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Chief justice: 'Honor killing' unacceptable in Islam

March 14, 2013 5:03 P.M. (Updated: March 16, 2013 12:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Killing women under the pretext of so-called family honor is a breach of Islamic law, says the head of the Palestinian Higher Judicial Council chief justice Yousif Ideis.

In an article published on the website of the council, Ideis added that the phenomenon has been increasing in Palestine and several “innocent women were targeted without any evidence as advocated in the holy Quran.”

He added: “This tradition was spread during the pre-Islamic paganism era, and Islam fought it.”

According to the chief justice, such crimes were committed allegedly for religious motives, “but in fact they were motivated by a desire to defend family honor. In most cases, women are being hurt or killed by first degree relatives motivated by very weak evidence and unsubstantiated rumors.”

Sheikh Ideis highlighted that Islamic law forbids killing and pledged to impose heavy penalty on murderers. He quoted a verse from the Holy Quran meaning that “Anybody who deliberately kills a believer will be sent to hell immortally, and will be cursed by God with great torture awaiting them.”

Ideis added that honor killing reflects discrimination between men and women pointing out that when a man “errs, nobody asks him even a question, while when it is a woman, she is killed immediately for a rumor.” Meanwhile, he said, Islamic law advocates equality between men and women.

Furthermore, added Ideis, the penalty over religious breaches shouldn’t be applied by individuals the way they like. “These issues are the responsibility of Muslim rulers or judges, and citing honor as a justification to kill is completely rejected in Islam.”

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