Who among us doesn't want the best for our children? Often, parents are certain they know what's best for their progeny, even if their offspring don't. And, of course, if the children rebel, they need to be brought back in line. A long and proud tradition which dates back to Bronze aged middle eastern cattle and human sacrificing nomads who were enjoined to publicly stone a rebellious son to death. (Deuteronomy 21:18-22).

In Islam, this tradition is known as honor killing. If a child, especially a female, brings dishonor on the family by falling in love with a man to whom her parents have not betrothed her, the obvious remedy is to kill her. Even a suspicious hint of anything romantic or flirtatious is enough to trigger a trip to the local quarry to stock up on rocks for the public stoning. She has brought dishonor on the family, and the only way the males of the family can heal their wounded pride is by brutally taking her life.

This tradition still lives in all its bloodthirsty and brutal glory. Yesterday, in the city of Lahore, a woman was stoned to death for having the audacity to marry someone not approved by her family. This was not, however, a private family affair done in a remote mountain village. The woman was murdered with rocks, bricks, and clubs, by her family, on the Courthouse steps of the second largest city in Pakistan. And, done in full view of a crowd, of whom not one single individual lifted a finger to help her. And, considering it was done in front of a Courthouse, you would think there might be a police officer or two who would intervene. You would be wrong. Everyone of the killers got away, except for her father. And, the only reason he is in custody is because he voluntarily turned himself in.

It is estimated that last year alone, there were over 900 'honor killings' of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This, of course, does not include those done in Europe and the US, which are falsely labeled as something other than honor killings. (Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Nomad,  for an in depth discussion of Islamic honor killings in the west).

Article about the Lahore slaughter is here. And, for a description of what this entails by a woman who survived on honor killing, read this.

Religion. Promoting loving family values since 3,000 BCE.

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Aren't these 'honor killings' always done to the females?  I don't think I've ever heard of a man being honored this way.

I had the same question, so I googled it yesterday and learned that it does happen to men. It seemed like it typically only happens to men when they were part of an unapproved marriage. I bet they would be quick to murder a homosexual family member too though. The worst thing about these animals - they have nuclear weapons.

That's right on, ky. It seems that only the females dishonor the families.

More like the female dishonor the MALES, particularly the husbands.  Nothing like petty, egotistic, privileged men to muck things up.

From what I see, it depends on how you define 'values'. The argument you are proposing gets back to the long-debated issue regarding absolute morals as derived from gawd as vs. relative morals from the humanistic standpoint that change as time changes over the centuries.

I suppose when I posted this, I should have made myself more clear on the tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic use of the term 'values.' My fault, and not anyone else's.

I find the use of that word, as thrown around in the US, extremely phony. I continually hear phrases like 'good Christian values,' 'good conservative values,' 'good family values,' 'good American values.' Those promoting this generally have no clue of the meaning of the word 'value,' and more often than not are referring to nothing more than their personal and culturally accepted traditions or a certain political philosophy without even knowing what they are talking about. Honesty, courage, love, loyalty, kindness, etc. are values. They are not a monopoly of any one given group or nationality, irrespective of how any one group wants to falsely claim them as their own.

As to the argument of absolute morality vs. evolving morality, I go with the latter. 200 years ago slavery was accepted as a normal condition; not just in the US, but in Great Britain, and other western nations. We  evolve in terms of what we view as moral.

Premeditated filicide is considered immoral; at least to modern and advanced societies. There was time in the early history of our species when this wasn't true. Even those that currently claim firm religious belief in one or another of the Abrahamic cults squirm when they read the passage of Deuteronomy I quoted (along with many others passages). However, this is obviously not universal, as evidenced by honor killings.

And, I think this goes to the proposition that morals are not absolutes. In the west, we are shocked by the thought of a father stoning his adult daughter to death for making her own choice of whom she will marry. The same cannot be said about other cultures, which, I would argue, have not evolved to the level we have. That's not to say we don't have a lot more evolving to do, ourselves.




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