Imam leads mob in honor killing of women and children…

* Gee, and you thought killing women and children is ‘un-Islamic?’ How did this imam get his religion so wrong? He must be one of the “tiny minority of extremists” that is so tiny we never hear about it in the main stream media:

How is it that an imam, trained in Islamic theology, can so misunderstand his peaceful religion?

Honor killing (what is it?)

“Family killed in name of honour,” from APP, June 17 (thanks to JW):

SHAHDADKOT: Three persons including a woman and a child were killed in the name of honour by a group of armed men in a village near the Sanjar Bhatti Police Station, Shahdadkot district on Tuesday.Two people, Abdul Rasheed Junejo and his 3-year-old son Rashid, were killed by a group of armed men led by Imam Bux Brohi.

According to the police report, the accused also shot and killed Junejo’s wife.

Police have arrested the accused, Imam Bux Brohi, and Abdullah Brohi for their involvement in the murders….

* Horrible video on acid attacks against women, Content Warning! You need a strong stomach:

Thanks to Atlas

Honor Killing in Pakistan

Honor killing

An honour killing is the murder due to perceived loss of wider family status owing to the actions or status of the victim. In the West, honour killing is almost exclusively associated with the killing of females by close family members with the aim of undoing the ‘loss’ caused by actions deemed to be offensive to their culture, particularly in terms of ‘sexual immodesty’, including adultery, refusal to accept arranged (sometimes forced) marriage, being a victim of rape, and merely refusing to adhere to hijab dress code. If victims are male, then the perpetrator is likely to be the family of the woman with whom the victim is accused of having a relationship. 


The killing of (a possibly adulterous) wife by an enraged husband or the killing of a male by the family of (a supposedly dishonoured) female is or was common and often condoned in many cultures. Such a cultural attitude was often reflected in a reduced sentence for such a murder by the judicial system. However the killing of females by their own family members is rare except in tribal cultures of the Middle East, Near East and South Asia. In the West, such murder is perceived to be exclusively associated with Muslim communities. Honour killing of female family members occurs among some rural Muslim communities with a strongly feudal tribal culture, as well as Druze tribes in some Arab countries and Pakistan, although it is much rarer or non-existent in the Muslim communities of Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, most of Central Asia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, sub-Saharan Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia. It also occurs among Sikh adherents in India and Canada. In the book Shame, Jasvinder Sanghera claimed that some Sikhs in Britain practise honour killings.

Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce — even from an abusive husband — or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.

However, it should be noted that the term honour killing applies to killing of both males and females in cultures that practice it. For example, during the year 2002 in Pakistan, it is estimated that 245 women and 137 men were killed in the name of Karo-Kari in Sindh. These killings target women and men who choose to have relationships outside of their family’s tribal affiliation and/or religious community 


Honor Killings in Pakistan Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Men and women of full age without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry or to have a family. They entitled to equal rights as to marriage and its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the attending spouses. The family is the natural and fundamental group, unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and state.”Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

“The right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions”Hina Jilani, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist 
“Women in Pakistan are killed like hens; they have no way to escape and no say in what happens to them”

Women in Pakistan face all kinds of gross violence and abuse at the hands of the male perpetuators family members and state agents. Multiple form of violence includes rape; domestic abuse as spousal murder, mutilation, burning and disfiguring faces by acid, beatings; ritual honour killings and custodial abuse and torture. Every year in Pakistan hundreds of women, of all ages and in all parts of the country, are reported killed in the name of honour. Many more cases go unreported. Almost all go unpunished. The lives of millions of women in Pakistan are circumscribed by traditions, which enforce extreme seclusion and submission to men many of whom impose their virtually proprietorial control over women with violence. For the most part, women bear the traditional male control over every aspect of their bodies, speech and behaviour with stoicism, as part of their kismat (fate), but exposure to media, the work of women’s rights groups and the greater degree of mobility have seen the beginnings of women’s rights awareness seep into the secluded world of women. But if women begin to exert these rights, however tentatively, they often face more repression and punishment: the curve of honour killings has increased parallel to the rise in the awareness in rights. State indifference, discriminatory laws and the gender bias of much of the country’s police force and judiciary have ensured virtual impunity for perpetuators of honour killings. In the international human rights arena, honour crimes against women are understood as a form of domestic violence, i.e. violence against women in the family or community. Based on the dichotomy of private and public spheres and perception that the former was somehow less significant, domestic violence was earlier perceived as private acts within the family and not as an issue of civil and political rights. The United Nations has explicitly recognized violence against women as human rights issue involving state responsibility. The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has defined domestic violence as ” violence perpetrated in the domestic sphere which targets women because of their role within that sphere or as violence which is intended to impact, directly and negatively, on women within the domestic sphere. Such a violence may be carried out by both private and public actors and agents. This conceptual framework intentionally departs from traditional definitions of domestic violence, which address violence perpetrated by inmates against inmates

