And so we have yet another “honour killing”. It was by stoning, it was a woman (Farzana Parveen) who was killed for the horrible crime of marrying for love, she was pregnant at her death, and she was stoned in front of the High Court Building of Lahore. Oh, and apparently nothing was done to the husband/father. It’s always the women who get punished. A man who marries for love apparently doesn’t besmirch his family’s honour.
The Guardian reports:
Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, police investigator Rana Mujahid said.
. . . Another police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.
Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said. He confirmed that she was three months’ pregnant.
The brutal attack apparently followed the court proceedings described above:
Parveen’s relatives had waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.
When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said.
The police have taken the father into custody and are trying to round up the other killers, but the lack of remorse, though expected, is chilling:
Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honour killing,” Butt said.
“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.
“Insulted all of our family”? What “honour” has been redeemed by this murder? Is the family more “honourable” than it was before they stoned a 25-year-old to death? Truly, this is a mentality and a world I cannot understand. I’ve seen stonings on video, and they’re horrible—not a way I’d choose to die. To kill someone like that—to kill someone you know and once loved like that—because they themselves married for love, shows how far religion can warp human morality. Those who threw the brickbats, after all, thought that morality demanded that behavior.
It not just Islam, of course, though Catholics and Orthodox Jews have less lethal ways of controlling women’s behavior and reproduction. I’m not expert enough to suss out the role of Islam per se in honour killings, though I know that it’s far more common in Muslim cultures than in others. But I know that “culture”, “politics” and “religion” are much more intertwined in Islam than in other faiths. All I can say is that a 25-year-old and her fetus are dead, that a pack of rabid thugs killed them, and that religion almost certainly had something to do with it. Oh, and that this won’t stop until Islam stops treating women as wombs on the hoof, as temptresses, and as vessels of “honour”, but accords them the respect and support for their aspirations that is the decent thing to do in an enlightened world.