Pakistani Parents Sentenced to "at least 25 years" for Honor-Killing of Daughter

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Balerion, Aug 11, 2012.

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  1. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Surprised this slipped through the cracks here at Sciforums...

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    Shafilea Ahmed



    In a startling case, the Pakistani parents of a teenage girl have been found guilty of murdering a daughter who rebelled against a forced marriage to her cousin — a conviction that was clinched with the girl’s younger sister testifying that she saw her parents suffocate her older sibling.

    Justice Roderick Evans on Friday sentenced Iftikhar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, to life for killing their daughter, Shafilea, in 2003. The couple — first cousins from the Pakistani village of Uttam — were ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison.

    “She was being squeezed between two cultures – the culture and way of life that she saw around her and wanted to embrace, and the culture and way of life you wanted to impose on her,” Evans said during the sentencing at the Chester Crown Court in northwest England.

    In Britain, more than 25 women have been killed in so-called honor killings in the past decade. Families have sometimes lashed out at their children, often believing they have brought them shame by becoming too westernized or by refusing a marriage...

    ...After an argument about Shafilea’s dress, her parents pushed her down on a couch, stuffed a thin white plastic bag into her mouth and held their hands over her mouth and nose until she died, Alesha testified. As she was struggling, her mother said, “just finish it here,” according to Alesha’s testimony.


    (The Blaze/AP)


    There's some worthwhile stuff after the jump, including one rebellion that ended in bleach-drinking.
     
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  3. GASHOLE Registered Senior Member

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    Ah, religion, what have you done again?
     
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  5. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    The problem is this happens all too often for it to be newsworthy.
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    So you're contending that parents who killed their daughter for religious reasons is "vile gossip," and that reporting on it is what causes "Islamophobia?" Has the culture really degraded this much? It is now considered "Islamophobic" to report the news?

    Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time. Christian sectarian violence has always been glossed over with the revisionist brush--think of the violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina between Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims which was always reported as being between Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. Still, it's troubling that some people actually believe that criticizing a religion amounts to bigotry and incites violence.
     
  9. seagypsy Banned Banned

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    If the Muslim majority would speak out against this type of behavior and punish their own who do this, the media would not have the means to create "Islamaphobia". Muslims are the ones creating the phobia through their unwillingness to stop this behavior, which is against islam, among brethren. It's like when al qaida claims to speak for all Muslims while committing atrocities, and very few Muslims stand up and say, NO HE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR US!

    If some asshole blew up a building killing thousands and claimed he was acting on behalf of all atheists, you can bet atheists all over would be hunting him down and stringing him up publicly. There is no way atheists would stand for being associated with his actions. But Muslims stand idly by, while people in their camp do horrible things and they don't speak out against it. Instead, they make comments like you have and pretend it isn't happening and that anyone who acknowledges it is just an Islamiphobe. Guess what?!?! According to the Qur'an, Allah hates murderers and hypocrites!
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Instead of "Muslims," the press often wrote "ethnic Albanians." Considering that the vast majority of Americans don't know that there's still one Muslim country left in Europe after the demise of the Ottoman Empire, this makes them think it's strictly an "ethnic" struggle and has nothing to do with religion. Those stupid Serbs and Croats must be fighting over their choice of the Cyrillic versus the Roman alphabet.

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    I find that a good way to avoid that charge is to criticize all religions equally. They're all bullshit and the world would be a better place without them.

    Frankly I see the Abrahamic religions as considerably worse than the others, but most Americans don't realize that there are any others so it's a minor point. I hate to include the Baha'i and the Rastafarians in that criticism since they seem so peaceful, but I'm sure if we give them a few centuries they'll be just as intolerant and violent as the Christians, Muslims and Jews. There's something about monotheism that eventually turns its followers into genocidal maniacs.
     
  11. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, ain't that the truth.
     
  12. Balerion Banned Banned

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    While that may have been true some of the time, go ahead and look up the Bosnian Crisis and see how the groups are categorized most of the time. You will find it is given the distinction of being a "Serb, Croat, and Muslim" triumvirate. And of course the point was to protect Christianity from looking susceptible to sectarian violence like any other.

