Pakistan: Imam among those indicted for honor murder of model Qandeel Baloch

Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer.

“Multan court indicts five for the murder of model Qandeel Baloch, including an imam,” by Shafique Khokhar, Asia News, May 4, 2018 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Multan (AsiaNews) – A court in Multan indicted five people in connection with one Pakistan’s most notorious cases of honour killing, namely the murder in July 2016 of Qandeel Baloch, a well-known model, blogger and youtuber.

One of those indicted is Imam Abdul Qavi, who was investigated for complicity right after the young woman was strangled by her younger brother Waseem Azaam to restore the family’s lost “honour”.

“Qandeel Baloch’s murder was a tragedy,” journalist Husnain Jamil told AsiaNews. “In Pakistan the number of honour killings is increasing due to the inadequate application of existing laws. We demand a fair and impartial trial to reduce the cases of violence against women.”

The young model was a controversial figure and her murder in 2016 was a cause célèbre. She was an iconic figure of female open-mindedness and courage, but by the standards of Pakistan’s male-dominated worldview, she was “too free”.

Her selfie with Islamic cleric Qavi (picture 2) caused scandal and led to a flood of criticism. For the model’s father, Azeem, the cleric was the instigator of the murder perpetrated by her younger brother Waseem.

During the trial, Azeem said that the imam offered him money to withdraw the charges against him. The next hearing is scheduled for 14 May….

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