Maajid Nawaz’s moving tribute to Qandeel Baloch

I was going to write about Pakistani model and actress Qandeel Baloch, who was murdered by her brother in an “honor killing” just three days ago, but I didn’t know much about her, and, of course, honor killings are a dime a dozen in the misogynistic and faith-ridden culture of Pakistan.  But then I read a truly touching and heartfelt tribute to her by Maajid Nawaz in The Daily Beast, “Murdered Pakistani Icon Quandeel Baloch had zero f***s left to give.” Do read it, as it’s immensely moving.

The facts are clear: Baloch was not just a model and actress, but was actively challenging Pakistani’s paternalistic culture by posting salacious pictures of herself on social media, explaining why she was doing it, and—her greatest “crime”—consorting with a Pakistani cleric during Ramadan, during which she flirted with him, sat on his lap, and had drinks with him. Smitten, the cleric. Mufti Abdul Qavi, reportedly asked her to marry him.  (He was fired, of course, but nobody will kill him. It’s the woman who must be killed, for she’s the temptress.)

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(From Al-Jazeera): ‘As women we must stand up for ourselves,’ wrote Baloch, next to this photograph on her official Facebook page [Al Jazeera/Facebook/Qandeel Baloch]

For these and other “crimes,” Baloch was strangled by her brother, who first drugged her before smothering her. Reported to the police by Baloch’s father (a welcome act of “dishonor”), her brother has been arrested. He showed no remorse, saying that he was glad for what he did, and it was better to kill her than live with dishonor and have to kill himself.  Here are a few more of the “crimes” that led to her murder:

From Al-Jazeera:

On her final, July 4 post to her Facebook page, which has almost 800,000 fans, she wrote: “I am trying to change the typical orthodox mindset of people who don’t wanna come out of their shells of false beliefs and old practices. ”

The 26-year-old faced frequent misogynist abuse and death threats but continued to post.

Earlier this year, Baloch offered to strip if the Pakistani cricket team beat India.

She also posed for selfies with a high-profile Muslim cleric in an incident that saw him swiftly rebuked by the country’s religious affairs ministry.

Before her death Baloch spoke of worries about her safety and had appealed to the interior ministry to provide her with security for protection. No help was provided and the interior ministry has not commented on her death.

Here’s one of the incriminating photos of Baloch with the cleric:

Qandeel-Baloch-hot-pictures-With-Mufti-Abdul-Qavi-new-scandal-700x400

From CNN:

Qandeel’s videos were not very different from the thousands of others shared by 20-something social media celebrities across the Internet. She pouted into the camera, discussed her hairstyles and shared cooing confessions about her celebrity crushes.

But in Pakistan, her flirty antics pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable.

On the list of 145 countries featured in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Gender Gap Report, Pakistan is second to last with regards to gender disparity.According to the Independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, violence against women is rampant, with as many as 212 women being killed in the name of ‘honor’ in the first five months of 2016.
Baloch in fact made a video, called “Ban,” mocking those who tried to censor her acts. You can see how that video, below, would anger a repressive, censorious group of men who, of course, secretly coveted her. It’s a real slap in the face to the Pakistani Pecknsniffs:

And a few emotional words from Nawaz, whose piece you must read:

I will focus on Qandeel herself, her courage, and what that courage should mean for the rest of us. So let us not just call Qandeel an aspiring Pakistani model or an aspiring actress. Let us not refer to Qandeel only as a Pakistani social media star, and let us not primarily define her as the Pakistani Kim Kardashian.

Qandeel Baloch, real name Fauzia Azeem, may have been many of those things, but she transcended every single one of them. For despite Kim Kardashian’s undoubtedly noble and widely lauded contribution to social justice in America, she does not risk her life daily merely by existing.

But by her mere presence Qandeel Baloch was a one-woman revolution against religiously and culturally justified misogyny. This in a society where the cost of speaking out can be lethal betrayal by those who are meant to love you the most: your own family. So most of all let us remember Qandeel Baloch as a fearless Pakistani women’s rights campaigner who had zero fucks left to give.

For it is only by having zero fucks left to give that a woman in today’s Pakistan can be brave enough to post sexually suggestive videos of herself. It is only by having zero fucks left to give that a woman in today’s Pakistan could promise to strip online if her country’s national cricket team won against India. It is only by having zero fucks left to give can a woman in today’s Pakistan pluck up the courage to summon a leading member of her country’s mullah mafia to a hotel room, only to film him turning to putty in her hands, mesmerized by her flirtation as he allowed her to sit in his lap while she donned his religious hat. Apparently, Mufti Abdul Qavi even proposed to her in that fateful hotel room encounter.