    But criticizing them equally would mean to give them each their due criticism, not to pretend they are homogeneous. They aren't. You'll be hard-pressed to find a Unitarian suicide bomber, or a Buddhist protesting homosexuality at a soldier's funeral. Christianity lacks the direct injunctions to violence of Islam, despite all of its other irresponsible teachings and moral shortcomings. This is why Christianity serves as something of a transitional faith for departing Muslims on the road to atheism. They prefer the much milder Jesus figure to the warlord Mohammad.

    One of the worst things we could do as a society (aside from making any criticism of religion socially unacceptable) is to treat them all as if they're equally bad. There is clearly a pecking order.

    Certainly the potential for violence exists in any ideology, particularly religion. And sure, one can imagine an Islam-esque faith rising out of the relative pacifism of Rastafarianism, just as the actual Islam rose out of one man's desire for a "pure" interpretation of the broken faiths called Judaism and Christianity. But unless those minor faiths rise to prominence, it's hard to see it actually happening. And for the time being, the best weapon against faith is education in logic and reason. Keep teaching kids how to think, and mainstream religion will continue to self-regulate its way to a neutral (and neutered) existence, or it will disappear completely. The problems with the major monotheistic faiths, however, is more immediate, and requires a different plan of attack. Certainly the first place to begin is to smack down everyone who cries "Islamophobia!" when an Islam-inspired murder is reported by the media. And, of course, to take the media blanket off of international Christian sectarian violence.
     
  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    But the concept of the sanctity of a women's privates being the purview of her male kin is part of Islam. So Muslims cannot very well condemn this without being hypocrites.
     
  14. seagypsy Banned Banned

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    Spidergoat, with all due respect, have you ever actually read the Qur'an? You often claim what Islam does and does not require but having actually read the Qur'an and practiced the religion myself, going through the teachings in the mosque and so on, I have a completely different experience of what Islam does and does not require than you seem to. The Islam I was taught in mosques as well as from reading the Qur'an for myself actually liberated women. Now this particular thread is not about who owns her twat though. It is about whether or not a parent has the right to force marriage on a child (male or female) and whether or not disobedience is punishable by death. From my experience, (which includes teaching in Mosques, Actually reading the Qur'an for myself, reading hadith for myself (even though I eventually rejected hadith because it contradicts the Qur'an), and practicing the faith both in the USA and Pakistan), No parent is allowed to force marriage on their child. A boy can marry who he wants and a girl has to have her parents permission to marry. It does not say that anyone has to marry who their parents say, when they say. And no one is to be forced into any marriage. You also are not allowed to kill anyone because they wont allow you to force their will on you. These honor killings happen most often in Pakistan and are often remnants of whatever faith their culture followed before the culture was converted over to Islam. In Pakistan most of these strange unislamic cultural behaviors stem from ancient Hinduism. for instance the 3 day wedding that costs a fortune. Mohammed said the best wedding is the cheapest wedding and that it should be nothing more than the parties involved meeting with community leaders a, couple of witness, to sign the necessary documents. Hindus seem to have evolved from their ancient roots, in my opinion. Their religious roots used to indicate that if a man died, his widow was required to throw herself into a bonfire to prove she had always been faithful to him during their lifetime. Obviously that doesn't happen today. And it doesn't seem that there is any demand for it either. But the Pakistanis have held onto Hindu traditions that Hindus seemed to have abandoned long ago. Granted this is from my own observation having actually lived in Pakistan, studied Hinduism and having lots of Hindu friends that have given me their perspective.

    My point is, by not speaking up they are being hypocrites. If a serial killer claimed he was acting on Christian bylaws Christians would be outraged and condemn him, probably violently if given the chance. I am not defending Muslims at all in this. And I realize that there are few Muslims that actually practice Islam as it is written in the Qur'an. I am just directing the blame where I feel it belongs. On the people who commit the acts and on their neighbors who do nothing to stop it. If anyone is in a position to correct a heinous wrong but they refuse to do so, I feel they are equally at fault for the act. Ironically, unless I am mistaken, I will try to find it, I think the Qur'an also suggests that to be true.

    I know I almost sound like an Islamic fundy but I am not. I am atheist. I just see things a little more black and white than most and maybe that is a detriment to my point of view. I don't see what happened to this girl as honor killing. I see it as murder.