Concept of Honour:

The time has come to put an end to such violence against women. It is paradoxical that women who enjoy such a poor status in society and have no standing in family should become a focal point of a false and primitive concept of family honor, which they are accepted to uphold at the expense of their inclinations and preference in the matters of marriage. 

“Honour is only a pretax to murder women for property and in many cases, for getting lighter punishment for heinous crimes”

The logic of tribal tradition turns conceptions of victim and perpetrator, right or wrong on their own head: women who are killed or flee a killing are not victims but are considered guilty in the tribal setting. The man to whom a woman belongs, whether a wife, sister or daughter, has to kill her to restore his honour. He is the victim as he has suffered loss first to his honour and then of the woman he has to kill. Consequently he is the aggrieved person with whom the sympathies with the tribal setting lie, not the possibly innocent woman he killed. A man whose honour has been damaged must publicly demonstrate his power to safeguard it by killing those that damaged it and therefore restore it. In the tribal setting an honour killing is not a crime but a legitimate action, seen as the appropriate punishment for those who contravene the honour code. The man who kills for reasons of honour becomes ghairatman (possessing honour) and is morally and legally supported by his kinsmen. A man’s ability to protect his honour is judged by his family and his neighbours and is taunted by tano ( institution bordering insult ) that he is ” socially impotent” and beghairat (without honour) if he fails to kill a woman of his household who has damaged his honour. Honour Killings are consequently not hidden away but openly performed, often ritually and with the maximum spilling blood. Further, the family of alleged karo never kill as they do not lose honour-on contrary by capturing other man’s wife or daughter, they have increased their honour. The use of word honour for such a dishonourable act is a tragedy. The people who take honour pride in those killings should be ashamed and not proud. All over the world women are provided the right of freedom if independence to make decisions regarding their own life. 

Honour Of Man

The possession and control of desirabe commodities, especially zan, zar, zameen( women, gold and land) is closely linked with perception of man’s honour. These objects are worthy of possession and need to be control on account of their inherent value. Ghairat (honour) is closely linked with izzat, respect or standing in society. Izzat bases itself on possession , wealth, and property. ” A man’s property , wealth and all that is linked with these are the sum of total value and therefore it is an integral part of honour of man, tribe etc. Therefore when the rights of the women are transferred from her father to the man she is marrying, the guardianship of honour shifts as well”. A key observation is that “although honour is located in material wealth, the language and expression of honour resides in the body. Women’s bodies are considered to be the repository of family honour”. Honour in the traditional settings is a male prerogative it is men who possess zan, zar and zamin that allows them to hold their heads up; women have no honour of their own. 

Origin Of Honour-Killings

Originally a Baluch and Pashtun tribal custom, honour killings are founded in the twin concepts of honour and commodification of women. Women are married off for a bride price paid to the father. This was basically a baloch and pashtun tribal custom, honour killings are not only reported in Baluchistan, NWFP and Upper Sindh which has a Baloch influx, but in Punjab province as well. If this commodity is ‘damaged’ the proprietor, the father or husband, has a right to compensation. If a husband kills his wife for alleged sexual misbehaviour and alleged ‘lover’ gets away, the latter has to pay the husband compensation, for the wife that was lost and for his own life, which was spared. Often the dead woman’s alleged ‘lover’ hands over a sister to the husband, in addition to a larger amount of money. 

