Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.
The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but "the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour 'provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'" And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values."
In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders.
"Ex-resident of UAE allegedly stabbed to death by husband in Palestine," by Nasouh Nazzal for Gulf News, January 12:
Ramallah: A Palestinian woman was allegedly murdered by her husband after a dispute between him and his cousin.
Sources in Kofr Al Deek near Salfit of the West Bank claim that the 35-year-old mother of five, Suha Abdul Aziz Al Deek, was a respectable woman.
“We believe that the woman was a victim of a problem that she had nothing to do [with],” sources told Gulf News.
The alleged murder was part of an ongoing conflict between her husband, 46-year-old Abdul Moeti Fayeq, and his cousin, sources said.
According to sources, the cousin and his family lived in Abdul’s family home in the village while Abdul, Suha and the five children lived in Sharjah.
When they returned to Kofr Al Deek two years ago, Abdul took up a job as an Arabic teacher in the nearby village of Deer Balout.
The dispute started when Abdul asked his cousin to vacate the house. The cousin refused to leave and “threatened the husband with a picture he had for the man’s wife,” said the sources.
“The cousin and his family were forced out of the house but the husband became suspicious and could not stand the claim that his wife had been photographed with him,” said the sources. The picture was apparently just a general one taken with the cousin as they had all been living in the same house and was taken without the victim noticing.
As a result of his distress, the husband did not go to work for five days. The family elders, meanwhile, summoned the two men for a reconciliation and the issue of the photograph was resolved.
However, the husband could not overcome his suspicion so allegedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his wife several times. The woman was taken to Yasser Arafat Hospital in Salfit where she was declared dead.
Suha was buried on Saturday in the village. Her husband and his cousin have been arrested by the Palestinian Police who launched an investigation into the murder.
“We never imagined that this respectable woman would be the victim of the family dispute,” said the sources.