Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Lost honour

Published Jul 16, 2012 05:09pm


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Our obsession with honour and all that it entails intrigues me but I always wonder do we actually know what honour truly means. The colloquial meaning of honour is respect, admiration, fairness and integrity, yet, it is said that an estimated number of 5,000 women are killed throughout the year in the name of honour. In Pakistan alone, during the year 2011, approximately 1,000 women were killed in cases pertaining to honour killings. Although there was nothing admirable, respectful or fair about the killings that followed accusations of illicit relations and choosing one’s own spouse, however, the culprits behind their murder were somehow considered to be safeguarding the integrity of their customs, religion and culture.

The revolting video showing the execution of an Afghan woman who supposedly had illicit relations with a Taliban commander took the entire world by storm. The fate of the commander in question remains unknown, however, the woman was brutally shot at a point-blank range several times before she collapsed and died. The site of men, chanting slogans against her immorality like savage beasts is nothing short of grotesque.

The sordid judgement was passed within an hour sealing the fate of a woman accused of adultery — who even failed to receive one look of compassion from the audience witnessing her death.

Countless women across the globe are brutally murdered in a similar fashion for not following the religious decrees as construed, or rather misconstrued by so-called believers who consider themselves the custodians of their religions.

Crimes of passion are evidently not the only issues which cost women their lives. Something as petty as not covering one’s head can also be taken as a religious offence enough to issue a death penalty.

The question remains what motivates people to kill women in the name of honour? Religion quite evidently is considered one of the motivating factors; however, religious experts believe that honour killings have no place in any religion be it Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity or Hinduism. In fact, they are an origination of misinterpreted religious decrees stemming from illiteracy and unawareness.

Following the brutal honour killings of four Afghan-Canadian women in early 2012, Taj Hargey, Director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in England, whilst talking to CNN said that, “There is nothing in the Quran that justifies honour killings. There is nothing that says you should kill for the honour of the family.”

Hargey went on to add that the barbarism has much to do with cultural practises rather than religion and is more prevalent in South-Asian region. He is of the view that the whole concept of women besmirching the family’s honour is ludicrous and should not be sought as a refuge to justify manslaughter.

Pseudo-religious scholars play a vital role in enticing naïve minds to resort to violence in the name of religion and God. Their decrees range from depriving a woman of education to confining her to the four walls of the house to hitting her if she is found negligent of her role as a wife or daughter and even to killing her if she willingly seeks divorce.

Marrying out of choice and not covering one’s head might not be considered ethical by the general norms of many societies, however, certainly does not call for execution. Most of us know that honour cannot be tainted by talking to a man or seeking a divorce. However, our blind faith on these hear, speak and see ‘only evil’ people is so strong that it overtakes rationality.

Another fallacy requiring much correction is that honour killings are considered synonymous with Muslims and their religious practises. However, that is not entirely true.

According to a survey conducted in United Kingdom, almost two-thirds or 69 per cent of young British-Asians, aged between 16 and 34, consider that families should live in accordance with the societal norms and abide by the rules of ‘honour’ laid down by their respective cultures. Seventy per cent Muslims hailed the idea of living an ‘honourable’ life whereas 79 per cent of Sikhs had similar views.

Whether we talk about Sikh women who were killed by their own kinsfolk during the partition of 1947 so that they could be saved from the wrath of Muslim men or Saudi school girls who were left to die in a burning school in 2002 because they could not fetch their abayas in a rush to save their lives or Pashto singer Ghazala Javed who fought against all the odds for her passion to sing but was brutally murdered in 2012, it is evident that we have not progressed much from the societies that buried daughters alive at the time of their births.

I believe that all religions instruct their followers to respect and protect women under such circumstances. The women whose lives were cut short due to such medieval practises did not breach any moral or ethical boundaries. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the people who were responsible for their untimely deaths.

The absurd idea of saving one’s honour by squeezing the life out of a woman is not only despicable but is also a crime against humanity requiring severe sentence. Killing in the name of religion, or otherwise for honour is nothing but brutal murder.

Have we not infiltrated enough minds to manoeuvre their cognitive processes? Have we not played enough games with religion already? Have we not killed enough humans to satisfy the demons inside us? How many more dead bodies will make us realise that this senseless carnage will not land us a mansion in paradise?

The answers to the aforementioned questions are quite apparent and unfortunately most of us know them, however, remain to live in silence fearing for our own lives. It is important to understand that every honour crime tightens the noose around our own necks and brings us one step closer to the clutches of the death of a progressive society.

Everyone is entitled to live a full life and the only honourable thing to do is to recognise that right.

