[Photo: CII member Tahir Ashrafi. Photograph by Minhaj Ahmed Rafi for Newsweek]
Newsweek Pakistan: The Pakistan Ulema Council, led by Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, on Friday issued a fatwa declaring so-called “honor killings” un-Islamic and inhuman.
Reacting to the brutal murder of a 25-year-old pregnant woman, Farzana Iqbal, in an “honor killing” outside the Lahore High Court, the umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars said the “killing of girls in the name of honor or dignity is terrorism and viciousness—which has nothing to do with Islam.”
“The government and judiciary have the responsibility to punish in the harshest possible way those guilty of committing this crime,” it said, adding that “these people are not only guilty of committing murders but also spreading mischief on Earth.”
The organization will issue a detailed edict on the issue during a joint conference of leaders of all sects on June 5, it added.
Farzana was attacked by over two-dozen family members, including her father and brothers, for marrying against their wishes. Her father surrendered to police after she had been beaten to death with bricks, claiming it was an “honor killing” and he had no regrets.
Last year 869 women died in so-called “honor killings” according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Conviction rates are very low due to Pakistan’s blood-money laws, which allow kin to forgive perpetrators, usually family members in such cases.