The notion of honor killing under Islam’s strict Sharia Law may not strike most Westerners as not only an alien concept, but often downright cruel and coldblooded. Case in point would be the death of a young woman in the Middle East whose father physically stopped rescuers from saving his daughter’s life for fear of “strange men” touching her, thereby dishonoring the family’s good name.
As reported by The Express Tribune/The International New York Times (Pakistan edition) on Aug. 10, 2015, and also by The Australian news service on Aug. 11, 2015, a yet to be publicly identified “tall and strong” Asian expatriate in the Persian Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) actually fought back would-be rescuers from saving his drowning child. In the Middle Eastern press the term “Asian” is often understood to apply to those whose lineage originates from the Indian subcontinent.
As cited, the man took his wife and children to a popular beach in the UAE’s largest city of Dubai for an afternoon of picnicking, swimming and overall family fun. Depending on one’s outlook, the day either ended in shock and horror or in pride and honor.
Deputy Director of Dubai Police’s Search and Rescue Department Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Burqibah stated to the press, “The kids were swimming in the beach when suddenly, the 20-year-old girl started drowning and screaming for help. Two rescue men were at the beach, and they rushed to help the girl. However, there was one obstacle which prevented them from reaching the girl and helping her. This obstacle was the belief of this man who considered that if these men touched his daughter, then this would dishonor her. It cost him the life of his daughter.”
The Deputy Director added, “The father was a tall and strong man. He started pulling and preventing the rescue men and got violent with them. He told them that he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man.”
The Express Tribune did cite that the man in question was eventually arrested by the Dubai Police Department, and was charged with “stopping the rescue team from saving his daughter’s life and doing their job.” Apparently, it is illegal in the UAE to interfere with a lifeguard on duty, but not illegal to be an accessory to the murder of a female.
More accepted and widespread in the Muslim World than many Westerners may realize, so-called honor killings are simply not that out of the ordinary, especially in the more fundamentalist nations and regions such as Pakistan, Yemen, the ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq, and also the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Other examples include; (all specific links found here)
- In October of 2013, a 15-year-old girl in Yemen was burned alive by her father as punishment for an unauthorized telephone conversation with her fiancé.
- In April of 2013, a four-month pregnant Jordanian mother was found with her throat slit, womb cut open, and both she and her unborn child were burned. Somehow, the mother and unborn child were considered a blot on the family honor.
- In December of 1012, a family of six, to include a 1-year-old baby, were all shot to death in Pakistan. Two of the daughters killed were separated from their husbands and living with their parents.
- In November of 2012, a 16-year old girl in Pakistan was burned to death with acid by her parents after being caught “looking at two boys on a motorcycle.”