Faiza Mirza
The writer is a Reporter at


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (109) Closed

Ejaz Jul 16, 2012 10:25am
I am grieved to see those spectators around that poor girl who was killed by the nutcase fanatics. These spectators didn’t have a decency to save a soul who was extra judicially being murdered. The ideology of some fundamentalists has blinded these men (Taliban and alike) of human norms and stripped them of humanity.
Ejaz Jul 16, 2012 10:25am
The solution to this overzealous religious mafia control is that the State ought to intervene and bring about the reforms as Kamal Atta Turk brought them to his country Turkey. The barbaric acts carried out in the name of religion in Afghanistan and Pakistan is carried out by the sadistic and misogynistic group of beings (not sure if they are human). The Urdu Media must share the blame that promotes the religious ideological hatred against other faiths and promotes so called scholars (Ulemas) all the times. The unjust and inhuman act which was carried out against that young girl by bigots and mind numbs; why didn’t they punish the Taliban who was also involved in so called act of fornication (not proven in the court of Law)? These kinds of hate filled ideologies are not restricted to Pakistan or Afghanistan; this also exits in neighbouring India (in the form of Hindu fanatics); exists in Buddhist Burma where scores of Muslims are being killed in the name of religion. It also exists in some factions of Christian Community in the United States.
Ejaz Jul 16, 2012 10:24am
Ahmed Butt: A beautifully written version of true and humane emotions of a rational human being. I share your sentiments. I am extremely apalled with the monstrous and hideous act that has been carried out in the name of religion. At the same time I take some comfort that I live in the UK where people are free to practise their faiths/religions and the religion is not rammed through your throat like Afghanistan or Pakistan.
AHA Jul 16, 2012 11:07am
Not quite. It is a wider cultural issue.
AHA Jul 16, 2012 11:09am
Unfortunately, a religion is what a religion does. Islam has all the right 'theory', but it is how it is practiced that affects my day to day life.
Naseema Perveen Jul 16, 2012 10:47am
beautiful peace of writing....this is what gives us a severe pain when we come across dailly news regarding such pathetic situations.
Gerry D'Cunha - UK Jul 16, 2012 12:24pm
Mr Butt I fully agree with you, no religion permits and preaches blind violence towards women? but Sir, don't you think its only the Muslims (with few exceptions) who commit these crime in the name of religion - read the local newspaper and local TV, you will get the reply.
ahmad butt Jul 17, 2012 10:10am
@Syama, people accept faith and live it according to their personal lifestyle and inherent acceptable cultural practices, this is how justification of actions occur, not just the past but also the future. i did a bit of studies on the spreading of religion and reaslised s i wondered The Portuguese and Spanish colonisation of south America in the 15 century brought out enforcing Christianity as a religion . The primal south American culture involved sacrificing their relatives to the Gods for different reasons, so when missionaries preached about Christ and the sacrifice to God , it was much easier for them to comprehend and draw parallel with their culture traits. Thus it was easier to adapt to this faith. This is how muslims of today have shaped up unfortunately , they are narrow-minded in their approach towards religion and have own interpretation of Islam. They do wrong but are content with being a muslim clause that they will be forgiven at the day of judgement so wrongdoings eventually would subside. An extreme case was the murder of Salman Taseer and shameful was the open display of jubilant lawyers. Unfortunately violence against women is something that will take time to correct, as our society trying to rid other ills have more in its plate at the moment.
Khalid Jul 17, 2012 06:02pm
wake up. Islam is not being blamed here but why is it that only muslims come up with these ideas that can only be termed as inhumane, evil, insensitive ???????
Rashid Ali Jul 17, 2012 10:24am
this seem quite easy that we have to eradicate patrichal customs from our society but in practical life this is too difficult.
Hitesh Jul 16, 2012 11:09am
Had you forgotten Big Brother China (BBC) or couldn't dare so ?
AHA Jul 16, 2012 11:11am
Love thy enemies, as the Crusaders did???
KKRoberts Jul 16, 2012 10:30am
Who is honourable? Women or Men ?? Very much confused....
Gerry D'Cunha - UK Jul 16, 2012 10:25am
For God sake, please stop these killings and hatred in the name of religion and try to love your enemies as the Holy Bible says.
asad durrani Jul 17, 2012 03:43pm
excellent article Baiti.
Agha Ata Jul 16, 2012 12:04pm
Why are they doing this to people? Don’t they realize that such harsh, brutal cruel verdicts over minor offences would lead people believe that the religion, despite its claim for peace and love, is the cause of our problems. Most international problems, at the moment, have something to do with religions!
N_G_Krishnan Jul 16, 2012 12:31pm
“Everyone is entitled to live a full life and the only honourable thing to do is to recognise that right.” How can any civilized human disagree? But Faiza Mirza, in her otherwise excellent article, is dancing around the fundamental fact that it is near impossible for the entire society to live peacefully unless the state is secular, removing religion from the state and confine its role to private life. In this respect Turkish parallel should give lots of hope to Pakistan. I recall inspirational advice of Erdogan of Turkey to Egypt, after the over throw of Hoshni Mubarak, calling Egypt to establish secular nation. He said “Do not weary of secularism. To Egyptians who view secularism as removing religion from the state, or as an infidel sate, I say you are mistaken ….It means respect to all religion. If it is implemented, the entire society will live in safety and atheists as well as the pious will be protected by rule of law”. Erdogan who has positioned modern Turkey as an enviable secular moderate nation should know what is talking about.