    I personally believe that the sooner the world can start acknowledging that the human population is capable and in many cases willing to commit horrific acts and acknowledge that is part of our nature that has not evolved away (coming from that reptilian part of our brain)the sooner we can start addressing this psychosis for what it is rather than blaming fairy tales. And the sooner people can figure out how and why religions got created in the first place the sooner people will realize they are nothing more than tools the human ego uses to justify itself. Most people use religion like we use ibuprofen, to ease the pain of a headache, while others use it like crack and it takes over their freaking lives and minds.

    Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if they did a study on violent sadistic fundies and compared their brains to normal people and those of serial killers that there would be more similarities to the serial killer. Or at least a lack of development in the frontal lobes.

    IMO, If we lost religion and psychiatrists could work on developing good ways to cope with pain that everyone can accept, we would have far less psychosis in the world.

    In general, you see more violence among lesser educated peoples regardless of the religious or racial composition or cultural background.
     
  15. seagypsy Banned Banned

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  16. Balerion Banned Banned

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    While your experience in mosques may have been a positive one as it pertains to the rights of women, (though I sincerely doubt this) there is no question that the Quran does not treat woman as being equal to man. Unless your reading of the book is to simply ignore these verses (and many Muslims do, to their credit, just as many Christians completely ignore the bits about the uncleanliness of women or the capital offense of homosexuality) then the Quran does not promote women's liberation. That is simply not true.

    Again, I don't want to demean your experience, I just want to make it known that the Quran is not a liberating document for women. It simply isn't.

    This is a common and incorrect defense. While it is doubtless the case that honor killings have existed in cultures before Islam (we know they exist in Christianity and Judaism, and still occur today in the name of those faiths) there is no question that they are following Quranic instruction today. Yes, of course the Quran says a person has a right to live, but it also sets out many guidelines by which a person may have that right removed, including fornication, adultery, and bringing dishonor to themselves or their family, both in the Quran and hadith sources.

    We need to stop twisting ourselves in logic pretzels trying to defend Islam. It does not deserve this defense.
     
  17. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe if you pretend that the Old Testament does not exist...
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I should rephrase that: It does contain injunctions for violence, but many Christians interpret the NT to be a different set of laws superseding the OT, even though that's not entirely correct.
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    I know you are an atheist, and I always appreciate your thoughtful posts, they are a breath of sanity and reasonableness, but I respectfully disagree. If there were a Christian serial killer who stoned to death adulterers, Christians might object, but they would have no theological reason to do so. I would have posted some passages from the Quran that delineated the role of women in society as inferior, but there were just too many to mention. No I haven't read the Quran cover to cover because I'm not a masochist. But I've studied enough of it to see some trends. Women are equal to half a man. You might be able to get legalistic about it, but the spirit of it is such that these honor killings do not seem inconsistent. You might also have to explain why Muslim women are treated the same way whether it's Somalia, Pakistan, or Michigan.
     
  20. seagypsy Banned Banned

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    You don't have to be a masochist to read a book for the purpose of awareness. I won't deny that Islam by today's standards does not liberate women by our terms. I should have been more clear. For the time it was written in, it elevated women to a much higher status than any other religion of the time. Women have the right to own their own property and their husband has no say over it. The man is obligated to fully financially support his wife and children and there is no obligation on the wife to contribute financially, even if she is wealthy and he is poor. A groom MUST pay a mahr (dowry) to the intended bride or he may not be permitted to marry her and she determines what is the acceptable price. It is similar to the tradition that causes a man today to give a pricey engagement ring to his betrothed. If the wife does contribute financially to the welfare of the family what she spends is treated as a charity act on her part and she is rewarded in heaven more for her contribution than the husband who is only doing what is required of him. If she breastfeeds the children she can demand financial compensation from him. Considering the time that the Qur'an was "revealed" those are pretty hefty rights to be given to a second class citizen. It was progress at the time. Obviously, we have moved beyond that level of progress. And yes there are hadith and shariah laws that demand horrible acts. But in my understanding of Islam, and surprisingly after doing quite a bit of googling, there are quite a few Muslim scholars who agree with me in my interpretation of the Qur'an. That Islamic law is an oxymoron and the very idea of making the religion into law contradicts one of most profound aspects of the faith, that there is to be NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION. And the hadith is specifically spoken against in the Qur'an as being forbidden to be used as a source of religious guidance. But those who write sharia law have money and power and they will write whatever law necessary to keep it and declare it as divine ordination.

