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Honor kills love

Love’s labour is lost in a country where many women feel that they are not treated equally and are even denied basic constitutional rights. Controversy is never far away because girls’ schools are burned down denying them education. A shot in the head as in the case of Malala is enough to kill off any revolution stirring a woman’s right to freedom of expression. Women have been for centuries subjugated to oppression and violence to prevent them from progressing and developing their talents. They are forced to cover themselves in veils but are stripped of their dignity, their voice, their laughter and it is a miracle that they are allowed to breathe on their own.

Last week when a young 15 year old girl dared to love a man of her own choice, she was doused in acid and murdered by her own parents in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. She was betrayed by her own parents who nurtured her and promised to protect her from all evil. They just forgot to tell her that love was a crime so evil that she would pay for it dearly, with her own life. Honor Killings of this kind are a common feature in conservative Islamic societies where a family’s so-called honor is more important than respect for human life.

This is not news to women from South Asia. But what shocked me more than anything was that the girl’s mother was an accomplice to the murder. The woman who carried her daughter in her womb for 9 months and nurtured her for years helped her husband kill her child. I know for sure that if it were my daughter I would stand in the way, if need be even sacrificing myself trying to protect my daughter. So I ask myself, what goes on in the heads of the fathers and mothers who raise their children with unconditional love but slaughter them without battling an eyelid in the name of honor? What about the husbands who bring adorned brides into their lives and then bury corpses in the name of honor? How is it that nothing is dear to the mothers that raised these daughters and to the wives that caressed them with their husbands as they were growing up from daughters into women? Don’t the charred faces haunt them? Don’t their consciences haunt them? How do they sleep at night? I wish I knew.

Author: Roma Rajpal

Editor: Grahame Lucas


06.11.2012 | 15:15