Honor Killings in the Name of Religion


by Mohamad K. Yusuff

A few weeks ago, ABC News magazine, Nightline, televised a documentary, originally produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), titled, A Matter of Honor, on two consecutive nights — February 15 and 16, 1999. The drama that enfolded on television during these two one-half hour programs was stunning, incredible, and heinous. It dealt with a barbaric custom of murdering Muslim women for immoral activities in rural Pakistan, at the hands of male family members, including fathers, brothers, and even husbands, to maintain the purity of tribal honor.

In my view, this program should have been renamed: “A Matter of Dishonor.” Similar documentaries, with different titles, from other geographic regions including Jordan and Lebanon, have been produced and shown before — all with the same results — the victims invariably were Muslim women, killed by male relatives to “restore family honor.” It seems that blood — women’s blood — is the price of men’s honor in some parts of the Muslim world.

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