Honor Killing

According to an article in the Wikipedia, “An honor killing is the murder of a family or clan member by one or more fellow family members, when the murderers (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community, normally by (a) utilizing dress codes unacceptable to certain Islamic people or (b) engaging in certain sexual acts. These killings result from the perception that defense of honour justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonours their clan or family.”

Ynetnews is reporting that an Arab father is accused of soliciting his son to murder his older sister because the young woman brought shame to the family. According to the news report,

Indictment filed against man suspected of convincing 16-year-old son to murder his 21-year-old sister for ‘bringing shame on family’ due to ‘immodest’ dress, behavior. Prior to murder, father allegedly attempted to run daughter over with car.

A 57-year-old man from the Arab town of Qalansuwa was indicted Sunday for allegedly soliciting his 16-year-old son to murder his 21-year-old sister for desecrating the family honor.

According to the indictment, the father chose to have his teenage son carry out the murder, believing he would receive a lighter punishment. The teen stabbed his sister 27 times and slit her throat.

It is sad that people in the Twenty-first century choose to live according to primitive traditions that are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. What is tragic in all of this is that, even in our days, women still continue to be the victims of men’s prejudice.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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