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In the Indian Subcontinent, people are perplexed about the terminology “Family Honour“, for which they don’t hesitate to kill even their sons and daughters.
This article has been compiled after lots of challenging work.
Without wasting any further time, let’s dive into the topic, “Honour Killing for Fake Honour?”.
Farzana, pregnant at the time, was stoned in full public view with bricks as she attempted to testify in court for her newlywed husband, Mohammad Iqbal.
She married against her family’s wishes which led to an unpardonable insult to the whole clan, who looked forward to nothing but revenge.
Point to Ponder. Many cases like Farzana’s happening around the world every single day.
Most cases don’t see the light of justice as they remain hidden in the murky shadows of social ethics and morals.
They have termed honour or shame killings and left for the people to ponder until the dawn of other crimes.
It’s time that light is shed upon the issue, and humanity should take it seriously to sustain a firm foundation of peace and harmony.
Simply put, it is a cold-blooded murder that results when the perpetrators believe that the victim has violated their rules or principles and should be taught a lesson for the disgrace brought.
They are acts of vengeance and brutal retaliation, mostly against female family members who are judged guilty to have brought dishonour to the entire clan.
While the male community is also affected, the percentage is relatively low compared to females.
For a female, there are various purposes, including being a victim of rape or sexual assault.
For Example, seeking a divorce from her husband, committing or getting alleged of committing adultery, a firm refusing to enter an arranged marriage, wearing clothes that the family disapproves of, or even daring to raise questions on specific issues.
The four main reasons include – homosexuality, violation of religious principles and values, renouncing faith in a deity, and adultery. Perceptions of the social matter and the family’s decisions raise challenging questions about humankind’s morals.
The mere perception that a girl or a woman has conducted herself in a derogatory way to the family’s image and honour is sufficient to trigger a life-threatening attack on the girl.
Statistics and recorded data claim that over 5000 honour killings happen every year internationally, while unclaimed sources predict a figure almost double.
These do not include the unofficial cases that go unrecorded and are never brought into the limelight.
Around 1000 honour killings occur in India and Pakistan every year compared to a measly figure of 12 assassinations in the UK.
Most of the killings are carried out in the Islamic regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Religion thus affects the slaying process and the intensity of barbarism.
Abdul Hakim (29), who had attained celebrity status after exposing the hypocrisy of “Khap Panchayats” on Aamir Khan’s TV show Satyamev Jayate, was gunned down in his Bulandshahr village.
On Monday, his wife Mehwish (25) created a sensation by handing over a one-and-a-half-year-old audio clip of her conversation with her mother, Shabnam, to the media in Bulandshahr in which the latter had warned that the community would kill them for their love marriage.
“I recorded this conversation on my mobile when we had eloped from the village and were hiding in Mumbai. My mother had said that let alone our village Adoli in Bulandshahr, the panchayat would not let us live even in Bhatgarhi, the outskirts of the village. She had clearly said that the family would kill us,” she said.
“The murder of my husband on Thursday was a case of honour killing. My family members committed it. They also want to kill me and my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Mantesha. The village panchayat on Saturday night had declared from the loudspeaker that we would also be eliminated soon,” she said.
Though Hakim was killed on 22 November 2012, the incident came to light only on 25 November 2012 when Mehwish managed to contact some local newspersons and informed them about the brutal murder of her husband when he was going to a local doctor to get some medicines for her.
She was eight-month pregnant.
“They had said they would kill us. And now they have done it by killing my husband. The police could have saved him if they had believed us and provided us security. They are still not cooperating with us. We have registered a named FIR against five persons, but the police have arrested only one person – my uncle Asif Anwar. More people of my family declared that they would kill us and finally shoot my husband in daylight. Now they are after me and my daughter’s lives,” she added.
Methods used to carry out the killings can be ruthless and inhuman, including burning, beating, stabbing, beheading, acidic burning, strangulation, throat lashing and stoning.
The worst part of the process is that it is often done in front of the public, and the murderers make sure that the murder is keenly perceived.
Weapons are often given to children and under-aged individuals, as they are more likely to be pardoned by the law.
