Honor Killing and Islam?
One of my students in a research writing course that I'm teaching wants to write on honor killings, and in her proposal presentation, she made the assertion that such killings are justified by Islam. I cautioned her to be very careful in stating this claim and to make sure that she has evidence to back it up, for the general view is that support for honor killings in Muslim circles stems more from culture than religion.
Figuring that she might have difficulty locating relevant sources, I looked into this issue myself and found the book depicted above, from the Shafi'i school of sharia in Sunni Islam, which states a legal point that might be relevant:
o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:No restrictions are mentioned, so this would at least appear to allow for honor killing by parents or grandparents. Note that this text, including its English translation, has been approved by the prestigious Al-Azhar University's Islamic Research Academy, which has provided its stamp of approval (pages xx-xxi).
. . .
(4) a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring (Al-Naqib, Reliance of the Traveller, Beltsville, Maryland: Amana Publications, 1994, pages 583-584)
Honor killings, however, are not mentioned in this legal context cited above, so I don't know for certain that the legal point here is even broached in arguments based on sharia with respect to honor killings. Moreover, such killings are often carried out by other relatives -- a brother, an uncle, a cousin -- so I would expect to find the issue of honor killings dealt with elsewhere in Islamic law. I suspect that my student will have a bit of digging to undertake in excavating laws with any explicit bearing on honor killing. There's also the issue of differing schools of Islamic law, which would need to be investigated.
I wonder if a look into defenses of honor killings in Muslim countries would offer much of substance.
Assistance welcome . . .