Horror Killing

Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?

Lately, while reading the latest post of Fantasia , a superb one named "Honor Killings: The Shame Behind the Oxymoron ", then, reading another by the everlasting Egypt Rose under the name "Honor Killing, Female buried alive again " the inspiration had a booster dose on the inflamed subject of Iraqi women found killed, counted in Basra alone to be 40 women killed for "honor" related reasons during 2007. Then I decided to write on the subject, discussing its relation to Islam, under its stemming root, the accountability of male relatives on their female kinship deeds. During the article, I will try to resolve the oxymoron phenomenon Fantasia highlighted, when we call a murder an honorable one, this is why I chose "horror" to replace "honor", the horror killing is always intended to horrify the females who dare to drift from the herd, so let's call it "horror killing" to be more coherent morally.
Ancient Roots of Horror Killing
It is widely believed among Muslims that adult male, should be accountable to God about deeds and behavior of his female kinship. This does not mean his dependants only, it includes his sisters and even his mother in some occasions! This religious belief, I visualize as a major feeding root of what is called "Honor Crimes" or "Horror Killing" of females. However, we should understand the fact that these crimes had long existed before Islam, it might be wise to have a look on the roots before we explain how ancient patriarchal jurists applied their patriarchal culture, and linked the matter to Holy Scriptures that is entirely unrelated to it.

Horror Killing is the offspring of two major false perceptions. First, being the "Heritage Perception" of the woman in general, a perception that turns woman from a separate persona into a belonging to her man, and you shall find ancient Arabic poems talking this property language, afar in history before Islam, one of these poems is what "Emro Al-Qais" said,

For me, pregnant and nursing mothers
Forget their babies .... when I hammer

The man was proud to hold an affair with pregnant and nursing ladies! Bedouin mentality, wherein invading women body symbolized invading her tribe's pastoral zones. Whoever orientalist defends the idea of women prosperity in Arabia before Islam, can read this poem and materialize how women as well as sex itself were savagely visualized. Second, being the "Vaginal Perception" of woman, whereby, woman is summarized and focalized around her genital organ. Therefore, all her behaviors and deeds are explained by her feminine intuition. You will find this understanding manifested in the Arabic poem,

Never rely on women and never trust them
Their satisfaction comes through vaginal stem

Then, was It Only Among Arabs? No, it was more like a pan-human syndrome. Yet, it has diminished earlier from areas in the world where logic dominated over traditions and heritage. Platonic Love, in away, was an indirect expression of favoring celibacy among the ancient Greeks. However, it was a just celibacy encouraged among males and females equally. But still shows a degrading view of sexuality, claiming sex to soil the purity of supreme emotions. The famous Roman "Chastity Built", best expresses both the vaginal perception of honor, as well as the property perception of women. Whereby, the man locks-on his beloved female or wife as he travels away from home. Female Genital Mutilation, known among us as "circumcision", was a standard African behavior, until the moment, it remained standard in Sudan and Sub-Saharan Africa as the map below shows us. Also Hindus, Christian and Judaic societies have all passed eras wherein female horror killing was an honorable practice. Among ancient faith followers, only Buddhism stands clean from this shame of horror murders among its followers.

Islam and Female Accountability:
Claiming a man to be women's mentor, based on the misunderstanding of "Qiwama" verse as we explained it in "Reliberating Women" series, played a major role in the general misperception, holding men as mentors, accountable for their female deeds. However, this is proven unsupported according to the understanding we offered in that series. Another verse which is "O' you who believe, save yourselves and your families from a Hellfire whose fuel is men and stones"
Banning: 6. is frequently stated as a proof of male accountability for his dependants' deeds. Variantly, we understand the verse as a call for Muslims to save themselves from banishment abiding by good deeds, and to save their dependants through educating them doing similarly. It was about educating non-adult dependants and advising to adult dependants. No obligation or cross accountability shows-up here. Needless to mention that Quran stated in several verses in different surahs, that every individual is only accountable for his own deeds. Hereunder, we shall highlight some of these verses,
  1. "Every soul will be held in pledge for its deeds" The Cloaked: 38.
  2. "O you who believe! Guard your own souls: If you follow right guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray." Table Spread:105.
  3. "Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)." The Cow:48
  4. "Then guard yourselves against a-Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her nor shall intercession profit her nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)." The Cow: 123. We can notice the affirmation through hammering the same meaning twice in the same Surah.
  5. "And fear the Day when ye shall be brought back to God. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly." The Cow: 281
  6. "But how (will they fare) when we gather them together against a day about which there is no doubt, and each soul will be paid out just what it has earned, without (favor or) injustice?" The Emrans:25. It is worthy saying the verses no. 30, 145, 161 and 185 had hammered the same meaning in different statements. All relating one's destiny in afterlife to his own deeds. Not a word about the deeds of his family, dependants or female kinship.
  7. "Say: Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than God, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another" Cattle: 164.
  8. "There will every soul prove the fruits of the deeds it sent before" Jonah: 30.
  9. "That God may requite each soul according to its deserts; and verily God is swift in calling to account." Abraham: 51.
  10. "One Day every soul will come up struggling for itself, and every soul will be recompensed (fully) for all its actions, and none will be unjustly dealt with" Honeybees: 111.

