Day 359: The Dishonour of Honour Killings

An Afghan woman has been shot dead by her own father in front of a mob of 300 after she was accused of dishonouring her family by running away from her husband.
The victim, known only as Halima, was aged between 18 to 20 and had two children, according to Amnesty International.
She had eloped with a male cousin while her husband was in Iran. But ten days later he returned her to her family in Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of the north-western Badghis province.
Her father sought the advice of village elders and three of them issued a fatwa ordering that Halima be publicly executed.
She was shot dead on April 22. It is not known what has happened to her cousin, who has not been identified.
Her father and the three elders, who are all allegedly linked to the Taliban, have gone into hiding
Amnesty International’s Afghanistan researcher Horia Mosadiq said: ‘The deeply shocking practice of women being subjected to violent “punishments”, including killing, publicly or privately, must end.
‘The authorities across Afghanistan must ensure that perpetrators of violence against women are brought to justice.
‘Violence against women continues to be endemic in Afghanistan and those responsible very rarely face justice.
‘Not only do women face violence at the hands of family members for reasons of preserving so-called “honour”, but frequently women face human rights abuses resulting from verdicts issued by traditional, informal justice systems.
‘These systems must be reformed and the police must prevent such verdicts being carried out.’
The local police say they are investigating the case, but no one has yet been arrested in connection with the killing.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) documented more than 4,000 cases of violence against women in a six-month period from March to October last year.
This was a rise of 28 per cent compared with the same period in the previous year.
The AIHRC has also criticised the Afghan police in Baghdis for recruiting suspected perpetrators of such violence, including a Taliban commander and his 20 men implicated in the stoning to death of 45-year-old widow Bibi Sanuber for alleged adultery in 2010.
In August 2009, Afghanistan passed the Elimination of Violence against Women Law, which criminalises forced marriage, rape, beatings and other acts of violence against women. - Mail Online

Where is the honour in honour killings? What is revealed about the nature of a culture that allows honour killings? What is revealed about the human who accepts a culture that allows honour killings?

Honour killings are based on a misplaced sense of shame, believing that certain actions are shameful no matter the reasons. A woman who runs away from an abusive husband is accused of shaming her family. A woman who tries to divorce and abusive husband is accused of shaming her family. Why exactly are these actions shameful? What is the justification given? "A promise was made". "The girl represents the entire family". I don't actually know - I cannot understand this at all - but I do know that people believe in it enough to murder their "loved ones".

Somehow we do not see the contradictions that are inherent within our beliefs, cultures and traditions: We believe, strongly, that our beliefs, cultures, and/or traditions are good - that they must be good - as they were passed down through generations, and if all our previous generations accepted them as good, well then that settles it: they are good! But how can something be good if it condones the murdering of another person (family member especially) for trying to save themselves from and abusive and miserable situation? How can something be good if it allows mismatches to take place within arranged marriages in the first place? How can something be good if all men are considered above reproach, simply because they were born with a Y-chromosome, no matter the evil that resides within their heart?

How can we call ourselves evolved when we cannot even question that which we cling to so fervently without reason or sense? How can we call ourselves enlightened when we refuse to apply objectivity within our observations of the world and our society? How can we call ourselves honourable for hanging onto the most dishonourable systems? Somewhere this must stop.