Irfan Hussain Jul 16, 2012 07:18am
This is what we, as nation, adopting from Saudi and other Arab countries. We assume that that speaking Urdu in Arabic accent and following Arab culture (good or bad) will make us "good muslim". Not respecing women is also taken from the same part of the world.
Wish Jul 16, 2012 11:32am
Honor Killing is a barbarian act. Both illiterate and literate people do and believe in this. Although our religion believes in freedom of individual there is no point of forcing any thing on any human being. Girls are forced to marry and continue their marriage without their consent. Shame on us.
Danny Jul 16, 2012 07:48am
Madhav, Unfortunately in India we have one of the highest rate of honor killing.. call it due to high population but it is naked it.
rehan1975 Jul 16, 2012 09:56am
How come we keep relating RELIGION to honor killing??? We make it sound like as if Islam is at fault for everything. It's more like how we *interpret* religion that is the source of all evil.
madhav bisht Jul 16, 2012 07:28am
honour killing is an offensive act done by illiterates
J.S.Hussain Jul 16, 2012 12:44pm
One solution of this so-called honour killing problem is to abolish the feudal system and the male dominance, in the South Asian region. It is not prevalent in Muslim societies only but also in other South Asian societies also.
Raamis Hussain Jul 16, 2012 12:39pm
The days are coming when there would be much displaying and hiding regarding Moon-Sighting for and against Eid! If the nation is at the banks of the maturity and rationality, there is little for them to do anything to navigate the ocean of balanced thinking! I would like to share a few lines by Mumtaz Mufti from his book Talash translated as The Search by me. "It’s such a great tragedy that I have lived eighty eight years of my life, still it has not dug into my mind ‘what is the meaning of a Muslim?’ I have asked from religious scholars and have read Islamic books but all in vain! The Islamic scholars complicate the issue even more. The books sprinkle philosophy. No no. I am not a non-Muslim. With the blessings of Almighty I am a Muslim. I have been brought up into a Muslim family. For the past forty five years I have been a citizen of this country which constitutionally is an Islamic republic. Despite all of this, it still hasn’t got into my mind ‘what is the meaning of a Muslim?’ Believe me I am a qualified individual. I have seen Muslims from a number of countries. I have met them and have given ears to their lectures. Still it has not come to me ‘what is the meaning of a Muslim’?"
ali,Khan Jul 16, 2012 10:56am
Good article Faiza , however, it would have been even better ,if you would have highlighted the honour and dignity which the Islam conffers to women.Islam is the most rational and logical religion which covers all aspects of human life.If we follow true teachings of Islam, we will not only avoid such states to aggravte incidents of honour killings as well as the handling of such situations in light of Islamic teachings does not allow any one to kill a human being. There is no rigidity and dogmatism in Islam.System of divorce gives full liberty to both men and women to get rid of either in case of any rifts/misunderstandings.
Ejaz Jul 16, 2012 11:43am
Absolutely right; in China and Saudi Arabia, similar ilks of evil deeds are carried out by these states against it's own citizens with the exception of Saudi Arabia where victims of state brutality are originally from Kashmir; Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam etc.
Ajaya K Dutt Jul 16, 2012 12:35pm
This is not a Southeast asian tradition. There is no such practice in South India.
NASAH (USA) Jul 16, 2012 02:07pm
We used to hear in our childhood that before Islam the Arabs of Ahad-e Jahiliya used to kill and bury their infant daughters -- Islam banned the practice and the baby girls were allowed to grow up into beautiful girls -- now it looks like they are allowed to grow to adulthood only to be killed later for the 'Honor' of the family.
True Pakistani Jul 16, 2012 02:20pm
-'about rreligion': if there are more than ONE religions all claiming to possess the TRUTH and are divergent NONE of them is true. all religion are a subtle political organizations to extract money and power from the guilible and ignorant masses.
Umesh Bhagwat Jul 17, 2012 10:00am
There is a deliberate conspiracy in South Asia to intimidate women or to kill them because the feudal societies in S.Asia don't want change. Women if empowered are the catalysts of social change. States in India where female llteracy is high like HP, Bengal,Tamilnadu, Karnataka or Kerala do not follow these barbaric practices. The only solution to these inhuman practices is to educate women and empower them economically. But that needs political will which is lacking.
Pirzado Azhar Jul 16, 2012 02:36pm
Great work!
Janice Khan Jul 17, 2012 03:37pm
Where do you think their self-righteousness is coming from? Essentially from The Torah and the Bible. It is written in there so very explicitly and repeatedly. Just read and than you will have your question answered. Islam has nothing to do with it.
Knaul Jul 17, 2012 12:13pm
As usual the author makes up stuff that cannot stand up to the light of truth.
Nabandu Jul 17, 2012 12:16pm
Actional what happens in India every day does not happen in Pakistan over a year.
naveedjami Jul 18, 2012 01:38pm
Very well explained Mr Khalid.
Rati Jul 17, 2012 06:24pm
Saqib Jul 16, 2012 09:56am
Thanks Faiza for writing this. As far as the previous comment goes, regarding how can a change be brought about..I think we have to start at home, and instill in our daughters and sons some creativity. I mean start from a young age so they can think for their own, have their own opinions and thoughts, expose them to all kinds of ideas and books. So many kids grow up following what they are blindly fed by the society in general. They cannot argue basically, and when they do they are so unable to digest anything new or out of the box. Even if they find it interesting, they cannot accept it because of their upbringing, like in someway they are betraying their culture or society. If you have sisters or daughters, let them have the same rights as the brothers and sons have. Let them have the same opportunity for education and relationships. and do not act like you are doing a favour, do it because it is the right thing to do. Trust in the Almighty, which we as a nation so much lack. If you mean the best, the Almighty will be there to make it happen.anways it all begins at home, if we can change how we view women rights at home, we will change the society as a whole. We have to begin with the first step.
