How Many Honor Killings are There in Islam?

Reader Amr in response to my article Beheadings, Honor Killings Over Muslim Divorce asked an interesting question (1), "Among 1.8 billion Muslims, how many of these beheading, honor killings do you hear of? Yes it is a problem and and issue, but it is not a golden rule that any muslim woman who marry a non-muslim will pay the ultimate price."

The UN estimates that 5,000 Muslim women are Honor-killed each year (2), so when we look at 1.5 billion (not 1.8) Muslims then one can mistakenly believe that Honor-killings are a rare phenomena indeed. However, it should be noted that since daughters and wives are the victims we should be looking at only half the Muslim population, the women. So now we're looking at 750 million women. But wait! How many of those women have dishonored her family by adopting Western ways, or by refusing to wear the hijab, or have run off with a non-Muslim boy? Certainly not 750 million.

Unfortunately it is difficult do find out how many Muslim women are defying their husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, in-laws. It could be as many as 100,000 a year with most of them murdered. I'll tell you why.

First off, the 5,000 figure is only the reported number of cases. Most of these murders go unreported (3) or are listed as suicides, accidental drownings, self-inflicted stabbings, accidental strangulations, etc.

For many years Western nations have been clueless about these murders calling them domestic disputes and only recently have begun categorizing them correctly as Honor-killings. For instance, British police are reviewing more than 100 recent murders that were likely honor killings (4).

Among Palestinians Honor Killing is not recorded as any crime at all, in fact there are festivities surrounding the event (5).

Although the murder of dishonorable women is mostly ignored in Pakistan, that country alone reports more than a thousand honor-killings a year (6).

And if Pakistan reports a thousand killings a year you can be sure the real number is many, many times that.

In Turkey there seem to be almost no honor-killings. Know why? They pressure the women to commit suicide under threat of torturous death (7)

So please, Amr, spare me the whine that Honor Killings are a blip when considering 1.5 billion Muslims. There are likely 100,000 Muslim women each year who disobey some male member of the family, ask for a divorce, wear western clothing, have consensual sex, get raped or refuse to marry some old Islamic fart, and I have no doubt almost every single one of them are Honor-Killed but the crimes are hidden, under-reported, non-reported, misreported, buried, mis-characterized, misnamed, misfiled, and al taqiyya-ed. The murder of Muslim women is like the Mafia joke where we are told that the victim committed suicide by stabbing himself 18 times and then strangled himself to death and then shot himself in the back of the head.

For photos of victims of honor killings see Atlas Shrugs



Comment at Planck's Constant

Among 1.8 billion Muslims, how many of these beheading, honor killings do you hear of?

Yes it is a problem and and issue, but it is not a golden rule that any muslim woman who marry a non-muslim will pay the ultimate price.

You (of course) are biased and you pick on individual cases to paint hundreds of millions of people with a certain image.

Even all your posts do not offer any solution, just an open invitation to hate Muslims.

Well, every reader here knows some Muslims, neighbors, co-workers, etc.. I am asking the readers to tell us how bad are these relationships.. just be honest.. this is not a hate contest.

Please tell us why do you think that you are any different from a Muslim blogger who make it his life goal to write about hating jews???

I still remember your post once that the U.S jails are full of muslims.. a claim which you couldn't back with any solid proof.

Just bullshit after bullshit.. that is what this blog is about.


San Francisco Chronicle, Honor killings: When the ancient and the modern collide

Throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, young Muslim women are being targeted for violence. Lest it be thought hate crimes are to blame, it is, in fact, their own relatives who are the perpetrators. So-called honor killings, whereby a Muslim male family member, typically the father, murders his daughter in order to defend the family's honor, is a growing problem.

While statistics are notoriously hard to come by due to the private nature of such crimes and the fact that very few are reported, the United Nations Population Fund approximates that as many as 5,000 women are murdered in this manner each year worldwide. Undoubtedly that's a low estimate, as reports from Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories, among other locales, are filtering in at an alarming rate. Add to the list Germany, Sweden, other parts of Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and it's clear that young Muslim women in the West are becoming increasingly vulnerable.