The Rationale of Honour Killings

Two main factors contribute against women in the name of honour: women’s commodification and conceptions of honour. The concept of women as an object or commodity, not a human being endowed with dignity and rights equal to those of men, is deeply rooted in tribal culture. Dr. Tahira Shahid Khan of Shirkatgah, a woman’s resource center, points out: “Women’s are considered the property of the males in their family irrespective of their class, ethnic or religious groups. The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate. The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.” Similarly, a close observer of women’s issues in Sindh, journalist Nafisa Shah says: ” In the tribal society of Sindh and Baluchistan, a woman is equated with money…..But although she has monetary value, her worth is essentially that of a commodity and this view goes far towards creating a situation when she may be butchered if she transgresses the conditions under which she is bound to a man for life. She may also be freely traded or given away as part of a karo-kari settlement.” Ownership rights are at stake when women are to be married, almost always in Pakistan by arrangement of their parents. A major consideration is the young woman’s future inheritance rights over family property or assets. In Pakistan, feudal and tribal customs dictate that property be kept in the family. It is not uncommon for girls to be married to a paternal uncle or aunt’s sons….. so that control over the estate (jagir) is not weakened which would happen if a daughter married an outsider. Feudals do not want their jagirs dismembered on any account. To keep daughters in the paternal family, they are sometimes married to paternal cousins 10-20 years younger than them (in some syed [descendent of the prophet] in families of Punjab and Sindh, parents wait until a son is born to a paternal). A girl 15-20 years old then raises her would-be husband. She has no choice. What if there is no paternal uncle available? Maternal cousins become acceptable in that situation. What if there is no maternal cousin? Then the woman has to undergo the ceremony of haq-baksh-wai (marriage with the Quran) [The practice of marrying a woman to the Quran, supposedly with her consent, is reportedly on the decline, but women activists believe that it is still found among syeds, descendant of the prophet, in upper Sindh. Syeds only marry within their community; on account of their high status, syed women observe strict seclusion to the extent that some may never leave the home in which they are born.]. This is more common in Sindh. 

In Punjab daughters are kept unmarried till the age of menopause when they take up the Quran and Tasbih [prayer beads] voluntarily. While women are usually forced to accept such martial decisions made by their fathers, men have the possibility to marry a second wife according to their liking and lead a life in the public sphere where they can find fulfillment. Women by contrast are in the vast majority of cases confined almost entirely to the char divari, the four walls of the home. The commodification of women is also evident in that every marriage in tribal society involves payment of the bride price (vulver in NWFP and Balochistan and verkro in Sindh). The girl or woman is exchanged for a price in the market. The price is paid by the groom to the father’s to the groom’s/husband’s possession and custody. The bride price varies according to status, health, beauty and age of the woman and, like other possessions, the bride subsequently adds to the honour of the groom. To receive a bride in exchange for a daughter is honourable not only to the family but also to the woman concerned whose worth is therby acknowledged.

The Pashtoon have codified the honour system in the Pashtoonwali, it revolves around four concepts: ‘malmastya’, the obligation to show hospitality; ‘badal’, revenge; ‘nanawaty’, asylum; and ‘nang’, honour. A man’s property, wealth and all that is linked with these is a sum total of his honour value. A woman is also an object of value and therefore is an integral part of the honour of a man, tribe etc. Therefore when the rights of a woman are transferred from a father to the man she is marrying, the guardianship of honour shifts as well. Perceived as the embodiment of the honour of their family, women must guard their virginity and chastity. By entering an adulterous relationship a woman subverts the order of things, undermines the ownership rights of others to her body and indirectly challenges the social order as a whole. She becomes black, kari (Sindhi) or siahkari (Baluch). Womens’ bodies must not be given or taken away except in a regulated exchange, effected by men. Women’s physical chastity is of upper most importance and by the merest hint of ‘illicit’ sexual interest a woman loses her inherent value as an object worthy of possession and therefore her right to life. In most tribes, there is no other punishment for a woman accused of ‘illicit’ sex but death. 