Javed Jul 16, 2012 09:47am
A very good article on the treatment of women in or societies. The holy prophet (peace be upon him) through his teaching and practices enhanced the status of women. Now whenever any person commits a criminal act against women, none of the religious leaders condemn such an act and asks for justice for the victim. Whenever some people try to take away the existing women rights, the religious leaders are always ready to take away those rights from women and other weaker segments of the society. If we leave the job of religious leadership to ignorant, brutal and fanatic people, the result will be distortion of religion and its practices. How may university graduates become religious leaders? How many well educated families encourage their children to become religious leaders? Is there any national university dedicated to educate/produce religious leaders? We have left the job of producing religious leaders to madarsas and majority of them produce hate filled, fanatic mullahs with distorted version of religious interpretations. The result is intolerant society that is ready to kill and fight those who have different point of views.
ahmadali86 Jul 16, 2012 09:23am
Thanks for writing up to put it up in our knowledge about it since we all already know about the system and about what is happening it won't suprise to most of us. but this is INSANE!
ahmad butt Jul 16, 2012 11:51am
@ Gerry D'Cunha, which religion permits and preaches blind violence towards women? Many have defined the role of motherhood as a holy sanctity , daughter being a blessing etc . There have been instances where men have conformed to violence throughout history, in medieval times women were considered evil and practicing witchcraft and black magic etc. There have been the french, Spanish, Portuguese and roman inquisition where people were subjugated to torture for being a heretic. Pakistan is going through minor instances of semi-quasi inquisition l, where the uneducated and blind masses dare to commit these despicable acts, whether towards women, people of different faith and sects as well. They are not aware of the backlash it brings to the country's image and the religion rather they consider doing a moral duty. Im sure the modern day christian in western societies would have learned from living in the medieval dark ages to Renaissance and to the industrial revolution, while muslims in particular thought of moderation as weakening of faith and belief. This is where the years of neglect have caught up with the muslim countries and women have been caught in the midst. the most annoying of it all is those Pakistanis who commit injustices towards women especially living in first world countries, you are also not setting a bad example for people living here but also first class hypocrites.
ahmadali86 Jul 16, 2012 09:27am
This is brutal, that's INSANE! Treat women like they're the princess, they actually are....
MOHD MUSHTAQ HAJI Jul 16, 2012 08:11am
An eye opening article,I 100% agree with you ,this grusome and satanic ritual must stop,but the problem is people have more faith in the so called religious leaders who gain their power from preaching hatrated rather than love and peace.keep on writing such articles,and we should keep our hope that people will started understanding the meaning of HONOUR,that is there is no diffrence between male and female,as both are equally impotant,for the survival of human species.
ahmad butt Jul 16, 2012 08:31am
Good article Faiza, but have you considered the repercussions one has to face while challenging the morality and the system of justice of those who perpetrated this act? These minority voices are of rational and fear of being called western agents or un-islamic. the muslims of today in Pakistan are extremely polarised, they consider religion through their own interpretation, which leads to intolerance and bigotry. Among this minority voice who want change, consider our other players in our own backyard Pakistan, men of all ages, religion and social setup demonstrate the following traits in this male dominated society. Our youth will try to have as many girlfriends but will get angry and defensive when it gets to their female members trying to have a similar setting. Girls who have males as friends will always be looked upon with suspicion if there is something dodgy , but a boy will be considered cool and brag about this. Isnt this unfair? Those who cannot afford such a luxury frown upon it from the outside, but wish they could do it themselves. These breed of men grow up to be virtious, and giving lectures to other that it is wrong and they made mistakes. For married men, i have seen men openly trying to have something on the side, or a second wife without hesitation. All they need is an opportunity, and now it is becoming acceptable, i have seen some men openly justify saying religion permits them to do so(not many have read the exceptional circumstances). Then there are the religious folk who blame everything on the west, and consider all elements of vice transforming our society, then dont realise that human companionship is a need and keeping human needs suppressed is like trying to squeeze water in a glass. No consensus on woman's right in Pakistan, the things will go and more articles will ensue.Thus there is on consensus of what is acceptable and there is a bad mix of culture,religion and values in a nutshell. Plus, men of different ethnic background and in different cities of our country have their own way of implementing the laws of "honor". During my high school days, we as growing teens considered women other than our mother in general inferior ( at least i have courage to confess , till my English teacher boldly pointed us boys "When men lose the intellectual battle with women, they tend to demonstrate aggression and get physical" . That made me think on how deep my teacher pointed out the fallacy of the men who justify violence in making females come to terms with their logic . In conclusion, I among the minority don't want disturbing images of women being humiliated and punished brandishing the front covers of wide-spread western media, but can you point out how a change can be brought about? Those who have some authority, government/religious can do something, how many have read your article, among them how many have given it a second thought and want to do something about it? I rest my case.
