The shameful killing of women that became widely known as honor killing is nothing but a heinous crime committed to restore an illusion so fathers and husbands of victims could walk down the streets that they have paved with the blood of their innocent daughters and wives with their heads high. Killing in the name of honor, is a crime that is usually committed by one or more member of the same family when it is thought that the victim’s behavior is bringing shame or dishonor upon the family. Justifications for such cruel and inhuman crimes have no guidelines, and thus the victim’s crime is totally left to the discretion of her male relatives. A baseless rumor or a false suspicion could be the deciding factor to terminate a woman’s life.
Un-honorable killings are not a new phenomenon that suddenly swarmed the news and left us in shock and awe over their inhumane cruelty. They have been going on for centuries in several cultures throughout the world without catching the international attention. As it is the status quo in several societies, killing a daughter or a wife in the name of honor is considered a tribal punishment that neither is debated nor does it create controversy. The crimes rarely hit the news or make headlines and in some cases police officers who sympathize with the male relatives of the victim simply register such killings as suicide. The murderers are neither brought to justice nor questioned. If they do, usually their acts are justified as a family matter and the men involved in the crime get lighter sentences if any.
What brought the international recognition to such crimes is that immigrants from these medieval cultures have imported them from their homelands to the west. With law, order and justice being practiced and implemented in a different way in their adopted countries, stories of women murdered in the name of honor were no longer went unnoticeable. Murderers are arrested, put on trials and are serving sentences. If countries in the west are able to bring justice to the victims, who could women elsewhere rely on for justice?
In Canada, sixteen years old Aqsa Parvez, daughter of Pakistani immigrants lost her life by the hands of her father, Muhammad Parvez, 57, who strangled her in the family home after her refusal to wear the hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf.
Fifteen years old Muslim girl who came to London from the Kurdish region of Turkey was drugged tortured and killed by her father Mehmet Goren because he didn’t approve of a relation ship she had with an elder man. Even though Tulay’s body was never found, her father was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in jail.
Danish Pakistani Ghazala Khan (1987 – Sept. 23, 2005) was shot and killed in Denmark by her brother after she married her lover against the will of her family. The husband was also shot, but survived. Khan’s brother killed her following an order of her father to save the family honor. In an unprecedented event, the court in Denmark charged at least nine people from Khan’s family with murder on counts of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter — They were all found guilty.
Teenage Texan girls Amina and Sarah Said were shot on New Year’s Day 2008, by their Egyptian American father Yasser Said in his cab. Their bloodies bodies were left in the cab to die, but not before Sarah dialed 911 and in her dying words identified her father as the murderer. Their crime was that they were dating non-Muslim boys. The father who vanished after the crime is still at large.
Noor Almaleki, a 20-year-old Arizona woman died of her injuries when her Iraqi father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, deliberately ran her over with his Jeep Cherokee in a parking lot in Peoria, AZ.
He then fled to Mexico and ultimately the UK, but was denied entry and returned to the US to face charges in what would later be classed as an honor killing. He is still waiting trial.
Randa’s father pressed down hard on her throat with his feet until he suffocated her. After she died he cut her body up with a kitchen knife while calling out that he is cleansing his honor.
Rand was put into the ground, without ceremony, her uncles spat on her covered corpse because she had brought shame on the family. Her crime was that she sell in love with a British soldier serving in Iraq, and talked to him in public. Rand’s father was arrested, but released within hours. Honor Killing in Iraq is a source of pride to Iraqi men.
Hina’s father, aided by three male relatives, had cut his own daughter’s throat with a meat knife, after a family council condemned her to death for dating an Italian man in the city of Brescia, Italy where Salem’s family had settled after arriving from Pakistan five years earlier. The young woman had adapted the Italian life style. She wore jeans and Tshirts, smoked and danced, and refused to go to Pakistan to meet a suitor picked by her family.
Police recovered the young woman’s body from a grave dug in the back garden. Her father and male relatives are awaiting trial.
In Atlanta Georgia, Sandeela Kanwal, 25, daughter of a Pakistani immigrant was found dead on her bedroom floor last July. Her father allegedly told police he strangled his daughter with a bungee cord because she wanted a divorce. She wanted out of an arranged marriage, but her father thought a divorce would bring shame to the family. When he was arrested her father told the police that killing his daughter was a God given right and that God will protect him. Kanwal’s father was charged with murder.
Banaz Mahmod, 20, an Iraqi Kurd from Mitcham, south London, was strangled in January 2006 and her body buried in a suitcase in a garden in Birmingham.
Banaz Mahmod, 20, was brutally raped and stamped on during a two-hour ordeal before being strangled by a thick wire for half an hour before she died. Her body was then packed in a suitcase and buried in a Birmingham garden for three months before it was found. Her killer was recruited by her father and his brother. They were all found guilty of murder.
Banaz was killed because she ended an arranged marriage she was forced into three years earlier and was seeing an Iranian Kurd who from her father’s opinion was neither an immediate family nor a good Muslim.
And the list is long ………