Islam, Shariah, Honour Killings?

When Newt Gingrich said, the other day, that

“We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. For Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization.”

He was obviously thinking, not of Islam, meaning peace and submission or obedience to the will of God, or even of Shariah, as Noah Feldman would enlighten us, meaning the ideal realization of divine justice. To my mind he was obviously thinking of the Shariah that we all read about with disgust, the horrible crimes against women. He had in mind the Shariah associated with crime and punishment, and in particular punishments (and supposed crimes) such as described in the article below taken from this week’s Economist:


Crimes against women Can the licence to kill be revoked?

“Honour killings” can be stopped only by scrapping religiously inspired laws

honor killing

FEW Pakistanis have broken taboos as gleefully as Qandeel Baloch, a social-media star who used the internet to titillate and scandalise her fellow citizens. The 26-year-old (pictured with her iPhone), whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, twerked on camera, posted suggestive selfies and mocked the mullahs who police the social boundaries of a Muslim-majority nation that has become more religiously conservative over the years. It was too much for many, including her brother, who strangled Ms Baloch after drugging her to sleep. Waseem Azeem proudly admitted his crime: “She was bringing disrepute to our family’s honour.” He has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Ms Baloch’s funeral (pictured below) was held on July 17th.

So-called “honour killings” are rarely so sensational. But nor are they rare. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan tallied 1,096 female victims of them last year. Many go unreported to the police. Cases in the past three months include a 19-year-old girl burned to cinders for refusing a marriage proposal; a 16-year-old girl who met a similar fate for helping a friend elope; and an 18-year-old killed by her mother for marrying a man from a different ethnic group against her family’s will….

 

She mocked he mullahs. She died.

She mocked the mullahs. She died

Pakistan’s mullahs are united in declaring that Islam condemns such murders. But this clerical consensus frays when it comes to the sharia-inspired laws of qisas (retribution) and diyat (blood money) that enable men to get away with it….

Mr Azeem, however, may not dodge punishment. His distraught father vowed not to forgive the killer of a daughter who was financially supporting the family. And the local police have taken the unusual step of bringing the case themselves. But rights activists say that is no guarantee against a court later agreeing to a forgiveness deal. Families come under immense pressure to pardon honour-killers….

But there is now an encouraging sign: a private member’s bill to make such crimes “non-compoundable”, meaning that families would no longer be able to forgive each other, is expected to be presented to parliament for debate within weeks. It had long languished in limbo, even after Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister, vowed in January to crack down on honour killings after “A Girl in the River” was nominated for an Oscar, which it then won. Now the government appears to be backing it.

But Mr Sharif has been beset by corruption allegations, by disputes with the army and by open-heart surgery. While the leading clerical party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami (JUI), has only 13 seats, Mr Sharif values its support at a shaky time and may be wary of pushing through a new law.

The bill’s sponsors think the JUI may be persuaded that honour killings are an abuse ofsharia concepts that were intended to resolve tribal wars, not to provide cover to murderers. But the mullahs may still balk if they believe reform is part of a “Western agenda” epitomised for many by the outrageous Ms Baloch.

Jul 23rd 2016 | ISLAMABAD |



Crimes against women, what are all too often called honour killings, are somehow excused by the word honour. These crimes are common throughout any number of Arab and Muslim countries. And yes their perpetrators ought not to be allowed admission to our country, and if already here, yes, they should be prosecuted, and at very least deported. About this Gingrich was right.


 

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