Layla Jul 16, 2012 08:33am
Reblogged this on Caledoniyya and commented: A strong piece on honor crimes that cuts straight to the core.
Sakib Jul 16, 2012 09:02am
Thanks for writing up this article. I have come across many bigots from my own Pakistani origin, supposedly educated, living abroad for years but when it comes to their women and their so called honour, they all behave in the same barbaric way. I even remember an arguement with a very good friend of mine of the same ilk who behaved in exactly the same way as did most Pakistanis when we spoke about the live burial incident that happened in Balochistan few years ago. This friend of mine defended the shooting with the same arguement as did the Pakistani senetor Zahri that what would you do if your sister did it. I still, after years, can not believe that educated people use this arguement in their favour. How come men do not get killed by their family members in honour killing when they dishonour their family and their traditions by having illicit relations with others? We live in a pre-islamic era of Arabia and their is no difference between us and any barbaric and savage civilisation that lived on this earth.
Socrates Jul 16, 2012 09:10am
Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, science fiction, and horror genres. But it applies even more strongly to religion and religious books, making the suspension of disbelief a permanent sate of being. Much of the problems in societies where the hold of religion is very strong base their laws on religious dictates and not on common sense. It is these societies that oppress their women the most. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person's ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief and religion is a magnificent tool for this purpose.
manghirmalani Jul 16, 2012 09:53am
I hope Muslim men who live in cages agree- Pakistan needs a change in social and mental attitude
Jam Jul 16, 2012 03:30pm
Killing of anyone is very sad and disgusting. It is unfortunately that women have been prosecuted throughout the history. Millions of innocent Hindu widow women were forced to suicide in the same fire (called sati) where her husband was criminated. Today, a large population is killing unborn girls through abortions in many part of world. Violence against women is on rise in western world. I wish people practice Islamic where Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) declared crime against women and struggled for equity. This is the reason; most of the converts across the globe are female. I hope God help everyone to practice peace and respect for women.
Rajesh Jul 16, 2012 04:06pm
Religion has somehow convinced human species that they are a very special creature under constant supervision and monitoring by God irrespective of the fact that there are roughly 200-400 billion galaxies in the Universe and each of the galaxy consists of around 100 billion stars. There are more stars in the Universe than all the grain of sands on earth, however religion has made us believe that only one particular grain of sand is special out of all.
Nawal Jul 17, 2012 12:29pm
This author writes fiction and invents stories. She lies just to be provocative and arouse emption. Nothing positive to offer.
Alicia Jul 17, 2012 12:25pm
"which religion permits and preaches blind violence towards women?" Islam does that is why after studying them one by one, I decided to convert to Islam, for the Qur'an commands gentleness and kindness to women, and Muhammad was the greatest emancipator of women the world history has ever recorded.
Mukhtar Jul 16, 2012 04:57pm
In countries like Pakistan/Afghanistan if as a woman you transgress the sexual morality code laid out by religion, you automatically become wajibul-e-qatal and then it becomes the duty of every pious believer to blow your brains off!
Rajbir Jul 16, 2012 05:27pm
Trying to make equal equal between pakistanis and rest of the world. Please translate this article into urdu and see if you have anybody agreeing. Honor killing comes from the "Kabila" "Ghetto" mentality which is now practiced by majority of Islamic countries!! Free yourself from the boundaries of Salafi/Wahabi/Sunni/Deobandi/Barelvi Islam and see the truth.
Joel Bryson Jul 17, 2012 04:48pm
Yes, I have. And often. But if yours was a rhetorical question than I suggest you hear and read what they speak and have written. If you have not heard or read about a subject or are not aware of a fact, that does not mean that it does not exist.
Ram krishan Jul 16, 2012 06:03pm
Non-muslims cannot read the holy quran what it contains , but they can see with their eyes what Muslim men do to their women folk. Thus , Any religion is known by the actions of its followers.
Naseema Perveen Jul 16, 2012 06:14pm
the root cause for this menace is male dominant society where the men use power in the worst way...which would not have been existed other wise
El Cid Jul 17, 2012 04:35pm a slight correction. The female domesticated the male, not the other way around.
Gilzai Jul 16, 2012 06:30pm
All the morality an adult need to know in civilized society, he or she can learn in first grade.
Alan Olivier Jul 16, 2012 06:40pm
Gandhi said: "if you believe that religion has nothing to do with politics, then you do not know what religion is about".
layman Jul 17, 2012 03:09pm
This is your problem. Look at the media reports and internet before you comment about non-muslims.
Alan Olivier Jul 16, 2012 06:47pm
