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Lest it be misconstrued re 'honor killings'

Guest Peeves

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Honor might be to god. Dishonoring god might well be blasphemy. Dishonoring one's prophet might be grounds for some to commit a worse act but murder. How irreconcilable in any religion or lawful society is that!.


Honor comes in many guises. i.e. Better to die a thousand deaths than wound my honor.

Still there can be no honor in murder for honors sake.

I suggest that those that would murder a spouse or child be prevented from entry to our country by close questioning..vetting of their cultural roots. Why should we indeed suffer such to share our bounty and societal requirements.

Or.. reinstate duels over insults of honor...wink.png

One respected Imam said,

“these rioters are defaming the name of Islam.” (*)

This warning is consistent with a proverb of Solomon, the son of King David, “A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11, NIV)

It is interesting to note how other translators have rendered this verse, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (ESV) “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” (NLT)

Christians and also most Muslims could endorse this which comes as no surprise since Muslims agree that God revealed his will through the prophets. So, if it is honorable to overlook an offense, it makes sense to look at Muhammad and Jesus – the respective founders/cornerstones of Islam and Christianity – to consider how they exemplified this trait.

Murdering a Mocker

The Ahadith tells how someone mocked Muhammad and “hurt” him. We read in Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?"

Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes."

Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a [false] thing [i.e. to deceive Ka'b]. "The Prophet said, "You may say it." . . .

For the sake of brevity we aren't quoting the entire account but the conclusion was: K'ab was murdered! (*) In fact, Islamic sources document many cases of Muhammad killing people who mocked him and opposed him. (*) Unfortunately these examples give Muslims reason to respond in anger and bloodshed when they see their prophet or deity being hurt. A more detailed discussion of Muhammad's response to mockery is available here and here.


I believe the following to be at least reasonably accurate.

"Honor crimes" are sometimes assumed to be sanctioned by Islam since they mainly occur in the Middle East. But while perpetrators of "honor crimes" often cite religious justification for their acts, these crimes are not rooted in any religious text. "Honor crimes" originated in customary law that pre-dates Islam and Christianity. They span communities, religions, and countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela."

The word honor itself is ambiguous and can be interpreted much as one would to self serve.

Many countries treat honor killings very differently. To me a murder is a murder, classifying it under a rubric of honor changes not much unless one wishes to point fingers in one direction or another.

A cowboy a soldier a husband might fight for their honor. To kill a child or spouse for honor is quite simply beyond most contemporary societies imagination. However back in the day there was an unwritten law that pretty much forgave a man that caught his wife In flagrante delicto and then murdered her. Sentences were invariably lighter in such cases

Complicity of those in Power

But while international law calls on states to protect women, governments themselves are often complicit in "honor crimes." For example, Iraqi law does not recognize "honor killing" as murder. Instead, it offers vastly reduced sentences for the rape, mutilation, and killing of women on the grounds of "honor." Moreover, in many communities, local or tribal leaders who condone "honor crimes" are the true authorities, not the government. For example, in Pakistan, "honor killing" has been declared illegal thanks to women's advocacy efforts, but the law is rarely enforced.

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