I was surfing the internet when I came across an artical verifying the verdict of a family who was responsible for killing their children and calling it a honor killing. The Shafia family was found guilty in Canada for ‘honor killings’. Mohammad Shafia along with his wife and son, were all found guilty for the brutal murders of their three children and mohammads’ second wife. They were allegedly killed because they dishonored the family by defying its desciplinary rules on dress, dating, socialing, and using the internet. This Afghan fmaily along, with many others, abide by strict islamic beliefs and the punishment for disobeying can ultimately be death. Before proceeding I would like to define the term ‘honour killing’ which author YASMIN JIWANI and HOMA HOODFAR defines as, “Typically the victims are women and pegged to have deviated from the moral code and thus determined the family’s honor; by killing them, family reputation and honor may be restored.”
I am having trouble separating the difference between these honor killings and other deadly crimes such as crimes of passion and crimes of convience and appearantly the factor that differentiates these murders are premeditation; but even that can be found in honor killling cases. Ultimately, if a women was to go and make the acquaintance of another man and her husband didn’t like it, he could murder her children leaving her to suffer and justify that as an honor killing. The fact that most these victims are women illustrates islamic’s dedication to a patriarchal system and what they would do to keep it. It shows they don’t see women as companians but instead property in which they own and can do with as they please. The question the arises, if these so called ‘honor kilings’ are nothing more than femicides then why not acknowledge what they are instead of sugar coating them, which is what the Canadian Media seem to be doing. Femicides are the murder of girls or women simply based on their gender. Hoodfar explains that the reason the term ‘honor killing’ seem to be more popular is because it makes it seem like femicides are an unusual occurance, and also because it would make it seem as though femicides are only found in those particular regions like Canada and other specific cultures or religions around the world.
Unfortunately femicides happen all around the world. The reasoning being based on their gender. Women and girls are being killed because they have no rights and even no value in some societies and it’s being rationalized, which makes it even worse.
To read more about the Shafia trail in its entirety see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/29/canada-honor-killing-shafia-family-guilty_n_1240268.html