Have you heard any well-known religious scholar or statesman from the muslim world speaking out against this barbarity? Unless they do so publicly and every time these barbarities occur, the fanatics will continue.
El Cid Jul 17, 2012 04:26pm
“a religion is what a religion does”. On the contrary: A religion is a belief and behavior system. Usually encoded in a set of laws of recommended behavior. It does not do any thing. Only people do things. If they abide by the rules of behavior of the system they profess than they can rightfully call themselves as belonging to that system of rules—religion. For example a person who does not follow the Qur'anic Laws cannot be called a Muslim. And if a person does not believe in the divinity of Jesus and does not consider him Savior than that person is not a Christian. Such people are called hypocrites in Islam, and heretics in Christianity. Their falsely professed religion should not be made a scape-goat for their contrary behavior. That would be faulty logic.
Sienna Jul 17, 2012 01:10pm
Non-Muslims are way ahead in these atrocites against women. It just happens that it has become the fashion to bash Muslims and Islam nowadays. And that is what you see here.
Asadullah Jul 16, 2012 07:44pm
Aadam was created by Allah first, Eve came second. Pakistan is an Islamic country and is fine the way it is. Allah Hafiz.
Asadullah Jul 16, 2012 07:54pm
Pakistan is fine the way it is with ITS Islamic social and mental attitudes. You are being fooled by the Americans who want to make Pakistan convert American social and mental attitudes where alcohol and prostitution is not only legal but celebrated openly; where girls walk around with no clothes on. Wake up and dont be fooled by the Americans.
Sandeep Jul 16, 2012 08:27pm
Excellent article but highly ineffective since the perpetrators of such heinous crime are not reading this article neither do they believe they are wrong. We can keep writing and commenting about it but who is listening? It is time we stop writing and doing something. People who can (read the government) are more concerned about a strategic interest in the country or vote bank of the community. Isn't it time we all wage a war against such barbarians and literally so. Shouldn't the real Musalmaan wage a war against people who are bringing a bad name to the Prophet (PBUH), the religion and everyone who practices the religion? The fact that 79% of Sikhs (as against 73% of Muslims) in the UK believe in "family honor" is just data. We may draw out a conclusion that this is a regional and cultural issue more than a religious and I tend to agree but you don't see a Sikh kill their women for honor so frequently as we see this happening is Pakistan or Afghanistan! Yes it is a regional issue but it is also a religious issue. The Sikh Granthi or a Hindu Priest has not condoned killing women to restore family honor. Yes the so called village elders in North of India (through Khap) have issued similar diktats and many women in India have been killed to restore honor but it has resulted in police and legal action against the culprit. You may argue that it is knee-jerk but it is there. Women in South Asia are not safe, this is a fact and we as citizens need to take action. Demand action is taken against perpetrators, demand that our politicians do not justify or show helplessness. If the custodian of a country's law cannot uphold it then they do not have a right to occupy that position. Why don't we demand that if you cannot correct get out of the way. It is time we started acting and that does not mean just writing about it.
Sandeep Jul 16, 2012 08:27pm
Well said!
Nikki Jul 16, 2012 08:40pm
Not only honor killing but take credit for converting minority girls forcefully and ruining their lives forever.
layman Jul 16, 2012 09:16pm
I tried to read this article completely ..but couldn't. You are trying to generalize the problem. Comon the problem like this only you see in Islamic nations. The other nations and religions have their own problem but you will not see the same scenes like this. Don't compare a 1947 incident with 2012 incident. Ofcourse Hindus Christians got t heir own problems but they don't need to fear about AK 47s searching for them. They can like of their own without fearing a fatwa or any unshaven AK 47 Carrier. Same as with many people following religions other than Islam in the 21st Century. Hope you guys agree with me. Islam can be a religion of peace. I am not a Muslim and I must not need to learn Islam like an Islamic clergy men to find out that. Muslims around the world should show that as an example. If Muslims shouldn't show their religion properly, how can you blame a third person for blaming the religion.
samina Jul 16, 2012 09:22pm
Its the male ego that wants to control everything by every possible means that includes barbaric acts such as killing. Men, at least those who are learned enough or have intellectual capacity, need to reflect and ask themselves an honest question, 'why on earth we are so insecure'.
syama Jul 16, 2012 09:44pm
Can you argue with the killers that what they are doing has nothing to do with Islam? Where do you think their self-righteousness is coming from? Is it not true that they are doing all this under the guise of religion? Cannot believe the amount of denial you are subjecting yourself to!
El Cid Jul 17, 2012 12:59pm
1. So called honor killings is tribal, sick, primitive. This practice existed before Islam. Islam abolished it. 2. The Quran explicitly forbids it right from infancy. Killing infant girls was a pagan custom. It is practiced against little girls today wholesale in documented by the UN. 3. The Quran warns of retribution for such acts in the HereAfter where the Perpetrator will be brought before the "Victim" and the Victim will interrogate the 'perp' for judgment before his being sent to hell as punishment for his act. 4. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was against this pagan tradition. He had four daughters none of them was killed in 'honor' or otherwise. All were happily married with his blessings.
Dawar Jul 16, 2012 10:18pm
Every second man in Pakistan is Zani or rapist, if same formula apply on man than only 1000 man left in the country.
