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Dead in Agra: The Muslim and Hindu Romeo and Juliet

Posted on February 15 2011 9:00 am
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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Does Islam condone “honor killing“? There is considerable debate in the Muslim community about it, but what is sorely lacking is condemnation of this very common practice in Muslim culture.

Seldom is domestic violence celebrated, even by its perpetrators. In the West, wife batterers are ostracized. Here, there is an important difference in honor crimes. Muslims who commit or assist in the commission of honor killings view these killings as heroic and even view the murder as the fulfillment of a religious obligation. A Turkish study of prisoners found no social stigma attached to honor murderers. While advocacy organizations such as CAIR denounce any link between honor killings and Islam, many sheikhs still preach that disobedient women should be punished. Few sheikhs condemn honor killings as anti-Islamic. Honor killings are not stigmatized.

We can find the same sort of complacency about honor killing, and what we might argue as being defense of the practice, in the leftist media, including the NYTimes.

But the couple should never have married without permission.

So say John Leland and Namo Abdulla in the NYTimes in an article called “A Killing Set Honor Above Love“.

We certainly all value honor in families, and there are many who would argue that some things may be important than love. When it comes to honor killing, however, nothing short of outright condemnation will suffice.

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


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