    The thing is, we here in the west experience Islam through a media filter. I won't say its all peaches and chocolate pudding but it isn't as bad as the media depicts it. I just wish I could say the same for the people who claim to follow the religion. They are the monsters distorting the religion in order to justify their vicious behavior. Except for that idiot American Taliban who was likely to be a psychopath anyway, I have never met an American that converted to Islam that interprets Islam the way the people in poor uneducated Islamic republics do.

    Some muslim men treat women very well and even stand up for their rights. Others hold the women down. Some muslim women speak up for themselves and others stamp on the throats of their sisters who dare try. When I was in Pakistan, and yes my experience was limited and I was probably lucky to not have been stoned to death, it was the older women criticizing me the most. The men, even the very old ones, were in awe of me. And I challenged every aspect of their culture that I believed violated Islam. The oldest man in the family that I married into chastised his family and said that I was the only one in the family that brought them honor because I was the only true Muslim in the family. And that they should all be ashamed of how they behave towards each other. The extended family members then held me in high regard. It didn't change how my mother in law treated me but she was a jealous bipolar psychotic superstitious nearly illiterate twit who would have behaved how she wanted no matter what religion she claimed to follow. Mamoo... thats what the patriarch of the family was called, said he wished I had married into a different off shoot of his family tree. Apparently I got into the worst branch.

    The thing about women being equal to half a man is from hadith and sharia law. And slightly inaccurate. In a sharia court, a woman's testimony is worth 25% of a man's. There must be 4 female witnesses to equal the validity of one male witness. I have never met a Muslim who could give me qur'anic support for this law. So I don't consider it part of Islam but instead part of sharia law, which is given by egotistical bastardy old men. Yeah I know I don't get to define Islam, that is the job of the scriptures. A serial killer can find justification for murder in a nutrition label. That isn't the fault of the FDA or the label. Some people are just sick twisted bastards and that kind of brutality based mindset is contagious, passed down like a genetic disease from parent to child. But there is a cure, education.
     
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

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    This is the crux of your argument, and it is a fallacious one. Whereas a nutrition label does not objectively promote violence, the Quran and hadith do. That you can find conflicting messages in the texts is not surprising, but you must admit that your decision to accept the "good" articles as legitimate, while dismissing the bad ones as hypocritical or somesuch is entirely arbitrary. I mean, consider your position on the hadith as something that should not be compulsory, yet that's where the concept of the Mahr comes from.

    No one is distorting the faith. Just as in Christianity and Judaism, the warrant for atrocity can be found within its pages. Blaming it on the western media is exactly the type of irresponsible talk that needs to stop.
     
  22. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    Have you guys seen a religious zealot? Some of them can be very intense, ocd, and confrontational. If we took religion away from deranged simple folk then he would receive no punishment in the afterlife for going on a killing spree in their lifetime. In some cases religion tempers tempers.

    I believe in freedom of religion except Islam. Islam does not accept freedom of choice among religions and states followers should kill those in other religions. Oil wealth can support Islamic countries so they have no need to have working economies to thrive. If we move into a new energy source then Islamic countries will need to adapt a friendlier and more tolerant view of those they trade with. The best weapon we could deploy is hard core education coupled with propaganda. If a suicide bomber realizes he is not going to have 72 virgins in heaven he may think 3-4 times before realizing he is being an idiot..

    Murder is murder. All media should report the murders and punishments so as to prevent the re-occurrence of it.
     
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I don't believe for a second that religion prevents any deranged person from doing exactly what it is they want to do. I mean, we know for a fact that it doesn't stop people, so why would it stop crazy people?

    One of the most interesting future-scenarios I wonder about is what will become of the Middle East when the world finally moves away from non-renewable resources. Like, when the demand for oil dries up, and nobody ever has to give a shit about what some Ayatollah or Saudi prince says, what's going to happen there?
     
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