imran khan Jul 16, 2012 10:39pm
most of us will not be brave enough to confess that religion does have a role in these brutalities for fear of being called anti islamic, atheist, westernised or worse risk being slaughtered by extremist butchers.having said that i cannot deny the fact that cultural prejudices does play a part in subjugating women in the name of so called honour. we have to be brave enough and speak up against these mindless fanatics and stand up against there tyrannical views and urge reforms in the so called religious dogmas and cultural code of conduct that basically demonises women folk as inferior beings that needs to be used for pleasure as objects and control there lives. unless we stand up against these religious bigots we wont be able to move an inch towards a more fair social system based on dignity and equality for all regardless of there gender, religion, cast and creed.
imran khan Jul 16, 2012 11:05pm
dawn has never posted a single comment that i post . what happened to free speech??
True Pakistani Jul 17, 2012 12:30am
- don't flatter yourself about islam being this and islam being that. today there are NO muslims any where in the world. they are ALL either sunnies, shias, deobandi, berelvis, hanafis, salafis, halafis . . . or over 300 other sects.
jerry Jul 17, 2012 12:48am
Mr Butt, whoever you are, I have always admired your comments on various articles published in Dawn. Your thoughts and insights are always rational and logical. God has created humans with brain, to use it for rationalizing the things happening around us and not to follow blindly anything or anybody. Keep up the good work man.
B R Chawla Jul 17, 2012 03:32am
What a fearless and objective commentary on the plight of the women in the name of honor killings. God created two equals named Adam And Hawa - the former a robust strong male and the later a loving caring Female. While God endowed strength and fearlessness on the male he endowed patience, compassion and forbearance and on the top of it an added responsibility - the maternal instinct to ensure continuity of human race. How come God would have ever inteded any distinction or discrimination again the best of hi creation without which the world would come to a halt. Male chauvinism ,however, exploited the fair but weaker sex for it's advantage - firstly by domesticating the female for producing his offsprings, reign and nourishing them and secondly by empowering himself a privilege og polygamy or poliadry wherever it suited him depriving the female of any freedom what tonspeak of befriending another male.Well done Faiza take care. Chawla
Gulbahar Jul 17, 2012 01:23pm
No one is 'wajibul-e-qatal' except in self defenses, and in fighting against invaders of your hearth and home. The killing of the latter is indeed 'Wajib' and commanded forcefully[Sura9]. And those who help them and don't actively fight against them with their lives, wealth, and sons are committing hypocrisy, an unforgivable sin against God and crime against Muslim women, and treason against the Umma.
zee Jul 17, 2012 01:19pm
i completly agree, muslim male dominant society should be ashamed,
Khalid Jul 17, 2012 01:55pm
We have quite a few problems in Pakistan: 1) Most of us are illiterates 2) We are brought up NEVER to question anything about Islam 3) We are brought up to LOVE ISLAM & HATE ALL OTHER RELIGIONS 4) We never hear a mullah showing any respect for any other religion 5) We don't teach children how to deal with puberty 6) We marry our cousins 7) We have no sympathy for our fellow Pakistanis who happen to be Christians, Hindus and Sikhs... I could go on....
ahmadali86 Jul 17, 2012 06:14am
True and illiteracy is a major factor. Women though they are majority in number than men but you find less in number in every sector. They should be equally treated everywhere...
Bilal Berberi Jul 17, 2012 06:19am
Please try yourself to get cured and treated well of the disease of 'unknowing'. Just kidding. In fact, Mufti said the truth. We see people presenting themselves as Muslims, but we wouldn't find the evident of their Islam neither in their deeds nor in their sayings.
Shahlah Jul 17, 2012 01:45pm
Behavior is essentially learnt from parents. How they treat each other is innocently taken in by the children. You learnt you values on how to treat women from them. Only you had a wise teacher later on. Usually it it too late by then.
Marrissa Jul 17, 2012 01:39pm
Perhaps studying the Qur'an will help. It is perfectly defined and described in signiicant detail in there. It may also be helpful to study the biography of the The Prophet and have the best example of how a Muslim is to behave under actual worldly stresses, pressures, limitations, challenges and conditions.
hassan kalathil Jul 17, 2012 07:06am
Unless women are given the right to choose their partners and the freedom to be financially independent these things would continue. there is no point in qualifying things by saying that "it does not happen only in Muslim countries". fact is it happens mostly in Muslim countries, where women cannot marry a non-muslim etc. I know people will say that even Muslim men cannot marry non-Muslim women but fact is they get away with it while women cannot. why should women be the repository of honour, virtue etc and why not men.
Nak Jul 17, 2012 02:32pm
educating people is the only way to eradicate honour killing.
El Cid Jul 17, 2012 03:31pm
That is a vulgar blatant slander made without proof. Even so, in truth 99.9999% are Not. They are good people. They love, protect, take good care and are faithful to their women folk, with gentleness and kindness to the best of their abilities, resources, and human limitations--they do their best. You perhaps are the odd man out, or have such scum around you as associates--birds of a feather know their own.
layman Jul 17, 2012 03:29pm
You are totally wrong in the last part regarding India, USA. Those countries have a law and order and if any such incident happens the criminals will be in jail in no time no matter who does that. It only happens in law less countries or muslim countries follow shariah law
Cyrus Howell Jul 17, 2012 07:33am
Each sect has the true and only path.