And about the odious practice of honor killing, which of course is reinforced by Islam as well as Hindusim:

The way Qandeel did this was to highlight the sheer hypocrisy present in a society that punishes sexuality while returning one of the highest gay porn searches in the world. Men disparagingly labeled her as “loose” while drooling all over her. Women muttered at her scandalousness while simultaneously envying her.

That Qandeel was immensely brave is self-evident. Even in his mourning, her father recognized this fact. But the purpose of such misnamed “honor” killings is enforcement. They are the last resort mechanism left to a society that fetishizes sex in the name of religion and culture, and as a result despises and most of all fears female expression. That millions of Pakistani girls—who saw in Qandeel a ray of hope—will now be intimidated into silence is beyond doubt.

Finally, some words that made me tear up:

My dear brothers, let us all have zero fucks left to give. In what world could it possibly be “honorable” to strangle your own sister to death with your bare hands, then boast about it? In which religion is the murder of your own sibling more “honorable” than love? We have to accept that our “honor” is not defined by our female relatives’ actions. Our “honor” can only be defined by our own behavior. So to those among us who agree with me, there is only one option left to take. Let us celebrate Qandeel, not be ashamed of her. Let us place Qandeel’s beautiful image on our T-shirts. Let us proudly post her pictures on our social media accounts. Let us show those who prefer to suffocate beauty that we are not scared. We are not scared of female emancipation, nor are we scared of those who enforce against it.

And when our brothers stop us to ask why we are doing so, let us cite the passage of the Quran in reply: “for what crime was she killed?”

. . . And finally, Qandeel Baloch, I say to you not rest in peace, for that would ascribe to your death a level of passivity that your life proves you would resent. No, to my sister Qandeel Baloch, you fearless Pakistani warrior who had zero fucks left to give, I say to you…may you rest in power.

Amen.

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h/t: Grania

64 Comments

  1. Claudia Baker
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Maajid, again, demonstrating his own courage. Thanks Maajid, for standing up for this brave and beautiful young woman. And thanks Jerry, for sharing. A very moving and powerful tribute.

  2. Scott Draper
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Baloch’s strategy was the best one to accomplish her goals? It seems that minds are opened a little bit at a time, rather than being thrown open all at once.

    Hemlines in the West seem to creep up an inch at a time. A woman wearing hot pants in an age of floor-dragging skirts would have engendered no sympathy from anyone.

    • Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      There are plenty of Pakistanis expressing great sorrow at her death, and supporting what she did. Whatever you think of her tactics, we surely cannot hold her responsible for what happened to her.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Her death resulted from 1) the barbaric attitudes of the culture, and 2) her actions. Both were necessary for her to die. So, yes, she clearly behaved unwisely. Perhaps pushing a bit less aggressively might have allowed her to live and do more for the values she embraced.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          You probably have no idea how pathetic a posting you have here. Must make a note to feel sorry for you someday. Sounds like one would hear as the rape trial starts and the boys begin….must have brought it on herself.

          • Scott Draper
            Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            Can you make a rational comment or do you only have virtue signaling?

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

              That’s a good one. You ask for a rational comment. It seems you did not get the comparison to the male attitude to rape.

              Keep justifying the murder if it fits your purpose.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

                Please address my comment about the two things that were necessary for her death and tell me which was wrong?

                Please spare me the moral outrage…you sound like the radical left-wingers that we normally make fun of.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

                Actually there was only one thing necessary for her death – born into the wrong religion. The other reasons you gave are in your imagination.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

                “born into the wrong religion. ”

                Really? And if she had been a well-behaved, good little girl, she’d still have been murdered by her brother?

                If you think so, you’re as blinded by ideology as the regressive left.

              • Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

                Stop the one-on-one fighting. The fact is that she had every right to do what she wanted to, and if that lead to her death, it’s not her fault. Mr. Draper, you are mistaking what was necessary for that to occur with who did something wrong.

                I think Randy’s comment is right–he’s not just virtue signaling. Would you defend a rapist in court by saying that the rape wouldn’t have occurred if the woman hadn’t been wearing revealing clothing? For that’s precisely what you’re doing here: putting some of the blame on the victim.

