Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dr. Ali Sina: Honor Killing

To read the entire item by Iranian-American author, thinker and writer Dr. Ali Sina, kindly click on this link:
Honor Killing
By Ali Sina
Ali Sina answers questions about honor killing and Islam

Danish translation: Æresdrab
Published on September 26, 2012
From the article:
Honor killing is neither in the Quran nor is it specified in any hadith. It is however the natural outcome of the Islamic ethos of misogyny.
Women in Islam are regarded as sources of shame. Muhammad said they are awrah which can be translated as object of shame.
"Ali reported the Prophet saying: 'Women have ten ('awrah). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten." [1]
What is awrah? The Encyclopedia of Islam defines 'awrah as pudendum, that is the external genitals, especially of the female. Pudendum derives from the Latin pudor which means sense of shame and modesty. So awrah signifies an object of shame that needs to be covered. [2]
According to the following Hadith, women not only have ten 'awrah, but the woman herself is perceived as 'awrah:
"The woman is 'awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her." [3]
If a woman loses her awrah by e.g. through rape, she becomes the object of shame for her family and the only way to remove that shame and restore the honor is to remove that defiled woman.
So you can say honor killing is cultural, but it is a culture that is deeply rooted in Islamic mindset and derives from it. It is practiced in all Islamic countries. The more religious is a country, the more is widespread the honor killing.
Women are asked to; “stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display” Quran 33:33
A woman who transgresses these orders becomes the source of shame to her family. She will not be marriageable, she and her family become the object of gossip of everyone. The entire family can lose prestige. No one would give a daughter to the brothers of that girl in marriage and no one would marry her sisters. The family and even the extended family are maligned and become outcasts. This can only stop if the family cleanses that stain with blood. The woman thus defiled must be sacrificed even if she is a victim of rape.
But you don’t have to be raped to become an exposed awrah and bring shame to your family. If you disobey your father who has consented that you marry a certain person you dishonor him. If you escape from your home for any reason including abuse, you have brought shame to your family and you could be haunted by your own brothers or even your mother and killed. If you reject a suitor, his pride can be injured and he may feel the urge to throw acid at your face to avenge and restore his honor.
If you are a female you have to remember that you have brought shame and disgrace to your father and everyone else in your family the day you were born and you must cover this shame. You are awrah, a pudendum, something to be ashamed of, something to hide. When you go to your husband’s house, your parents can breathe a sigh of relief. But from there on you become the awrah of your husband. Only the grave will cover all the shame that you have brought to this world. But as long as you are alive, it is your religious duty to be modest and cover this shame and not disgrace your qayyuums (male guardians). Your male kin, (father, brothers, husband, sons and even uncles) are your qayyuums and you are their awrah. If you make a dazzling display of yourself, the honor of all these "honorable" male relatives is injured and all of them have a right to burry you to restore their honor.
Muslim men have very low self esteem but they compensate the smallness of their selfhood by inflating their ego. If you are a woman related to them, they feel as if they own you. Whatever you do affects their gigantic ego. They are possessive and feel dishonored if you make a "dazzling display" of yourself. And of course if you are deflowered, this is an affront to their humongous pride. The damage is irreparable and the only way to restore that pride is to get rid of you.
Honor killing is theoretically against the law in all Islamic countries, but generally the sentences are light. Often they are a year of jail or only a few months. The judges are very "understanding" and sympathize with the killers who are also grieving for the loss of their loved one. Most likely the judges would do the same in similar situations. Everyone agrees that this is a very unfortunate situation that has no other solution but taking the life of the poor girl. Often the brothers and the parents hug the lifeless cadaver of their victim and cry bitterly after stabbing her to death or strangulating her. They don't listen to her pleading and begging to spare her life, but sure they cry profusely for her after they kill her.