By exploring in detail the grim issue of “Honor Killings,” Robert Kiener laid bare a subject many would like to sweep beneath the rug. He introduces this subject by regaling us with the tale of the horrors of honor killings in Pakistan. Where, five women were clobbered, shot, and buried alive in the desert by their enraged male relatives. According to Kiener, “Honor Killings” is a worldwide phenomenon; this is supported by data from the United Nations; news reports. However, murder can never be justified. No matter the reasons availed, even if cultural, religious, or domestic squabble?
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I feel that honor killings have continued unabated because society has shunned shedding some light on the issue. Some claim that it is politically incorrect to talk openly about the subject. Male relatives have the impetus to commit these gruesome murders against their female relatives since the law of the land backs them. For example, the male relatives who killed the five Pakistani women had support from their local member of parliament. The M.P, Israrullah Zehr from Baluchistan vowed to defend the perpetrators of this heinous act claiming that it was a “century’s old tradition.”
In my view, “honor killings” are not restricted to one religion, but the majority of the incidents are reported in countries, which have the bulk of the population who are Muslim. Most cases of male relatives maiming and killing their female relations for reasons such as adultery transpire in the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent. These regions have a high prevalence of these cases because of their culture, which exalts men over women. In many developed countries, such cases are mainly reported among immigrants.
I think that a good number of perpetrators of this vice choose to ignore human rights. The fear of ostracism by the perpetrators of these inhumane acts drives them to do despicable deeds that can never be justified. Fathers and brothers are supposed to love and protect their female loved ones. However, in these male chauvinistic cultures, if a trusted male relative raped a woman, then it is her fault. For this, she has to be killed in order to salvage the family’s reputation.
Moreover, the government, which is supposed to defend its citizens, condones this archaic tradition. Words uttered by the President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, “a man should be able to murder his daughter if she dishonors the family.” With rigid fundamentalists as leaders, the women in such a nation are condemned to a life of misery. Betrayed by the state and maimed by their family, women in such countries are a hopeless lot.
However, in a country like Turkey, there is some light at the end of the burrow. By the arm twisting Turkey to pass stringent laws against “honor killings,” The European Union helped in reducing this vice. Another milestone covered in trying to combat this despicable tradition is the media coverage it has received. Persons are sensitized on this issue through the media coverage it receives.
In conclusion, I emphasize my belief that all life is sacred, so there is no reason to take someone’s life. However, some people may cite traditions and customs as the reasons why they succumb to pressure from the community. By cherishing my loved ones I cannot entertain the idea of hitting them let alone killing them in the name of sanctifying my family name. There is no basis on earth, which can justify this heinous act.