Where is the Honour in Killing?

            In our world today, many people would describe honor as fighting for your country, helping your family in need, or simply just doing a good deed.  However, in certain other countries, the word honor is used in a whole different aspect.  Honour Killings happen when the husband or male members of a family have deamed an act by a female such as a wife or a daughter dishonorable to the family or community.  Usually, this takes place in third world countries like Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uganda.  However, honor killgings have been recorded in countries such as Great Britain and even the United States of America.

     A major country that has been plagued with honour killings is India.  It has been recoreded that 5,000 females are killed annually due to honour killing rituals.  This does not include unreported incidents of the killings that the United Nations Children’s Fund say are insuffucient.   Furthermore, honour killings occur because of  many reasons, but those reason to normal citizens of the world do not constitute the killing of a female family member.

          Their are many recent cases that deal with honour killings.  For example, a 15 year old Pakastani girl was killed by her parents in the early days of november 2012.  She apparently looked at a boy that was riding by on motorcycle, and her dad warned her that it was not right for her to do that.  Before she could even give an explanation to her father.  He already threw acid on her causing third degree burns to over 75 percent of her body.  The only reason why this was discoverd because her older sister was the one who called the police to report what her parents did to her sister.  The little girls parents are now behind bars in a Pakistani jail.  However, the little did not servive the acid burning, and later passed away at a Pakastani Hospital.  


Honour Killings are slowly starting to show up more in western societies such as the United States.  What does not make sense is that the people that committ these crimes expect to get away with it becuase it is part of their culture, and where they came from.  When this happens they try to use the contitution to justify their reasoning for doing such a henious act.  Even though our amendments give U.S. cirtizens the freedom of religion, that does not mean that practices of a certain religions are not against the law.  If I am not mistaken hitting, maimng, choking of a spouse or family member is considered domestic violence in United States law books.  So, murder is definitely against the law if the reason you killed your loved one was because you did not approve of the man she chose to marry or like how she is portraying herself to the public.

Finally, since their are many cases invloving honour killings around the world, people should be uniting to stop such acts of evil.  Not enough is being done to show the world what goes on behind closed doors in countries that practice this act of dicipline.  Even though, incidents do get television time or magzine articles depicting what goes on during honour killings.  It is not enough to deter the acts of violence or even cross peoples mind for more than a day.  What makes matter worse the most is that the fathers or males that do these acts consider them to be alright, and they actually believe that this is how God wanted them to die.  When you have so called humane orgnizations like UNICEF saying that honour killing are insufficient, then the people of the world have a huge problem, and it just shows people’s moral compass are messed up.


About ace1388

Senior at ODU. Joining the Navy next summer, and after but I will be going to BUD/s training. Originally from Seattle. Have lived all over the country because of my father being in the Navy.
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3 Responses to Where is the Honour in Killing?

  1. Becky Martin says:

    Wow… I did not realize that international men in the US have committed honor killings, right in our own backyard. Thank you for alerting me of this! I think it’s crazy how acts like this are justified in so many countries/religions. I’m with you… I wish the people who believe in this type of “punishment” could be convinced to stop.

  2. This is a difficult topic for Americans to understand because “honor” and its opposite “shame” do not really have an institutionalized place in our culture. Maybe the closest correlate would be in street gang culture or organized crime where there are clear, but unwritten rules about how one’s behavior reflects on how the collective is perceived by others. This is one of those classic anthropological topics that I’ve had to skip over in this class but obviously its relevant to the study of gender.

    My reading of the spread of honor killings to the US, UK, and Canada is that it can be interpreted as a kind of protest against the state. After immigration some people experience a basic disconnect between the laws of the state and rules of tradition they’ve known all their lives. So there emerges this oppositional stance that says, “The law is not higher than what I believe to be right.” That’s a sentiment pervasive in the anti-government populism that’s at an all time high right now, with people threatening to secede from the U.S., etc.

    So in addition to being horrific it is also representative of a fairly common culture clash between people and their governments.

  3. ace1388 says:

    I can understand why they are justified in so many countries and religion because this is all they have known for hundreds of years. I think it is fine to follow tradition, but their is a line to how much you should follow tradition, especially certain acts like this. The world is changing, and so are many traditions. In a world where people want peace and prosperity, I think it’s time to finally let this tradition go.

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