.

In addition, children, both male and female, are guaranteed basic rights in Islam including the right of safety and security.  According to Islamic law, or Shari'a, children are not considered accountable for their deeds in a legal or moral sense until after they complete puberty.  In addition, individual members of society are not allowed to take the law into their own hands and render punishment regardless of whether a crime has been committed or not. Therefore, the murder of these young girls in Pakistan can be viewed only as a horrible homicide for which their father should be punished under the full extent of the law.
Religious illiteracy is a pervasive problem in the Muslim world that allows for crimes like this to be erroneously justified by Islam.  The Muslim Women's League calls upon the religious leaders of Pakistan and other Muslim countries to begin a campaign of religious education of their people, emphasizing the principles of equality, justice and accountability as expressed in the Qur'an.
For a more detailed discussion of the issue of honor killings and how they are utterly antithetical to the teachings of Islam, click here.

December 29, 2005

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