Re: Honour Killing, Craig Offman, Nov. 15.
An honour killing is the murder of a girl or woman who has allegedly committed an act that has shamed and embarrassed her family. For the family to show its community that it has reasserted control, the woman is killed. “Harm to reputation” is considered a partial or complete defence for murder.
A manual of Islamic law certified by Cairo’s al-Azhar University as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is a “father or mother [or their fathers or mothers] for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.
Why does this stipulation appear in a manual of Islamic law if honour killing has nothing to do with Islam?
Marvin Levant, Calgary.