Two Islamic texts stressing the immunity for honour killings

an answer to Ziad Hashmi’s National Post challenge – Published on Point de Bascule, by blog owner, December 9, 2011 (Version française/french version), le 15 décembre 2011.

While the Shafia trial is on in Kingston, Sikander Ziad Hashmi, Imam at the Islamic Society of Kingston, has challenged the National Post’s readers on December 6, 2011 to find one Islamic text that sanctions the murder of a family member to preserve honour. Here is his exact request: I ask you to find me one classical Islamic religious text that sanctions the murder of a family member to preserve honour. It just doesn’t exist.  

Point de Bascule answers the Imam’s request by producing not one but two Islamic texts stating that a father who kills his child must not be subject to retaliation. Both texts do not specify any particular motive for granting immunity to the father. Therefore, honour killings are covered by the exemption. Both texts were presented by Point de Bascule in an article (in french) published when the Shafia trial began.

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  • First text comes from Sikander Ziad Hashmi: a Sunni text endorsing the immunity of a father who kills his child … //
    … (reproduction here): Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveller (La dépendance du voyageur), Ahmad ibn Naqid al-Misri (1302 – 1367), Beltsville (Maryland), Amana Publications, 1994, pp. 583-584, Translated by (Traduit par) Nuh Ha Mim Keller … (in english and arabic) …
  • The second text stressing the immunity of a father who kills his child comes from Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989) … //
    … (reproduction in english here as pdf /2 pages in Appendix II): …

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… Additional information:

The issue of Islamic religious texts being settled, here is some additional information demonstrating that Islamists support the immunity for parents who kill their children as well as the concept of honour.

Jordan:

  • In 2009, Queen Rania from Jordan gave her support to women’s rights groups that wanted to change laws amounting to legal impunity for men involved in honour killings. Rania denounced the fact that such crimes were on the rise and that murderers were getting away with sentences as little as six months. At the time, the Islamic Action Front, an organization linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, managed to block any changes to the law.
    The Age : Jordan’s Queen joins fight for action on honour killings

Canada: … //

  • (several exemples).

… Further reading:

  • Institute for War & Peace Reporting (October 24, 2008): Syria – “Honour crime law is derived from Islamic sharia, and we cannot change it”
  • Point de Bascule: Procès des Shafia : Rappel sur les crimes d’honneur (Shafia trial : A reminder about honour killings).

(full text).

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