Beside what we listed above, we have the holy verses in (Ta Ha: 15), (Ya Sen: 54), (Troops: 6, 56), (The Believer: 17), (Crouching: 22), (The Cleaving: 19).

Was it only about these couple of misinterpreted verses? Despite having 18 verses stating individual accountability in afterlife?

We will find some defenders claim it lawful to kill a sinner female relative, as she committed adultery that qualifies for stoning to death in Islam, and to them we have the following objections on their thrust,

  1. Not every woman killed in honor killing is a fornicator
  2. Death penalty is believed to be only for married fornicators.
  3. Death penalty as well as all other penal code are a temporal matter, assigned to temporal government to consolidate and implement
  4. Fornication qualifying to death is conditionned by 4 adult witnesses, which is impossible unless sex is practices in public park without even a blanket! It was a matter of preserving the public from non-sense.
  5. Fornication verse that "was" in Quran one day is an aborgated verse, majority of jurists agreed it was valid when apostle died, however this does not alter the fact, it does not exist in the Quran as we have it today.

Beside this, we have only another hadieth with the same meaning of the 2nd verse, stating everyone among us is a caregiver, and we should bear the responsibility of our dependants, which again we understand as a call for bearing responsibility and giving more care to educate and develop our children, not to be accountable to God on their behalf. Also very lately, one of the "satellite Imams" came to us with an additional explanation of why this wrong concept prevails. In a late speech in media, "Khaled El-Jindy" explained an apostolic teaching, cursing alcoholics, ungrateful siblings and pimps, and stated the "Pimp" to be a man who allows his female kinship to go out unveiled or uncovered according to Islamic dress code! The very same "Jindy" turned the society upside down few weeks ago, stating the female slavery to be lawful until now if the man managed to get a female slave!!! So he is entitled to force her for sex and it is her duty to subordinate to his desires!

To this Imam, and many others like him, who acted on full purpose as murder mediators in female "horror killings", to them all we say: "Dayouth" in Arabic, and "Pimp" in English has always had one meaning; a man who mediates prostitution, whether employing his own female kinship or others. That "Khaled" thing, was not the 1st to claim such a meaning, many of ancient jurists did before. However, vitalizing such an explanations in media usually creates an unnecessary hassle about old interpretations that is already outdated by modern culture. How many cheese-head men were agitated hearing such a word? How many out of them tried to force their spouse on what the man called Islamic dress code? How many men slept on outrage and how many ladies slept with a wounded soul? Is this the way Islam should be preached? Claiming unveiled woman to be a whore? and her spouse to be a pimp? If humiliating honorable people is that easy for you "Khaled", considering your fatwa, enabling your Gulf masters, to abuse their female maids (the closest form we have today to slavery), and claiming it lawful in Islam. Let me tell you I find whoever facilitates extra-marital affairs in this way, to be much closer to pimping! Also encouraging USA invasion to Iraq, defending it during your licture in Kuwait, specifically Kuwait, gives an idea about who is practising "Pimping of Thoughts" where thoughts and ideologies are employes to amuse your Kuwaiti Masters. You better watch the woods in your eyes boy, before you talk about the ashes in others eyes!

Apart from this side talk, we find all the claimed proofs of cross-accountability in Islam to be shaking, based on what we have from Quran and righteous Sunnah. It is a social matter, and shall always be treated with social measures. Most importantly, degrading the act in our casual talks and educating people how shameful it is what we call "Honor". This was my last words before I fly to the states for 5 days in a business trip. Appologies in advance for the late replies on your comments. See you soon dear friends.


ERS said...

Dishonor killings are believed to have their origins in misinterpretations of pre-Islamic Arab tribal codes. They pre-date Islam by centuries and are, in fact, un-Islamic.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"

Fantasia said...

