Mariam was an 18 year old Palestine girl. One day, she was returning from school when she was attacked and raped by a gang of four teenage boys in an abandoned building. When her family got to know about it, her father viewed her as an outcast and said she had brought shame upon their family honour. In line with the common practice, she had to be executed in order to redeem the family name. Marian was later burnt to death by her father and uncles. (This is ‘Honour killing’)
Honor killing is the homicide of a
member of a family or social group by other members, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought shame or
dishonor upon the family or community, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage , being in a
relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, having sex (or allegedly having sex) outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, or engaging in homosexual relations.
Mariam was murdered for being raped! This is absolutely unimaginable but it is actually popularly practiced in many middle eastern countries like Jordan, Palestine, Syrian, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and so on…. To think that these so called ‘honour killings’ are mostly done by family members makes it even more shocking! How can one be murdered by family members for being a victim of rape or refusing to go into forced marriages?! Are these even crimes?! Most times, when allegations of these ‘anti-social’ behaviors are made, victims are not allowed to defend themselves, they are simply killed just to ‘protect’ the Family’s honour.
Honour killings are not restricted to the Middle East and Asia alone but it is more rampant and wide spread in the region.
In my view, Honour killing is one of the greatest crimes against humanity. Why this issue isn’t getting so much attention is really baffling. Probably because cases are not usually reported or because family members report these cases as suicide.
There is a strong need for laws and actions that will protect victims especially women and homosexuals from this horror. Rape victims need to be helped not killed.! This is the 21st century, an end needs to be put to this totally unacceptable barbaric act!