                But stop the squabbling.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

              Sorry Scott, but I’m with Randy on this one. Did you read Nawaz’s piece and take note of the hypocrisy in Pakistani society? Have you ever read the blog Nice Mangoes? You really are coming across as blaming Qandeel Baloch for her own murder.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

                Do you agree with Randy (and the regressive left) that one should shut down discussion with insults, rather than rational argument? I suspect not.

                The fact that Baloch’s murder was related to her actions is blindingly obvious and really shouldn’t even have to be mentioned. That fact that it’s apparently taboo is very disturbing to me.

                Here’s a metaphor:

                Me: If you stand in front of a freight train, you will get smashed.

                Mob: You’re saying it’s morally OK that a freight train can run over people? And that no one has the right to stand in front of a freight train:

                Me: No, I’m merely talking about cause and effect, with no moral component. If you stand in front of a freight train, you will get smashed.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

                That’s not the same because the freight train has no decision-making ability.

                I can see what you’re trying to say, but imo the way you’re looking at the issue isn’t correct. In her society Baloch is an extremist. By her actions she exposed the hypocrisy of the misogyny endemic in Pakistan. As a result she’s dead. That is not her fault, it’s the fault of the belief system that dominates Pakistan but isn’t held by everyone. Although, as Nawaz says, many girls and women will be frightened into submission, Baloch has also created a conversation and moved the Overton window.

                At the expense of her own life, she has achieved something. I think she will become a symbol for advancing women’s rights in Pakistan. There are people on the liberal side of politics there, and I think she will help inspire change. Her death has exposed the nasty underbelly of Pakistan to the world and international politicians can no longer ignore it. Public pressure will ensure that.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

                Well, her actions did contribute to her death, as even Jerry’s article intimates. To say that they did not makes it look like you’re trying to distort the facts to support your political views.

                The most accurate thing you can say is that while her actions contributed to her death, they shouldn’t have. That’s something we can both agree on.

                The sad fact is that victims often do engage in behavior that makes it more likely that they become victims in the first place. We all know that it’s not a good idea to flash large wads of cash in public.

                We may argue that they have the “right” to engage in that behavior, but that doesn’t disconnect the cause/effect relationship.

              • somer
                Posted July 19, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

                The freight train analogy is completely inappropriate. A train is a thing and its an instant – its not a way of living that may be dangerous at some time in the future. Yes Qandeel Baloch was out there in terms of her society. But she did nothing bad morally – she did not act safely but in a oppressive society its rational to decide you would rather risk death = or die – to respect yourself and live as you see is meaningful. Moreover by challenging the mould – and ensuring it would get public viewing she
                * gave an alternative example
                *showed that conservatives can not deny such women exist in Pakistan
                The very moderate, safe reformers have to be accompanied by some push tactics – social change is always multifacetted. Moreover, as I said – it can make sense to die to have a chance at a life that is actually to one’s constitution – actually a life, even tho people close to you may not understand that. People behind moderate movements often get threatened with death and say they are willing to die if that is what it takes, like Martin Luther King, Average Mohammed, Maajid Nawaz. To me its analogous to accepting a threat to live in subjection. Many moderate muslims get threatened with death for what they do – should they just say – well i don’t want to offend them or I simply deserve to be killed, raped, whatever????

      • Scott Draper
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        “you are mistaking what was necessary for that to occur with who did something wrong. ”

        I never said she did anything wrong, whatever “wrong” means.

        Just because something is a cause does not mean that there is a moral condemnation involved.

        • jpchgo
          Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Take the people at Pulse in Orlando.

          Their deaths resulted from 1) the barbaric attitudes of someone with a gun and 2) their actions, going to a gay nightclub.

          So, yes, they clearly behaved unwisely. Perhaps pushing a bit less aggressively by flaunting homosexuality in public might have allowed them to live and do more for the values they embraced.

          /

          • Scott Draper
            Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            The people at Pulse weren’t trying to produce political change, so that’s a poor analogy.

            A closer comparison might be the gay couples that showed up at Chick-fil-A to smooch in public. That behavior was more intended to make people mad than produce political change and, in a previous time, might have gotten them murdered.

        • Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Scott, your words are literally true. Had she not been a Pakistani woman, had she not flirted, had she not shared herself in social media, she may not have been killed.

          However, the reason you are getting bitten here is that your position functionally reinforces the narrative that women deserve blame for violence.

          • Scott Draper
            Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Both the left and right have the same tendency to deny facts that don’t fit into their political narrative…this is why the regressive left denies the role of religion in terrorism.