Sandeep Jul 17, 2012 07:38am
No, it is done by mostly Educated
Gerry D'Cunha - UK Jul 17, 2012 07:54am
Ram Krishan very well said. You have taken the words from my mouth and I quote you again: Non-muslims cannot read the holy quran what it contains , but they can see with their eyes what Muslim men do to their women folk. Thus , Any religion is known by the actions of its followers.
layman Jul 17, 2012 03:22pm
Once you see the problem you can fix it. If you deny it you will not be able to fix it. If Muslims need to prove Islam is a religion of peace, first prove it with example. Don't ask the non Muslims to learn your scrips and interpretations to get that fact. For a non Muslim, Afghanistan and Pakistan are Muslim majority countries and the life of an average Muslim is utterly horrible there. the author is neglecting these facts and trying portray a different picture. Of course there are atrocities against women in other countries as well but the criminals won't rule there. They will be punished and put in jail.
Ram krishan Jul 17, 2012 08:25pm
So you mean they have studied the Torah and the Bible while are ignorant about the contents of the Quran. Good defence. Lay the blame on some one else.
AKA ANDANI Jul 17, 2012 08:32pm
singh(sydney) Jul 18, 2012 12:57am
Awall Allah Noor Upaya, Kudrat ke sabh Bande Ik Noor te sabh jag upjiya, kaun bhale ko mande !!
Aamir, San Diego USA Jul 18, 2012 01:47am
The truth hurts my friend. She has only said what most of us with an iota intelligence already know.
Aamir, San Diego USA Jul 18, 2012 01:59am
"Everyone is entitled to live a full life and the only honourable thing to do is to recognise that right". What a simple and profound sentence. Faiza thank you so much for having the strength of character for writing this article, as you can see by all these comments you have made people think.
Hanook Jul 18, 2012 02:51am
Great article. The only problem whith this artice is that the only people reading this aricle are not the ones doing these foolish acts in the name of religion. No religion in the world allows for killing another innocent human being.
Deffury Jul 18, 2012 04:29am
Like most of us in Pakistan, and like our constitution, There is a case of dual identity. On one hand we say we are Muslim, and on the other a democratic citizen. But who are we really? -If we say Muslim then we should follow democracy completely and eliminate all Islamic points from our constitution, so that we don't destroy the true image of Islam, and people will stop blaming it for it. Rather follow a strict set of rules (and culture) that doesn't allow one to cower behind an idealistic curtain. Make note that the laws can be changed almost every year since the different cultures will want their special customs to be implemented (Jirga, Karo Kari courts, Basant holidays, sufi holidays, Forces holidays, no zakat). -If we say Muslim then we should follow Islam completely, the we should follow a strict Shariah law, and enforcement of law would be easier since the rules are already set, but which brand to follow is a different issue altogether.
guest Jul 18, 2012 07:23am
what is the solution ? is there any hope ?
El Cid Jul 18, 2012 05:46pm
The Internet/Social Media is being tuned, molded as an instrument--a weapon to dehumanize Muslims. This is internationally organized and well funded. The objective is to degrade the image of Muslims Culture and Islam's Icons—and influence/skew international decision making against them. Themes used are emotional, not fact based . Muslims are not appreciating this ominous threat. Pakistan's attempts at censorship of social media is short-sighted and counter productive. The best defense is absolute freedom of speech and knowledge of ones own and others religions. A pathetic lack of the knowledge of Islam demonstrated here in deprecative, defensive. They suggest that this molding of opinion is taking root. As you study comparative religion you will find that those who are 'throwing stones' in fact live in 'glass-houses'--while yours is built on solid foundations: Truth.
Aalia Jul 18, 2012 06:02pm
She is not commenting on their readership. What she is saying is that these ideas and commands are abundant in the Torah and the Bible. But not in the Qur'an.
El Cid Jul 18, 2012 09:48pm
You would be surprised at the ideas and methods--to maim, torture, and kill--which are sporadic in other countries and cultures. For obvious reasons they cannot be elaborated here. Sufficient to say that their cruelty and innovation are beyond comprehension for the average psychopath...what to say of the average normal person's imagination.
Raj Patel Jul 19, 2012 12:29am
You guys need Raja Ram Mohan Rai or Dayanand Sarswati kind of Social reformers who can change the thought process of society as a whole. Unfortunately in Pakistan I didn't heard about any big social reformers who has impact on change in mass behaviour like Raja ram Mohan rai has on hindu. Hindus are on the path of reforming their old age thought still miles to go to reach at destination. Muslim still lives with 18th century thoughs in 21st century, yet not started social reform.
Raj Patel Jul 19, 2012 12:43am
In denial mode. Don't recognize problem as a problem in society. If you don't consider this is a big problem then live with it. It is your destiny.
Pradip Jul 19, 2012 03:08am
Gulbahar: I hope you have more success when you speak to the mullahs, sura quote and all -eh? Here preaching to the choir does no good!
Pradip Jul 19, 2012 03:14am
El Cid the preacher of how great Islam is and yet, it happens in an Islamic society like Pakistan hundred times over every year. So, I conclude, either Pakistanis are not Moslems OR El Cid is delusional. Give it a rest, Bro! p.s. You are right on India...the female foeticide is an abominable truth but this article is above all about Islam and women...let's stick to the core of argument.
Ali Jul 22, 2012 04:20pm
Muslim men? .. there are many muslim men who support and protect women too but they dont appear in articles .. Muslim n Islam has nothing to do with it .. its the south asian psyche that still haunts the modern day era ... talk abt Hindu women being burnt along with their dead husbands???