Where is the honor in Honor Killing?

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Map Courtesy: http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqrglobal2011041900 

 

Sometime in September of 2017 a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl ran away from their homes located in Karachi, Pakistan. [1]They were tracked down by their families and electrocuted after consultation from their council affiliates. The execution of the two teens were carried out by their own family members.

The very same month, in the same year of 2017, a 13-year-old girl was strangled, bashed on the wall, and set on fire. The teen from Telangana, India-was talking to boys of her class after school ended. She was later murdered by her own father who tried to pass this murder as suicide. [2]

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Honor Killing is the traditional practice in some countries of killing a family member who is believed to have brought shame on the family[3].

Bear in mind that Honor Killing has extended its claws to almost all religious communities known to mankind. The only shred of positivity that I see in this horrific crime is that it does not believe in religious/caste/creed discrimination.

How much a man can hate his own children? How can you justify the actions of a father and a grandfather of Medine Mehmi- a 16-year-old girl who was buried alive and discovered after 40 days? She was found in a sitting position, with her hands tied. Her crime was to befriend boys.[4]

What kind of a society do we live in? How heartless can we be to witness a 13-year-old girl buried in a hole till her neck- and stoned alive for adultery?

How unnerving it is, that sometimes we are willing to solicit to rapes in the name of the honor? In the year 2002, a 11-year-old Gujar boy from Punjab- befriended a 30-year-old Matsoi woman. The Matsoi tribal punishment was to bring the 18-year-old sister of the Gujar boy and gang rape her. The men cheered outside the tent, where the girl was facing her derogatory fate.[5]

A total of 5000 honor killings are reported in the entire world. Between 2002-2009 there were 953 women killed in the name of honor and 66 men were murdered in Turkey alone.[6]

The deep-rooted delusion, that a woman is a property of her family, has surprisingly percolated from pre-Islamic and pre-Christian times. In India, Manusmriti-Manav Dharma Shastra is a biblical law book. According to Manusmriti, one of the laws regarding women may sound almost chiming in with what we see of the Indian society today- “It is the duty of all husbands to exert total control over their wives. Even physically weak husbands must strive to control their wives.”

Paralyzed with cultural representation and glorifying the killing of a character’s daughter, even Shakespeare thought through the madness. In his play, Titus Andronicus, the Roman general protagonist named Titus, kills his daughter. The daughter was raped and mutilated.  She died, along with her father’s remorse. The code of Hummurabi- which is a code of 1752 B.C. is not easy on women as well. According to the code, a woman adulterer should throw herself in the river.

It is shocking to me that we are carrying the load of our previous era and sprinkling its effects in the most gruesome way. A life seems so insignificant in the way of honor. There is no integrity in honor killing. It is just a limp demonstration of power. The sexual gratifications, the ego satisfactions and the power play role-plays with honor killing. There is no accountability, there never was! Till today, there is no real statistic regarding honor killing. I wondered about social stigmas that brings about your own murder. What kind of mental makeup does a man/woman need to undergo to resort to violence?

In all, we are a hateful society of hypocrites and we are submerged in ignorance. We are educated in the best of schools, and we are turning our heads the other way. If you can read this, you are literate. If you can understand this, your brain can process information. Yet, you and I are so powerless.

Oh! I feel so powerless.

 

[1] Barbash, Fred. “Two Pakistani teens accused of plotting to elope tied down and electrocuted by own families in ‘honour’ killing.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 18 Sept. 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistan-honour-killings-teens-electrocuted-parents-families-elopement-plot-karachi-a7952691.html.

[2] https://www.ndtv.com/telangana-news/in-telangana-father-allegedly-strangled-13-year-old-for-talking-to-boys-1752421

[3] “Honor Killing.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor%20killing.

[4] Fisk, Robert. “Robert Fisk: The crimewave that shames the world.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 7 Sept. 2010, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-crimewave-that-shames-the-world-2072201.html.

[5] Fisk, Robert. “Robert Fisk: The crimewave that shames the world.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 7 Sept. 2010, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-crimewave-that-shames-the-world-2072201.html.

[6] Keiner, Robert. “Honor Killings.” CQ Researcher by CQ Press, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqrglobal2011041900.

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