Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Honor Killings: 20,000 women killed a year

It’s one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of ‘honor’. Women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the “honor” of their families. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly.

Despite its identification by journalists as a largely Muslim practice, Christian and Hindu communities have stooped to the same crimes.

A 10-month investigation by The Independent in Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank has unearthed terrifying details of murder most foul. Iraqi Kurds, Palestinians in Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey appear to be the worst offenders but media freedoms in these countries may over-compensate for the secrecy which surrounds “honor” killings in Egypt and other Middle East nations in the Gulf and the Levant.

It is difficult to remain unemotional about the … Turkish 16-year-old girl who was buried alive beneath a chicken coop in February for “befriending boys”? Her body was found 40 days later, in a sitting position and with her hands tied.

Or the 13 year-old in Somalia, who in front of a thousand people, was dragged to a hole in the ground – all the while screaming, “I’m not going – don’t kill me” – then buried up to her neck and stoned by 50 men for adultery. After 10 minutes, she was dug up, found to be still alive and put back in the hole for further stoning. Her crime? She had been raped by three men.

Or the young woman found in a drainage ditch in Pakistan, “honor” killed by her family as she gave birth to her second child, her nose, ears and lips chopped off before being axed to death, her first infant lying dead among her clothes, her newborn’s torso still in her womb, its head already emerging from her body?

In August of 2008, five women were buried alive for “honor crimes” in Baluchistan by armed tribesmen; three of them were teenagers who, after being beaten and shot, were thrown still alive into a ditch where they were covered with stones and earth. When the two older women, aged 45 and 38, protested, they suffered the same fate. The three younger women had tried to choose their own husbands.

Outrageously, rape is also used as a punishment for “honor” crimes. In the Punjab in 2002, a tribal “jury” claimed that an 11-year-old boy from the Gujar tribe had been walking unchaperoned with a 30-year-old woman from the Mastoi tribe, which “dishonored” the Mastois. The tribal elders decided that to “return” honor to the group, the boy’s 18-year-old sister should be gang-raped.Four men, including one of the “jury”, immediately dragged the girl to a hut and raped her while up to a hundred men laughed and cheered outside. She was then forced to walk naked through the village to her home. It took a week before the police even registered the crime – as a “complaint”.

Acid attacks also play their part in “honor” crime punishments. The Independent itself gave wide coverage in 2001 to a Karachi man who poured acid over his wife’s face after she left him and returned to her mother’s home in the red-light area of the city. The acid fused her lips, burned off her hair, melted her breasts and an ear, and turned her face into “a look of melted rubber”.

So terrible are the details of these “honor” killings, and so many are the women who have been slaughtered, that the story of each one might turn horror into banality.

[Excerpt of an article by Robert Fisk]

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2 Responses to “Honor Killings: 20,000 women killed a year”

  1. Re: “Despite its identification by journalists as a largely Muslim practice, Christian and Hindu communities have stooped to the same crimes.”

    Those of us in the West who roll our eyes at the practice of honor killings, and/or are prone to condemn other religions and cultures for doing so, should be made aware that the Old Testament of the Bible likewise has commandments that appear to justify the same. For example:

    Leviticus 21:9 “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.”

    So a priest’s daughter was to be burned in part to save her father’s reputation!

    Leviticus 20:9 “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.”

    Wow! Using this criteria, there’d be a lot less teenagers in Western society! Ha!

    Thank God that true Christian beliefs are rooted in Jesus’ Law of Love as portrayed in the New Testament, not the rigid laws of the Old Testament.

    Unfortunately some Christians, for example those referred to in this article, don’t get this very important point, that Jesus brought in a whole “new deal” of forgiveness and mercy via the New Testament.

  2. Wow, God help us, and God curse them for this evil!!! This really brings home the fact that only Jesus can save this world from the way it is and the way it’s going! “The heart of man is deceitfully wicked”…my goodness; never so clearly revealed.


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