A 14-year old girl forced to marry a man not of her choosing was allegedly tortured by her in-laws and fled from her husband’s home. Her brother, finding his sister in the home of an old boyfriend, hauled her outside into the daylight. With a butcher knife brought for the occasion, brother decapitated his sister in front of all who happened to be on the street. To explain the horrendous scene the passersby had just witnessed, brother screamed “she had sinned and had to be punished.” Brother, certain of his righteousness, carried his sister’s head to the police station where he dropped it off with the butcher knife. His parents expressed great pride at their son’s killing of their daughter. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/12/2012121614107670788.html
You might think this story too bazaar and horrific to be true. Unfortunately, it was all too real for 22-year-old Nilofar Bibi who was murdered by her brother in Kolkata, India on December 7, 2012. Sadly, Nilofar’s story is not isolated. One estimate places the figure at over 5,000 females killed in the name of “honor” occurring in the Middle East alone. http://rt.com/news/honour-killings-middle-east/print/
What could these females have done to bring so much dishonor to their families that their deaths bring joy to their parents? Their acts for the most part are not especially dishonorable. Some females have been raped or have refused to enter into an arranged marriage or, like 17-year old Du’a Khalil Aswad who, on April 7, 2007, was stoned to death by hundreds of men in Northern Iraq, have fallen in love with a Muslim. http://rt.com/news/honour-killings-middle-east/print/ The reasons mostly involve a female’s decision about her life that’s unacceptable to her family. If, in the eyes of her family, that decision brings dishonor on them, then she runs the risk of punishment by a male vigilante or a posse of them.
“Honor” killings are anything but honorable. They are the work of malicious, vindictive and fanatical men. These men are not avengers, but stone, cold murderers and child killers who should be severely punished. The reality for many women throughout the world is that a murderer who is male is more honored than a female who just wants to be happy. That’s how little her life is worth.