Such a valuable study on the subject! Thanks for the great work Dr. Eyad. Will come later to comment in full. But I really wanted to thank you right away.

Arabic ID said...

Dear Eyad
I might agree with you in every word , but about "dayyoth" thing I see it doesn't equal pimp in English, I may understand it as those people who feels flattered when other men flirt his wife,daughter. who doesn't keep in mind that he is disobeying Allah, and he doesn't have the natural jealousy in his blood.
in many American movies and series they mention jealous as a mis-perfection, so how can they understand "dayyoth".

I don't believe in American movies Of-course but I mention the example I knew here.

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Ellen,
Your conclusion is very true, maybe you did not find the time reading the post. I came to very similar conclusion. However, misinterpretation of verses and hadieths had a role to sustain it after Islam. Regards

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Fantasia,
Such an encouragement, for these words and others I still find a dedication in myself to writing. thank you dear

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Arabic ID,
thanks for the very good point in your comment. Dayouth is only linked in the Arabic resources even those before Islam to pimping.

Jealousy can not carry the meaning I thought you meant. Maybe "Passionate" when comes in a statement related can express it more. Jealousy can express a negative feeling other than the positive one you meant. Which is being passionate and caring about man's family and their welfare. Kind Regards

Arabic ID said...

Dr Eyad
حمد الله على السلامة انتظرناك بشوق

OK dear

so let me say it in another words,
would this be true if I said that the prophet wanted to describe people who don't have jealousy with a hard word to let the people hate those people, as he mentioned about who doesn't pray that he is kafer, who doesn't limit his eyes sights as a "zany",

it might hold the same judgement and it might just a description "3ala sabyl el-magaz"

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Arabic ID,

Thank you my friend. Me too missed our talks here much.

Yes, these can be educational metaphors aiming to magnify something. However, this shall never include men who allows their wives out non-veiled. Imagine Mona Shazly for instance. She is not veiled. But what a regarded respect worthy lady she is, in her looks, talks, manners and mind before all. Right?

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Referring back to our post on female dress code in Quran, it is all expressed in wide terms that only necessitates appropriateness and modesty in looks that give a woman enough esteem and good perception.

Amre El-Abyad said...

welcome back Dr Eyad!

Fantasia said...

hey dr. eyad.. where have you been? i didn't know you were away. welcome back. missed your writings and your valuable comments.
been waiting for my comment to get published and i got worried when it didn't. but now i understood why.
i wanna thank you so much for talking about the vaginal perception of women, because i think this is strongly related to how our culture deals with women nowadays. i agree that i existed in other cultures in the past, but what is painful is that we are stuck with it up till the present moment. it is so frustrating.

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Amre El-Abyad, the protector of the Eastern Arab Gate :), thank you for the warm welcome my dear friend. I wanted to ask a question by the way Do you believe in most of "Ba'ath" ideologies? or a simple pan-arabism like myself? Just wondered. Best Regards

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dearest ever Fantasia,
I was in a business trip at USA (United Satanic Association as I call it when I am fed-up with their government stupid deeds). I surely agree with you, vaginal perception today stands as a shame on our culture. And you might be surprized when I say, one of the major attributes of this stupid perception is being the latest in humankind to understand human sexuality, male and female, and accordingly the related psychological foundation. Best Regards

Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Eyad,

Well, I am too autonomous to be put in a box and labeled whatever. You could say I am an natural born existentialist, yet you can't say I am an existentialist in any ideological sense.

As regards the Baath, I find significant parts of the baathist ideology very suitable for this specific point of time in the Arab world. Also, I am a Nassertite one way and another. My outlook on the world is affected to a great extent by Karl Marx. Moreover, I am a revolutionary " Arab" Shiite vehemntly opposing the Iranisation of shiisim. Finally, my soul and feelings are sunni Muslim.


Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Amre,
I can say we are closed to each other in different arrays. I adore Nasser, his leadership, vision and achievments. I am a Muslim who do not even classify himself as Sunna or Shiite. Concerned about the national security issue, but not in rleation to the Irani risks. Thanks for answering my question dear friend.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Friend,

I also resonnate with the totality of your views and your approach in life. However, I differ with you regarding the magnitude and scale of the Iranian malevolent threat to the Arab world and Egyptian national security in particular. I suggest that you read my last post. As I am most intereted to understand the reasons behind your undermining of the Iranian bloody batraberous crimes commited in Iraq as well as its imminent danger on the entire Arab world.