            You can’t deny facts because you think they will lead to moral judgements, yet still call yourself a rational person. (not meaning you in particular.)

            • Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

              Consider another scenario:

              If someone has been killed by a drunk driver, what are the *salient* facts?

              What’s the function of pointing out that a person who’s been killed by a drunk driver is (factually) partly responsible for their death, owing to the FACT that they had chosen to be in a vehicle on a road that happened to have been in a drunk driver’s path?

              Certainly the choice to have gotten in a car and been on the road contributed to the causal landscape that made it possible for their body to be at risk of being injured by the reckless driver. But what’s gained by emphasizing that?

              Unless you want to eliminate (or minimize) driving, focusing on that fact diverts attention and culpability from the proximal cause: the drunk driver.

              Similarly, emphasizing that Qandeel flirted points attention and culpability on her, when the relevant fact is that she was MURDERED.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

                “function of pointing out that a person who’s been killed by a drunk driver is (factually) partly responsible for their death,”

                Because it gives you an opportunity to reduce your risk.

                Many people already don’t go out on New Year’s Eve due to the increased likelihood of encountering a drunk driver.

              • Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                Okay, but follow the thinking through.

                If New Year’s Eve is the analogy for Pakistan, and staying off the road is the recommendation,what then would you prescribe for Pakistani women?

                That they remain silent and follow the cultural norms that degrade their humanity?

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      But desperate times call for desperate measures. And like the Suffragettes of old, she had “zero fucks left to give”. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get things done.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      She was a 26 year old actress from a small village, not a middle-aged political mastermind. What was she “supposed” to do? Are you saying she kinda brought it on herself by not dressing more conservatively?

      I’m sure you’re not, but it sort of sounds like that is what you are saying.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        If you walk at night in a bad area of town and get mugged, you were stupid. Yes, the person who committed the crime is the one that gets 90% of the moral condemnation, but everyone will think that you get about 10% of it.

        • Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, and if Martin Luther King had just been smart enough to stop demonstrating in white areas of Alabama, he wouldn’t have been shot. He was clearly UNWISE and helped bring about his assassination.

          • Scott Draper
            Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            My original comment was to ask if Baloch’s tactics were optimal, and I think this is a legitimate question to ask if we are to expect people to be rational actors attempting to achieve a specific goal.

            MLK’s strategy was to build a large political movement, which he did, so I don’t Baloch’s approach compares favorably with his.

            This doesn’t make her death less of a tragedy.

            • Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

              Her actions were in fact perfectly rational. Which part of not giving a fuck anymore do you not understand?

              • Scott Draper
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

                And you think “not giving a fuck” is rational? If she didn’t give a fuck, then why did she bother?

              • darrelle
                Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

                Scott,

                Her “Zero fucks left to give” position was not relative to her life, as in “I don’t care about anything anymore,” it was relative to the misogyny and other similar repressive behaviors common to her society. For example, she had “Zero fucks left to give” for any misogynist prick who is outraged at the sight of her naked ankles.

                If her intention was to demonstrate that she had zero fucks left to give then her behavior was not irrational.

            • jpchgo
              Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

              “… to ask if Baloch’s tactics were optimal” Sure, always a good question to ask. Were Trayvon Martin’s tactics for getting Skittles to eat optimal. Certainly not. It’s important to mention that when talking about his death.

            • Posted July 18, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              Consider Rosa Parks and civil disobedience. It’s a far better thing not to appear to diminish what this young woman did, in standing up for her human rights.

    • Hassan Ali
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      This sort of victim blaming is quite common here in my country. Unfortunately, people with secular and liberal inclinations have internalized this mindset. This is why I always get stern rebukes from my friends when I make even mildly anti-religious statements at public forums.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        If you think I’m engaging in victim-blaming, then you either don’t understand what “victim-blaming” is or you failed to understand my comment.

        • Posted July 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Do you know the rules bout not dominating a thread. You are hijacking this thread toward your own views. Stop it now, please.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    What do the apologists invent in their minds to justify such a murder? What else but religion can create such sick bastards who would kill their own family for nothing. Who else can justify such a murder?

    • Christopher
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      and what will the SJW’s say?! She was clearly “sexualizing” herself, which they are against, unless the woman is overweight, when it becomes a “powerful” statement against body shaming. She was a POC, from an oppressed culture, and from a muslim family (was she religious herself?) but she was going against culture and her religion. So, do they care more about her as an oppressed woman, or as an oppressed muslim or POC?

