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Central & South Asia

Pakistan clerics issue stoning death decree

Ulema Council says so-called 'honour killings' are un-Islamic and sign of ignorance, ahead of June 5 meeting.

Last updated: 01 Jun 2014 12:20
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Some Pakistanis feel 'honour killing' is sometimes justified, according to a Pew Centre report [EPA]

A coalition of Pakistani religious leaders has issued a religious edict declaring 'honour killings' to be a "highly condemnable" and "un-Islamic" action.

The All Pakistani Ulema Council is also organising a summit on June 5, involving leaders from all sects, to discuss 'honour killings', following the murder of a 25-year-old pregnant woman, Farzana Parveen, outside Lahore High Court.

The Fatwa (religious edict) should serve as a reminder to those who kill their kin on the name of protecting 'honour'

Zahid Mehmood Qasim, All Pakistan Ulema Council, Secretary General

"[A] daughter is a gift by Allah. And the feeling of being dishonoured by your daughter is forbidden in Islam," the edict, issued on Friday, reads.

"Killing one's daughter and humiliating them is a sign of ignorance."

The council's secretary general, Zahid Mehmood Qasim, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the decree "should serve as a reminder to those who kill their kin on the name of protecting 'honour'."

He said the woman, who was murdered by relatives for marrying the man she loved instead of a cousin selected for her, did not deserve death.

"The act falls outside the ambit of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran and Sunnah [Islamic way of life]," he said.

Qasim said the Council would meet on June 5 in Islamabad to discuss how to tackle 'honour killings' and other pressing social issues.

Unreported killings

The brutality of this case has caused outrage across the country and the world.

Almost 900 women died of such crimes in 2013, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Pakistani woman stoned to death by her family

The actual number could be higher, since many cases of 'honour killings' go unreported.


RELATED: Stoning victim's husband killed first wife


According to a 2011 Pew Research Centre report, four in 10 Pakistanis say the honour killing of women can be at least sometimes justified.

The council wants clerics of all Pakistani mosques to keep 'Daughter is a gift not a problem' as the main theme of their sermons during Friday prayers.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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