Tall claims that honour killings do not occur in the US were counterattacked by a report released by a survey organization.
It is estimated that an average of 23 to 27 incidents occur in a year in the USA, but there is no reliable data.
Honour killing has been declared a crime, and atrocious punishments are declared in many nations.
The accused individuals must present proper defence statements to the jury for forgiveness. But suitable measures and timely thinking on our part will help us escape this horrific reality.
Education. A wise man once said, “Education is the key to a brighter future.”
Educating future generations and using religion as an optimistic tool emphasising peace and justice will counterattack this problem.
Governments across the globe have already introduced reform measures to help the victims as well as possible targets.
Strict penal codes in various nations have also brought about some change in this challenging process’s intensity.
To implement decisions taken by the court or any other law-governing body of the country is necessary to punish offenders publicly and shame their most extraordinary atrocity deeds.
Awareness Programs. Awareness programs are created by various governmental and non-governmental agencies that portray multiple scenarios in which honour killings might occur and how to avoid them.
Attending workshops and seminars might help to gain additional information and insights on the matter.
Learn Self Defense. Taking self-defence classes, especially the females and attending workshops that teach how to heighten one’s alertness and mental strength can help overcome this issue.
Having complete knowledge about the consequences of one’s decisions and having the capacity to face problems that follow should be the individual’s mental set-up.
Moulding Culture. Culture affects a person more than he can ever imagine.
It affects how he speaks, the way he acts, and most importantly, the way he thinks.
Moulding culture for the benefit of society might help stop various social evils, which include honour killing.
Our movies, our books, and our music all function to drive our thought processes.
Depicting strong revolts against such murders may help change society’s outlook towards it.
Individualistic endeavours by each of us will build collective efforts of the human civilization and successfully erase the ritual of the pages of history itself.
Once these individualistic efforts are directed towards a motive for the betterment of the people around us, only then can we help others escape a bleak future.
Drafting awareness programs and volunteering for awareness campaigns can be done by individuals who feel dearly for potential victims.
You can always help with provisions and reinforcements to various government sectors to prevent this crime.
As said earlier, culture is what affects a person most.
What he reads, sees, and listens to moulds his opinions and judgments. Writing articles that strongly condemn honour killings and publishing them online on public portals will always help society function.
Sacrificing fear is the primary step to counter the issue, as fear forms the basis for doubt and crime.
Sharing essential information, such as the general helplines and location of safe shelter homes, might also help the potential victims escape.
Big or small data should be shared upon provocation to aid the person in need in times of peril.
Honour killings are most prone in the Asian continent on a broader scale.
Also, various surveys often indicate the victims as females between the ages of 17-35.
This tells us that the crime focuses on the harassment of the weaker and innocent part of society.
If this is the case, then the remedial measures are pretty simple.
Eradicate the people’s thoughts on the weaker sex and arrange them according to the changing progressive times.
Only then can the female community rest in peace and tranquillity.
Since the dawn of human civilization, man has been plagued by several issues and questions he fears to ponder.
These subjects make him question his sanity and can drive him to the brink of lunacy.
Rather than face them, it makes it much easier to avoid them same.
But that is where the entire system breaks down.
Acknowledgement of the root of the problem is the degraded human mentality.
Finding solutions such as educational awareness and strict rules and regulations is the best way to make this planet a suitable place.
Since historical times, man has been given supreme power over his family and unchecked authority to regard them as property.
This linkage of thoughts still prevails in our modern society, and thus crimes like honour killings happen.
Breaking the trail is one thing we can do as a collective group of rational-minded humans.
Prestige, honour, stature, and reputation mean nothing when one cannot respect an individual’s personal choices.
It is equivalent to an empty bowl or a bowl filled with gloom and despair.
People carrying out this heinous crime are no more than cowards trying to hide behind the masks of fake authority and power.
These vicious people must change their mindset or get ready to face the consequences of ruthless punishments for a time too unrelenting to imagine.
Remember the gruesome incident of 2014 that brought humanity to its knees and questioned the sanity of the entire human race? It was a case of honour killing in Lahore, Pakistan.
A girl was brutally murdered by her family members publically when she tried to defend her husband from false criminal charges.
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