      Actually, I don’t care what the SJW’s WILL say, I want to know what the said before she was murdered, regarding her actions. I would not be surprised if the faceless SJW mob hated her for not fighting oppression in a way that they, the safe, middle-class, western, privileged uber-regressives regard as appropriate.

      what a sad and stupid waste. I’m always impressed by people like her who can be so brave as to stand up and act out against a system that so clearly has no problem with brutally, heartlessly eliminating a threat like her. I’m a chicken-shit, I know I could never do it.

  4. Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “may you rest in power” –brought tears to my eyes, also.

    As for the comment from Scott about her being “unwise,” well, many acts of bravery are just that.

  5. Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Yup, freedom has to include the freedom to be sexy in what ways one wants.

  6. Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The words “physical and moral courage” lack several dimensions when describing her. Powerful and very moving words from Maajid.

    It would be better if the Western media covered people like her before they get killed rather than just after.

    That cleric, Abdul Qavi, is the same brainless gimp who had a run in with Veena Malik too a few years ago. (Link to youtube. At one point she tells him “I am more angry with you people than you are with me.” The look on her face shows it too.)

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      I note from Nawaz’s article that the cleric has also put the blame squarely on her.

      The failure to recognize misogyny, or to somehow think bigotry isn’t as bad when it’s against women, is a frequent failing of those who throw around accusations of Islamophobia too.

      • Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        That miserable cleric maybe thinks that he will save his honor this way. I think it would be better for hims to defend his behavior, and her. Even if he regrets very much the hotel incident, he should say something like, “I am so sad and angry that the woman whom I wished to marry has been murdered!”

  7. Sastra
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    ‘Honor killings’ is one of the best responses to those who defend religious faith by pointing out how it strengthens resolve and motivates virtue. Good and evil are more of a matter of perspective than we often think.

    I can imagine a personal testimony in which the “weakness” and “sinfulness” of loving one’s sister more than honor is overcome with God’s help. The usual advice to do better by “loving God more” isn’t going to cut it.

    • jpchgo
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. The perpetrator is doing something very hard for them, killing a family member, in service to almighty God.

      It’s the old, “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

    • Kevin
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Perspective is everything. Words like ‘evil’ and ‘sinfulness’ have no meaning to me except as metaphors. To those who endorse or carry out honor killings, I would expect that ‘evil’ is very real to them.

      They are psychopaths who were abused as children to believe in extraordinarily stupid and ineffectual things.

      • Sastra
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        No, they’re probably not psychopaths. Chances are they’re psychologically normal and had childhoods which were nothing out of the ordinary for their culture.

        It’s the culture that’s sick.

  8. Newton Newt
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    “And about the odious practice of honor killing, which of course is reinforced by Islam as well as Hindusim” – Whatever be Islam’s faults, honour killing is not something that is encouraged by Islam. It requires women to dress in a certain way, and looks down upon those who don’t, but killing someone because she has “dishonoured” you has absolutely no legitimacy in Islam. Its a cultural practice at best, prevalent in tribes of that area, and as you said, in khap panchayats on Haryana, India.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Islam most certainly does reinforce honor killings. If honor killings had absolutely no legitimacy in Islam then in places where Islam rules the imams and Sharia courts would be seeing to it that murder charges against vigilante honor killers would be strictly enforced and typical consequences would be the same as for murder in any other circumstances. But that is not what is observed.

      Virtually all of the behaviors that are involved with honor killing are reinforced by Islam. Honor culture, misogyny, patriarchy, control of reproduction, women as inferior to men, women as property of the family patriarch, death penalty for woman for adultery and more I’ve no doubt.

      That the Koran does not specifically prescribe vigilante honor killing does not equal “Islam doesn’t reinforce honor killing” or “honor killing has absolutely no legitimacy in Islam.”

      • Sastra
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        I think I’d also include death for apostasy/blasphemy under ‘honor killings.’ The crime of insulting or dishonoring God is being avenged.

      • Newton Newt
        Posted July 19, 2016 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        I accept that certain precepts of Islam do contribute to instances of honour killing (so I won’t contradict Jerry on this point anymore), but to say that it has ‘legitimacy’ in Islam is absolutely wrong. You have to provide scriptural evidence of this being legitimate. Terms are very important, in my opinion, and they can leave legitimate criticism open to misinterpretation and attempts at obfuscation. According to Jonathan AC Brown, (whose introductions to the hadiths are standard books in various universities), “No Muslim scholar of any note, either medieval or modern, has sanctioned a man killing his wife or sister for tarnishing her or the family’s honor.” (Wikipedia page on honour killings).

