Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lawmaker defends honor killings

A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.
"These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."
The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch.
They were still breathing as their bodies were covered with rocks and mud, according media reports and human rights activists, who said their only "crime" was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing
Zehri told a packed and flabbergasted Parliament on Friday that Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity and then asked fellow lawmakers not to make a big fuss about it.
Many stood up in protest, saying the executions were "barbaric" and demanding that discussions continue Monday. But a handful said it was an internal matter of the deeply conservative province.
"I was shocked," said lawmaker Nilofar Bakhtiar, who pushed for legislation calling for perpetrators of so-called honor killings to be punished when she served as minister of women's affairs under the last government.
"I feel that we've gone back to the starting point again," she said. "It's really sad for me."
The incident allegedly occurred one month ago in Baba Kot, a remote village in Jafferabad district, after the women decided to defy tribal elders and arrange marriages in a civil court, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.
....
From: The International Herald Tribune.

This is an update on this story. - Five women buried alive in name of honour
Monday August 25, 2008 (1134 PST)ISLAMABAD:

Three teenage girls along with their two close elderly relatives were shot at before being buried alive in a desert of Balochistan by their tribesmen in the name of honour.
The shocking reports of this horrible incident reaching the capital from different quarters revealed that the girls studying in classes 10 to 12 intended to marry men of their choice through a civil court by defying the centuries-old tribal traditions. When the fuming elders of Umrani tribe came to know about the intentions of these girls to appear before a local court, they picked them up from their homes along with two of their elderly women relatives. The crying girls were pushed into official cars and driven to a deserted area. There they were pushed out of the cars, made to stand in a queue and volleys of shots fired at them.
As the bleeding girls fell on the sand, the tribesmen dragged them into a nearby ditch and levelled it with earth and stones before the girls could breathe their last. As the two shocked elderly women tried to rescue the hapless girls, they too were gunned down and buried in the same manner.
The killers after burying these women returned to their tribe like conquerors without any action against them.
......................................................

  • 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?

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