Kari’s remain dishonoured even after death. Their dead bodies are thrown in rivers or buried in special hidden kari graveyards. Nobody mourns for them or honours their memory by performing their relevant rights. Karo’s by contrast are reportedly buried in the communal graveyard. There are different modes of honour killings. In Kand Kot and its suburbs, the kari woman is dressed in red. Henna is applied to her hands, then she is taken to the bank of the river where she is shot or slaughtered with an axe.Wiping the blood from the razor on the dirty palm of his left hand, the man turned to the left ear and slashed it off amid screams beseeching him to pardon her. The nose and ears were then placed atop her the victim’s head and the man holding her hair slowly loosened his grip, walked away from the scene while the other two stretched her arms as if they would detach the limbs from her body. Amid her shrieks, the gunman took out his gun and pulled the trigger while others repeated their earlier words, “This is the fate of the kari.” The bullet killed the girl instantly. She collapsed and the two men simultaneously raised their legs, violently kicked the body away into the canal. In some areas, such women are sold. A rotten finger, should be amputated, says a proverb in Lal Garh of Dera Ghazi Khan. It is a common practice that a sold woman is abandoned by her family. A few tribes in upper Sindh like the Mehars do not physically kill a woman accused of being a kari, instead they banish them, marrying them to far away tribes. Their original community must never see a banished woman again and she must never visit her family. In a world where individual identity is closely linked to being part of a community such banishment maybe experienced as an extremely harsh punishment. 


Reasons for the increasing incidents of Honour Killings. 

There are a number of reasons for the incidence of honour-killings: 
1. Tribalization of formal laws: Some observers have also pointed out that the “apparent tribalization of formal law” may have created the impression of official sanction for this orientation which plays in to the popular perception that it is acceptable to take the law in to one’s own hands. 

2. Brutalization of society:”The progressive brutalization of Pakistani society over the past few decades” is partly responsible. It was brutalized when capital punishment was made a trivial matter by prescribing it as the minimum punishment for a variety of breaches of martial law regulation, and when several new offences added to the capital crimes. It was brutalized when Zia-ul-Haq gathered crowds to witness a hanging in public squares or when individuals in authority harangued their audiences with resolve to hang people by lamp posts… 

3. Short-coming of official judicial system:The resource to tribal justice and the implicit acknowledgement that rural populations fare best under this system, is widely and increasingly seen to be inefficient, expensive and inaccessible to the general public. 

4. Awareness-one of the reasons:More women are now aware of their rights. This credit largely goes to the awareness raising work women’s rights groups but also to the media and mobility of women. Women’s refusal to comply with the decision or traditions to violate their newly discovered rights has led to backlash from men apprehending loss from control, involving violence, killings and other such threats. “There is a fear of change (viewed as westernization) and the repercussions of this fear/reactions are borne by women. This reactionary trend results in a great number of honour killings in urban areas where women are more mobile and there is a bigger chance that their activities will be seen as suspect”. 

5. Seeking Of Heavy Weapons:The increased access to heavy weapons by rural population in the wake of Afghanistan conflict, has made easier to settle honour issues, violently. 

6. Economic Decline: The economic decline of the vast rural populations has delayed education and democratization and increased the lure to exploit the honour system and kill women for the sake of compensation payment. The stress factors of growing poverty and deprivation contribute to the ‘demand’ factor. 

7. Government’s Failure To Seek Effective Measure:Key among the contributing factors are the government’s failure to seek effective measures to end the practice and the virtual impunity with which such killings are carried out. The bias laws like Hadood, Qiyas and Diyat have contributed to the increase in Honour Killings. The discrimination of the Police and the Judiciary also contributes to the increase in honour killings. Lack of training of medico-legal personnel, inadequate equipment and facilities, inappropriate focus on the virginity status, haphazard procedures, mistreatment of victims, the biased role of the office of the medical examiner and the wrong use of the medical evidence at trial, all lead to the increased level of discrimination against women which in fact is being carried out by our government.