        “If honor killings had absolutely no legitimacy in Islam then in places where Islam rules the imams and Sharia courts would be seeing to it that murder charges against vigilante honor killers would be strictly enforced and typical consequences would be the same as for murder in any other circumstances. But that is not what is observed” – the failure to stop honour killings by imams and clerics is due to the tribal mindset and certain cultural norms prevalent in their societies. It’s prevalence in parts of India and Brazil, etc doesn’t mean that it’s legitimate in those counties’ religions to kill for honour.. And if you follow Islamic world news, you would see scores of prominent ulema criticizing this practice as having no basis in Islam (you can Google that). .

        • darrelle
          Posted July 20, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          No, I don’t need to provide scriptural evidence that the Koran or Hadiths specifically prescribe vigilante honor killings. This is not a discussion among Islamic apologists. We need to be talking about what actually occurs. Despite the strong tradition of literalism in Islam it is a living religion. Just like the other desert dogmas there are many interpretations of it at the individual and group level.

          The claim that “No Muslim scholar of any note, either medieval or modern, has sanctioned a man killing his wife or sister for tarnishing her or the family’s honor,” doesn’t have any more merit than a claim that no Christian scholar of any note has ever sanctioned abuse of children.

          Also, it is not possible to separate out religion and culture the way you, and many others, try to do. In any case religion is merely an aspect of culture and in the specific case of Islam it is a major aspect of any culture it inhabits to a significant degree. Any religion is much more than merely its holy writings and the opinions of its notable theologians and apologists.

  9. Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    According to the Chicago Tribune “Such killings are considered murder. But Islamic law in Pakistan allows a murder victim’s family to pardon the killer, which often allows those convicted of honor killings to escape punishment.”

    • Posted July 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes, note that it’s “Islamic law” that does that.

    • Newton Newt
      Posted July 19, 2016 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Islamic law in Pakistan allows a murder victim’s family to pardon the killer even in cases not related to honour killing (in case the headline gave the impression that it specifically relates to honour killing)

      • Filippo
        Posted July 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Well, if the family can pardon a killer, then they can pardon a daughter for showing a little leg.

  10. Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for providing me with more information about this beautiful young woman.
    I note that the mullah didn’t prevent himself from going to the hotel room of the temptress.
    Obviously, the Muslim equivalent of the Devil made him do it. (Oh, I forgot! She was the “debbil”!)

    I’m sure this young woman knew exactly how dangerous what she was doing was. That should
    send a strong message to all as to how very important she considered the issue and her fight. It appalls me that some choose to demean the issue by blaming her for her actions instead of blaming her religion and culture for their misogyny.

    In the past, Buddhist monks used to immolate themselves in protest. I don’t remember the charred monks as being maligned for the methods their protest took.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Jerry’s line :

      Apparently, Mufti Abdul Qavi even proposed to her in that fateful hotel room encounter.

      Rowena’s line :

      I note that the mullah didn’t prevent himself from going to the hotel room of the temptress.

      In number of Islamic countries (I am told from Gulf nations, but it would not in the least surprise me for Pakistan), the standard practice for prostitution is that client and sex worker agree to a “temporary marriage.” At which point, there is nothing for anyone to complain about. Bang, bang, grunt, grunt, job done and it’s “I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you,” and everybody leaves happy.
      I assume that is exactly what was behind the cleric’s “offer of marriage”. And he knew it. And she knew it (and probably thought “Got. You! On. Camera!”). and the brother knew it.
      As the journalist then says, “I made my excuses and left.”
      If the brother hadn’t killed her, there would probably have been a hit-squad funded by the cleric’s mosque after her.

  11. Tom
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    This young lady was the No.1 on the list of Pakistan’s most hated people, a list dated 22nd June 2016. I viewed this list on the WonderfulPoint.com website, by coincidence, on the day before she was murdered but I do not know if it was a repost or the first time it appeared on this site.
    In a nation of over 150 million people engaged in a seemingly perpetual civil war between religious and tribal elements, it appears odd that somebody not engaged in this slaughter was the No 1 Hate.

  12. Posted July 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to both Grania and Mr. Nawaz.

  13. keith cook + / -
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    “Rest in Power”

  14. Mike
    Posted July 19, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    That fucking Country !!!

  15. Posted July 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    🐾


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