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(Los Angeles - 1/2/06) -- The Muslim Women's League and the Muslim Public Affairs Council strongly condemn any and all honor killings as a complete violation of the teachings of Islam.  On December 23rd, Nazir Ahmed murdered his 25 year old stepdaughter and three daughters (all under the age of 9) in a village in Pakistan. This case is an aberration, reflecting the actions of a deranged, mentally unstable individual.


SEE: "Honor Killings Shock Pakistan" (Associated Press, 12/29/05)

Religious illiteracy is a pervasive problem in the Muslim world that allows for such crimes to be erroneously justified by Islam.  The Muslim Women's League and MPAC call 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.
"A woman's moral conduct is not 'owned' by anyone else but herself. Her honor belongs to her, and not to her family," argues Dr. Maher Hathout in his new book 
"In Pursuit of Justice: The Jurisprudence of Human Rights in Islam".  "It is for God to judge her, and to determine the punishment for any moral indiscretions on her part, not for her family of the society to do so."


The general devaluation of female children, along with the culturally acceptable notion that women bear the burden of honor for their entire family, creates an environment where such a heinous act could occur. 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.  All children, both male and female, are guaranteed basic rights in Islam including the right of safety and security. 


Furthermore, 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.
For a more detailed discussion of the issue of honor killings within Islamic law,
click here.


[CONTACT: Edina Lekovic, 213-383-3443, communications@mpac.org]

Muslim Women's League
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