Thursday, September 04, 2008

Honor killing no honor at all

Its a fashion now - Honor killings but what sense of honor is achieved by these murders? Every other day we hear about many such glorified deaths.The perpetrators unpunished

Honor crimes are not specific to any religion, nor are they limited to any one region of the world. Fathers, brothers, uncles, relatives, community everybody kills for one reason or other. Some justifying tradition , sect, religion. Are they glorifying it or destroying the very fabric of its survival ? They don't know and of course the dead will never know about it. Who is to blame ?

Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda. In countries not submitting reports to the UN, the practice was condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has been reported in Iraq and Iran.

In Jordan, if a woman seeks protection from the police because she fears that her family wants to kill her, she will be held in indefinite detention in a local prison. It is important to note that once a woman has sought protection from the government and has been placed in prison, she is prohibited according to the government's policy from leaving the prison even though she has committed no crime. Ironically, women can only be released into the custody of a family member -- perhaps the very persons trying to kill them. If these women are killed, they are buried in unmarked graves and their very existence denied.

The noble values of dignity and seniority are neglected. Instead, the only focus is on the woman’s body and her virginity. According to this definition, the woman is an object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life. The social traditions lead to the isolation of the woman in her home. She is required to cover her entire body in order to maintain the honor of the man. A decent honorable man has to have a decent honorable woman. The major factor in this theory is the body of the woman that is capable of bringing new members for the family, so that it can extend and live longer. Thus, the woman’s body is the private property of her husband. By maintaining and protecting it, there will be no confusion between families in the community. The family, and men in particular, have the responsibility to defend the honor of ‘their’ woman. (Al-Turki and Zuraiq, 1995, Page 104)

Honor crimes are a clear violation of women's human rights and states are bound to protect women from such violations. Nonetheless, in many countries, honor crimes are either condoned through government inaction or defended as legitimate cultural practices


No comments: