Killing in the Name of Honor

by: Katie Grimmer

September 10, 2012

Photo: The Baltimore Reporter

In Arizona, Faleh al-Maleki was found guilty for second-degree murder for running over his daughter, Noor al-Maleki, after she estranged herself from her parents when she wouldn’t conform to their ways — an arranged marriage to a man in Iraq.

In Pakistan, Muhammad Ismail shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law because he felt his wife repeatedly flirted with other men and because “she never took care of” him. It is believed he will be released if the victims’ family agrees to accept his compensation, according to CNN.

In Austria, Sabatina James’ mother repeatedly beat her for acting like “a whore” after she wore jeans and a loose blouse and a crowd of men gathered to hoot and catcall. Once James refused to the arranged marriage to her cousin, she was forced to go to an Islamic school with terrible living conditions. She was kicked out after three months and threatened by her family. That is when she fled.

This isn’t some new phenomenon — it’s just now a little bit easier for women to get the word out and for the news to spread. Nearly 5,000 women are killed every year from honor killings. And the reason? Because the husbands or families believed they were dishonored in some way or another, be it flirting with another man, wearing what is perceived to be a scandalous outfit or not being a good enough wife.

Photo: Sabatina James

Some women are able to escape this threat. With James and her company’s help, Sabatina e.V., a nonprofit organization based out of Hamberg, Germany, she is able to provide support for Muslin women who are running away from the dangers of their families or husbands. A newly organized women’s right group, Zhiyan Group, protested against a Kurdish honor killing one week after its foundation, according to Rudaw.

Unfortunately this fight is far from over. A 22-year-old woman was recently shot and killed in court by her brother just because her family didn’t approve of her marriage.


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