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Honor killing in the United Kingdom

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  1. Executive summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Perspectives on honor killing
    1. The context of family and the states pretext for non-intervention
    2. Honor killings as extreme acts of domestic violence
  4. The Quran and the freedom of religion
    1. How Prophet Mohammad followed the spirit of freedom of religion
    2. Quran: Democratic principle of freewill and free choice
    3. The death penalty for apostasy in Islam
  5. Honor killing in UK
    1. The case of Christopher Hawkins
    2. The case of Abdullah Yones
  6. Global ramification of the problem
  7. International issue of honor killing
  8. Domestic Violence and honor killing
    1. The distinguishing traits of honor killings not found in the customary domestic violence
  9. Honor Killing and the Legal Position
    1. The doctrine of habeas corpus
    2. The Jordanian Penal Code
    3. Contradiction for law enforcement agencies and the legislators in the West when treating honor killings
  10. Extent of the problem in the UK
    1. The case of Shakeela Naz and her son
    2. The killing of Arash Ghorbani Zarin
    3. The study conducted by the Centre for Social Cohesion
  11. Media Representation of honor crimes
    1. Generating media interest on the issue of violence against women in the name of honor
    2. Their inadvertent fallacy on interpretation of honor crimes
    3. The patronizing attitude of some of those western feminists
  12. Honor killings and social perception
    1. Pakistan and the victimization of women
    2. The compelling force to enact the honor crime
    3. The role of the family members
  13. Does Islam permit honor killing
    1. The erroneously belief that Islam permits honor killing
    2. The case of Owamer Ijlani
  14. International Human Rights Law
    1. The charter of the UN
    2. The principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex
  15. Cultural contextualism and Human Rights
    1. The 1948 UN declaration of Human Rights
    2. Multiculturalism in its historical context
    3. The tension between culture and individual rights
  16. Remedial measures
    1. The argument that honor killings shoud recieve benign treatment in the west
    2. Training the law inforcement ageincies to deal with dometic violence
    3. A plural and multicultural British society must uphold the rule of law
  17. Conclusion
    1. The media's failure to play a responsible role
    2. The fear among the Muslim community across the UK
    3. Violation of women's rights
  18. Bibliography

In recent years there have been a spate of killings in the UK characterized by the family members killing their own daughters or one of the female family members. These killings have one theme in common: a female member is generally killed by her family brutally for transgressing family code. These killings are referred to as ?honor killings' for want of proper understanding and definition. On an average 12 such killings take place every year in the UK. The media has generally taken a misinformed attitude on these crimes. They have radicalized the issue of honor killing by attributing ?honor killings' to a specific community and religion, thereby distorting the issue into us/them dichotomy. This paper makes a serious attempt to straighten the facts by addressing ?honor killings' phenomenon at its roots. Islam doesn't favor honor killings as it is based on Quoran which not only demands strict proof before victimizing any one but also defends women who are wrongfully victimized by punishing the false accuser. Islam is also liberal in matters of faith and strictly prohibits adoption of Islam through compulsion. The obvious conclusion then is that there are other reasons than culture and religion accounting for the perpetuation of ?honor killing'.

The paper discusses at length the factors responsible for honor killing. It also takes the stand that crimes of honor are universal and routinely occur among the White population of the United Kingdom. Only these crimes do not bear the stigma of ?honor killing'. They could be the crimes of passion, or domestic violence, but the elements of jealousy and revenge might be seen in these crimes. The paper also makes an attempt to highlight the ?human rights' aspect that is inevitable in such crimes even as the universal application of human rights might be problematic.

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