Causes Of Honour-Killings

1. The Widening Perception Of Honour-Killings:The number of honour killings appears to be steadily increasing as the perception of what constitutes honour widens. There are honour killings for rape, for seeking marriage and for seeking divorce. Women are not given a chance to clear up possible misunderstandings. Tradition decrees only one method to restore honour-to kill the offending woman. 
Expressing a desire to choose a marriage partner and actually contracting a marriage with a partner of one’s choice in a society where majority of marriages are arranged by parents are considered major acts of defiance. Women who marry a man of their choice take recource to state law, placing themselves outside the traditional shame; by the public nature of their action, they shame their guardians leading them to resort to violence to restore their honour. Frequently fathers bring charges of zina against their daughters who have married partners of their choice. But even when such a complaint is before a court, some men resort to private justice in the name of honour killings. 
2. Misusing Honour Killings for Self Interests:This scheme provides easy opportunities for the unscrupulous to make money, obtain a woman in supposed compensation or to conceal other crimes, in the near certainty that the honour killings, if they come to court at all, will be dealt with leniently. As Nafisa Shah puts it, a whole ‘honour killing industry’ has sprung up with the range of stake holders including tribes, people, police administration and tribal mediators, “vested interests…use of excuse as a blanket cover for a multitude of sins”. 

3. To Camouflage Murder:Reports abound about men who, having murdered a man over issues not connected with the honour, kill a woman of their own family alleged as kari to the murdered man as an honour killing. By projecting the murder as an honour killing, the murderer will escape the death penalty and will evade the need to pay compensation for the murder. 
4. Lust For Money: The lust for money appears to have motivated many men to accuse their mothers, wives or female relatives of dishonouring their families and killing them in order to extract a compensation from the alleged Karos who escape the killings. A man in village Gujrani, killed his 85-year-old mother as kari in 1992 and obtained 25,000 Rs from the man he declared the karo. 

5. Property And land:The desire to obtain land may also lie behind some fake honour killings. “Land is the main issue in Sindh society, all the rest follows from that. If a woman owns land; her brother may kill her to get land; but even poor families now-a-days imitate this pattern even though there is no property to grab, simply to ascertain themselves as equals in the system”. 

Types Of Honour Killings

1. Honour Killings For seeking Marriage:The notion of the defilement of the male honour has extended over time to include not 0nly sexual ‘misdemeanour’ but also other acts of male control. Expressing a desire to choose a marriage partner and actually contracting a marriage with a partner of one’s choice in a society where the majority of marriages are arranged by parents, are considered major acts of defiance. Such acts are perceived to defile the honour of man to whom the young woman belongs and who can expect a bride price at her marriage. Women who marry a man of their choice moreover take recourse to state law, placing themselves outside the traditional scheme; by the public nature of their action they shame their guardians leading them to resort to violence to restore their honour. Marriage arrangements are delicate and seen to involve serious balancing acts; any disturbance of this balance by a woman refusing a father’s choice are considered to affect the father’s standing in society. 
2. Honour Killings For Seeking Divorce:Several women who have sought divorce through the courts have been injured, killed or never been heard of again. Seeking divorce gives a strong signal of public defiance which calls for punitive action against such women to restore male honour within the traditional honour scheme. 
3. Honour Killings For Rape:For a woman to be targeted for killing in the name of honour, her consent…or the lack of consent… in an action considered shameful is irrelevant to the guardians of honour. Consequently a woman subjected to rape brings shame on her family just as she would when engaging in a consensual sexual relationship. “A woman raped shames the community and dishonours the man”, according to Nafisa Shah [Nafisa Shah: A Story in Black: Karo Kari killings in upper Sindh, Reuter Foundation Paper 100, Oxford, 1998, p.56. Statury Law under the Zina ordinance does not strictly differentiate between rape and fornication either, in fact, if a raped woman cannot prove that she did not consent to intercourse, she is considered to have committed zina, fornication, which attracts severe punishments Law in Pakistan

The Pakistan government bulldozed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2004 against “honour killings” in the National Assembly and adopted it on 26 October 2004 without any debate amidst opposition walkout. While the Bill has for the first time officially acknowledged the existence of this barbaric practice of honour killings, it is far from addressing the real issue of impunity which encourages the practice. Just when the bill was being presented in the National Assembly, enraged villagers in the hinterland of rural Punjab tied two persons to the railway track for marrying against the will of the family elders and were crushed under the wheels of a speeding train.

3 thoughts on “Imam leads mob in honor killing of women and children…”

  1. I haven’t got the stomach to watch the video – but I do have a little honour –
    and it’s not based round violence to women .

  2. There are no words to describe such acts of despicable evil. As distressing as these videos are, I think it important to see them, to be a witness against the evil of Islam.

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