The Washington Post takes notice of the practice of stoning women and girls to death for doing things like looking at a boy.
Despite creeping modernity, secular condemnation and the fact there’s no reference to stoning in the Koran, honor killings claim the lives of more than 1,000 Pakistani women every year, according to a Pakistani rights group.
They have widespread appeal. Eighty-three percent of Pakistanis support stonings for adultery according to a Pew survey, and only 8 percent oppose it. Even those who chose modernity over Islamic fundamentalism overwhelmingly favor stonings, according to Pew research.
If that statistic is true it seems very unlikely that the figure is only 1000 women murdered for “honor” every year.
Some Islamic fundamentalists think that only through the murder of an offending family member can honor be restored to the rest of the family. Honor killings predominantly affect women — 943 women were killed under such circumstances in 2011 and another 869 in 2013, though not all of them were stoned. Some were just gunned down in cold blood.
So the first sentence was misleading. Journalists have so much trouble being honest about this subject. It’s not “an offending family member”; it’s a female family member who comes under some kind of enraged suspicion.
One man in Punjab province suspected his teenage nieces of having “inappropriate relations” with two boys. So on Jan. 11, he killed both girls, confessed and said he did it for “honor.”
Another teenage girl, living in Sukkur, was allegedly shot dead by her brother while she was doing homework because her brother thought she was sleeping with a man.
One mom and dad allegedly killed their 15-year-old daughter with acid because they said she looked at a boy and they ”feared dishonor.”
“There was a boy who came by on a motorcycle,” her father told BBC. My daughter “turned to look at him twice. I told her before not to do that; it’s wrong. People talk about us.”
The mother added: “She said ‘I didn’t do it on purpose. I won’t look again.’ By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way.”
So the mother carried acid with her, ready to throw on her daughter should she look at a boy. What a pretty story.
Those who are stoned in an honor killing are oftentimes accused of committing adultery. Both genders face stonings in Pakistan and across 14 Muslim countries, but women are more frequently the targets.
The reason is rooted in sexual inequality in such countries, where the punishment has survived through some interpretations of sharia, or Islamic law, that say adultery is punishable by stoning. In countries such as Iran, where stonings are legal and widespread, men often have significantly more agency than women. If accused of adultery, they may have the means to either hire lawyers or flee. But those options are frequently closed to women.
One 13-year-old girl named Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow faced such a fate. The Somali child claimed she had been raped by three men and told the authorities what had happened. But her report did not spur an investigation into her allegations. Instead, the girl was accused of adultery, buried up to her neck inside a stadium and stoned to death before 1,000 people.
That’s the story I chose for the last pages of Does God Hate Women? I included more details than are mentioned here; they are horrific.