While fathers are commonly responsible for honor killings, they often act in concert with their daughters' brothers, uncles, and even female relatives. For infringements upon a Muslim daughter's "honor" constitute the greatest humiliation possible to the religious and tribal tradition from which many such immigrant families emerged. Acts that demand "punishment" include refusing to wear a hijab (or headscarf), having non-Muslim boyfriends or male friends of any origin, being sexually active, rejecting arranged marriages, aggressively seeking employment and education, and, more than anything else, attempting to assimilate into Western culture.

(3):, Reputation is Everything

The murder of females in the Middle East is an ancient tradition. Prior to the arrival of Islam in AD 622, Arabs occasionally buried infant daughters to avoid the possibility that they would later bring shame to the family. This practice continued through the centuries. It may still occur today among Bedouins, who consider girls most likely to sully the family honor.

Several thousand women a year are victims of honor killings. Numerous murders are ruled an accident, suicide, or family dispute, if they're reported at all. Police and government officials are often bribed to ignore crimes and hinder investigations. A woman beaten, burned, strangled, shot, or stabbed to death is often ruled a suicide, even when there are multiple wounds.

Many women are killed and buried in unmarked graves; their very existence is removed from community and clan records. The fact that so many murders go unreported is indicative of the status of women and the role of culture in fundamentalist Islamic countries. "It shows that women are still sometimes seen as commodities that are owned by men," says Carolyn Hannan, director of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women.


Christian Science Monitor, Britain examines 'honor killings'

Heshu Yones was just 16 when her father slit her throat because of her choice of boyfriend. Sahjda Bibi was 21 when a cousin stabbed her to death in her wedding dress for marrying against family wishes. Rukhsana Naz was strangled by her brother and mother for getting pregnant by a lover. The slaughter of a succession of young women by their male family members in recent years has alerted Britain to a problem that has migrated to Western Europe along with growing minority communities from South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East: "honor crimes."

For their perpetrators, these crimes have "honor" because they fulfill tribal custom to redeem the shame that some women have supposedly brought upon their families.

Last month, British police said they were reviewing more than 100 recent murders that could have been honor killings in an effort to understand the crime pattern better.

Their counterparts in Europe are no less alarmed: Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and France are addressing this growing problem.

(5):, Honor killing Among the Palestinians

In the Palestinian communities of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, and Jordan, women are executed in their homes, in open fields, and occasionally in public, sometimes before crowds of cheering onlookers. Honor killings account for virtually all of the murders of Palestinian women in these areas.


Blue Star Chronicles, A Progressive Paradox

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, citing government figures, said in a report last year that about 1,000 women die annually in honor killings.

Domestic and international human right groups say most attackers escape punishment because of legal loopholes.


New York Times, 16 Jul 2006, How to Avoid Honor Killing in Turkey? Honor Suicide

For Derya, a waiflike girl of 17, the order to kill herself came from an uncle and was delivered in a text message to her cellphone. “You have blackened our name,” it read. “Kill yourself and clean our shame or we will kill you first.” ... When news of the love affair spread to her family, she said, her mother warned her that her father would kill her. But she refused to listen. Then came the threatening text messages, sent by her brothers and uncles, sometimes 15 a day. Derya said they were the equivalent of a death sentence.

Consumed by shame and fearing for her life, she said, she decided to carry out her family’s wishes. First, she said, she jumped into the Tigris River, but she survived. Next she tried hanging herself, but an uncle cut her down. Then she slashed her wrists with a kitchen knife.
Every few weeks in Batman and the surrounding area in southeast Anatolia, which is poor, rural and deeply influenced by conservative Islam, a young woman tries to take her life. Others have been stoned to death, strangled, shot or buried alive. Their offenses ranged from stealing a glance at a boy to wearing a short skirt, wanting to go to the movies, being raped by a stranger or relative or having consensual sex.

### End of my article ###

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